[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 →
Are you aware of the harm your dog’s plastic poop bags may cause?
[by Navily Zhen] By now we can understand the dangerous effects that plastic has made on our environment. How long do plastic items take to decompose? Well for plastic bags, it takes anywhere from 10 to 1000 years to decompose. Most dogs poop 1-5 times a day, meaning the plastic bags you use to pick up their poop may take 10 to 5000 years to decompose. With an estimation of around 900 million dogs on this planet, the usage of plastic poop bags have a significant impact on our environment.
Some have recommended flushing your dog’s waste down the toilet, while others recommended composting. However, it is not advised to throw poop bags in the regular trash (as they end up in landfills which releases methane gas into the air) nor advised to use them as compost in gardens. The best environmentally-friendly way to get rid of your dog’s waste is to: Continue Reading →
[by Navily Zhen] 67 million pounds of pesticides are used each year on lawns. These lawn pesticides are linked to cancer, birth defects, and reproductive effects among other consequences. 1 to 5 million agricultural workers who are exposed to these pesticides daily get pesticide poisoning, and 20,000 die due to exposure.
If these lawn pesticides can cause so much damage to humans alone, imagine the disastrous effects it has on animals. With your dog rolling around on the lawn, they are immediately exposed to the harsh chemicals, causing nausea, irritation, respiratory issues, and even worse: bladder, skin, and other cancers. Specifically, products that include 24-D, which is used to get rid of dandelions and clovers, have caused lymphoma, a deadly disease, in canines. With exposure to 24-D, canines have a 70% higher risk of getting Continue Reading →
In honor of our Executive Director’s 60th birthday please make a generous donation to Healing Companions, Inc. on Facebook and know that your support will save the lives of shelter dogs that transform the lives of those with mental illness as their psychiatric service dogs. Stay well.