Looking for therapy dog resources to support veterans? Our comprehensive guide provides what may be helpful, including where training may be obtained, certification requirements, and benefits of dogs for mental health.


There is a difference between Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs depending on your need.

There is a great place to identify the difference between these dogs and it is www.usdogregistry.org.  There, you will find out which dog may best meet the needs that you have.

Who it may help:

Service Dogs: help with performing a function for a person that is limited by a disability.

Emotional Support Dogs: help with emotional problems by providing comfort and support.

Therapy Dogs: provide affection and comfort to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.

  • Where to find Therapy/Service/Emotional Support Dogs for Vets:
    This can often be a confusing process.  One excellent source of information is for service dogs is http://www.assistancedogsinternational.org  
  • Companions For Heroeshttps://www.companionsforheroes.org/
    We work with heroes to train animals to be either companions or service dogs help complete tasks for heroes with disabilities. Resources they can provide:
    Reimbursed Adoption Fees, AKC Certified Training, Personalized Care Package, Program Check-ins, Filing Assistance
  • Lost Sheep –  http://www.shepherdsforlostsheepinc.org/
    An excellent organization that gives very personal attention to the needs and follow through is Shepherds For While they focus primarily on the Psychiatric Service Dogs, they rarely find a veteran without a physical need as well. Therefore, they train their dogs to the individual veterans needs whether it is PTSD mitigation, traumatic brain injury (TBI) mitigation, or a mobility problem.
  • America’s Vet Dogs –  https://www.vetdogs.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwhJrqBRDZARIsALhp1WS-k1KE3Rywc1glfWTJynmp13qZMp7xpnySuScF8B7Ew8U-jXUrS4YaAvtoEALw_wcB  
    Another resource for service dogs for veterans and first responder is
  • Train a dog Save a Warrior – https://tadsaw.org/The Train a Dog Save a Warrior  (TADSAW) program serves the veteran, the family and the community, by providing the warrior with a K-9 rescue ‘Battle Buddy’ and the training and tools needed to become an accredited TADSAW Warrior/Service Dog Team.TADSAW additionally provides for the training of a Medical Alert Service Dog for any veteran’s immediate family, the spouse or children, surviving with compassion fatigue, secondary PTSD, or any other mental health issue diagnosed while the veteran was deployed or on active duty.

You will need to follow complete instructions to apply for the type of dog service most appropriate.  There is a commitment to the dog and organization, so be sure to read the applications carefully.

There are many organizations that offer emotional support and therapy dogs.  Please check LOCAL resources to determine what is available.

We will post additional, specific information soon to help you navigate this option.

Note: VFU provides this comprehensive view of healing techniques for your convenience, but does not endorse nor recommend any specific technique. VFU does not guarantee results or outcomes from any of the materials listed on this website.

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