America's VetDogs Blog


"Hercules has allowed me to regain control of my life..." read more


"If a Veteran out there is still questioning...; don't be afraid to ask for help." - Aletha, U.S. Navy more


owner kissing puppy

It is normal to experience stress at different points throughout a relationship with your dog. Even a highly disciplined family pet can experience anxiety that may inhibit his or her ability to perform trained tasks. Throughout this article, we hope you can gain a greater understanding of canine stress, build confidence in recognizing the signs of stress, learn ways to help reduce stress in your dog, and have a better idea of when it is time to ask for help. Read more. 

Finding a New Purpose for a Life of Service

Be inspired by reading the extended version of our story which appears in the Fall 2023 issue of The VetDogs Sentinel about Max Rohn, America's VetDogs program graduate and one of the newest members of our Board of Directors.
"A service dog is exactly what I needed to treat my PTSD and problems with my daily living activities encountered with my prosthetic leg." Click here to read .

Ensuring Your Legacy: National Make a Will Month

August marks National Make a Will Month, a time dedicated to promoting the importance of estate planning and leaving a lasting legacy.
In this blog post, we'll delve into the significance of estate planning, particularly in supporting organizations like America's VetDogs, even after you've passed away.
Read on to learn more.


Dogs and Fear of Fireworks 

Independence Day, also known as July 4th, is a vibrant celebration in the United States. While it brings about excitement and festivities, it's important to remember that the loud noises and flashing lights associated with fireworks can be distressing for our furry friends, especially service dogs and guide dogs. Read more

PTSD Awareness Month 

dog comforting man
June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. According to the National Center for PTSD, at some point in their life, 7 out of every 100 Veterans (or 7%) will have PTSD. The disorder is also more common among female Veterans (13 out of 100, or 13%) versus male Veterans (6 out of 100, or 6%). Read more. 

An Inspiring Lens on Life

Stacy Pearsall got her start as an Air Force photographer at the age of 17. During her time in service, she traveled to over 41 countries, and attended the Military Photojournalism Program at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University from which she is a 50 Forward distinguished graduate. During three combat tours, she earned the Bronze Star Medal and Air Force Commendation with Valor for combat actions in Iraq. Though combat disabled and retired from military service, Pearsall has not let her disabilities hold her back. Read on about her earliest days meeting Charlie, her service dog, in front of a national TV audience, and her own new public broadcast television series, “After Action.”

Facing Life's Hardships with Resolve

Jo-Ann Rodriguez loved being in the Army. She planned to stay in the Army at least “until I was a colonel.” However, just a couple of years into her military service, she began experiencing numbness in her face and arms. Eventually, her ill health forced her to leave the service in 1991 and she returned home to her family in Puerto Rico. Without transition counseling to help her readjust to civilian life, she felt lost. Although she can walk short distances, her disease has affected her mobility to the point where she uses a wheelchair most of the time. She wanted a service dog shortly after she became disabled, but her biggest stumbling block was that “no one would give [a service dog] to someone in Puerto Rico.” Learn about how she found America’s VetDogs and her life with her service dog, Hickok.

Is Rawhide Bad for Dogs?

In recent years, dog owners have become concerned about giving their dog rawhide toys for chewing. We’re addressing the two main areas of concern so you can make the best decision for your furry friend. Read More.

Veterans, PTSD, and Assistance Dogs

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, anywhere between 11 - 30% of U.S. veterans who have been in combat suffer from PTSD at some point in their lifetime. Read More


“A service dog is exactly what I needed to treat my PTSD..." - Max Rohn, U.S. Navy Veteran. Read more

Crate Training A Puppy

black lab in crate
To crate train or not to crate train? That is a common question for many new dog owners.Crates don’t have to be a forever solution. They can be introduced and used until behaviors have been corrected and your dog is able to handle being loose in the house while you’re away. If you decide to move forward with crate training your dog, use our expert guide based on techniques we use to raise puppies into future guide dogs and service dogs! Read more

Top 5 Cues to Teach Your Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time for many families! They’re cute, cuddly, and they’re usually too young to have picked up many bad habits. In the mix of all the playtime and snuggles, you’ll need to teach your puppy how to be a member of your household. Read more...

A Lifetime of Caring for Others

After serving 10 years in the Army and an additional 10 years in the Air Force, Kelly Knox retired from military service in 2000, but she continued to serve. She joined the Department of Veterans Affairs as a PTSD specialist and worked for the National Center for PTSD, training other therapists and mental health professionals throughout the country. She was a member of the VA’s rapid deployment teams, which responded to natural disasters such as the hurricanes in Louisiana. After 20 years at the VA, Knox medically retired in 2021 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This, coupled with a traumatic brain injury she had suffered during her deployment to Bosnia, began to affect her balance and coordination. She was teamed with her service dog, Amber, in January 2021. Read about how her life has changed for the better ever since.

Holiday Safety and Tips 

The holiday season is upon us, and we're sharing a few ways you can make the holiday season extra special (and safe) for your furry friend! Read more!

Giving Tuesday History 

#GivingTuesday is a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to nonprofit organizations in one day – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Learn about the origin of this day of global impact. Read more

VetDogs Graduate Honored At The ESPYS!

We are thrilled to announce that one of our own – two-time America’s VetDogs graduate, retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans – will be honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at The 2022 ESPYS! Read more.

Access Laws for Service and Guide Dogs

Having a service animal can be incredibly beneficial for citizens with disabilities that require the help of a service animal. However, it is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding the use of dogs as service animals in public. Read more

Helping Dogs Overcome Fear

It is often disheartening to discover that your beloved pup doesn’t seem to like everyone they meet. There can be a few reasons why this may happen, but with patience and understanding, you can help them build positive relationships with people. Read more


Dax: The Story of an AI-Generated Service Dog

The story below was produced by ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by OpenAI, based on the following prompt:  Write a story about the life of a service dog for a veteran with disabilities from the perspective of a service dog raised and trained by America’s VetDogs. Make it warm, friendly, and engaging. Read more

A First Responder Serving Her Community

From an early age, Megan Shacklett knew she wanted to dedicate her life to serving others. “I come from a long line of veterans and first responders,” she says. The concept of helping others and being of service was strong within the family: her grandfather served during World War II; her father was an Army veteran who later became a firefighter; and an uncle and cousin were firefighters. "Before I got my (service) dog, there were times I wouldn't leave my house," Shacklett says. "Now I can go out and do things. I know it's going to be OK. With her, every day there's a reason to wake up." Learn more about Megan here.

New Year, New Goals 

Another new year is upon us, which brings about a desire in many people to improve their lives in some way. About 38.5% of adults make resolutions, but only 9% actually keep them. Read more


Service dogs are working dogs, and like any dog, it’s recommended that they go to the vet at least once a year for an annual check-up. An annual check-up normally consists of a wellness exam, in which a physical is conducted. In addition, the vet will document your dog’s physical growth and mention any concerns about their health. Read more about the importance of veterinary care for your service dog.

Leaving a Rewarding Legacy

As we mark National Make-A-Will Month in August, National Estate Planning Awareness Week in October, and prepare for the year-end season of charitable giving, now is a good time to explore estate planning including making a will. Doing so can provide immediate and long-term benefits to you, your loved ones, and the nonprofits closest to your heart. Read more

Things You Should Never Feed Your Dog 

Unless you’re adamantly against feeding your dog human food and your whole family is on board, it’s likely that your fur baby will consume some of the same foods that humans eat at some point. Take the time to know the dangers certain foods and substances pose to man’s best friend. Read More!

Plants That Are Toxic To Dogs

Plants can improve air quality in your home, as well as add color and style. If you have indoor dogs, you want to be aware of which plants can cause harm. The list of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats is extensive.We’ve gathered information about some of the most common houseplants that could seriously harm your furry friend. Read more