Dogs have been supporting humans in a variety of ways for centuries, and their skills have been utilized in many different fields. One area where dogs have been making a profound impact is in the field of PTSD support. Dogs seem to be born with many of the qualities that are essential for a successful PTSD support animal, but there are also specific training programs that can help to further develop these skills.
Service dogs are specifically trained to perform tasks that assist their owners with physical or mental disabilities, such as providing balance support for someone who has mobility issues or retrieving objects for someone with limited dexterity. Therapy dogs, on the other hand, are not specifically trained to perform tasks but instead provide comfort and emotional support. While therapy dogs are not protected under ADA like service dogs are, they can still have a profound impact on the lives of those they assist.
One of the most important things that a support dog must be able to do is to remain calm in the face of potential triggers. This can be a difficult task for even the most well-trained dog, but it is essential for providing support to someone with PTSD.
In addition, support dogs must be able to provide physical and emotional comfort when needed, and they must be able to recognize when their human is experiencing a triggering event. With the right training and support, dogs can play an essential role in helping those with PTSD to lead healthy and happy lives.
Many Veterans find that living with a service dog brings them a great sense of companionship and helps to reduce their feelings of loneliness and isolation. According to many Veterans, their service dog is the only regular source of social interaction and companionship they have.
This companionship can be particularly beneficial for Veterans who live in rural areas or who do not have a strong support network of family and friends. In addition to providing companionship, service dogs increase certain quality of life domains for many veterans.
For Veterans suffering from PTSD, anxiety or depression, having a loyal and protective companion by their side can provide a tremendous sense of comfort and security.
Service dogs can also be trained to detect changes in their owner's mood and to intervene when they are feeling anxious, depressed or aggressive. By providing early intervention, service dogs can help to prevent crises and improve the overall wellbeing of their owners.
This study found that veterans with PTSD who had a service dog for 12 months reported increased physical activity, better sleep quality and fewer nightmares.
They also felt their symptoms, such as cognitive intrusions or hyper-arousal, were reduced significantly during this period when compared to before they partnered up with their furry friend.
At our clinic, we understand that pets can provide comfort and companionship in times of need. That's why we're happy to accommodate emotional support animals. These animals are specially trained to provide therapeutic support, and they can play an important role in the treatment of mental illness. If you're interested in bringing an emotional support animal to our clinic, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We'll be happy to help you navigate the process and book you a pet-friendly room.