A helping paw will be made available to Australian veterans facing a new kind of battle at home.
Specially-trained assistance dogs will be made available to veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, under a new program announced on Friday.
The support dogs are trained to help their new best friends during emotionally-charged times: waking them from nightmares or nuzzling them when they're upset.
The canine companies will also scan environments so veterans don't have to feel hyper-vigilant.
Pree Benton from the Centre for Service and Therapy Dogs Australia said these dogs could pick up on a veteran's stress in ways humans could not.
"Assistance dogs are trained to have a symbiotic relationship with the veterans," Dr Benton said.
Veterans Minister Darren Chester said the dogs would help improve the mental wellbeing and lifestyle of veterans.
"This program will change lives and it will save lives," Mr Chester said.
Australian Associated Press