Emotional Support Animals

How Much Does a Psychiatric Service Animal Cost?

Psychiatric Service Animal Cost

Psychiatric service dogs are rising in popularity and are a sub-category of service animals. If you or someone you know is looking into getting a psychiatric service dog, then this is the resource for you! Learn what a psychiatric service animal is, what tasks they perform, and most importantly what they cost. The cost of a service animal can be a potential boundary to getting one, so preparing for this is important.

What is a Psychiatric Service Animal?

A psychiatric service animal is typically a dog who is trained to do a specific task in relation to their owners mental health illness or disability. They are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), meaning they are treated as necessary medical equipment This means they can go virtually anywhere you go, living with you, going in public, and traveling with you.

This differs from emotional support animals, who are animals that provide comfort and support via their presence. Under the Fair Housing Act, they are allowed to live with you regardless of pet policies or pet fees. However, they cannot accompany you out in public or traveling.

What do Psychiatric Service Dogs Do?

In order to qualify as a psychiatric service dog, your animal must perform a specific task in relation to your mental health illness or disability. Tasks can include waking you from nightmares, interrupting self-harming or OCD behaviors, reminding you to take medications on time, providing support for balance during panic attacks, stopping PTSD flashback episodes, and more.

Psychiatric service dogs must also be trained to be well behaved in all environments, even loud, chaotic and crowded ones. This is vitally important, as any business or location holds the right to remove you and your service dog if your dog is misbehaved or destructive.

What do Psychiatric Service Dogs Cost?

Though costs vary greatly depending on breed, level of training, and geographic location, psychiatric service dogs generally cost between $15,000-$30,000. The reason for this high cost is due to the extensive amount of training these dogs must go through. Training can take two years before a dog is fully ready to go to work for their new owner.

There are non-profit organizations that can help cover this cost or provide more affordable options. If cost is an obstacle to you, it may be worth investigating some of these options, or see how much your insurance will cover. However, if you go through a non-profit organization to get your dog, you may have a long waiting period to get your dog.

Are You Qualified to Receive a Psychiatric Service Dog?

To get a psychiatric service animal, you must be diagnosed with a mental illness or disability by a mental health or medical professional. Then the mental health professional must evaluate with you whether or not a psychiatric service animal will be best for your individual situation. They can then write you a psychiatric service animal letter of certification for you to get one.

It is important to keep in mind that caring for the animal will be the owner’s responsibility, meaning you or your loved one must be able with their disability or illness to care for the animal adequately.

In conclusion, psychiatric service animals are quite expensive. There are non-profit organizations that may assist you or your family in getting one, if you meet the correct criteria. Before you consider purchasing one, it is important to discuss with your mental health professional if a psychiatric service animal is the right choice for you. You will also need to get a psychiatric service animal letter of certification. You can get one by talking to our experts at United Support Animal today at 800-918-3151 or by taking our pre-screening test.