More and more drug and alcohol addiction rehabs are allowing patients to bring their pets with them when receiving treatment. But, what exactly is a pet-friendly rehab and what are the benefits of allowing pets in an addiction treatment program? And, what options are available if you can’t find a rehab center that allows you to bring your pet with you? We answer all of your pet-friendly rehab-related questions here.
What is a Pet-Friendly Drug Rehab?
A pet-friendly rehab is a drug and alcohol inpatient treatment facility that allows patients to bring their pets with them to treatment. This often means that the pet stays with the patient for the duration of the residential treatment program, which can last several weeks or even months. During this time, the patients’ pets will stay with them in their residential quarters and be taken care of by the owners.
Most rehab centers that allow pets are considered to be luxury rehabilitation facilities. This means that these rehab programs will typically cost more to attend than other types of rehab and may not be completely covered by a patient’s insurance plan. However, many people find that bringing along their pet to treatment is well worth the additional costs.
What Kind of Pets are Allowed at Pet-Friendly Addiction Rehabs?
The most common type of pet allowed at a pet-friendly addiction rehab center is dogs. However, some treatment facilities may also allow patients to bring their cats. These are typically the only two types of pets allowed at a rehab program.
To be able to bring your dog or cat into a rehab program, you must provide records that show your pet has received their up-to-date shots and other paperwork related to your pet’s health. Without this information, you will likely not be allowed to bring your pet on the rehab premises.
Benefits of a Drug Rehab That Let’s You Bring Your Pet
There are several benefits that bringing your pet with you to rehab can provide. One of the most important benefits is the fact that pets can provide emotional stability for their owners as they go through the addiction treatment process. Receiving treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction can be overwhelming and extremely difficult, especially for people who have been addicted to substances for several years. Having your pet with you can help provide emotional support and a 24-hour companion who loves you unconditionally throughout the entire rehabilitation process.
Additional benefits of taking your pet to rehab with you include:
- A sense of responsibility to care for your pet throughout the treatment process, which can help rebuild a commitment to being responsible and taking pride in these duties
- A constant feeling of love and support from your pet
- A requirement to build a routine around caring for your pet in rehab which can translate into helping build a routine for your own life in sobriety
- A healthy distraction from the difficulties that often come with getting sober and participating in a rehab program
- A higher likelihood that you will participate in good self-care habits in order to remain healthy and able to take care of your pet
- Increased positivity and boosted mood
- Decreased feelings of isolation while in treatment and after
As you can see, taking your dog or cat with you to rehab can have several potential benefits that can help you along your journey to recovery from addiction. When deciding whether you will take your pet with you to a treatment program, it’s important to weigh the benefits and disadvantages to ensure you make the most appropriate decision to support your sobriety.
How Does Pet-Friendly Rehab Work?
Most rehab centers that allow pets require the patients to look after their pets on their own. This means that your dog or cat is your complete responsibility while you are in a treatment facility. You should be ready to bring your pet’s food, drinking and eating bowls, toys, and any other pet supplies you will need for the duration of your stay. You will also have to oversee your pet’s behavior and ensure they are not disruptive to other patients trying to recover from addiction.
Many pet-friendly drug rehabs will require patients who choose to bring their pets to stay in a private room. This can sometimes be more costly than staying in a room that is shared with another patient.
Most rehabs will not allow you to bring your pet to counseling sessions and other treatment activities. This means that your pet will have to stay in your room for the majority of the day while you undergo the intensive treatment that is part of an inpatient rehab program. Some drug rehabs may allow you to bring your pet to certain treatment activities.
Other Animal Options at Rehab: Animal-Assisted Therapy
If you are unable to find a drug rehab that allows you to bring your pet with you, another option to consider is attending a rehab that offers animal-assisted therapy. This type of therapy is one that incorporates interaction with services animals as a form of addiction treatment.
Animal-assisted therapy is considered an experiential form of therapy and can have many benefits for individuals in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. The most common types of animals used in animal-assisted therapy include horses and dogs; however, there are several other types of animals used in this therapy approach as well.
It’s often easier to find a drug rehab that offers animal-assisted therapy than one that allows you to bring your own pet to treatment, so consider this option when deciding where you will seek help for addiction.
If you would like to know more about to expect when you attend a pet-friendly drug rehab or for help finding a pet-friendly rehab facility near you, give one of our expert treatment specialists a call today.