Our PSD Letter Online Process is Simple:
The first step to getting a psychiatric service dog (PSD) letter online is to connect with a licensed mental health professional to assess and determine whether your disability qualifies for a psychiatric service dog.
- Complete our quick online pre-assessment to learn more about your PSD needs
- Get connected to a licensed mental health therapist
- Receive a clinical assessment by your licensed therapist to determine qualification for a PSD
- After your consultation is complete and your therapist has determined if you qualify, you will receive your PSD letter for housing and/or travel
A PSD letter gives you peace of mind and documentation that proves you have a disability for air travel and hotel stays.
What is a Psychiatric Service Dog letter?
A PSD letter is a document written and signed by a state-licensed health professional on official letterhead. Any licensed health medical practitioner can evaluate and approve an individual for a PSD letter. Additionally, PSD letters do not prove the animal is trained to assist a disabled individual. Above all, it qualifies mentally, emotionally, or psychiatrically disabled individuals as suitable to have a psychiatric service dog. Furthermore, qualified individuals can apply for a PSD letter online before, while, or even after training their dog as a service dog.
Who Qualifies for a PSD Letter?
A Psychiatric Service Dog is a subset of service animals trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities due to a mental health illness. PSDs need to meet two different standards of training.
All service animals need to behave well in public. For example, service dogs must not show any signs of stress or aggression, chase other animals, or climb on people.
What Disabilities Qualify for a PSD?
PSDs must be trained to perform specific tasks that directly relate to their owner's disability. See below for a list of some conditions that qualify for a PSD.
- Anxiety Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Mood Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- And many more
Many other mental or emotional disabilities qualify someone for a psychiatric service dog. However, a licensed mental health professional can determine if you qualify for a PSD. As a reminder, service animals are also for individuals with physical disabilities. These include visual impairment, deafness, epilepsy, paralysis, allergies, multiple sclerosis, asthma, and arthritis.
Who Can Provide PSD Letters?
As per the laws, only licensed mental health practitioners can evaluate and approve an individual for a PSD letter online. Thus, the following list of licensed specialists can assess an individual for a California PSD letter:
- Licensed Psychologist
- Licensed Psychiatrist
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- Licensed Behavioral Therapist
- Licensed Addiction Therapist
- Licensed Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Licensed Doctor qualified to conduct mental health assessments
What Laws Pertain to PSDs and their Handlers?
Special legal rights protect individuals who own a PSD under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), and Air Carrier Access Act (ACCA), which welcome them to establishments where a regular pet would not be welcomed. Most importantly, PSDs differ from ESA dogs, as they are trained to provide a specific task rather than comfort. These tasks can range from tactile stimulation to awareness. Moreover, a disability, whether psychiatric or emotional, that limits an individual from performing everyday activities qualifies an individual for a PSD.
Traveling with Your PSD
An animal classified as a PSD can travel on any airline free of charge, regardless of size, weight, or breed. This is a federal law, which prevents airlines from discriminating against passengers with disabilities.
PSDs must be trained to do specific tasks that benefit their owner's mental health impairment, or they won't be considered service dogs. Therefore, if your animal is unable to meet these standards, the airline can refuse your animal to fly in the cabin with you.
PSD Airline Requirements
Airlines will require you to fill and submit a U.S. DOT form (U.S. Department of Transportation) attesting to the health of your PSD, its behavior, and training; and secondly, a U.S. DOT form attesting that your PSD can either not relieve itself or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner if your PSD is on a flight of 8 or more hours.
In other words, the DOT forms certify your service dog is trained and will behave properly on a flight. Therefore, if these standards are met, all airlines will accept psychiatric service animals on their flights, so you can travel with your PSD in the cabin with you whenever at no additional cost. You don't have to worry about your animal facing any dangers related to traveling via airline cargo.
PSD in Training
Anyone can train a Psychiatric Service Dog, including yourself. On the US DOT form, owners are allowed to list themselves as the trainer of their service animal.
You can get a PSD Letter if you have a service animal currently in training or will be in training.
A PSD can be trained in various tasks that help alleviate your mental health symptoms, especially on flights. For example, this can include leaning very close to you, laying down on your lap or feet, putting their paw on your chest, or nudging you with their face to bring you into the present. Below are some examples of what PSDs can be trained to do:
- Reduce anxiety, depression, and claustrophobia
- Stop night terrors
- Medical support or medication reminders
Above all, a PSD can help you cope with long flights by providing a much-needed distraction, tactile pressure, deep pressure therapy, or performing other tasks that help alleviate stress from flights. For that reason, travelers with mental health disabilities benefit tremendously from a PSD in these situations.
Psychiatric Service Dog Tasks
Some tasks that service dogs are trained to do to help people with
- Tactile Stimulation
- Deep Pressure Therapy
- Find an Exit
- Crowd Control
- Alert others in case of an Emergency
- Medication Reminder
- Turning on the Lights
- Performing Safety Checks
- Hyper-Vigilance Reduction
- Medication reminders
- Lead the person to an exit or other predetermined location
- Retrieve an emergency phone
- Find the car in a parking lot
- Touch owner with nose/paw when owner shows signs of anxiety
- Hug on cue
- Remind you to take medication
- Bring you a phone during a crisis, so you can contact support.
- Call 911 or any other preprogrammed emergency number for help
- Identify and help with medication side effects
- Remind you to take medication
- Maintain attention
- Release hyperactive energy
- Help improve social interactions and relationships
- Help expand verbal and nonverbal communication
- Teach life skills
- Increase interest in activities
- Decrease stress within the family
Learn How To Qualify for a PSD Letter Online Today!
Pet Connect will evaluate you and upon approval will provide you with a legitimate California PSD letter online from a therapist.