Anxiety and Psychiatric Service Dogs: What You Need To Know

Home » Anxiety and Psychiatric Service Dogs: What You Need To Know.

March 24, 2023

Anxiety and Psychiatric Service Dogs: What You Need To Know

Anxiety is the most widespread mental health condition in the world. Around 40 million people in the United States deal with this mental health disorder. For this illness, there are numerous medications, home cures, and treatments that have their advantages and disadvantages.

Many people dealing with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc., wrongly interpret these as personality defects and ignore them, due to which the symptoms of these conditions grow more and more. But anxiety may be harmful; therefore, it should never be overlooked. If you think you’re experiencing anxiety, you should get medical advice immediately!

It’s also crucial to remember that there are many other alternatives rather than taking medications for treating anxiety. Many dog lovers who struggle with anxiety wonder; if they can qualify to own a psychiatric service dog to cope with anxiety. The answer is yes. You can obtain a psychiatric service dog for your mental health disorder, including anxiety.

What is a Psychiatric Service Dog?

A psychiatric service dog or a PSD is a dog that is specifically trained to assist its owners in daily life by performing tasks for them. These dogs are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and are provided with specific laws and rights that are given to service dogs.

Many people think that PSDs are the same as emotional support animals. But they are not because they are not protected under the ADA. If your dog has received specialized training to carry out specific tasks for you, such as retrieving medication, calling for assistance, or giving you tactile stimulation to calm you, it would be considered a psychiatric service dog.

But if having a dog around you makes you feel better and reduces your stress levels, it would be considered an emotional support animal rather than a psychiatric service dog.

How Can Psychiatric Service Dogs Help with Anxiety?

There are various ways in which your trained psychiatric service dog can help you with multiple types of anxiety disorders. These are:

Therapeutic and Tactile Distraction

Tactile stimulation and deep pressure therapy can offer a therapeutic distraction to people dealing with anxiety. Psychiatric Service Dogs, or PSDs, must be trained well to apply pressure on their handler’s chest or lap in order to promote emotional control and induce calm, which relieves them during tense situations.

Providing medication on time

A psychiatric service dog can remind their owner to take medication on time and keep bugging them until they do so. An individual can train their psychiatric service dog to get the prescription and a bottle of water if they cannot do so because of their health condition, like nausea or fatigue.

Ease Claustrophobia

If you feel suffocation or restricted while standing in small or enclosed spaces, psychiatric service dogs can help you by building a gap. A psychiatric service dog (PSD) expands the size of your bubble by standing between you and others. A trained PSD can also detect minor signs of any triggering event that is about to occur and will take the person to a safer location right away where they can feel safe and relaxed.

Call for Help

Those dealing with anxiety may have faced a challenge in which paralyzing concerns and worsening symptoms may call for immediate medical attention. In this case, having a psychiatric service dog by your side can help. PSD handlers can signal to their service dog that they require assistance.

Evaluate Possible Threats

For some people, entering a dark room, turning a corner, or seeing a crowded place might cause anxiety. In these situations, necessitating the immediate aid of a psychiatric service dog is essential. However, if you have a trained PSD with you at that time, you can take their assistance because they will enter such places ahead of their owners and then investigate that area so their owners can enter.

Training & Certification Required For Psychiatric Service Dog

If you’re considering getting a psychiatric service dog for anxiety or already have one, you should know how much training is essential for them to provide you with better assistance. Thankfully, there are various training methods that you can adopt to train your psychiatric service dog. These are:

Working with a Professional Trainer

This training method is one of the most common methods people adopt to provide their psychiatric service dog with specialized training. Under this method, you will work alongside a professional trainer to train your psychiatric service dog. These experienced professional trainers are fully aware of the tasks that your psychiatric service dog can carry out for you based on your dog’s breed, size, and weight.

Getting an already-trained dog

This is another type of training method in which you don’t have to look for a professional trainer or train your dog by yourself. You can visit dog training organizations or businesses that provide trained psychiatric service dogs. These dogs are very much well-behaved and are set to assist you anytime. However getting a trained PSD can be expensive, but if you want immediate assistance and don’t want to spend too much time and energy training your dog, you can definitely choose this training method.


This is an ideal training method if you have enough time and energy to spend with your dog! Training your dog on your own can be overwhelming sometimes because you’re managing everything independently. Also, it requires a lot of research and hard work. It is advisable not to choose this training method if you’re dealing with the symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD because it can affect your mental health more.

Once your dog has completed the training and is ready to assist you, you can apply for a psychiatric service dog certification or a PSD letter to avail the benefits from the legal rights given to PSDs and their owners so that they can live and travel along with their PSD without any discrimination. To apply for a PSD letter, follow the steps mentioned below:

Complete the online application form

Start the process by filling up the online application form. Mention the details correctly in the form, along with your mental health details. After completing the form, submit it by clicking on the submit button.

Get evaluated by LMHP

The licensed mental health professional will evaluate your form based on your mentioned details. If they find your condition genuine, they will approve your application to get a PSD letter.

Received Your PSD letter

You will receive your PSD letter via email after the LMHP approves the application. You can download your PSD letter from there and use it for housing and traveling benefits.

Choosing a Right Psychiatric Service Dog

Any dog that is trained to help their owners in daily life can become a psychiatric service dog. But there are certain factors to be kept in mind before choosing a psychiatric service dog breed according to your mental health condition, such as:

Choosing the psychiatric service dog breed with the right temperament is essential. This means they should not readily become angry or stressed. If their owner does not treat them well or pay attention to them, they should not become combative in response.

Socially active
Psychiatric service dogs must be outgoing and socially active. This is possibly the most crucial requirement because they have to lift their owner’s spirits when they are at their lowest phase of life. Psychiatric service dogs must be friendly but not highly excitable because overly excitable canines can be too rough with some people (especially the elderly).

Psychiatric service dogs must always be adaptable to every place or location. That is why they should be trained to adapt to different settings. These dogs should support their owners when there is a lot of noise. No matter the environment, they are required to feel comfortable in any place. If your dog is not trained well to adapt to any environment, it may turn timid or can behave aggressively with you or other people.

It is essential to get the right psychiatric service dog breed that can learn new skills and improve its existing skills. Using various training methods and having greater tolerance with some dogs may be necessary. Some are easier to train and have an instinctive desire to please their owners and carry out various activities, so if you’re planning to get a psychiatric service dog, ensure that you find a dog breed that is easy to train.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What tasks do psychiatric service dogs perform?
Psychiatric Service dogs can perform various tasks for their owners, such as providing medication on time, switching on/off lights, providing deep pressure therapy, creating a safe environment for them, and many more.
Can a psychiatric service dog help with anxiety?
Yes, you can get a psychiatric service dog if you’re dealing with anxiety. These dogs can be trained to assist you in your daily life by performing tasks for you.
How to get a psychiatric service dog?
To get a psychiatric service dog, you should have one or more qualifying mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, phobias or PTSD, etc. The licensed mental health professional will evaluate your mental health condition, and if they find your condition to be valid, they will write a PSD letter for you.
Can any animal become a psychiatric service dog?
No, under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), only dogs can qualify in order to become psychiatric service dogs.
Can I travel with my psychiatric service dog?
Yes, if your dog is trained well and you have a valid PSD letter, you can travel with your psychiatric service dog easily.


I hope this post has given you all the information you need about the psychiatric service dog for anxiety. If you’re ready to take the assistance of a psychiatric service dog, you can visit the Fast ESA Letter website and apply for a PSD letter!

March 24, 2023

3 step process to get Your PSD letter

Our Simple 3 Step Process For Your PSD Evaluation

1. Fill up and Submit PSD Evaluation Form Online.

2. Get Evaluated by a Licensed Professional.

3. Get Approved, and Receive Your PSD Letter Instantly via E-mail.

Looking To Apply For An Psychiatric Service Dog Letter?

Related Articles

Flying with the PSD Dog for the first time

Flying with the PSD Dog for the first time

Flying With The Psychiatric Service Dog For The First Time.The first time you fly with a psychiatric service dog (PSD), you can feel nervous, uncertain, embarrassed, hesitant, or all of the above. That is entirely comprehensible. It can be...

How to Qualify your ESA as a Psychiatric Service Dog

How to Qualify your ESA as a Psychiatric Service Dog

How to Qualify your ESA Dog as a Psychiatric Service Dog?Your emotional or mental health problem can be managed with the use of an emotional support animal (ESA). These animals provide you with love and affection whenever you are in need. The only...

How Do I Get A Prescription For A Psychiatric Service Dog?

How Do I Get A Prescription For A Psychiatric Service Dog?

How Do I Get A Prescription For A Psychiatric Service Dog?You must be aware of how common mental health issues are these days and how crucial it is to deal with them. Medication and therapy are both excellent rehabilitation measures. But having an...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This