Can a Pet Help You Stay Sober?

There has been proof showing that there are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase the chances of us to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels can be achieved by regular walking or playing with your pet. Pets can help us not feel loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. In the United States, most households have at least one pet, and we think it should be even more than that!

Can a Pet Help You Stay Sober?

Pets and Staying Sober in Addiction Recovery

Studies have shown that increased fitness, lower stress, and happiness happens with people that have a strong bond between themselves and their pets. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased triglyceride levels
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Increased opportunities for socialization

These are all great for staying healthy physically and mentally but what about staying sober? There are many struggles that people in recovery deal with daily. Staying sober is a daily task and must be made a priority if we want to stay on track. You would think that having a pet would get in the way of your routine that you finally found keeps you on your path to recovery, but this is the opposite.

There are many ways a pet, such as a dog or a cat, can support your sobriety.

A Sober Companion

When you involve yourself in fun sober activities, it is easier to stay sober. Having someone to do those activities with is even better and a huge factor in remaining sober. When you have a dog, there are so many available activities, which in turn help us avoid those triggering situations that may have our relapse.

Unconditional Love

Support, compassion, and love are necessary for a successful recovery from drug addiction. A dog or a cat can offer this love and support, unconditionally. If you have a lapse, your dog or cat is not disappointed in you and will not give up on you. When you have such support it helps a lapse from becoming a relapse. Further, the unconditional relationship with your dog or cat will help you gain the capacity for self-forgiveness. When you forgive yourself for your mistakes and believe that you can move on, it is easier to keep going on your journey to recovery. Self-compassion, self-love, and support are necessary for a successful recovery from addiction and are made and helped maintained through your relationship with your dog or cat.

Improved Communication Skills and Improved Relationships

Your interaction with your dog or cat helps your communication skills, but they also help you meet new people. When recovering from addiction, it can be difficult to stay sober if you are hanging around the same people you were using with or for some of us, isolating So, making new friends who support your sobriety is often an important step in remaining sober. Dogs help you meet new people, rebuilding a safe social group of friends with common interests.

An Exercise Buddy

Exercise has been shown to support recovering addicts by fixing the chemicals in the brain. Exercise also aids in making daily routines and gaining a healthy lifestyle. When you have someone eager to do these activities with you it is easier to keep the exercise routine. This someone can be your dog who will always be ready to go for a run or hike, and may even join in on some downward dog in an at-home yoga session. A nice walk after dinner or an early morning hike will help restore a balance in your life, helping you to remain sober.

Cats and Dogs Require Your Care, Inspiring Responsibility

Having a dog or a cat will help hold you accountable in fulfilling your responsibilities and remaining sober. Having a dog or cat helps us re-learn responsibility. Your pet is completely reliant on you and your care. Just one night of not coming home, and your puppy or kitten will be hungry and alone. Your pets will give you a good reason to want to stay sober, to be able to take care of them.

Addiction Treatment at Garden State Treatment Center

At Garden State Treatment Center, we are JHACO accredited, which means that our treatment facility upholds the highest standard of patient care. Our addiction treatment approaches are science-based for long-term recovery and relapse prevention.

Every second in active addiction makes it more difficult to reach out for help. Break the barrier of substance abuse and begin healing from the underlying causes of your addiction. Contact Garden State Treatment Center today.