PTSD service dogs can provide a wide range of advantages to individuals as companions. While many innately understand the various emotional and psychological benefits to having a PTSD service dog, some may be intrigued to find that there are also noted physiological/biomedical, social and safety benefits to having a canine companion as well.
Our PTSD service dogs go through intensive training before ever meeting their human companion. They are trained to help alleviate various environmental triggers, manage the effects of such triggers and assist with specific tasks during times of crisis or emergency.
There are four primary realms where service dogs provide a great deal of benefits to individuals.
Emotional and Psychological Benefits
- Provide tactile stimulation during times of emotional and/or psychological crisis, and help in re-orientation and re-integration into the surrounding environment
- Serve as a center of focus and provide affection during moments of emotional and/or psychological distress
- Serve as a point of reference from which to take behavioral cues from during stressful incidents such as flashbacks.
- Help alleviate symptoms of PTSD, like anxiety and depression, by providing a sense of stability, security and companionship
Physiological and Biological Benefits
- Help facilitate the production of the hormone oxytocin, which lowers stress levels, as well as phenylethylamine and serotonin, which help stabilize and improve mood
- Help lower blood pressure and heart rate levels
- Reduce the perception of physical pain
- Serve as a physical barrier in social situations where various triggers may be present
- Boost confidence and self-esteem, which facilitates more organic connections
- Alleviate symptoms of reclusion by requiring regular and consistent outings
Health and Safety Benefits
- Remind individuals of their medication schedules
- Retrieve medication and/or various items during times of emergency or crisis
- Operate a K-9 rescue phone for the purpose of calling emergency services during times of emergency or crisis
- Respond to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Answer the doorbell or open doors to alert others in times of emergency or crisis
- Anticipate episodes such as seizures and/or fainting and take proactive action to mitigate the circumstances.
Here at Koda’s Choice, we understand that dealing with the symptoms of PTSD and re-entry into civilian life can be an uphill struggle. Many times the internal wounds leave the deepest scars. Symptoms can be so multi-dimensional that it can at times feel overwhelming. But there is always hope and room for progress – and service dogs can be wonderful companions to help individuals along their journey.