If you’re considering getting a psychiatric service dog, you need to know the details about the PSD, the process of getting one, laws and regulations, and the benefits of PSDs.
How To Get a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona? Let’s find out.
- What is a Psychiatric Service Dog?
- Process of Getting a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona
- Laws and Regulations For Psychiatric Service Dogs in Arizona
- Benefits and Responsibilities of Having a Psychiatric Service Dog
What is a Psychiatric Service Dog?
A psychiatric service dog is a specifically trained dog that helps people with mental or emotional health disabilities such as anxiety, PTSD, autism, depression, phobias, etc. However, the primary function of a psychiatric service dog is to assist people by performing daily tasks that would otherwise be challenging for them due to a disability.
Psychiatric Service Dogs are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA provides psychiatric service dogs and their owners equal rights and privileges to access public places or travel on flights.
Who Qualifies for a Psychiatric Service Dog in Arizona?
Any individual dealing with a mental or emotional health condition can qualify for a psychiatric service dog. Some of the most common mental or emotional health conditions that may call for PSD help include:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Bipolar Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders
- 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:
Hire a full-time professional trainer
This is the most common training method which many people adopt in order to train their dogs. Under this method, a professional trainer will train your dog under the ADA training guidelines. They will work closely with you so that you can benefit completely from your psychiatric service dog, and they can assist you better in your daily life. Training with a trainer can also help you strengthen your bond with your psychiatric service dog so that you can comprehend each other’s body language.
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
Getting a PSD in Arizona starts with consulting a healthcare professional about your medical conditions and obtaining a PSD letter from them. A PSD letter is an official document stating that you are suffering from a medical condition and that your dog may help treat your symptoms. To get your PSD letter online, follow these three easy and simple steps:
Start the process by filling out an online assessment form by adding accurate medical details and the need for a PSD.
Get evaluated Online
After submitting, connect with a state-licensed mental health professional for further evaluation and wait until they approve your application for a PSD letter.
Received a PSD Letter
Once approved, receive your PSD Letter by email. You can download and save it for living and flying with your PSD.
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 day-to-day life. 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:
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 bring them out of 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.
Psychiatric Service Dogs must be trained to assist you with your disability. If your dog is trained and ready to help you daily, you should get your PSD letter today!
Looking To Apply For An Emotional Support Animal Letter?
1. Fill up and Submit ESA Evaluation Form Online.
2. Get Evaluated by a Licensed Professional.
3. Get Approved, and Receive Your ESA Letter Instantly via E-mail.
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