PTSD Support Dogs

Meet our Battle Buddies


Talented Service Dogs For Our Nations Heroes

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Psychiatric Service Dog

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is becoming an increasingly serious problem in our society with people’s lives changing due to fear, anger, or anxiety. One of the best remedies for this is a service dog trained for PTSD companions. These dogs are amazing and there are a lot of success stories for the work they do every day.

“The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.” To qualify for a service dog, you must be diagnosed with a disability. Depression, stress, or anxiety are only considered a disability if they limit what you can do. For instance, some people cannot go to the store on their own. Others can’t leave their homes, can’t work, or go to public places when it’s crowded. If you have depression or anxiety but are still able to go through your day without limitations, you do not qualify for a service dog under the ADA.

The dog must allow you to go places and face situations that you would not be able to without a service dog.

K9s Offering Companionship & Help With Psychiatric Conditions

PTSD service dogs go through intensive service dog training on how to keep their companion’s mindset leveled out in a positive way. They must learn how to do this and also how to handle situations that can trigger a potential outburst. Because every patient is different every service dog’s training may differ as well.

Some of these service dogs are trained to calm anxiety through exercises to either get their companion away from any triggers or calm their companion during an episode. Others are trained to prevent crowding around their companion or to follow routine reminders for their companion every day.

What Is A PTSD Service Dog & How Do They Help?

PTSD is considered an invisible illness. PTSD cannot be spotted right away; therefore, it might be hard for the public to understand why a PTSD service dog is necessary. Nevertheless, a PTSD service dog is a legitimate service dog and is not a pet, emotional support animal (ESA), or therapy dog. A PTSD service dog can accompany its owner anywhere the rest of the public is allowed and is protected under federal laws. PTSD can have a physical and emotional toll on someone, but a PTSD service dog can help to mitigate the negative symptoms of PTSD, enabling an individual to overcome trauma and feel a sense of security. 

  • Wake up his/her person
  • Provide tactile stimulation
  • Facilitate social interactions and reduce fears associated with being around people
  • Serve as a buffer to help the person cope with being in a crowd
  • Help the person calm down when agitated
  • Wake up a person having nightmares
  • Grounding a person dealing with fears and anxiety and helping him/her get back to the here & now
  • Help create a safe personal space
  • Get medication and water when the person cannot
  • Get help 
  • Provide balance assistance
  • Remind a person to take medication and nag until it’s done
  • Disrupt emotional overload.

We provide highly-trained Service Dogs to first-responders and veterans suffering from PTSD.


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Ridgeside K9 Foundation’s process helps to ensure a successful and lasting partnership by truly understanding the dog and our client’s specific needs. We work closely with the pair once the match is made.


The application process includes multiple steps, the first being the submission of our service dog application form, followed by a phone consultation and an in-person consultation at one of our Ridgeside K9 training facilities.

Our waitlist for placement is around 2 years. 

As long as applicants are able to make it to one of our Ridgeside K9 facilities for training, RSK9F serves veterans and first-responders from all across the United States.

Thanks to our generous donors, PTSD service dogs are provided at no charge to veterans and first-responders who are eligible for our program.

All applicants receive a phone call or email to let them know if they meet our initial screening criteria. If they do, we will schedule an in-person interview.