Dogs on Active Duty: 6 Benefits of Companion Pets for Veterans

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Dogs on Active Duty is our focal topic today. There are fewer higher honors in life than serving your country faithfully, but sometimes it can be difficult to reintegrate into civilian life after you leave the service. Veterans often have insomnia, PTSD, and other issues, but even if none of these apply, veteran life can be lonely. 

That’s where man’s best friend comes into the picture. Dogs often understand what even other people don’t, and they make excellent companions for all types of people. Canines can also help alert to different conditions such as anxiety or nightmares, meaning these animals are at the service of those who serve. 

Best companion breeds 

If you’re a veteran looking for a dog, you’ll probably be most interested in the companion breeds. These dogs love to be a partner in crime to their owners, and they’re both loyal and affectionate. Here are a few notable companion breeds to start you on your research journey. 

Golden Retrievers 

These famous blonde pups are multi-talented. Both intelligent and loyal, these dogs can be happy in an extensive range of roles, from hunting dog to therapy dog to a furry best friend. 

Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are perhaps most famous for their abilities as hunting dogs, but the same intelligence that makes them invaluable on the hunt can make them competent emotional companions. If you’re looking into making a Lab your forever pet, you can partner with reliable breeders like Snowy Pines White Labs for pedigree and training. 

Chihuahua 

If you’re looking for a little more pint-sized with your pup, you can’t go wrong with these feisty little dogs. Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal and equally loving to their owners, making them excellent companions. 

Now that you’ve got a few ideas of which breeds might make a four-legged best friend for your lifestyle, here’s a bit more about the benefits a dog can bring to the veteran experience. 

Easing loneliness 

As discussing about Dogs on Active Duty. Whether you live alone or with family, it can be lonely transitioning from deployment back into your old civilian life. Unless they’ve served themselves, the people you live with may not understand what you’ve been through during your time in the armed forces. And if you live alone, it can be challenging to readjust to an active social life. Dogs ease the ache by acting as loving companions regardless of the situation. 

Alerting to triggers, PTSD, etc.

Intelligent dog breeds can undergo training to “alert” or react to certain behaviors. For example, an emotional support animal might wake you from a nightmare or signal loved ones when you experience flashbacks or panic attacks. Though no one wants to experience the negative consequences of serving in a war, a trained dog can help ease the strain. 

Acting as a service animal 

Veterans often sustain life-altering injuries during their time in the military. Some breeds can receive service animal training to make an injured veteran’s transition into civilian life flow more smoothly. For example, a service animal can help with opening doors, fetching items, and retrieving help in case of an emergency.

Lending a purpose 

After months, years, or even decades dedicating yourself to the protection of others, it can be disorienting to return to a lifestyle where that level of sacrifice isn’t necessary. Rescuing an animal from a local shelter or pound and caring for it can restore that sense of purpose that might otherwise flounder in civilian life. 

Sticking to schedule 

Life in the military means a constant routine of walking, exercising, eating, and working at the same time every single day. Civilian life is practically chaos in comparison to that level of order. The schedule of taking care of an animal, such as feeding and walking times, can help veterans find equilibrium in an otherwise task-free day. 

Making friends 

Being in the military means having a built-in social network while you’re in the service. Most of your friends will likely be service members themselves, and that makes it easy to seek out companionship for as long as you’re serving. When you leave the military, adjusting to the free-for-all of civilian socialization can be a challenge. Friendly pets like dogs are the perfect icebreaker to help you make new friends after you’ve retired from the military. 

Wrap up 

Last about Dogs on Active Duty. People don’t call them “man’s best friend” for no reason. If you’ve recently returned from service, a dog might be the friend to serve you well. 

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