Browse Courses ↗
Woman sitting at desk taking notes with her dog.

Am I eligible to apply for a Psychiatric Service Dog certificate?

Typically the first question that people ask us about getting started with a PSD certificate, and it’s a great question to start with!

The short: If you have a documented mental health or psychological disorder that substantially limits one or more major life activities, you’re eligible for a psychiatric service dog certificate.

If you’re looking for more context, here you go:


Qualifying Conditions

To get deeper, the ADA defines a mental health disability as “any mental or psychological disorder” such as “emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.” In the United States, individuals diagnosed with one or more mental health disabilities, as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) or other relevant diagnostic criteria, can apply for a psychiatric service dog certificate.

Some of the most common conditions that qualify include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bi-polar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism
  • Schizophrenia

 The condition must limit your ability to perform daily tasks or participate in major life activities. This can include difficulties with emotional regulation, panic attacks, and other psychiatric symptoms that impact your quality of life. The PSD will likely be part of a larger treatment plan.


Criteria Specifications

You will need documentation or prescription from a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or other mental health professional. This should include details about your evaluation, evidence of the disability's impact on your daily life, and an assessment of your ability to care for and work with a service dog as part of your treatment plan.You may be required to demonstrate that you’ve received prior or ongoing treatment for your disability, including therapy and medication.

Eligibility criteria and requirements may vary depending on the specific organization that issues the certificate and state that you reside. Be sure to research the requirements of the organization and local laws to ensure you match with the necessary criteria.

On a final note, it’s important to consider your commitment to doing the work that comes with owning a PSD, including managing training, exercise, grooming, and healthcare needs.


We hope this answers your question about PSD eligibility. If you need more information, contact us here!