We all know that there’s nothing like a greeting from a four-legged furry friend at the end of a long day.
We hate to leave them behind to go to work or school – and we dread the idea of what would happen to them if we had to leave for more than a few hours.
If you believe you would benefit from rehab, then you need to know: pet-friendly drug rehab exists.
Bringing your pet to rehab with you has more benefits than no longer needing to find a long-term pet sitter or even a new home. Here are eight reasons you should bring your pet to recovery with you.
1. You Don’t Need to Worry About Them
If you have a dog or cat (or bird or bunny), then their well-being might be at the forefront of your mind when considering rehab.
After all, you can’t leave them for months, but you can’t impart them on someone else either. And you certainly don’t want to re-home such an important part of your life.
When you bring your pal to pet-friendly drug rehab, you don’t have to make that difficult choice. Not only will they come with you, but your pet can help you through the process.
2. Your Pet Becomes Part of Your Emotional Support
Animal-assisted activities (or pet therapy) helps people around the world be able to handle their health problems emotionally. Dogs make visits to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.
Why does keeping your beloved friend around help you feel so much better?
Spending time with an animal increases the oxytocin in your brain. Oxytocin is a hormone that makes you feel happy and vulnerable – in a good way. Your dog or cat doesn’t need professional training to help. Studies show that just making eye contact can do a world of good.
3. Pets Teach You Responsibility
Progressing through substance abuse rehab isn’t just about getting clean. It also focuses on skill development so that you can leave rehab and begin your addiction-free life.
One of the skills rehabs teach is responsibility, and pets are a great way to practice. You’ll learn that you have a responsibility to yourself to stay healthy and clean, but you also have a responsibility to help take care of those around you.
Pets are a great way to re-learn to provide for something other than yourself without piling on the pressure.
4. You Learn About Emotional Intelligence
Do you struggle to control your emotions or acknowledge other people’s feelings? Emotional intelligence is another skill you’ll learn in rehab, and your pet offers excellent practice.
Pets respond to your emotions, and they have their own emotional needs that are distinct from yours. You can practice listening and providing on your pet to build the confidence you need to re-build relationships with other people.
5. Your Pet Provides an Emotional Outlet
Substance abuse disorders are too often comorbid with trauma and underlying personal issues that previously went unaddressed.
As you tackle your sobriety, you’ll also try to sort out those underlying issues. Doing so can be stressful and emotionally painful. But your pet can be there for you in ways humans can’t.
6. Your Pet Keeps You Active
Part of coming out of rehab a happier and healthier you means maintaining a balanced lifestyle with plenty of exercise. Exercise keeps anxiety and depression at bay, and it’s also an ideal replacement for activities you might have previously filled with substances.
Your pet loves to walk and play, and they’re a great reason to take walks, throw sticks, and enjoy the world.
Walkies is good for your physical heart (the organ) and your emotional heart. We feel motivated to walk our dogs when we know it makes our pets happy. Their furry faces make us happy in return. It’s a healthy cycle that we can all use.
7. Pets Nip Co-dependency in the Bud
Pets keep you company, and they’re always happy to see you – even on your worst days. Having a pet at rehab will help negate the feelings of loneliness and help you feel whole.
Why is this so important?
Addiction and codependency go hand-in-hand. Once you learned how codependent relationships benefit you, it can be hard to re-learn how to have a healthy, balanced relationship
By continuing a bond with an animal, you’ll get companionship for free. Your pet will be never manipulated nor enable you or vice versa. Maintaining these bonds and deriving comfort from them can prevent unhealthy relationships from forming and standing in the way of your progress.
8. Pets Give You a Reason to Keep Pushing
If you’re like many, sobriety is a long and winding path that tried and failed to navigate before.
Pets help you remember that recovery is possible, and they push you to keep going even on days when it feels as though it’s too much too handle.
By providing you with emotional support, an outlet, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning, the knowledge that your pet adores and needs you will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Will You Try Pet-Friendly Drug Rehab?
Are you thinking about rehab but worried about your furry friend? Pet-friendly drug rehab means you don’t have to uproot their life so that you can fix yours.
Bringing your pet to rehab isn’t only a matter of convenience. Your pet is an invaluable friend as you go through recovery. They teach responsibility, provide companionship without strings attached, make you feel better on your darkest days, and remind you that every day is precious.
Is it time to live each day the way your dog hopes you would? Click here to learn more about our inpatient therapy program.