Historically, people and dogs have shared a special bond, a close relationship where each looks out for the well-being of the other. That special rapport coupled with dogs’ extremely sensitive senses has raised the human-dog connection to a whole new level – training dogs to become Medical Alert Dogs.
More than just a loyal companion to those in need, Medical Alert Dogs receive highly specialized training and certification in critical fields including autism, diabetes, seizures, and psychiatric conditions. Much like their title implies, these Alert Dogs serve as both early warning systems when they detect a change in a person and also as early responders, helping the person directly and/or seeking help for them. Not only do these life-saving dogs receive training, their “handlers” – the people they’ll be caring for and helping – also receive training on how to relate to the dog, how to communicate with them, and what to expect.
For example, a person with diabetes experiences a chemical change when their blood sugar level either drops or surges – a trained Diabetes Service Dog will detect a change in that person’s scent and alert the person to take their medication, bring a phone to the person to call for help, or bring the person’s medicine directly to them. In that way, a medical crisis can be averted.
Autism Service Dogs are incredibly helpful to children with this difficult condition. These dogs offer positive social interactions to their children, they interrupt negative behaviors, offer a calming presence, alert the child’s parents to problems or night awakenings, and even help children verbalize more by giving the dog commands, among other things.
Dogs trained to detect seizures can actually sense a seizure coming on before it happens and warn the person of an impending attack so they can get themselves somewhere safe. If a person has a seizure, a Seizure Alert Dog can remove potentially dangerous objects from a person’s vicinity, help bring a person back to consciousness, physically support the person, get help, and retrieve or carry important medical information about the person so they can be helped by others.
These are just a few of the ways dogs are being trained to help people with medical conditions and special needs. Medical Alert Dogs are very special companions; their love, loyalty and dedication to the people they help is invaluable. If you have a special dog in your life, contact us to create photo memories you’ll cherish forever.