What is it about?

Despite significiant treatment advances, many military veterans continue to suffer from PTSD, suggesting a need for new inteventions. In this pilot trial, adopting a companion dog from a shelter helped reduce symptoms of PTSD and depression for most participants. These findings suggest that this is a promising approach that is worthy of further study.

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Why is it important?

PTSD is very common in military veterans and frequently disabling. Symptoms often persist despite standard treatments. The results of this pilot trial suggest that adopting a companion dog from a shelter can be a useful treatment supplement. Advantages of this intervention include that it is widely available and affordale for many veterans and also provides a home and companionship for previously homeless animals.

Perspectives

I greatly enjoyed working together with the veterans and shelter dogs in this study and with many outstanding colleagues from different disciplines. We all hope that you find this article interesting and that adotpting a companion dog from a shelter will prove a useful supplementary adjunct treament for many veterans with PTSD.

Stephen Stern
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

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This page is a summary of: Adopting a Companion Dog Helps Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Pilot Randomized Trial, Society and Animals, May 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/15685306-bja10089.
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