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Science Confirms Value of Service Dogs for PTSD

Science Confirms Value of Service Dogs for PTSD

admin 1 March 20, 2018
blog title

Do service dogs really make a difference for vets with post-traumatic stress syndrome? According to a study at Purdue University, the answer is a resounding YES.

The study, reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, looked at a number of factors related to emotional health. Those vets with service dogs showed higher scores in:

  • Satisfaction with their life
  • Mental health
  • Ability to socialize
  • Resilience

In the case of life satisfaction, vets with a service dog had a 22 percent higher rate than those without a dog.

The published study is the largest scientific evaluation of how effective service dogs for those suffering from PTSD. Working with K9s for Warriors, researchers checked with 141 vets in two categories, those who already had a dog, and those who had requested but not yet been paired with a dog. All the of the vets in the study had access to standard care for PTSD throughout the review.

The study did not show a difference between the physical health of participants with dogs and without. But vets with dogs said they missed work fewer times and dealt with on-the-job health problems less often.

The study looked at psychiatric service dogs, not emotional support animals or therapy animals. These dogs have gone through rigorous training that teaches them how to reduce PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, hypervigilance, nightmares and feelings of isolation.

“A Change for the Positive”

The outcome of the study isn’t news for vets with service dogs. Take Stacy Pearsall, an Air Force combat photographer who worked in a war zone. She is a survivor, having endured two roadside bombs, and now deals with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and cervical spine trauma.

“The people I work with consistently have noticed a change in my demeanor,” she says, since she got her service dog, Charlie. He soothes her when she has a nightmare and lets her know when someone is behind her. As her stress has gone done, she has experienced fewer seizures. Instead of one or two each week, she has had just one a month since Charlie came into her life.

“OK to Go Out into the World”

Another member of the study is Randy Dexter, who described himself as a “suicidal mess” before his service dog Captain came into his life. Dexter says with the dog at his side, he is far less isolated and depressed.

After teaming up with Captain, Dexter went on to become a campus director and is going to college classes. The dog checks out the environment and people when they are outside. Dexter says he watches Captain’s body language instead of scanning rooftops and faces.

Dexter had little luck with prescription medicine for PTSD, which made little difference in how he dealt with the world. But then he met Captain. “Not only did he save my life, he’s made it better . . . than I ever thought it could be.”

Resources and Gear for Your Service Animal

The team at USA Service Animal Registration is committed to helping these working dogs and their owners feel safe, comfortable and supported. That’s why the website offers a simple 3-step registration process. And it’s free!

The site has a wide range of information and resources for owners, including:

Looking for gear for your service dog? USA Service Animal Registration has an online store with a variety of gear, like patches, vests, leashes, and ID.

Check out USA Service Animal Registration today to register your service dog, get answers to your questions, and to find the gear you need.

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SERVICE DOG ID CARD USA Service Animal Registration Your Service Dog ID card will include our convenient QR Code for a quick scan link to our registry lookup. By simply entering your dog\'s registration number your official registered profile will be accessible for quick verification in the event the validity of your service dog is ever questioned. 2054
$29.99
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5 8896
Too soon to ask - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
We have not received it yet. Ask me again once we have a chance to use it
Sassy - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Wonderful and very easy to figure out.
Cheap Collar and Leash - The Rest is Good - by , March 25, 2011
3/ 3stars
Very good customer service. Nice package with everything included, but the collar and leash are cheaply made with printed on lettering, which needs to be sewn in. The printing will come off very easily. So not impressed with these items. Like the ID cards and the vests.
id and duplicate card purchase - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
easy registration, was able to chose the photo and add it very easily. checkout process was simple, delivery was set to 5-7 business days and it came in less than 5 days satisfied with my entire purchasing experience. would recommend to others and will be coming back for sure
Just received the package today - AWESOME - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
Just received the package today - AWESOME, little Sammy is official! thank you
ID CARD - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
ID Card came out clean looks just as good as my drivers license would definitely recommend to other people with disabilities who already have a working/service dog or animal and want or need them to be registered for housing, or airport needs things of that sort of thing. It is much easier to have the id card when people start asking questions.
Great Customer Service - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
It was a great customer service experience and they were very helpful.
Super fast shipping! - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Even amazon doesn’t get my purchases to Alaska this fast. Product was great and will do exactly what is needed.
Fast and easy - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Great. The therapist was sweet. Vest was a bit small.
Smooth transaction - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
No problems at all
Qiuivk and easy - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Quick and easy to register your pets!
Excellent experience - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I spoke with someone. They were very helpful and gave me a contact number to talk to someone if needed. They replied very quickly.
Certificate - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I can't get my certificate.I got 2 ID cards vest but no certificate
Have not received letters - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
Received a call from a counselor who asked about my anxiety issues. At the end of the her interview she stated she would email and send letters. I have not received either an email or the letters.
Heavy Duty Tactical Dog Vest - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Very high quality and just the right fit. I would like to get more patches for some of the side pouches.
Is what it is - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Took them over 24 hours to send the digital certificate to my email, and now I've been waiting almost a week or more waiting for the card and tag... Its meh...
Compra de ID - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Muy buena experiencia ,muy rápido el delivery
Emotional - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
A very good experience my puppy can go with me now it also keeps me calm
Love this - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Very satisfied and it was very fast.
Letter - by , March 25, 2011
2/ 2stars
We have not received the letter for my son Dakota Pefrey and our dog Nova. Nova is Dakota ESA.