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Diabetes Support Dog (DSD) FAQ

Diabetes Support Dogs

  • What is a Diabetes Support Dog or DSD?

    A Diabetes Support Dog is a dog trained to provide emotional support and companionship to children and youth with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. These dogs will accompany their Friend for Life to medical appointments and hospital visits in order to provide the child/youth with a distraction from procedures, and help to mitigate their feelings of anger, frustration, and alienation. Diabetes Support Dogs provide unconditional love and create a sense of purpose while promoting attention to self-care and responsibility to care for their Friend for Life.
  • Who qualifies for a Diabetes Support Dog?

    Currently children and youth aged 5 years old and older with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or medically pre-diagnosed symptoms of abnormal blood glucose levels are eligible to apply for a Diabetes Support Dog.
  • Where do Diabetes Support Dogs come from?

    Diabetes Support Dogs are adopted from local shelters and rescues. These dogs are chosen not by breed, but by suitability in the program based on assessments and training from both shelter staff and Sweet Charity trainers. To date we have had cocker spaniels, labradors and labrador crosses, and border collie crosses successfully complete our DSD program assessments. Diabetes Support Dogs are a minimum of a year old when they begin the program to ensure their maturity and stability.
  • What kind of training do Diabetes Support Dogs receive?

    After passing the on-site assessment, the rescue/shelter dogs go to the Sweet Charity trainer’s home for further assessment. The dogs spend two weeks with our trainers and are exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, smells, and situations. During this time the dogs are also trained in basic manners. At the end of the two-week assessment the dogs that meet our criteria are adopted by Sweet Charity and enter our six-week intensive training program, which includes public access certification. Upon completion the dogs are then placed with their Friend for Life, the youth living with diabetes, and they begin training together with our Sweet Charity team.
  • Where can I read more about service dogs?

    The following links from trusted sources provide more information about service dogs:
    http://www.clickincanines.com/General/LivingSD.html
    http://www.anythingpawsable.com/before-partnering-with-a-service-dog/
  • Where can I read more about diabetes and my child?

    The following links from trusted sources provide more information about parenting a child who has diabetes:
    http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/kids-teens-diabetes
    http://bantinglegacy.ca/
    http://www.joslin.org/new_to_type_1_diabetes_information_for_parents.html
  • Are there sources of funding available for service dogs?

    Federal law allows you to deduct expenses for buying, training, and maintaining a service dog. Please follow this link for more information about service dog funding: http://www.consumerreports.org/taxes/tax-deductible-service-dog-medical-tax-deductions/
  • How do I apply for a Sweet Charity Diabetes Support Dog?