As you can find out more from the links below, service dogs for those with mental health issues such as PTSD are trained to monitor an individual's behaviour, recognize when they become anxious, and physically redirect them and instill a sense of calm through nudges and licking. In addition, many individuals with PTSD are hypervigilant which causes tremendous tension and anxiety. In this way dogs help to suppress the hyper vigilance by ensuring the individual is protected and has their needed personal space, but also through petting the dog and the constant companionship they provide panic and paranoia can be reduced, and one can stay in the moment.
For more information, check out:
- "What a Dog Can Do for PTSD" by Mark Thompson (Time)
- "PetSmart Helps Wounded Vets Adopt Pets" by Eliana Dockterman (Time)
- "Service Dogs Provide Comfort for Afghan Veterans with PTSD that Pharmaceuticals Can't Provide" by Garret Dwyer-Joyce (Toronto Star)
- National Service Dogs
- Canadian Service Dog Foundation