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Getting a Service Dog
Questions to help prepare you get an Assistance Dog (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.: What conditions do I need to meet in order to qualify for a medical alert dog from Dogs4Diabetics?
A.: In order to qualify, the diabetic must be at least 12 years old and have been diagnosed and on insulin therapy for at least one year.

Q.: How do I apply for one of these dogs?
A.: A preliminary application form is available on D4D's website here. If you have trouble with the website, feel free to send the information requested in a regular email.

Q.: How long should I expect to wait until I hear about my preliminary application?
A.: Due to the high level of interest in this program, it may take up to two months before you hear back from D4D, though you are always welcome to email any questions. If, after being reviewed, we find that your request meets our criteria, we will forward you an in-depth formal application.

Q.: How long does it take to get a dog?
A.: D4D's dogs are placed by matching them with each client's individual needs, not on a first-come first-serve basis. The matching process takes into consideration the lifestyle, personality and abilities of each client. The other consideration is the client's ability to attend our 100 hours of training classes. Please note that participation in classes does not automatically guarantee you a dog.

Q.: How much will this dog cost me?
A.: Though it costs Dogs4Diabetics roughly $20,000 to train each dog, D4D is committed to placing its dogs with diabetics at no cost to the diabetic for the dog. The only fees involved in participating in the program are an application and material fee, currently totaling $150. The only other cost involved for the diabetic is the cost of providing for the dog once placement is made. That cost will vary, but having a dog may cost you anywhere from $100-$300 per month for food, flea and tick medicines, heartworm prevention, toys, shots, veterinary visits, etc. Unplanned illness or injury or emergency care could cost substantially more.

Q.: I live outside your current service area. Are there other programs or trainers who can help me?
A.: Unfortunately, D4D does not know of other programs that train and place dogs like D4D does, but please keep checking this site for updates. Dogs4Diabetics is growing and expanding as funding allows.

Q.: What can I do to train my own dog and have him certified as a service dog?
A.: Dogs4Diabetics' policy is not to offer advice on the training of dogs to detect hypoglycemia. As you will surely understand, there are important medical risks that D4D cannot assume responsibility for without the ability to directly participate in and monitor both the dog and diabetic's progress.

Q.: I have a dog of my own that I'd like to have D4D train to be my service dog. Is this possible?
A.: Currently Dogs4Diabetics is only placing dogs that have been raised and trained by our organization.

Q.: How does Dogs4Diabetics select its dogs?
A.: D4D places its dogs by matching them with the individual client. Because there is a limited number of fully-trained dogs at any given time (and literally hundreds of diabetics requesting them), D4D cannot offer breed/gender/color choices. You will always have the final say about whether or not you are interested in taking any dog offered to you, but Dogs4Diabetics will make the initial selection based on intimate knowledge of the dog's strengths and personality and its understanding of your individual needs.

Q.: What types of dogs are available to D4D's clients?
Dogs4Diabetics works primarily with black and yellow Labrador Retrievers because of the breed's intelligence and willingness to work with people, but occasionally other breeds may become available.

Q.: If I receive a dog from D4D, where can I take my dog?
A.: In accordance with the federal American Disabilities Act, businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed. Diabetes is covered under this law, and your medical alert dog will come equipped with a service vest to be worn when entering places pet dogs aren't allowed to go. Some of the education you will receive before getting your dog involves this very issue; the diabetic is encouraged to have the dog with him or her at all times, as you never know when low blood sugars will occur. Your service dog will accompany you to restaurants, grocery stores, on public transportation, and to movies and business meetings. Younger diabetics take their dogs to school and after-school activities. These are working animals, not pets, and have special rights that enable them to do their jobs.

Q.: I'm considering making a donation to Dogs4Diabetics. Where does my money go?
A.: Thanks to its many volunteers and program contributors, D4D is able to put over 95% of all donations directly toward the training of its dogs and client placement.

Q.: Are donations to D4D tax deductible?
A.: Dogs4Diabetics is a non-profit organization recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS. Your donation is tax deductible to the full extent allowed by federal and state laws.