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What Are the Benefits of Having a Psychiatric Service Dog?

Psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) can help people heal and gain confidence. Because everyone is different with their personality and needs, PSDs are often trained specifically for the needs of the person they will live with and help. These dogs are trained to ignore distractions, stay focused on their person at all times, and perform needed tasks immediately.

Interacting with animals helps to return an individual’s neurochemical pathways to normal, which is helpful in recovery from substance abuse. These interactions increase levels of dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin which all boost mood and feelings of wellness.

Benefits of a Psychiatric Service Dog

There are many benefits of having access to animals during recovery and in life, and the benefits of having a service dog can be even more profound. Some of the benefits of having a pet or service animal include:

  • Increased levels of dopamine in your brain
  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Calmer breathing
  • Reduced stress hormones like cortisol
  • Increased endorphins, which lowers pain
  • Stronger immune response
  • More independence
  • Increased motivation
  • Companionship 24/7
  • Can alert you to potential danger
  • Can perform medical reminders
  • Can retrieve medication or items
  • Prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation

Psychiatric Service Dogs Help People in Recovery

Some receptors in the brain make recovery challenging in just about every possible way: mentally, physically, and emotionally. Those same receptors need to be stimulated during recovery, and it is possible to stimulate those receptors safely with emotional support animals, PSDs, and animal-assisted therapy.

Having animals helps in several ways, including:

  • Enforced daily routines
  • Emotionally satisfying companionship and bond
  • Loyal support 24/7

Benefits of Owning an Emotional Support Animal

If you don’t qualify for a PSD, another option to consider is having an emotional support animal. They can offer you many of the same physical and mental health benefits and may know some simple commands to help physically support you. All the same healing benefits are available to you with a support animal. Animal-assisted therapy also offers these benefits and is available at many drug and alcohol treatment centers.

Animals can help lower levels of anxiety and depression. Animals also build self-worth and bolster self-esteem and self-confidence. Having a psychiatric service dog (PSD) can bring you the benefits of owning an animal while providing the added assistance of a service animal. If you are struggling with your mental health, PSDs can help you in your recovery. At The Guest House, we believe in the healing power of animals. Our treatment facility utilizes animals’ healing power to help you achieve successful recovery. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more about our programs.