How Emotional Support Dogs Help People (Celebrating National Pets for Veterans Day)

October 21st marks National Pets for Veterans Day, a day set aside to raise awareness about how pets can offer several benefits to veterans – especially those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The rates of PTSD among some veterans vary depending on when and where the individual served, ranging from 11- 30%. Regardless, PTSD rates among veterans are significant and the symptoms of PTSD can be severely debilitating, diminish the quality of one’s life, and be life-threatening.

How Can Pets Help Veterans Who Suffer From PTSD?

PTSD is characterized by a long list of potential symptoms including:
Although there is not yet enough evidence-based research to really determine the degree to which emotional support animals can help with PTSD, there are several positive benefits of having a pet. Pets, especially dogs, provide several emotional benefits to their owners including:

Therapy or Emotional Support Animals vs. Service Dogs

This is a difference between therapy animals, emotional support animals, and service dogs. This difference lies in the training they receive. Service dogs are highly and intensively trained to perform specific tasks for their owners. Therapy dogs and emotional support animals may or may not receive specific training. Most commonly, these animals provide support simply through companionship.

Learn More About Therapy Animals and Service Dogs in Brampton

Before deciding whether a new pet is right for you, it’s good to consider your situation and the responsibilities of caring for a pet and whether that responsibility will fit into your life in a positive way.
If you are a veteran and think you might benefit from the companionship of a service dog or therapy animal, we encourage you to contact Bramalea Animal Hospital. We can put you in touch with various organizations that help connect veterans with appropriate service dogs and emotional support animals. Once you’ve been paired with a new companion, we can help you protect his or her health with comprehensive veterinary care.

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