Can Dogs Help With Migraines?

Anyone who has experienced migraines knows how severe and debilitating they can be. You are often confined to a darkened room, and some people have trouble getting out of bed due to severe pain.

There are many treatment options for migraine sufferers. Some even keep a journal to record the trigger points and when they feel a migraine approaching. However, did you know that dogs can actually help with migraines and there are even migraine-alert-service dogs that can prove invaluable to migraine sufferers?

Signs Your Dog Will Show If a Migraine is Coming

Specially trained migraine alert dogs can alert you to a possible migraine in the early stages of its development before you realize it is happening. They can detect signs of a migraine 48 hours before it occurs. This is because they are able to detect signals in the prodrome stage of a migraine. It is the first phase before you feel symptoms. Your dog will alert you to the prodrome phase of a migraine so you can take preventative medication.

You should be aware of the signs your dog may use to warn you about a migraine attack. You should be alert for signs such as licking, circling, nudging, sitting by your side, staring at your face, barking, and nudging.

These signs could indicate that your dog recognizes the onset and severity of migraine. Migraine-alert dogs can be just as helpful for people with these conditions as sight-dogs or seizure-alert dogs.

Dogs will use body language to alert you if they sense a problem. You may be surprised at how willing your dog is to alert you to a migraine. These dogs are often loyal to their owners during the initial stages of a migraine.

There are many other signs your dog may show when they notice signs of migraines. As a warning sign, your dog may pace around you and stare at you intently. These are other signs you need to be aware of if you want early warning signs about a migraine.

History of Migraines and Dogs

Over the years, a lot of research has gone into migraines and how best to treat them. This includes research into the prodrome stage of migraines, which can be identified through a range of symptoms. This is also the stage at which you are likely to get warning signals from your dog with regard to an up-and-coming migraine.

One of the first signs of migraine is yawning more, cravings to certain foods, changes of mood, speaking difficulties and increased fatigue.

Although your dog may not be able to detect all symptoms, they might recognize certain ones, like changes in your mood and behavior. This is how your dog will know if you have a migraine in its early stages.

It has also been found that not all dogs can alert you to migraines. Some dogs simply don’t have the temperament or training to do this. While others may be able to recognize the symptoms, they might not be able to alert you. A migraine-alert dog can be a valuable tool. Studies have shown that dogs that have been trained to recognize migraine symptoms will behave differently toward their owners.

Dogs and Migraine: The Science Behind Their Help

The way in which dogs are able to help migraine sufferers is by picking up on key symptoms during the early stages of a migraine – the prodrome stage. Your dog will not realize if you are craving certain foods or if you are using the bathroom more.

They can detect small chemical changes within the body. These occur when your moods change, leading to a migraine. These symptoms may be picked up by your dog and they might alert you with the above-mentioned methods. These signals are important for migraine sufferers. Your dog might be able to detect that you have a migraine and alert you.

Train your dog to detect migraines

If you want to train your pooch to recognize the early symptoms of a migraine, it is best to start from a young age, as puppies will be far more receptive to this type of training. As with all medical alert dogs, it is important to ensure that your dog receives the right training so that they can recognize the symptoms and warn you about them. This can be very complex, so it is often best to attend proper training classes in order for your pup to learn how to become an effective and competent migraine-alert dog.

There are many training centers that specialize in training medical alert dog trainers. If you suffer from migraines, it’s worth talking to them about how they can help. It doesn’t mean your dog must be at the facility. You can also attend the training along with your dog, or have a professional medical alert dog trainer come to you home for one-on-1 training. Online training is available at some places. You can learn the best methods from experienced trainers online.

As we mentioned, not all dogs can become migraine-alert dogs due to their temperament. An expert trainer can help you determine if your dog is able to successfully complete this training. Many dogs can learn to be migraine-alert dogs with just a few months of training. Then you can look forward to a trained dog alerting you when a migraine is coming.