Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts millions of people in the United States and around the world. It’s a common mental health condition that develops when someone experiences trauma, which is why PTSD is common among war veterans, police officers, firemen, and other public service members. While there are medications that treat PTSD, one of the best ways to manage the condition is with the help of a PTSD service dog.
PTSD dogs are trained to prevent someone from having panic attacks, calm people down, and even escort someone to safety. For these reasons, it’s not uncommon for licensed mental health professionals to prescribe assistance from a registered service dog.
Learn everything you need to know about PTSD service dogs and if they’re right for you below.
What Is A PTSD Dog?
A post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) dog is a type of psychiatric service dog. They’re trained to help people who struggle with PTSD and other mental health disorders that tag along with it. Psychiatric service dogs have to be trained in a way that helps them perform a task that helps a patient manage PTSD to become a legitimate, registered service dog.
What Can A PTSD Dog Do?
A service dog for PTSD can help someone who has the condition with a handful of tasks that alleviate the condition. The most common thing they’re trained to do is help someone avoid triggers that cause a panic attack.
That said, we list some other things that PTSD dogs can help you with below.
- Get help when someone is having a panic attack
- Fetch someone’s medications
- Remind someone when it’s time to take medications
- Remove someone from a crowd by escorting them out
Depending on your PTSD case, there are many things that a service dog can be trained to do. It always depends on your specific case and if a dog can be trained to help you feel better.
What Are The Rules For PTSD Dogs?
A PTSD dog doesn’t have to follow the regular rules that a pet dog would have to follow. Therefore, PTSD service dogs can accompany you in your home, public places, and even private businesses. Unlike emotional support animals (ESAs), some laws protect PTSD dogs in these situations. The most important ones to note include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Many PTSD dogs can even follow you on airlines because of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
How Much Does A PTSD Dog Cost?
Psychiatric service dogs, like PTSD service dogs, are not cheap. In most cases, they’ll cost between $20,000 and $30,000. The cost comes down to the training. Trainers have to spend years training these dogs and that includes basic training, boarding, and advanced teachings that allow dogs to perform a task for someone. Furthermore, psychiatric service dogs can be more expensive because they need to bond with their companion first. Therefore, you need to prepare for these costs before investing in one.
If you have the skills you can get a PTSD service dog for free by training them. Veterans and some other people with disabilities may also qualify for a free PTSD service dog through groups like Paws For a Cause and Canine Companions.
How To Get A PTSD Dog
The process for getting a PTSD dog is not the same as getting any other type of dog. With a PTSD service dog, you need to get one through a reputable trainer or have them trained yourself. Then, you need to make sure they’re registered.
Learn more about what you can do to get a PTSD service dog below.
Who Is Eligible For A PTSD Dog?
Anyone is eligible for a PTSD service dog as long as they have PTSD. It’s an alternative type of treatment and you have to meet a handful of requirements, the first of which being 21 years old. The next most important aspect is being fit to care for a PTSD service dog. This means that you have to be able to support the dog with housing, care for them, and feed them.
We list some of the other requirements below:
- Have an official diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder
- Have your doctor/therapist fill out the paperwork they need to help you apply for a PTSD service dog
- Being under the care of a licensed mental health professional for at least one year before applying for the dog
- Having the dog trained by a professional or acquiring a service dog that can perform a specific task for your disability
Once you meet these requirements you can register your service dog. Make sure you check the rules and regulations in your state before you apply for a PTSD service dog.
How To Register Your PTSD Dog
It’s not always easy to register your PTSD service dog, especially if you don’t know where to start. The good news is that there are plenty of reputable websites that can help you register a service dog from the comfort of your home. That said, it’s always important to learn more about PTSD dogs from reputable organizations like US Service Animals. They can help you learn about what you need to get a PTSD dog and even help you get the process started.
Even if you’re unsure about the process of getting a PTSD dog, starting the process can help you know if it’s right for you.
Get A PTSD Dog Today!
Getting your hands on a PTSD service dog isn’t always easy but if you work with reputable brands like US Service Animals, you shouldn’t have any issues. That said, always make sure you speak with a licensed mental health professional before committing to any treatment for PTSD.
Once approved, we recommend searching for a companion that can help you navigate daily life with your disability. In fact, the right service dog can change your life forever. Just don’t forget to register your service dog to ensure that you can go out in public.