Feeling a strong connection with a pet is incredibly rewarding in early recovery. Pets are known for improving our mental, physical and social well-being. This is why pets are often used in rehabilitative settings, including at Awakenings Treatment Center. If you are thinking about adopting your own pet, there are many wonderful benefits to consider.
How Pets Support a Healthy Recovery
According to The Human Animal Bond Research Institute, 74 percent of pet owners say that pets improve their mental health. Here are some of the reasons why this is the case:
Pets teach responsible behaviors
As you recover from addiction, you must learn how to live a sober, responsible life. Part of this includes paying bills, preparing healthy meals and maintaining a home. A pet can help you adopt these healthy habits early on. If you feel that you are not ready for these responsibilities, continuing with an intensive outpatient drug rehab in Agoura will teach you essential life skills.
Pets help people form social connections
Pets, especially dogs, can help bridge the gap between you and other people. Not only will you have something to talk about, but also plenty of places to go. Dogs need to be walked and taken to the vet. They also enjoy visiting dog parks and attending doggy daycare. All of these activities get you outside the home and around other people.
Pets reduce anxiety and depression
By owning a pet, you are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Research shows that pet owners have lower levels of cortisol and increased levels of oxytocin, a happy hormone. After all, you can’t deny the unconditional love that cats and dogs give. Your pet won’t mind if you’re having a bad day. No judgement here.
Pets give a sense of purpose
Are you struggling to find your greater purpose in life? A lot of people find meaning by exploring the things that are important to them. Taking care of a pet or volunteering at an animal shelter will get you out of bed in the mornings and motivated for something new. The feelings that come from having a purpose boosts recovery and protects you from relapse.
At Awakenings Treatment Center, we can’t say enough good things about pets! They are an important part of our treatment center in Agoura Hills. To learn more about our intensive outpatient program and how we support a life of sobriety, contact us today.