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How Do Service Dogs Help PTSD Symptoms in Veterans?

Mary Anne Dunkin

Sep 24, 2022

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans and can have a significant effect on quality of life. Research has shown that veterans with specially-trained PTSD service dogs report significantly less symptom severity and better quality of life than those without a service dog.

But the exact mechanism by which these dogs help—or how that help differs among veterans—is not well understood. A new study provided a better understanding of how veterans and service dogs interact, work together and bond with each other. It also assessed how individual differences among veterans and service dogs might predict the nature of the partnership.


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