Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other symptoms that can greatly impact a person’s life. One of the recommended treatments for PTSD is getting a PTSD dog. PTSD dogs are specially trained dogs that can help their owners cope with the symptoms of PTSD. In this article, we will discuss how to get a PTSD dog and answer some commonly asked questions related to this topic.
What is a PTSD dog?
A PTSD dog is a specially trained service dog that assists people with post-traumatic stress disorder. These dogs are trained to help their owners cope with the symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. They can also provide emotional support, comfort, and a sense of security to their owners. A PTSD dog is not just a pet, they are an important part of the PTSD treatment plan.
How to Get a PTSD Dog
1. Speak to a Mental Health Professional
The first step in getting a PTSD dog is to speak to a mental health professional. They can help you determine if a PTSD dog is the right treatment option for you. They can also provide a recommendation for a service dog provider. It is important to note that getting a PTSD dog requires a medical prescription from a mental health professional.
2. Find a Service Dog Provider
There are many service dog providers that specialize in training PTSD dogs. You can find a service dog provider through a referral from your mental health professional, by searching online or by contacting a reputable service dog organization. It is important to do your research and choose a service dog provider that is licensed, experienced and has a good reputation.
3. Apply for a PTSD Dog
After finding a service dog provider, you will need to apply for a PTSD dog by submitting an application. The application process may vary depending on the service dog provider, but generally, you will need to provide information about your diagnosis, medical history, and lifestyle. You may also be required to have an in-person interview and a home visit to ensure that the dog will be placed in a safe environment.
4. Get Trained with Your PTSD Dog
Once you are approved for a PTSD dog, you will need to attend training sessions with your dog. These training sessions will teach you how to handle and care for your dog, as well as how to work with your dog to manage the symptoms of PTSD. Training sessions may be held in person or online, and may last several weeks or months.
Benefits of a PTSD Dog
There are many benefits to having a PTSD dog. Some of these benefits include:
- Providing a sense of security
- Decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression
- Reducing the frequency and intensity of panic attacks
- Providing emotional support
- Improving social interactions
- Assisting with daily tasks
Requirements for a PTSD Dog
There are several requirements that must be met in order to obtain a PTSD dog. These requirements include:
- A medical prescription from a mental health professional
- A diagnosed mental health condition
- Ability to provide proper care and housing for the dog
- Ability to attend training sessions with the dog
- Financial ability to support the dog’s needs
Cost of a PTSD Dog
The cost of a PTSD dog can vary depending on factors such as the service dog provider, the breed of the dog, and the level of training required. Generally, the cost of a PTSD dog can range from $20,000 to $30,000. However, there are organizations that provide financial assistance to individuals seeking a PTSD dog.
Service Dog Laws
It is important to note that service dogs have legal protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. This means that service dogs and their owners have the right to access public spaces, housing, and employment. Service dog owners are also protected from discrimination under the ADA.
Getting a PTSD dog can be a life-changing treatment option for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. It is important to work with a mental health professional, a reputable service dog provider, and attend proper training sessions with the dog. There are many benefits to having a PTSD dog, but it is important to remember that it is a serious responsibility that requires proper care and attention.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I train my own PTSD dog?
- What breeds are commonly used as PTSD dogs?
- Can I bring my PTSD dog with me to work?
- Will my insurance cover the cost of a PTSD dog?
- How can I find financial assistance to help pay for a PTSD dog?
No, a PTSD dog must be trained by a licensed service dog provider.
Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds are commonly used as PTSD dogs because of their friendly and loyal temperament.
Yes, under the ADA, service dogs are allowed in public places, including the workplace.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not typically cover the cost of a PTSD dog.
There are organizations that provide financial assistance to individuals seeking a PTSD dog. You can search for these organizations online or ask your service dog provider for recommendations.
American Kennel Club. (n.d.). How Service Dogs Are Trained. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/training-a-service-dog/
Jim, K. (2019, September 28). Getting a Service Dog for PTSD or Other Mental Health Concerns. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/service-dog-for-ptsd-or-other-mental-health-concerns-4177446
Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Service Dogs. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/gethelp/service_dogs.asp