To get started, please review our minimum criteria for clients and our 5 Step Program

In our mission to ethically provide service dogs for diabetics, D4D has created this new program in order to serve a larger geographical area and to respond to the growing number of children with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Buddy Dogs are available to families living in Washington, Oregon, and California.

  • You and your family live in Washington, Oregon, or California. For those living outside these states, please visit Assistance Dogs International to find accredited providers near you.
  • You do not have to meet an age requirement, but you must possess the physical and emotional maturity to train with a dog and sustain its needs for a loving and safe home.
  • You must be a non-smoker and live in a smoke-free environment. This includes marijuana smoking and any kind of vaping.
  • You must be insulin-dependent for a minimum of 12 months before submitting your application.
  • You are proactively managing your diabetes and insulin-therapy and demonstrate a need for a service dog.

In our mission to ethically provide service dogs for diabetics, D4D takes rigorous steps to unite clients and dogs. The following summarizes our 5 Step Program:

  1. Watch a Pre-Application Workshop (PAWS). This video will give you an overview of the program. Please watch and take the quiz to receive an application.
  2. Our application requires references, a medical questionnaire completed by your doctor, and 3-months of blood sugar logs. Please contact our Programs Coordinator with questions about the application.
  3. Phone Interview. Once we have all the pieces of your application, we will review it and schedule a call with you.
  4. Home visit. A D4D staff member visits your home and works with you and your family.
  5. Train with us. You will travel to D4D for a ten-day training program, or you will receive eight to ten days of in-home training. Since Diabetes Buddy Dogs do not have public access, you will have to drive to our training facility in Concord, CA. The in-home training is an option we consider based on your needs and our resources.

What’s the difference between our Diabetes Buddy Dogs and our Medical-Alert Service Dogs?

Great question! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Same D4D ethics and standards: All of our dogs are scent-trained to detect changes in your blood sugar, both high and low. And they have meet our standard of 80% accuracy rate in every stage of training.
  • It’s the little things: We accept dogs with every intention of them becoming Medical-Alert Service Dogs, who can accompany you anywhere according to ADA standards. Sometimes in the course of our training, we notice little behaviors that we know won’t comply with ADA and standards, so these dogs make a career change to become Diabetes Buddy Dogs.
  • Saving Lives: So Diabetes Buddy Dogs are not allowed public access, but they can alert on your blood sugar in your home. Because children with T1D haven’t learned to manage their disease yet, they are at higher risk for hypoglycemic episodes, which occur mostly during sleep. To safeguard their lives and provide peace of mind for families, we provide Diabetes Buddy Dogs to children with T1D and diabetics of all ages who meet our minimum requirements.
  • You are essential to the process! Clients training with Diabetes Buddy Dogs are engaged! They are motivated to work with the dog, provide it a safe and loving home, and sustain this life-saving partnership.