Australia’s Federal Government has come on board to begin funding therapy dogs to help Veterans with PTSD. Australian Defence Force Veterans will have greater access to an assistance dog especially trained for their needs.
There is proven evidence that these highly trained assistance dogs are of great benefit and boost the mental health of their owners. Until now, it was only up to individuals and voluntary organisations to work their own fundraising efforts to provide such a dog. Financial help from the government will help to relieve some of that pressure. Of course, we encourage that donations continue for this vital cause as there are many in need of a therapy dog.
Matches between dog and veteran are carefully chosen and monitored to ensure the pair are a good fit. Some recipients of dogs on the program attest that the dog has literally saved their life and many have reported a significant reduction in their need for medications.
The dogs can recognize heightened anxiety, night terrors and a number of physical signs at which point they will to spring into action. They go to their owner and get close up in order to soothe and distract. Pressure therapy or deep pressure therapy is where the dog will use its weight or even body temperature as a calming strategy. The dog’s mere presence can help to reduce hypervigilance. Caring for the dog’s exercise needs is a way their owners continue to get out and about.
The program uses up to 20 different breeds of dogs. Training begins at eight weeks old and takes approximately two years.
Please view the clip below for an authentic account of what a PTSD therapy dog can mean for their owner…
Leah & Angela OMeara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)