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How To Get a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona?

Posted on June 01, 2023 by Patricia Thompson
Psychiatric Service Dogs are a life-saving asset for thousands of people living in Arizona. These dogs not only assist the disabled person but also perform daily tasks such as retrieving medication, warning them of an oncoming seizure, calming them during an anxiety attack, and many more.

However, obtaining a psychiatric service dog in Arizona is not daunting. In fact, all the necessary steps are easy and can be completed entirely online. All you need is a PSD letter from a licensed mental healthcare professional.

If you’re considering getting a psychiatric service dog, you need to know about the PSD letter, the qualification for PSD in Arizona, and the benefits of PSDs. You will also need to see the laws and regulations associated with PSD. Let’s start to find the answers in more detail.

How To Get a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona?

What is a Psychiatric Service Dog letter?

A psychiatric service dog letter is a document that confirms the need for a person to have a service dog to assist them with a psychiatric or emotional disability. A PSD letter is written by a licensed mental healthcare professional, such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

Who Qualifies for a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona?

A person with mental or emotional health conditions can qualify for a psychiatric service dog. Some of the most common mental or emotional health conditions that may call for PSD help include:

  • Autism
  • Agoraphobia
  • Claustrophobia
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Panic attack
  • Phobias and many more.

Does My Dog Need the Training to Get Certified as a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona?

Yes, your dog must be trained to be certified as a psychiatric service dog in Arizona. Your dog should be able to perform tasks that will assist you with your psychiatric disability, such as interrupting self-harming behaviors, providing deep pressure therapy, and reminding you to take your medication. There are specific methods that you can adapt to train your dog so that they can certify for a PSD. These are:

Training a Psychiatric Service Dog

Hire a full-time professional trainer

It is the most common training method many adopt to train their dogs. Under this method, a professional trainer will train your dog under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training guidelines. They will work closely with you so that you can ultimately benefit from your psychiatric service dog, and they can assist you better in your daily life.

Self-training

Training your dog by yourself is the most cost-effective method, but at the same time, it is very overwhelming. If you’re ready to spend a lot of time and energy training your dog to become a psychiatric service dog, you can adopt this method. Ensure that you have complete knowledge about the ADA training guidelines when you’re training your dog to become a PSD to get a clear idea of what your dog can be trained to do.

Adopting a trained PSD

You can also consider getting a trained psychiatric service dog from training organizations or businesses that provide them. However, this training method can be expensive because you’re getting a dog that has already passed many training tests and is now ready to assist its owners in their daily life.

Resources for Getting a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona
  • Arizona American Welfare League & SPCA: Phoenix, AZ
  • Home For Good: Phoenix, AZ
  • Friends For Life Animal Rescue: Gilbert, AZ
  • Halo Animal Rescue: Phoenix, AZ

The Process of Getting a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona

You can live with your PSD without the hassle of getting a PSD letter.
Fast ESA Letter offers an easy online process for the people of Arizona to get a PSD letter from the comfort of their homes. To get your PSD letter online, follow these three easy and simple steps:

process to get psd letter

Laws and Regulations For Psychiatric Service Dogs in Arizona

Psychiatric service dog owners depend on their canine companions to support them in various circumstances. So, if the dog is left at home or chained outside a shop, it can’t do its job. That’s why psychiatric service dogs are allowed to enter public areas where pets are generally not allowed. Psychiatric service dogs are protected by federal law in Arizona:

Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)

As per the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), no one can deny access to a PSD owner if they require a psychiatric service dog to travel with them. Also, people with disabilities should not be charged an additional cost to bring their PSD along on a flight. It’s crucial to remember that the Department of Transportation (DOT) gives airlines the right to request that PSD owners submit a certification before the departure. So to travel with your PSD smoothly, ensure you have every document ready in your hand.

Public Access Rights

According to the ADA, people with disabilities can accompany their psychiatric service dog with them in various public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, theaters, public parks, or museums. For that, a psychiatric service dog must be well-behaved, remain on the ground, or be properly leashed.

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act protects people with disabilities from discrimination when it comes to getting reasonable accommodation. Under the FHA, no landlord can deny a disabled person accommodation or cannot charge extra because of their PSD. Even if a property has a “no pet” policy, people who own a psychiatric service dog can live in that building or property because PSDs are treated as part of medical treatment, not as regular pets.

Benefits and Responsibilities of Having a Psychiatric Service Dog

A psychiatric service dog is usually trained to assist their owners in daily activities. These dogs perform many tasks for their owners, along with giving them unconditional love, support, and care. However, there are some benefits of having a psychiatric service dog that makes your daily life easy. These are:

Reminding Medication

A psychiatric service dog can remind owners to take their medication on time. If the owners forget or get engaged in other work or tasks, a psychiatric service dog will start bugging their owners until they take their medication. A psychiatric service dog owner can provide their dog necessary training in order to get the medication and a bottle of water for them if they cannot do so because of sickness or fatigue.

Night Terror Warning

During a night terror, a psychiatric service dog can wake their owners and divert their attention away from a terrifying flashback. The PSD can help remove them from a scary experience by reorienting their owners.

Restore from Claustrophobia or Social Anxiety

Those with specific mental health issues may find some situations distressing or overpowering. These people can ask their psychiatric service dog to tug on their leg, as though asking for a bathroom break, without explanation or awkward exits. With the help of a psychiatric service dog, a person can restore emotional control by avoiding emotional buildup and social claustrophobia.

Ask for Help

People with specific psychiatric disabilities, such as PTSD or anxiety issues, may encounter situations where they require medical attention due to incapacitating worries and worsening symptoms.
A psychiatric service dog can help their owners in these situations where they can understand their owner’s signal and can ask for help.

Assist With Balance

Lethargy, lameness, and confusion are a few side effects of mental health disorders you may experience after taking prescribed medication. Due to this, an individual may find it difficult to walk without assistance while maintaining balance. In these circumstances, a psychiatric service dog can assist their owner by taking them to a secure location or providing them with harness support.

About the Author

Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson is a highly skilled clinical psychologist with over five years of expertise in the field. She possesses extensive knowledge and experience in using clinical guidance and providing recommendations for emotional support animals (ESAs) as a form of treatment for mental illness. Patricia's profound understanding of the therapeutic benefits of ESAs enables her to offer valuable insights and practical advice to individuals seeking emotional support. In addition to her clinical practice, Patricia also writes for Fast ESA Letter, sharing her expertise and advocating for the importance of ESAs in mental health care.
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