Traveling with your Psychiatric Service Dog.

Recently, on Good Men Project, CEO and Co-Founder of ESADoggy Chaz Stevens discussed the legal and logistical requirement of air travel with a psychiatric service dog.

Considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act, psychiatric service dogs are entitled to numerous federally protected rights.

  1. Access to public places denied to pets and emotional support animals.
  2. Traveling, without fees, in the main cabin of an aircraft
  3. Access to housing fair accommodations.

Suitable training is a requirement under Federal law for a psychiatric service dog, and the animal must:

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  1. Display good public behavior.
  2. Perform work directly related to the handler’s emotional or mental disability.

Verification via the General Public Access Test (PAT).

The public access test consists of two-parts and will assess whether the service animal:

  • Is under good control
  • Can effectively respond to basic commands
  • Safely interacts with people and other dogs

Distractions, like hugging/petting and food treats, are introduced during test to gauge the canine’s response.

To become PAT-certified, the dog must successfully have completed a series of 10 tests.

Tasks for a Psychiatric Service Dog.

A specially trained psychiatric service dogs can offer assistance to individuals suffering from various psychiatric disabilities. Assistance can include:

  • Help during panic attacks
  • Fetching pills
  • Support with mobility issues

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Appropriate behavior and good public manners are essential traits of a well-trained psychiatric service dog.

Performing Work Directly Related to a Disability.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires all services dogs to perform a specific task or type of work that is directly related to the handler’s emotional disability.  

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “…a person with diabetes may have a dog that is trained to alert him when his blood sugar reaches high or low levels. A person with depression may have a dog that is trained to remind her to take her medication. Or, a person who has epilepsy may have a dog that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure.”

There are a lot of reasons why dogs are considered as “”man’s best friend””. Dogs can help with loneliness, give you companionship, and sit with you during the evenings. They can also be lifesavers and help people in various ways such as being a service dog or protection dog. Service dogs play a vital role in the lives of people with disabilities. These loving animals are specially trained to help people with diabetes, epilepsy, or PTSD perform day-to-day tasks. Protection dogs on the other hand, are highly trained dogs that are capable of protecting you, your family and your home from threats. The recent trend in buying guard or protection dogs by private individuals to protect their homes have contributed to the rise in protection dog sales.