How Dogs Can Help Veterans with PTSD

Dogs are truly man’s best friend. Not only are they a wonderful companions, they also have amazing powers to soothe and heal the human soul.  There have been countless people attest that having a new canine sidekick radically improved their lives.  The same can be true for our soldiers coming home from war with PTSD.  

Reduce Stress

A lot of soldiers come home and feel as if they are always on guard.  When they have a naturally alert dog watching out while they sleep they can actually start to get some rest. Bonding with dogs also releases Oxytocin in the brain which improves anxiety, trust issues, and paranoia.

Help Make Connections

It is often hard for soldiers with PTSD to show affection to their loved ones when they get home from war.  Having a dog to ease them into small tokens of affection helps them learn how to show love again.  Also, they help the soldier get out and connect with people and/or nature.  Of course, dogs love to be outside which helps them get up and out, slowly reconnecting them with the world around them.

Assist with Injuries

Service dogs are trained to help with specific tasks for persons with disabilities.  Whether the person is partially blind, has restricted mobility or even seizures, a canine-caretaker can assist and help keep harmful objects away.  Service dogs are great with commands, which goes hand in hand for a person with a military background and is used to giving orders.

It’s not easy coming home from war where the environment and experience are drastically different than everyday American life.  Transitioning back to normalcy is much more difficult than just getting off the plane and unpacking.  There is emotional baggage that can takes years to unload, but with therapy and a good companion, the healing can start.

 

Thank you to all our Veterans and active duty Military members!  

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