Service dogs can significantly reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in veterans, according to the preliminary findings of a Kaiser Permanente study.
The dogs were also found to improve veterans’ relationships and lower their substance abuse.
Researcher Carla Green led the year-long “Pairing Assistance-Dogs with Soldiers” (PAWS) study and recently shared her findings with legislators at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“The study is significant because no research has been conducted on how service dogs affect the mental health of veterans,” Green said. Although benefits for veterans cover service dogs for physical disabilities, they are not available for help with mental health problems.
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