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How To Get a Psychiatric Service Dog in California?

Updated on June 16, 2023 by Vincent Maldonado
A Psychiatric service dog is the best example of how dogs can make a difference in a human’s life. While most dogs give their owners unconditional love and affection, psychiatric service dogs provide them with much more. To achieve this, psychiatric service dogs undergo specialized training to help their owner with daily tasks.

If you have any mental health condition and live in California, you might look into what a PSD could do for you.

Get a Psychiatric Service Dog in California

What is a Psychiatric Service Dog?

The Americans With Disabilities Act states, “a psychiatric service dog is a canine that has been trained to carry out one or more tasks specifically related to their owner’s disability.” A psychiatric service dog may look like a normal dog, but it is not a regular pet because these dogs are an integral part of the person’s disability treatment.
Psychiatric service dogs are federally protected because they are a crucial part of the person’s health and well-being. Also, these dogs can accompany their owners everywhere. This includes all the areas where the public is permitted, avoiding pets.

What Tasks Do Psychiatric Service Dogs Perform

Psychiatric service dogs can perform a variety of tasks with the proper training. PSDs are trained to do a variety of activities, such as:

  • Reminding their handlers to take their medication on time
  • Creating a tactile environment
  • Facilitating social relationships and lowering social anxiety
  • Encouraging their owners to relax and seek assistance if required
  • Helping a person with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • If their handler is stressed out, assist with creating a safe personal space.

Adopting a Psychiatric Service Dog in California

To adopt a psychiatric service dog in California, you must require a recommendation from your prior doctor or therapist saying that you are taking the therapeutic advantages from the assistance of a psychiatric service dog. Ensure your PSD is trained well so that they can perform all the tasks that make your daily life difficult. A doctor may ask you about your mental health condition and the duties a psychiatric service dog performs for you! If the therapist finds your mental illness genuine, they will write a PSD letter for you.

You can also apply on the Fast ESA Letter website and get evaluated by a licensed mental health professional in order to get a Psychiatric Service Dog letter at home! Yes, you heard it right. The Fast ESA Letter provides online services so that the people in California can benefit from the federal and the state laws.

How To Get a PSD Letter Online In California

To apply for a PSD letter, follow these steps:-

process to get psd letter

Psychiatric Service Dog Rights in California

California has made specific laws to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Unruh Civil Rights Act

The Unruh Civil Rights Act of California, Cal. Civ. Code 51 et seq, forbids discrimination against any Californian, regardless of color, sex, religion, origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation.

California Disabled Persons Act (CDPA)

According to California Civil Code Section 54, “individuals with disabilities or medical health conditions have the same right to use the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices, public facilities, and other public places.” This Act also allows owners of psychiatric service dogs to access transportation facilities such as flights, railways, or buses.

It forbids discrimination against children with disabilities under guidelines that are comparable to and, in some circumstances, stricter than those set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A childcare program also violates this state law if it does not adhere to the ADA’s criteria.

Fair Employment and Housing Act

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, “persons with disabilities have equal access to any dwelling accommodations offered for rent, lease, or remuneration as other members of the public.” This Act prohibits landlords and other housing organizations from discriminating against persons with mental or emotional disabilities.

Best Dog Breeds to Qualify for a Psychiatric Service Dog in California

When searching for a psychiatric service dog, you should consider the traits you require in a dog so that they can assist you with mental health conditions. These traits are not similar to a regular pet. Finding the dog that fits your needs could be a time-consuming process. If you want to skip all the hassles, you can look at the list we have compiled for you.

Great Dane

Great Dane as psychiatric service dog
Great Danes are commonly known as gentle giants because of their calm, amiable, and cuddly nature. If you’re dealing with the symptoms of high anxiety or depression, these dogs are the perfect fit for you as they are low-maintenance dogs. You can easily train these dogs because of their high intelligence levels.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds as psychiatric service dog
German Shepherds are energetic dogs that can be trained easily to perform daily tasks for their owners. These canines can be taught to pick up and drop objects, open doors, and switch on/off lights. These dogs also like to participate in many activities and games, which makes them ideal psychiatric service dogs.


Dobermans as psychiatric service dog
The Doberman is a loving and trustworthy breed whose strong presence makes him an excellent match for persons who experience panic attacks, anxiety, or PTSD. These dogs make great psychiatric service dogs and guard dogs. When routine tasks like; a walk to the local shop seem too challenging, this faithful dog can help create a sense of protection and comfort.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever as psychiatric service dog

These dogs are the most popular dog breeds because of their calm, loyal, and friendly nature. If given love, these dogs turn out to be great companions for people with mental or emotional health conditions. These gentle giants can tolerate their owners’ unusual behavior, making them excellent psychiatric service dogs.


We hope this guide has helped you get a deep knowledge about the psychiatric service dog in California. If you’re planning to get a psychiatric service dog letter or PSD letter, contact us today!

About the Author

Vincent Maldonado
Vincent Maldonado
Vincent Maldonado is a dedicated content manager at Fast ESA Letter. With a strong background in content creation and management, Vincent plays a vital role in curating and overseeing the production of engaging and informative materials related to emotional support animals (ESAs). His passion for promoting mental health and spreading awareness about the benefits of ESAs shines through his work. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering high-quality content, Vincent ensures that Fast ESA Letter provides valuable resources to individuals seeking information and support in navigating the world of emotional support animals.


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