Owning a dog can lift your mood or help you feel less stressed. Dogs can help people feel better by providing companionship. All dog owners, including those who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can experience these benefits.
Clinically, there is not enough research yet to know if dogs actually help treat PTSD and its symptoms. Evidence-based therapies and medications for PTSD are supported by research. We encourage you to learn more about these treatments because it is difficult to draw strong conclusions from the few studies on dogs and PTSD that have been done.
What are the emotional benefits of having a dog?
Dogs can make great pets. Having a dog as a pet can benefit anyone who likes dogs, including people with PTSD. For example, dogs:
- Help bring out feelings of love.
- Are good companions.
- Take orders well when trained. This can be very comfortable for a Servicemember or Veteran who was used to giving orders in the military.
- Are fun and can help reduce stress.
- Are a good reason to get out of the house, spend time outdoors, and meet new people.
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