Every single day, 22 veterans will commit suicide. We, as a country, need to stop this epidemic.
One in 8 soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan war will suffer from PTSD, and 62% of veterans who showed signs of PTSD did not seek help.
When paired with a service dog, 82% of veterans with PTSD had decreased symptoms, and some were able to take fewer or completely stop taking medications.
Why have a service dog?
- The animal-human bond is part of emotional, mental and physical healing
- Alternative therapy can be used in conjunction with other therapies
- Receive a companion who will love you unconditionally
- Reduces blood pressure and stress
- Increases the feel-good hormone Oxytocin
- Playing, petting, training or even gazing into a dog’s eyes releases Oxytocin
- Heightens veterans’ sense of safety
- Reminds veterans to take any medications
- Helps balance issues
- Some veterans also have TBI , Traumatic Brain Injury, and the service dog will remind them to complete tasks
- Veterans need to socialize their dog, so a veteran’s ability to interact successfully with a dog is the first step to interacting with people
- Dogs are non-judgemental
- Dogs can sense the moods you are experiences
- Dogs are so perceptive that they will awaken veterans from nightmares
- Helps relieve symptoms of hypervigilance
- Teaches patience and trust
- Get veterans out of isolation and outdoors
- Helps motivate them to exercise which releases the feel-good hormone Oxytocin
Good hormone: Oxytocin
- Helps form relationships
- Builds and reinforces trust
- Reduces stress, anxiety, fear and pain
- When we cuddle, kiss or hug, the hormone elevates which makes us feel good
Bad hormone: Cortisol
- Stress is elevated
- Increases agitation, restlessness, fear
- Increased sense of isolation leads to increased levels of this hormone