Where to Get a Psychiatric Service Dog: Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD) are specially trained companions for people with mental illnesses or disabilities.
These dogs use their reliable paws and big hearts to provide owners with assistance in day-to-day living and the freedom to live an independent lifestyle.
If you’re planning to get a PSD, this special guide is for you!
Learn how and where to get a psychiatric service dog, as well as the total costs involved. Read on!
Where to Get a Psychiatric Service Dog?
You have several options to choose from when getting a PSD. You can adopt a dog from your local shelter and train him yourself, or you can request one from a reputable service dog organization.
1. Adopting and Self-Training Your PSD
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows owners to train their own psychiatric service dogs. One benefit of this option is the special bond that’s created between you and your newly adopted dog.
To be a PSD, your dog needs to have a calm demeanor, show no signs of aggression, and be able to ignore distractions.
2. Hiring a Professional Dog Trainer
If you’re unable to self-train your dog due to time constraints or not having the necessary skills, a dog trainer can help you out. Training for psychiatric service dogs usually involves these parts:
- Public access training: Coaches your dog on good manners and appropriate behavior in public settings
- Specialized task training: Instructs your dog to perform certain helpful acts or movements whenever you need assistance with your condition
3. Adopting From a Service Dog Organization
Another option is to request a PSD from an organization that specializes in training service dogs and giving them loving homes.
Some organizations assist specific groups, such as veterans and disabled teens, in getting their psychiatric service dogs.
Here are several service dog organizations to consider:
- Assistance Dogs International, Inc. (ADI)
- paws4people Foundation
- The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs
- Medical Mutts Service Dogs Inc.
How Much Is a Psychiatric Service Dog?
The cost of getting a PSD largely depends on which service dog organization your dog comes from. Some organizations provide them for free, but others may charge $20,000 or more for a highly-trained companion.
Alternatively, adopting from a local shelter costs significantly less. The average adoption fee for dogs is $300. To have your adopted dog trained for psychiatric service, you’ll need to spend at least $150 to $250 per hour for professional dog training sessions.
How Do You Get a Psychiatric Service Dog?
The process of getting a PSD from a service dog organization can vary depending on the organization’s application guidelines and procedures. Generally, you’ll have to go through the following steps:
1. Consult a Healthcare Professional
It’s best to consult a healthcare professional first before applying to get a PSD. Your medical provider can adequately address the nature of your disability and clarify the specific tasks that a service dog can assist you with.
You can simplify this process with us by simply walking through our questionnaire and getting your result from a therapist.
2. Submit an Application
Most service dog organizations have a list of criteria and requirements that you’ll need to fulfill before sending your application for a service dog. Here are some common eligibility requirements:
- Proof of sufficient financial resources for the care of your dog
- Capacity to manage and handle a service dog at home and in public
- Proof of verifiable medical need for a service dog
- Age limit and residency requirements
3. Obtain Your Psychiatric Service Dog
After your application has been approved, your organization will proceed to locate and place a suitable PSD for your condition. If there’s a waiting list, it might take several months before you obtain your dog.
How Can I Get a Free Service Dog in Florida?
Several non-profit organizations in Florida provide service dogs at no cost to the owner or handler. As long as you meet their criteria and fulfill the requirements, you can submit an application online or at a nearby facility.
Here are some organizations that provide trained service dogs and service dog training for free to eligible owners in Florida:
How Do I Get a Service Dog for Anxiety in NC?
The process for getting a service dog for anxiety in North Carolina usually begins by sending an application to your chosen organization. They might request additional documentation from your medical provider regarding your anxiety.
The following organizations provide service dogs for anxiety in the North Carolina area:
Psychiatric service dogs are life-changing companions. They provide unconditional love, comfort, and assistance to their fortunate owners and handlers.
Hopefully, this guide has enlightened you on how and where to get a psychiatric service dog of your own.
Whether you choose to adopt a PSD from an organization or train one yourself, you’ll surely benefit from having a loyal friend by your side.
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