Service Dogs and PTSD


While service dogs are typically known for aiding individuals with physical disabilities and impairments, a recent study has shown the unexpected benefits that service dogs may have on aiding veterans suffering from PTSD. The studies were conducted at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Ind, and found that better mental health was associated with a number of factors, including a the perception of the dog’s care being easy, and the closeness of the veteran-dog relationship.

While further research is needed to expand on the study, the researcher noted “this study provides new information about how and why service dogs may improve mental health for some veterans with PTSD. We are especially grateful to the military veterans who made this possible by sharing their time and experiences with us.”

Link to article:

Journal Reference:

Clare L. Jensen, Kerri E. Rodriguez, Evan L. MacLean, Ahmad Hakeem Abdul Wahab, Arman Sabbaghi, Marguerite E. O’Haire. Characterizing veteran and PTSD service dog teams: Exploring potential mechanisms of symptom change and canine predictors of efficacy. PLOS ONE, 2022; 17 (7): e0269186 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269186