How a Pet Can Reduce Anxiety About Treatment
If you’re having anxiety about getting through addiction treatment and the stress is causing you to reconsider your decision, then an animal may be the best way to get through the experience. Sometimes, pets can soothe our anxiety simply by providing a calming presence when we’re dealing with changes or scary steps into the unknown.
When it comes to addiction recovery, the important part is that you do make that first step. If the idea of working through the process with pet therapy can help you, then hold on to that as you make the decision to heal.
How Dogs Can Guide Your Addiction Treatment
When it comes to pet therapy, people typically think of dogs first in terms of the best animal for this kind of emotional support. And it’s true that dogs offer the kind of comfort and unconditional love that makes addiction recovery just a little bit more tolerable.
Dogs have been bred to serve alongside their human counterparts, so they do have a knack for being ideal therapy animals. They offer plenty of love and joy with each interaction, which may help you feel comforted when recovery feels challenging.
However, dogs are not the only pets that can help with drug and alcohol addiction recovery. Cats, equines (horses and donkeys), rabbits, guinea pigs and birds all make good companion animals for a recovering addict navigating the treatment process. It all comes down to a matter of who your best furry friend is.
Alternatively, someone interested in the benefits of pet therapy but uninterested in an animal that requires a great deal of attention might appreciate a cat. Pet ownership, even for the purposes of addiction recovery, is a matter of personal preference.
How Pets Make You More Active in Addiction Treatment
While you’re navigating addiction recovery and working on your mental health, being as active as possible is important. Pets will help you accomplish that. For instance, when enrolled at our Sober Living Program in the beautiful Outer Banks, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you’ve chosen a dog as your recovery companion pet, then a walk on the beach with your furry friend is a great way to shore up your mental health.
If you want to keep your stress levels lower with a less interactive pet, you still may find health benefits in caring for it by feeding it daily, cleaning up its habitat and practicing other good habits that will build responsible behaviors.
How Pets Provide Unconditional Love During Addiction Recovery
Perhaps the biggest and most important benefits of pet ownership during addiction recovery is that they offer unmitigated comfort and unconditional love. You may be struggling to resolve trauma during the recovery process. You may find your self-esteem and self-worth have taken a real hit during addiction, and you may be apprehensive about your chances for successful recovery.
A pet provides the kind of comfort and unconditional love that can make entering addiction recovery feel just a little less scary.
Pets love you no matter what, and they don’t know what you’ve done in the past, nor do they care. They don’t know about your substance abuse, so owning a pet can give you the kind of unconditional love that you might be missing from the humans in your life. This doesn’t mean the pet is a replacement for people; rather, it’s a good way to get comfort from something that can’t talk back to you. It just loves you for who you are right now. Pets are all about being in the moment with you, so having one can go a long way towards helping you learn to be present every day.
How Pets Help with Social Stressors in Addiction Treatment
Another one of the potential benefits of pet ownership is that pets help you be more social in your daily life. Because you may be dealing with low self-esteem while achieving sobriety, you might be more hesitant to interact with others as you work on your well-being. However, a pet can help with that. There’s no better conversation starter than a cute pet. Moreover, spending time outdoors with your pet even helps you meet non-owners with whom you might make a connection.
Addiction can be extremely isolating. Pets can help you stress less and mitigate anxiety by getting outside and conversing with other people who are also staying sober during addiction treatment. Making new friends and forming new relationships while you’re recovering from addiction can help you stay sober.
How Pets Can Help With Mental Issues & Addiction
Depression and other disorders are major challenges for those dealing with addiction. Treating any co-occurring disorders, such as depression and substance use disorder, for instance, is one of the ways in which recovery benefits you. Pet therapy can help with this, as the comfort and love you get from your pets may soothe some of the mental anguish you experience in the early stages of recovery.
Living healthier lives means knowing how to find comfort in things other than substance abuse. As you work on the relationship with yourself, having a pet to help you can decrease much of the fear you may have about getting well. Therefore, choosing a treatment program that allows you to incorporate animal therapy can help ensure a successful outcome.
How Changing Tides can Change Your Life
Changing Tides understands the role animals can play in perpetuating a sense of well-being. If you’ve decided to take that all-important first step, we encourage you to ask about how navigating recovery with your pet might be incorporated into your program to help you succeed.
Our goal is ultimately to create a situation in which you feel comfortable dealing with the rigors of recovery. If the companionship and love of a pet can help you do that, then our community is here to help you succeed by making this option available to you.
That is why Changing Tides promotes that your pet is with you, cheering you on as you take one of the most difficult steps in your life – recovery. Fur-well with treatment programs that don’t allow your furry friend. Join us on the pawsibly to reclaim your life from addiction. Don’t paw-cat-inate – call us today!