The Best Dog Breeds for Bipolar Disorder

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By: Lara Baines Updated: April 16, 2020

best dog breeds for bipolar disorder woman with bpd hugging her dog

Best dog breeds for Bipolar Disorder (BPD) can make a big impact on their owners’ lives. Whether trained to help with specific issues or are simply lovable members of the family, emotional support animals and service animals can ease bipolar symptoms and help patients feel better.


How Dogs Can Improve the Lives of Those Living with Bipolar Disorder aka BPD 

Dogs, whether ESAs or pets, help those with BPD through the depressive periods that come with their lows as well as the manic highs that follow. Simply having a dog around has proven to elevate the mood in individuals and help those coping with emotional and mental disorders.

Service animals in the psychiatric field are companions and so much more. They are specially trained to help their handler with manage bipolar symptoms and other disabilities. During depressive episodes, having to take the dog out for walks helps the BPD sufferer through the associated social withdrawal periods.

By comforting and initiating a sense of understanding and unconditional love, the dog restores empathy in the BPD patient. They enable these individuals to feel more connected with the world while forcing them into social interactions.

Taking care of the dog builds self-worth and confidence. It allows the individual an increased sense of control over their own life. With this comes a sense of purpose because the patient is responsible for another living creature.

The 7 Essential Characteristics That Good BPD Dogs Share! 

Although dogs need don’t need to be specifically trained to assist individuals with BPD, the best dogs for the purpose do exhibit certain traits:

  1. Comforting.
  2. Reassuring.
  3. Able to enhance a sense of safety and security.
  4. Companionable.
  5. Reliable.
  6. Even-tempered.
  7. Sociable.

emotional support dog golden retriever lying on the floor

Any Dog Can Become an ESA: All You Need is an ESA Letter! 

Having a dog as an emotional support animal helps alleviate anxiety and loneliness in BPD sufferers. Depression and symptoms of BPD are managed through companionship and affection. If an existing pet provides comfort and companionship and thereby alleviates the symptoms associated with BPD, they can be your ESA!

It is not the dog that is prescribed an ESA letter for emotional support, it is the BPD patient. After diagnosing someone with BPD, a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) will assess whether an ESA would help alleviate the symptoms of the disorder, and will then prescribe the ESA letter.

If you’re thinking about getting an emotional support animal, simply take Certapet’s free and quick pre-screening to check whether you are eligible. Should this screening indicate that you qualify for an ESA, Certapet will put you in touch with a LMHP and you could have your ESA letter within 48hrs.

Emotional Support Animals Provide Comfort During the Highs and the Lows! 

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that involves extreme highs, called mania, and intense periods of depression. These episodes or phases of mania and depression shift rapidly.

While it is normal to experience mood swings, a BPD sufferers’ mood swings reach extreme levels. Symptoms of BPD also affect sleep habits, energy, and behavior. An ESA’s reassurance during manic episodes alleviates the symptoms. Their companionship during periods of sadness combats feelings of isolation and loneliness.

ESAs afford a sense of security which alleviates the BPD sufferer’s paranoia and anxiety. Dogs provide a reliable presence which together with their natural loyalty, reduces anxiety and provides stability. With such non-judgemental companionship, BPD sufferers find it easier to control bipolar disorder symptoms.

Having an emotional support animal letter in your possession holds many benefits because you are then officially protected by two federal laws:

According to the Fair Housing Amendments Act or (FHA), you cannot be discriminated against because of your condition. A landlord must provide reasonable accommodation and allow your ESA to live with you.

Protection under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) prohibits discrimination of disabled individuals who want to travel by air. You will be able to take your ESA (generally a cat or a dog) on a flight with you free of charge.

Here are our Top Picks for the Best Dog Breeds for Bipolar Disorder! 

It is important to consider that any pet which alleviates the symptoms of BPD can be your best option as a BPD sufferer. That been said, certain breeds do stand out as the best dog breeds for Bipolar Disorder.

Best Small Dogs: Toy Poodles are Living Teddy Bears 

best small dogs toy poodle running on grass

Toy Poodles look so much like cuddly toys that it is easy to imagine these pooches comforting and supporting any person with Bipolar Disorder. They count not only as one of the best dog breeds for Bipolar Disorder but also as one of the cutest!

Poodles simply love being around people and are people-pleasing and affectionate. Toy poodles are also highly intelligent and their long life-span means that they will be around to offer emotional support for a very long time.

Best Companion Dogs: The Adorable Chihuahua 

best companion dogs woman hugging chihuahua puppy

These tiny pups of happiness are really just what the doctor ordered to lift the sadness and reassure the anxious among us. A love for their owners is an added benefit of these proverbial lap dogs. Chihuahuas are easily trained, super companion animals, and remarkably transportable. They rank very high on the list of the best dog breeds for Bipolar Disorder!


Best Apartment Dogs: The Cuddle Pug

best apartment dogs pug on owners lap

Pugs are smart, funny, and even-tempered dogs that have the knack of making their human feel special. They are positive and steady by nature which makes them ideal for anyone suffering from depression or BPD.

Best Big Dog Breeds: The Perpetually Happy Golden Retriever

best big dog breeds young golden smiling with tongue out

The Golden Retriever is a top contender in the best dog breeds for Bipolar Disorder. You would be hard-pressed to find a breed more people-orientated and eager to learn. They are very social and offer comforting and energetic companionship and are therefore prime ESAs.

Calmest Dog Breeds: The Strong and Steady English Bulldog

woman lying in bed with her english bulldog esa

You would be hard pressed to get the English Bulldog overly excited. As such, they make ideal companion dogs. They love keeping their human company and would love nothing more than to just spend time with you and going for leisurely strolls when need be. These gentle souls easily bump other breeds off of the “best dog breeds for Bipolar Disorder list”!

Rescue Dogs Have as Much to Offer as Any Other Dogs! If Not More! 

If you rescue a dog, it will quite simply rescue you right back. What more would a BPD sufferer want than such loyalty and devotion? Rescue dogs have no shortage of character and love to give, and they make wonderful emotional support animals.

Not Exactly Rare Dog Breeds! Whether Mutt or Designer Breed, a Rescue Will Love and Support You Unconditionally! 

The very nature of an emotional support dog lends itself to offer comfort and companionship. The perfect companion dog is not so much about the breed as it is about personality and character. There are so many rescue dogs of all types and sizes that just need a second chance at love and a forever home.

You would have to go a far way to find a more loyal and devoted dog than the one you have rescued from a shelter. Who knows what these unfortunate souls may have experienced before finding their forever home through rescue? Of course, they are going to be the best possible pet and the most loving, faithful and reliable dog to you.

Rescue dogs may initially exhibit behavioral problems, show signs of anxiety or a tendency to be aggressive. It is imperative that the best possible character traits be sought out when selecting a rescue dog. You need to ensure that the dog meets the needs and social requirements of the Bipolar Disorder sufferer.

The shelter staff usually know the character traits of their rescue dogs and should be able to recommend a suitable pairing.

Don’t disregard mixed breeds when choosing a dog as a companion for a Bipolar Disorder sufferer. Mutts are the sweetest natured dogs around. More often than not they fit the bill perfectly as companions and support dogs. Who knows what traumas or troubles your rescue has seen. Adopting a dog means you can heal together! It’s a two-way street!

rescue dog in shelter waiting to be adopted

The Best Dog Breed for Me! Certapet’s Role in Helping People Fight BPD with Dogs 

CertaPet aims to promote the best possible life for people and their emotional support animals! Together. Always. With an ESA letter, owner and doggy companion can fly together and live together in their chosen place of accommodation.

The first step is as easy as taking a free 5-minute pre-screening to ensure the constant companionship of a canine supporter!

Should the screening indicate that you may qualify for an emotional support animal, CertaPet will put you in touch with a LMHP, in your state.

You could get your ESA letter within only 48hrs. Whatever your chosen dog breed for Bipolar Disorder, with an ESA letter, your loyal companion can always be by your side.

Common Questions on the Best Dog Breeds for Bipolar Disorder

How do I know whether I qualify for an Emotional Support Animal? 

Will a pug help me manage my BPD symptoms? 

Which small breed dogs make the best companions for BPD patients? 

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