If you’ve ever owned a pet or currently do, you would know how effective they are in immediately boosting your mood. Pets are forever faithful creatures that are grateful to just be in your presence. Nothing compares to knowing there’s someone at home waiting to be loved, which is helpful in making a person feel needed.
However, being at home to love and adore their owners isn’t the only place where pets find purpose. Animals of every size are changing the process of addiction treatment for many who struggle with substance abuse. Find out how pets serve a wonderful impact for individuals going through addiction recovery.
Pet therapy is a broad term that includes activities with animals to help people recover from or cope with health problems, such as heart issues and cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. Animal assistants may also make general visits to patients in hospitals and nursing homes to help those in need of support.
As pets play a larger role in our lives overall, emotional support animals are becoming more recognized as a way to help people deal with mental health conditions. For example, a veteran with PTSD or someone struggling with anxiety or depression may benefit from the company of a dog, cat, or other small pet.
How Pets Can Help You with Recovery
- Pets love unconditionally and are always there for you, ready to receive your care and attention.
- Pets provide a level of social support that makes you feel needed, wanted, and loved.
- Pets help you learn emotional intelligence. Pets respond to emotions and being around animals can help people in recovery learn to control responses and adjust to the pet’s emotional needs rather than their own.
- Pets help you build relationships with other people.
- Pets ward off loneliness.
- Pets helps to reduce your stress.
- Dog owners exercise more. Research shows dog owners exercise more often, and exercise is an important aspect of addiction recovery. Your dog can be a great motivation to get out for a walk and obtain all the physical and mental health benefits of daily exercise.
- Pets make you a more responsible person. Having to take care of a pet requires a lot of attention and learning.
Overall, having an animal involved in the treatment process can support your journey to a life without drugs. If you or anyone you know struggles with substance use, contact 310 Recovery today.