These things may all sound fun, but they can turn into nightmares for pets and also for veterans suffering from trauma. This Independence Day, make sure you and your loved ones are ready for celebrations in a healthy way!
How should you prepare if you have pets?
- First, make sure your pets have updated identification tags in case they run away or get loose.
- Make sure your pets are in a safe, adequately secured location.
- Don’t take your pets with you when you go to loud parties, firework displays, or other potentially-unsettling surroundings.
- Afterwards, check your yard for any debris that could be harmful.
One of the reasons Pawsitive Kidnections exists is to serve those who have been traumatized. We specifically work with vulnerable children in the foster care system, but are sympathetic towards anyone who is suffering the lingering effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We urge all of our friends to use discretion and sensitivity when planning your fourth of July celebrations!
4 ways that a dog can help people suffering from PTSD
Psychology Today published a great article by Dr. Tracy Stecker explaining how dogs can be helpful to people (veterans in this case, but also youth) suffering with PTSD symptoms. Here are a few of the reasons:
- Dogs are vigilant. They instinctively are on the watch for potential danger.
- Dogs are protective. With a buddy by your side, you know you have a friend who has “got your back.”
- Dogs love unconditionally.
- Dogs help relearn trust. “Trust is a big issue in PTSD,” says Stecker. “It can be very difficult to feel safe in the world after certain experiences, and being able to trust the immediate environment can take some time. Dogs help heal by being trustworthy.”
On July 27th, we are having an event with Catamount Institute to have Foster Children come to the park and learn about nature and dogs while having an opportunity to meet and engage with Therapy Dogs! Your donation would be a huge help in preparation
How can you help?
You can make a difference, but providing support to organizations such as Pawsitive Kidnections who seek to improve the lives of foster care kids and underserved dogs. Help these kids learn how to trust again!
For Further Reading
- AMVA (2019). July 4th safety. American Veterinary Medicine Association. https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/July-4-Safety.aspx
- Craft, A. (2018). Fourth of July fireworks trigger PTSD symptoms in veterans. Fox News. https://www.foxnews.com/health/fourth-of-july-fireworks-trigger-ptsd-symptoms-in-veterans
- Stecker, T. (2011). Why dogs heal PTSD. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/survivors/201107/why-dogs-heal-ptsd