Psychiatric Service Dogs

How to Qualify for a Psychiatric Service Dog or a PSD.

A Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) needs to be “trained” to recognize and respond to your Psychiatric symptoms.  This is according to the law governing PSD; The Americans with Disability act (ADA) states.

What the ADA states as qualifying for a Service dog is: The ADA defines a service animal as a dog that is "individually trained" to "perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” The tasks a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

A PSD can be trained by a professional, or by you or the animal could intuitively have trained themselves to recognize psychiatric symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, autism, etc. The “trained Task’ is related to the psychiatric diagnosis that is certified by a mental Health Professional in PSD evaluation sessions and a letter is given by the professional to use for airlines travel and for going in public places if asked.

Examples of trained behaviors of a PSD:

Medical Care

  • Helps Panic attacks by calming you
  • Takes you out of an overwhelming situation
  • Takes you out or calms you in crowds

​Social Anxiety

  • Nudge you to keep moving in a crowd or a social situation
  • Brings you back from dissociative state
  • Helps you to get out of bed because of depression


  • ​​Move you to the edge of a crowd
  • Search a room before you enter
  • Gets between you and others to provide space

The PTSD Service Dog may respond by:

  • Coming over and pawing at you licking at you
  • Licking your face to get out of bed from depression
  • Comes and lays on top of you to apply pressure to relieve anxiety
  • Sits on your feet
  • All to get your attention to calm the person from their symptoms progressing.

PTSD Service Dog Certification Process

​The process for a PSD certification is an evaluation by phone and/or video chat sessions with a Licensed Mental Health Profession to certify your symptoms on how your animal helps you.  Then you receive a letter certifying your need your animal as a PSD under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) that covers services dogs that can go wherever the client needs them to go or same as a service dog in any public places.

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