Pets are great companions through thick and thin. So it’s probably not a secret that their presence in our lives changes us for the better. Studies have repeatedly shown that having a pet can help us live longer. For people in recovery, having a beloved pet by their side can make a world of difference.
There are not many drug treatment programs that allow pets, but we are proud to be among those that do. Having a companion animal can help you feel calmer and loved throughout your journey. They help make treatment a “home away from home” for many people.
Adopting Pets in Recovery
Some people who get sober find that adopting a companion animal is life-affirming. For one thing, bonding with a pet can help calm you and soothe you when you’re not feeling great. As you learn more about your pet, you’ll also develop a relationship based on mutual affection and trust. Pets are experts in unconditional love.
Pets provide people with physical and emotional comfort. When you give them support, they return the favor and give you unconditional love. Pets can provide you a comfort that no human can. They love you just as you are, right now, no matter what. A cat or dog curling up on your lap on a hard day can help you relax and feel loved.
As long as you can afford the basics such as vet visits, proper food, water, and time for your pet, you are qualified to be a pet owner. Many animal shelters also offer discount pet neutering clinics, help with food, and other veterinary needs.
Treatment with Pets?
Some treatment centers, including ours, allow you to bring your pet with you. Entering recovery is a special time for both of you. Being together in a different routine and environment will help you keep your friendship. You also won’t worry about or miss your companion animal. You’ll have him or her there with you.
When you go to rehab, your pet will need to be screened, and you’ll have to prove it is up-to-date on all of its healthcare, including vaccination. Your pet will typically be kept confined to your room while you’re at therapy or doing other tasks. Small dogs or cats can sometimes be crated while left in your room during the day. You’ll still be allowed to drop by and walk them during breaks.
Growing With Your Pet
A relationship with a pet can be a great motivator to do well in life and carry on day-to-day. Pets like dogs will give you a reason to wake up in the morning – you’ll have to take him or her out several times a day. Pets can even add structure to life as you build a routine around them.
As you stay sober and begin to return to your other responsibilities in life, you’ll have a pet that has been through it all with you. When you get home from work at the end of the day, that pet will be greeting you.
Not every day in recovery can be entirely rosy. Returning home to a cat or dog that thinks you’re the best person in the whole wide world can make the hard days worth it.
If you or a loved one needs help with a substance use problem, we’re here to help you! Reclaim your life in an empathetic, safe environment.
Despite COVID-19, there is help available for you! Get help in a safe, therapeutic environment. Contact us at 1-800-970-8774 to learn more about our services.