What Is a DPT Service Dog and Who Needs One?

Large black service dog laying across woman in wheelchairThough society has long swept mental health under the rug, awareness of its importance is rising. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and anyone who has experienced poor mental health will know it is deeply tied to one’s physical health as well.

Even stress, an emotion everyone experiences regardless of whether or not they have a diagnosed mental health disorder, can seriously affect someone’s physical health. Too much stress can cause conditions to worsen and disrupt natural processes like digestion.

While there are a number of ways people can deal with their mental health struggles, those with more extreme symptoms may consider getting a service dog. Psychiatric service dogs can be trained to do several tasks that help with mental health, including deep pressure therapy (DPT).

Many people find deep pressure therapy to be especially effective, which is why having a dog that can perform it without even being told to can make a world of difference. This article will discuss deep pressure therapy, why it works, who might benefit from it, and what DPT dogs or psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) can do for you.

What Is Deep Pressure Therapy?

Deep pressure therapy is not just something DPT dogs can do; it is a technique that was developed as early as the 60s. It has been used for decades, and there are different ways it can be applied. Additionally, deep pressure therapy is straightforward; anyone can learn how to use and apply it.

Often referred to as deep pressure stimulation, this therapy is used to help calm individuals who are overwhelmed by psychiatric symptoms such as fear, stress, or anxiety. The technique uses firm but gentle pressure application to ease symptoms and help people feel more relaxed.

Some examples of deep pressure therapy include hugging and cuddling, holding, squeezing, swaddling, or stroking. If you’ve ever used a weighted blanket, then you’ve applied deep pressure therapy to yourself.

Why Does Deep Pressure Therapy Work?

Large tan dog lies on a woman’s lap

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by a mental disorder, then you may have felt like it was impossible to control the spiraling thoughts and negative emotions coursing through your brain. During these times, it can be hard even to use tried and true techniques like deep breathing or meditation to regain control over yourself. Sometimes, it feels like nothing works.

So why would something as simple as hugging be helpful? It may sound crazy, but there is a scientific answer to why deep pressure therapy is effective for some people.

Below are the top three reasons why deep pressure therapy can help.



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