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Understanding PTSD : Service Dogs to the Rescue




June marks PTSD Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing understanding and support for those affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. This month highlights the critical need to acknowledge the impact of trauma and the importance of mental health care.


What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website defines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a “condition that sometimes develops after a person experiences or witnesses a life-threatening, terrifying, or otherwise deeply traumatic event.”

PTSD can be brought on by traumatic events, such as abuse, natural disasters, car accidents, and combat, just to name a few.


The symptoms associated with PTSD come in many forms. Some of the most common symptoms include:


Re-experiencing/Reliving the Event: Re-experiencing is the act of involuntarily reliving a traumatic event. This can come as flashbacks, nightmares, and recurring images and sensations.


Hyperarousal: Hyperarousal is the constant feeling of being on edge and anxious. It can manifest as outbursts and irritability.


Avoidance: Avoidance is a PTSD symptom where the victim avoids any situation that reminds them of the traumatic event.


Hypervigilance: Hypervigilance is the state of being on guard or on high alert for hidden dangers.


Depression/Anxiety: Depression and anxiety are also common symptoms of PTSD.


Here at New Life K9s, we know firsthand the power of the human-canine bond and we use that power to give veterans the ability to heal.


Like any service animal, service dogs for PTSD help mitigate PTSD symptoms. Service animals can mitigate symptoms by retrieving medication, conducting house searches, and waking the handler from night terrors, just to name a few. 


PTSD Awareness Month

As we move past Memorial Day and into June, we can honor our veterans once more through education and awareness. June is the month reserved for PTSD awareness.


PTSD awareness is important because our veterans are suffering. In America, 22 veterans take their own lives each day. PTSD awareness helps reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, encouraging those affected to seek the help they need. Increased awareness promotes understanding and empathy, fostering a supportive environment for individuals dealing with trauma.


Service Animals and PTSD

Here at New Life K9s, we know firsthand the power of the human-canine bond, and we use that power to give veterans the ability to heal.

Like any service animal, service dogs for PTSD help mitigate PTSD symptoms. Service animals can mitigate symptoms by retrieving medication, conducting house searches, and waking the handler from night terrors, just to name a few.

If you’d like to read more about how service animals mitigate PTSD symptoms, check out these articles by New Life K9s:



Where to Go for Help

If you or someone you know is a veteran or first responder and is interested in a service animal, you can visit PTSD.gov for hotline options.


Final Thoughts

June is a time to shed light on the struggles faced by those with post-traumatic stress disorder. This month serves as an important reminder to recognize the impact trauma can have on individuals and the importance of compassionate support. By raising awareness and educating ourselves, we can help break the stigma surrounding PTSD and foster a more compassionate and informed community. For more content on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, check out the New Life K9s Blog.


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