How do dogs qualify for PTSD? Find Out Here

How PTSD Dogs HelpPTSD Dogs are trained to help with daily physical tasks, like picking things up and balancing on stairs – can support physical disabilities as well as PTSD related challenges. The companionship and natural benefit of a dog’s presence (lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin production) helps mitigate panic-attacks, agoraphobia, flashbacks, and “gray outs” (where those with PTSD lose track of where they are or what they were doing). The estimated rate of veteran suicide in North America is 22 veterans per day, some studies have shown that PTSD dogs are expected to reduce suicide risk by over 50%.

  • monitor breathing and heart rate and to nudge client to interrupt panic attacks, flashbacks, etc
  • wake client from nightmares
  • ease the symptoms of hyper-vigilance by blocking or covering (standing between handler and crowds, behind them, etc)
  • 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 Service member 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.
  • Recovering from PTSD is a process. Evidence-based treatments for PTSD help people do things they have been avoiding because of their PTSD, such as standing close to a stranger or going into a building without scanning it for danger first. Evidence-based treatments can also help people feel better. Dogs can help you deal with some parts of living with PTSD, but they are not a substitute for effective PTSD treatment.

    Although people with PTSD who have a service dog for a physical disability or emotional support dog may feel comforted by the animal, there is some chance they may continue to believe that they cannot do certain things on their own. For example, if the dog keeps strangers from coming too close, the owner will not have a chance to learn that they can handle this situation without the dog. Becoming dependent on a dog can get in the way of the recovery process for PTSD. Based on what we know from research, evidence-based treatment provides the best chance of recovery from PTSD.


    Meet the national training standards set out by Wounded Warriors Canada.

    WWC has established clinically informed PTSD Service Dog prescriber guidelines that must be utilized in all cases

    PTSD Service Dog Providers Looking For Funding must meet the following criteria:

    All intake, including the management of waitlists, are conducted by the respective PTSD Service Dog training providers. Wounded Warriors Canada does not provide funding to train individual dogs.

    Watch how a dog helped one veteran conquer his PTSD