Therapy Dogs Help Soldiers With PTSD

Combat tours can leave some veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many times, the veterans themselves do not even realize the problems they have. Many veterans cycle back to the U.S. and find themselves unable to leave their homes. Many of these veterans are stuck in a constant state of hyper-vigilance, cannot handle being around crowds, and don’t like people coming too close to them. For many, introducing a specially trained therapy dog into their lives makes living a fairly normal existence a possible reality.

These specially trained dogs can play multiple necessary roles for the veteran and in doing so prove why dogs are man’s best friend. Although giving dogs to soldiers with PTSD is something the military has not done in the past, the incredible amount of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan may require this very thing. Pets2Vets is one of the organizations supplying dogs to veterans in need and promises to get those veterans a pet within a month.

Whether dogs help veterans with PTSD or not is still up in the air. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Army are performing independent studies to hopefully find evidence one way or another. A previous study concluded pairing veterans with therapy dogs reduced veterans’ anxiety at rates far above what they were reduced to when veterans were exposed to therapy utilizing music and art. The study also concluded dogs can serve to reduce fear and stress in their veteran pairing in almost every aspect of their life.

Specially trained PTSD dogs perform specific and necessary tasks. The most important function these dogs serve, however, is to provide comfort to veterans in a world where they are not comfortable.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.