New Kind of Service Dog Detects Gluten in Foods


Dawn Scheu sits with Willow, her German Shorthaired Pointer trained to sniff out gluten.
Photo via freep.com

The role of gluten in causing a host of digestive and metabolic problems in some people has been much in the news in recent years. We all know someone who is avoiding gluten for one reason or another, but those who suffer from celiac disease have to be the most careful about avoiding the protein composite.

Dogs have been trained to detect everything from drugs to low blood sugar, and now they are being used to help people avoid accidentally eating gluten. A story on the Detroit Free Press website focuses on a Michigan woman named Dawn Scheu and her German Shorthaired Pointer, Willow, who is trained to detect gluten:

Before Willow, Scheu said she felt trapped in her own home, so afraid of cross-contamination that everyone and everything seemed like a threat.

Now, Scheu takes Willow everywhere — to the grocery store, on vacation, to restaurants.

“My husband and I went out to dinner for our anniversary,” Scheu said. “Willow came with us. It was the first time in four years I’ve been able to eat out.”

This is great news for folks who have the most sever reactions to gluten, and it’s yet another way dogs are helping people live better lives.

Click here for the full story.

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