How can I qualify for a Psychiatric Service Dog with Healing Companions?



Steps Potential Handlers will need to take to be qualified with Healing Companions

  1. First, do you qualify for a psychiatric service dog? You must fit the criteria under the Americans with Disabilities Act, be 18 or older, and live within an easy drive of Lorain County, Ohio (1 hour or less).
    1. If you are a veteran, go to this link: 
    2. If you are under 18 years old, go to this link: 

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Dogs Have Issues Too: Stress reduction and relaxation techniques


destressing[by Navily Zhen] Stress reduction and relaxation techniques are important for dogs and people alike. When under stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has many important roles in regulating your body, such as controlling your sleep/wake cycle and boosting energy so you can handle stress. However, in both humans and dogs, too much or too little cortisol can lead to Cushing’s Syndrome or Addison’s Syndrome. With Cushing’s Syndrome, when the body produces too much cortisol, rapid weight gain, hair loss, and skin that bruises easily. However, too little cortisol results in Addison’s Syndrome, which leads to muscle weakness, lack of appetite, and depression, as the body cannot fight stressors properly. 

What causes stress in dogs? For humans, stress comes from emotional issues, traumatic events, illnesses or injuries, and much more. But for dogs, stress can be caused by memory loss that comes from aging, various fears, and separation to name a few. 

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dogs feel stress too[by Navily Zhen] As COVID-19 has kept us stuck at home, our dogs are seeing us more than ever. Interactions with our dogs have significantly increased due to our time at home. These interactions provide many positive results such as: increased trust, reduced aggression, and improved mental and physical health to name a few. However, as some states are lifting bans and businesses are opening back up, we will once again have to leave our dogs.

Dogs with separation anxiety are unable to cope when left alone or separated from their family members, and this can lead to behaviors such as urinating and defecating in the house, destroying furniture and furnishings and increased barking. Separation anxiety depends on your dog’s personality, size, and local conditions. It impacts 20-40% of dogs and as we leave our dogs to go back to work and do other activities, this could become an issue.  Continue Reading →


Lend a Helping Hand – Donate

Donate to Healing Companions

Donate to Healing Companions to Transform the Lives of Both Dogs and Humans

[by Navily Zhen] Why donate to Healing Companions? Healing Companions puts an immense effort into providing those severely limited in their ability to function due to mental illnesses with psychiatric service dogs. However, most are not aware of the costs it takes to provide this assistance, taking 18-24 months and up to $20,000 to fully train a psychiatric service dog to be ready to live with and assist a client. Healing Companions helps transform lives with psychiatric service dogs, and here are some ways you can help save the lives of not only shelter dogs, but the lives of those in need:

    • AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.
    • will donate $15 the first time you order from them
    • Coin up is pretty simple, just sign up one of your credit or debit cards in the round up section.
    • If you are able to make a monthly gift please give on our website.

A few dollars a month can really impact the well being of  a shelter dog and someone struggling with mental illness. Your donation will help both dog and handler have a second chance at life and live more happily and dignified. 

More information on ways to donate can be found on our website.


Psychiatric Service Dogs Can Provide Amazing Benefits For Those With Mental Illness


PSD in Training

[by Navily Zhen] Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs) are trained specifically to assist people with mental illnesses to live more independent, productive lives. Are they actually helpful? Research shows that veterans who were provided with a service dog had their PTSD symptoms decrease, along with lower depression scores, greater satisfaction of life, and increase in well-being. For these veterans, having a service dog motivated them to seek employment and absenteeism decreased. Generally, PSDs allow for humans to feel independent, not having to rely on people for assistance, which might even worsen the condition. PSDs also allow for increased confidence in social settings as a service dog can empower individuals to become more comfortable interacting with others. 

PSDs are able to transform the lives of those with mental illnesses, a goal of Healing Companions. Our psychiatric service dogs are rescued and trained to aid our clients, giving both dogs and clients a second chance at life. At Healing Companions, PSDs are trained in two stages: Basic Obedience Training and Specialized Training, where training consists of weekly sessions involving professional hands-on training with the handler (client) and the dog. Some tasks PSDs are trained to perform include:  Continue Reading →

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