The fear of experiencing the same traumatic situation you went through before can really change your perspective of the world. It’s already hard for humans, and it’s the same for animals. If you happen to adopt a dog from
a rescue center, many of them come from traumatic experiences. You’ll notice that these dogs show distress-related behaviors, which are a sign of PTSD.
Dr. Lori Teller from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences shared information about the struggles of a dog with PTSD. Apparently, dogs can suffer psychological conditions just like humans. Moreover, newly adopted dogs may hide symptoms of PTSD — unless something triggers their fear and anxiety.
“The best ways to manage PTSD in dogs will be a combination of behavioral therapy and medication,” Teller said. “Behavioral management might include desensitization therapy, in which a dog is exposed to low levels of stress, and then this level is gradually increased to build tolerance for that stimulus, playtime with a well-socialized dog, increased exercise, and mental stimulation. Medications prescribed could include anxiolytics, antidepressants, or beta-blockers.”
A rescue dog named Bette has experienced the same situation. Her mom, Fern Watt, made it her mission to introduce the world to her once again. She did this with a dog carrier and a lot of love for Bette. The two would enjoy a simple bike ride in their neighborhood — bit by bit, Bette became comfortable going out with her mom.
“It was exciting to see her out enjoying life and seeing that the world wasn’t so scary,” says Fern. Due to their daily bike rides, Bette gets excited whenever Fern shows her the dog bag carrier. Aside from bike rides, Fern brought Bette to various places and enjoyed outdoor activities. They would go on road trips from Los Angeles to Alaska by trailer van. Bette was definitely blessed to have Fern as her owner. Fern was able to help Bette conquer her fears by not giving up on her and letting her explore new places with fun, stimulating activities.
With the bond she built with Bette, Fern realized that she needed to share this with the world, especially for dog parents like her. She was able to publish a book entitled “Adventure Dogs.” Bette and Fern inspired each other — all those travels made their bond extra special. Fern really did set an example on how to help your dogs get back their confidence. You can even do it in simple ways if you just work to understand where they are coming from.
Connect with Bette and Fern via Instagram and get to know her other fur babies as well. Also, you might want to try and read her book, too. Watch the video below to see how Bette gets to see the world from a brand-new perspective.
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