If ever you needed an excuse to get a dog, this is it. A study has shown that our furry companions can be trained to sniff out low blood sugar.

Research highlighted that glycaemia alert dogs, when trained by a charity responded when their owners' blood sugar levels were too high, alerting behaviours included licking, pawing, jumping, staring, vocalising and even fetching a blood testing kit.

Since owning their dogs, all 17 members of the study - whose ages ranged from five to 66 - reported fewer emergency call-outs, reduced numbers of unconscious episodes and improved independence.

Study leader Dr Nicola Rooney, from the University of Bristol, said: "Current equipment has numerous limitations. These findings show the value of trained dogs and demonstrate that glycaemia alert dogs placed with clients living with diabetes afford significant improvements to owner's well-being"

It's suspected that untrained dogs detect abnormal blood sugar in their owners by smelling the changes in their owner's breath or sweat.

So, Bassett Hound or Labrador? Just to be on the safe side...