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Service Dogs for Bipolar Disorder: What You Need to Know

Service dogs have many applications.

Not only are service dogs useful for physical things, like guiding someone with impaired vision, but they’re excellent at helping people with mental health conditions.

In fact, service dogs can help with a plethora of conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

People who struggle with bipolar disorder may experience mood swings, depression, and other mental health symptoms.

In these cases, service dogs help by comforting people through touch, forming barriers, and ensuring that the proper medication is taken.

Learn about how a service dog can help with bipolar disorder and how to register one.

What Is a Psychiatrist Service Dog?

Psychiatric service dogs are companions that help people who struggle with mental health disorders.

In other words, they’re a form of treatment for these conditions. There are dozens of applications for service dogs that vary based on your needs and they’ve become popular over the last few decades. 

Unlike physical service dogs, the type of dog is less important as long as they can provide their human companion with comfort during episodes.

It’s also important to note that service dogs have a legal designation. This means that you can take them into public spaces, on planes, and just about anywhere you can go.

It’s a good idea to obtain a vest to avoid questions but they’re not required for psychiatric service dogs.

Can You Get a Service Dog for Bipolar Disorder?

Yes, you can get a service dog for bipolar disorder.

You can get one for any mental health condition that would benefit from service dog tasks, like comforting or bringing medication. A note from a doctor and a psychiatric evaluation is the best approach for getting the process started. 

Thankfully, it’s not hard to have this done in person or even online through websites like USSA.

How Are Psychiatric Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs Different?

Emotional support animals (ESAs) differ from psychiatric service dogs in a few ways.

The biggest factor is that ESAs are not registered as service dogs, which means they don’t require special training (unlike service dogs, who need to perform a task). 

ESAs also don’t have as much freedom as service dogs. In fact, recent laws were passed where they can’t travel with you on planes for free like they previously were able to.

ESAs can also be any type of animal. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about having a specific dog or even a dog at all. Cats, mice, and just about anything that’s not vicious can be an ESA.

How Much Is a Psychiatric Service Dog?

Psychiatric service dogs can range in price from free to $30,000.

While the dog doesn’t have to cost anything if you raise a puppy and train them yourself, depending on your situation, it may be a good idea to work with a professional service. 

Professional trainers will charge between $20,000 and $30,000 to train a service dog. That said, service dogs for mental health conditions like bipolar disorder should cost you closer to $20,000.

Also, some insurance companies may assist.

How to Register a Psychiatric Service Dog

Registration isn’t necessary for your service dog or ESA to be considered legitimate. However, registration can be helpful in navigating intrusive questions in public or conversations with people like landlords. 

If you choose to register your service dog, the best way to do so is to use a reputable online service like US Service Animals.

US Service Animals is one of the best places to register a bipolar service dog, ESA, or even a service dog for physical assistance.

When you register with US Service Animals, you get an ID card for your service dog, as well as access to our team of lawyers, should you find yourself in an unpleasant situation.

How to Register a Bipolar Service Dog with US Service Animals

Registering a psychiatric service dog with US Service Animals isn’t challenging.

Head over to the website and begin the process of registering your service dog. You can do this by entering your dog’s information, your personal information, and information about your condition.

Once you submit the information you’ll receive an email or a phone call. From there, it’s easy to set up an appointment with a licensed mental health professional.

After the call, they will give you approval for a service dog if you qualify. If you don’t qualify, your consultation is free.

How Do Psychiatric Service Dogs Help?

Psychiatric service dogs offer several benefits to bipolar handlers.

First and foremost, they keep you calm and can help you get through episodes or bouts of mood swings, depression, or anxiety. Additionally, they can help bring you medications and ensure that you remain on a healthy schedule.

Some other benefits of a psychiatric service dog are found below.

  • Fetch medications for the person at a specific time
  • They can remind you to wake up or go to sleep at a specific time
  • Service dogs can distract you from bad situations
  • A service dog can keep you calm
  • They can take you to a safe spot
  • Some service dogs can ring 911

These are only some of the benefits of a psychiatric service dog for bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions.

What Are the Best Breeds for Bipolar Service Dogs?

When you want a bipolar service dog, getting the right breed is important. While any breed can be good at comforting people, it’s better to get a larger dog.

Larger dogs can help you open doors and reach into cabinets to help you get your medications.

Below we list some of the best breeds for bipolar disorder.

  • Golden retrievers
  • Labradors 
  • German shepherds
  • Poodles and Poodle mixes

These are not the only options; they’re just the best options based on size and temperament.

What Training Is Required for a Dog to Become a Service Dog?

According to the ADA, there are no specific training courses that service dogs have to go through. This means that they can be trained in a handful of ways. 

The most important requirement is that service dogs need to perform at least one task, which is the task they’re trained for. Still, training for these conditions is extensive and may take a dog one or two years to learn.

For this reason, the wait for a fully-trained psychiatric service dog is between two and three years.

Get a Service Dog for Bipolar Disorder Today!

Service dogs are essential for some people to perform tasks daily.

However, service dogs aren’t only for helping people who have physical disabilities. Getting a service dog for a mental condition like bipolar disorder will help you remain calm and can improve your life.

Whether it’s large crowds or traveling on a plane, service dogs can keep you calm and safe.

Image by Brian Wangenheim from Unsplash


The editorial staff of Medical News Bulletin had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of the Medical News Bulletin. Any Web sites linked from Medical News Bulletin site are created by organizations outside of Medical News Bulletin and are the sole responsibility of those organizations. These links are strictly provided by Medical News Bulletin as a convenience to you for additional information only. Medical News Bulletin does not approve or endorse the content on any third-party Web sites and is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites or third-party advertisements, as well as does not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party web sites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use as per such sites policies. Medical News Bulletin does not provide specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and hereby disclaims any assumption of any of the obligations, claims or liabilities..

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