Can Service Dogs Help Alleviate Symptoms of PTSD?

If Purdue University study is successful, it could persuade the Veterans Administration to allow service dogs for vets with PTSD.

New research is under way at Purdue University to determine whether service dogs can alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Marguerite O’Haire, an assistant professor of human-animal interaction at the school’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is leading a study of 100 post-9/11 veterans to see if a dog trained to help a veteran with PTSD influences medical symptoms, social anxiety, relationships and more.

The research could help answer a question that has plagued the Veterans Affairs Department, which provides service dogs to former troops with certain physical disabilities but not those with mental health disorders: Do service dogs have a tangible impact on veterans with PTSD and other anxiety-related conditions?

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