Why not try a therapy dog for your mental health issues. I think it’s a fantastic idea. My dog, Socks has always been a huge help for me when I feel low. Just having him around me helps, even if he has no clue about what I am saying to him! Dogs can be hugely beneficial for mental health issues and research has shown that dogs can be beneficial in many ways – autism, dementia, PTSD and mental health.
Research has shown therapy dogs can reduce stress and provide a sense of connection in difficult situations. Given the impact therapy dogs can have on student well-being, schools and universities are increasingly adopting therapy dog programs as an inexpensive way of providing social and emotional support for students
Since 2010, Psychological Assistance Dogs (PADs) and Therapy Dogs have been working with Dogs For The Disabled to set up a pilot program in order to train assistance dogs for those with mental health issues. These dogs would be trained for people suffering from a range of mental health issues including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How Can Therapy Dogs Help With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
An increased number of soldiers are returning home from service suffering from PTSD. These men cannot relate to their families what is going on in their heads, it’s difficult for them. Even a simple trip to the shops can feel like they are back in the warzone. Having a service dog by their side makes them feel more comfortable, their dog can sense an attack coming on and will help his owner overcome it.
The charity Hounds For Heroes based in the UK, they provide trained service dogs for members of the armed forces and emergency services who require them. These dogs provide assistance to those who have been disabled or injured. Although these therapy dogs are used to assist their owners with tasks they may not be able to perform, the dogs also serve a psychological support purpose. Their owners may not have felt confident going out before their service dog came into their life, they may have struggled to perform certain tasks, like getting cash out of the ATM or picking up something they dropped in the street. In a way, these dogs are serving both physical and psychological issues.
Therapy dogs promote mindfulness and help people deal with anxiety and depression. It’s a wonderful service.
If you would like to find out more about breeding therapy dogs or finding a therapy dog, here are a few useful links:
Comprehensive guide on Therapy dog breeds – your free guide: https://yourdogadvisor.com/therapy-dog-breeds/