Roughly 59% of households in the UK have a pet! That is a staggering total of approximately 17 million homes!

Pets become part of the family when in the home. They become part of daily routines of life and people tend to change their routines around their pets too!

But did you know that pets can be a big aid in recovery? Whether that is substance recovery, or recovery from mental health issues like anxiety or depression, a pet can become a huge part of your support network.

pets like dogs and cats can help support during addiction recovery

How Can Pets Help in Your Recovery Journey?

Pets have the ability to make us all feel loved, cheer us up when we are down and to bring us motivation when we feel low. For someone on their recovery journey, their mental and physical health may be in need of some TLC.

When you look at life after rehab, for some this can seem intimidating and like it is a difficult thing. Learning to apply new coping mechanisms to your daily life and opening yourself back up to the outside world can be challenging to say the least. If you are ready to take on some responsibility, adopting a pet can help with this!

Pets who are in shelters or rehoming centres may have a past of abuse or abandonment. They are as much in need of some love and care as a recovering addict coming out of rehab. If you decide you can take on pet ownership responsibilities, your new furry friend will love you instantly and form a solid bond with you. Bonds and relationships are key to maintaining a support network in the outside world!

Benefits of Pet Ownership

It is proven that a pet in the home can reduce stress and boost your mood. They know when you are feeling down and how to cheer you up with a small display of their affection for you (giving you a lick on the cheek or snuggling up in your lap). These bonds can go a long way in helping a recovering addict find a new balance in life and not feel so lonely or isolated.

You can begin to find your feet with a daily routine that centres around your pets too! You have to get up and feed them in the morning, so do this for yourself too. If you own a dog, they need to be walked at least twice a day; this keeps you active and motivated! If you find another dog owner in the park, it may break the ice, sparking conversations and new connections with like-minded people.

All of these small benefits can create a less stressful and lonely routine for life post-rehab and keep you distracted from relapsing into addiction.

If you don’t feel ready to take on a pet full-time in your own home, perhaps consider volunteering or finding a new job in an animal-based environment. Working with shelters and rehoming centres allows you to connect with a number of pets who need love and care as much as you.

Start Your Recovery Journey with New Leaf Recovery Project

New Leaf Recovery Project are able to help and support you in starting your recovery journey. We can help assist you with treatments both in rehab, and afterwards, ensuring you seek to best medical help and are given the right tools for facing your

Contact New Leaf Recovery today for more information.