5/14/2018

PetKey and Heartland Canines for Veterans: Making a Difference

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PetKey is proud to honor veterans on Armed Forces Day (and every day, of course). But, as part of the Armed Forces Day tribute, we’re going to share how dogs can help veterans. If you’re a veteran, we have an organization that’s perfect for you at the end of this article. If you’re not a veteran, there are ways you can help with the cause, too!

Click the link below to help Veterans & Protect Your Pet

PetKey is proud to support the mission and values of Heartland Canines for Veterans. If you’re interested in registering your pet with PetKey, click this link now and 50% of the Registration Fees will go to this world-changing organization.

We all know dogs can improve the mood of pretty much anyone. When we walk into the house after an exhausting work day, or even from grocery shopping, our dog is beyond thrilled to see us. They brighten up our day. Those slobbery kisses and big loving eyes are sure to cheer us up even on our worst days.

But, new research has found something incredible. Researchers have found that dogs can tremendously improve the lives of our veterans.

Many of our veterans are returning home suffering from conditions caused by their past environments. Just imagine what they have heard. What they have seen. What they have been exposed to.

Dogs can offer some comfort not only in the transition to civilian life… but for the rest of their lives.

Releasing Oxytocin: Love is in the Air

There’s no immediate solution to instantly recover from the effects of PTSD. But, dogs can help in the process of recovery.

Oxytocin, the love hormone, is released in both humans and dogs when we’re together. Oxytocin helps us with trust, love, and bonding. The oxytocin that is released can help our veterans with symptoms associated with PTSD.

Dog owners are happier, and healthier, than those who don’t have dogs in their life. And, the extensive training dogs go through to be service dogs, or emotional assistance dogs, can increase the emotional and neurological benefits dogs have to offer.

Let’s Dive Deeper

What other ways can dogs help our veterans?

Way #1: Rebuilding Broken Trust

Veterans may return with broken trust. Their faith has been tested, they’re exhausted, and they don’t know who to turn to. A dog can help with this. Dogs are loyal, and they are always there for you regardless of the situation. Your dog, and you, depend on one another.

Way #2: Keeping Active

Dogs help people keep an active lifestyle. Dogs get you out of the house, make you walk more, and keep us on our toes. Veterans suffering from depression often want to remain inside- but this could make conditions worse. Dogs need a significant amount of exercise (dependent on breed) and gives us a perfect reason to get out of the house. Just getting out of the house and going for a walk can significantly help our mood.

Way #3: A Sense of Protection

Dogs have a wonderful way of helping you feel safe. Veterans often suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety. These symptoms may leave the veteran feeling a bit vulnerable. Since dogs are always by our side, we know they will let us know if there’s someone around that’s not supposed to be.

Dogs who have been trained to support veterans can interrupt nightmares. Once the dog sees their companion is experiencing a nightmare, they will pull on a clip that’s attached to a blanket. The dog will then rest until they see the veteran is beginning to calm. If the veteran fell asleep without a blanket, the dog knows to provide a gentle nudge to the shoulder or place their paws on the bed near the veteran.

Find the Perfect Dog for You: Heartland Canines for Vets

An organization we’d like to highlight for Armed Forces Day is Heartland Canines for Veterans. Heartland Canines for Veterans is dedicated to matching every veteran with the perfect dog. Every person is different, and every dog is different, so matching the two ensures both the veteran and the dog will thrive.

Heartland Canines for Veterans is a non-profit organization. If you’re interested in helping Heartland Canines for Veterans, there are several ways you can help. You can make a donation, partner with Heartland, and/or volunteer your time. Visit their website to learn more.

What We’re Offering at PetKey

PetKey is proud to support the mission and values of Heartland Canines for Veterans. If you’re interested in registering your pet with PetKey, click this link now and 50% of the Registration Fees will go to this world-changing organization.