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Diabetic alert dog

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by CaitlynGrisham, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. CaitlynGrisham

    CaitlynGrisham Approved members

    Mar 12, 2010
    I live in northern california, and I am interested in getting a diabetic alert dog. I am going away to college in a few months, and I am very prone to nighttime lows (I also am hypo unaware). I have had a seizure in my sleep, and I rarely wake up to lows. Thus, it's really causing me anxiety thinking about going off to college alone.

    First of all, am I a good candidate for a diabetic alert dog? How much do they cost? Could I get one before I leave for school? Would my college allow me to have my dog with me at all times? What are some reputable places that I can check into?

    Thank you so much!
  2. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

    Dec 9, 2006
    If you can be patient (weekend traffic can be slow) I'm sure one or more members with DADs will answer your questions.
  3. Bigbluefrog

    Bigbluefrog Approved members

    Oct 1, 2010
    Have you thought of about a continuous glucose monitor?

    We are training our dog to alert to lows and highs, it is very time consuming for training, not to mention the basic care of a dog.

    There is a forum about diabetic alert dogs where you can ask trainers questions and get some feedback. Google diabetic alert dogs forum

    Also one of the trainers has some utube videos posted, because you need to see if your dog is naturally alerting, this may change your training regimen.

    Our 5 month old dog is alerting to lows and highs, but most do not guarantee night time alerting.

    So far our dog is still just a loving pet with some alerting during daytime.
  4. hdm42

    hdm42 Approved members

    May 1, 2008
    Dogs 4 Diabetics is in the east bay area. They seem to be well run and have good results with their dogs. I would try to get a dog from them if I lived in Northern CA.
  5. misscaitp

    misscaitp Approved members

    Jul 26, 2007
    I don't have a DAD myself, but I was researching them because I was considering getting a DAD. The dog and the training can range anywhere from $5000 - $20000, most of that money can be raised through fundraising. Then you have to consider the vet cost, the training upkeep every 1-2 years, food, grooming. Its a lot of cost.

    Most DADs go through eight weeks of training, plus the amount of time they need to match you with the right dog.

    The college will allow you to have the DAD with you under the Americans with Disabilities Act, they can go to class with you and live in the dorms. You may have to provide the college with documentation that the dog is trained medical service dog. Also you may be responsible for any damage that the dog may cause, A.K.A accidents in the Dorm room.

    My problem with the DAD mainly arises when I thought about the extra responsibility that I would be taking on by bring a DAD to college, you may have to wake up during the night or leave class to take care of the dogs bathroom needs. For me it was easier to get a CGM, but I love hearing the success stories of people with DADs.

    It's a lot of work, personally what I would suggest is contact one within your region. Ask them the cost and the things they train their dogs to do. Maybe get a CGM in the mean time, try the first semester of college, while seeing if a DAD is reasonable for your college life. If it is reasonable, then start the process for a DAD.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  6. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    From what I understand getting a dad takes time and considerable money. IMO I would go for a CGMS and get the ball rolling about researching a dad. This way you at least have a safety net of CGMS in place for when school starts and you can decide if a dad will fit into the school lifestyle.
  7. denise3099

    denise3099 Approved members

    Jul 31, 2009
    I see from you sig that you have a cgm. What is not working for you that you want a DAD?

    No discouraging you at all, just would look into fixing what you have now before looking into something new. Is it the alarms not loud enough? You can get the gardian or even the mySentry to help with that. Is it not accurate? William Dubois has a great book about cgm, how they work, etc. You can find some great info on calibrating here and other places to improve accuracy. Does it fall off? Check out the thread on tape etc.

    I would work on getting the technology you currently have to work as well as possible for you in the next few months, b/c it really isn't enough time, imo, to get accustomed to a dad before going to college. It's just too much change at once.
  8. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

    Sep 7, 2008
    ^ I agree with this. As expensive as the mySentry is, it's cheaper than a DAD. :p

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