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Why Owning a Pet Is Helpful in Recovery

If you are in recovery, having a pet may not seem like a priority. However, pets in recovery can be an important source of comfort and support. In fact, pets can help you in several ways:

Companionship in Recovery

Recovery does not have to be lonely. If you are still working on strengthening human relationships that may have fallen by the wayside, a pet provides you with companionship. A dog, cat or other animals can listen and spend time with you.

Unconditional Love

A dog or other animal does not judge you. As long as you show your pet kindness, they will love you. This can feel very empowering and help you develop your own sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

Engage With the World

Taking a dog on a walk can help you meet other pet owners in a constructive way. When you have an animal, you have something to converse about, which can help you build new relationships. In addition, you may find people walk up to you to interact with your animal and start conversations. This can make it possible for you to build new, healthy relationships in your life.

Give You Healthy Activities to Fill Your Time

A pet requires a lot of work. You need to take them to the vet, keep them clean, feed them and engage with them. These are healthy activities that can distract you. Also, going outside on a walk or leaving to pick up pet supplies is healthy. In fact, regular exercise can help with your mood and physical condition, so any pet that encourages some exercise can be a powerful advantage for someone in recovery.

Help You Focus on Something Outside of Your Recovery

Your dog, cat or other animal is counting on you. Instead of focusing on any worries you may have, an animal is a creature you can love and spend time with.

Help You Learn About Commitment and Care Again

Pets require daily care, whether that means cleaning out a cage, changing the water or taking a dog on a walk. You don’t get a day off as a pet parent, and this commitment can show you and others that you have discipline and can build your own recovery journey.

Coping in Recovery

Of course, it takes more than an animal companion to reclaim your life. Before you take on such a big responsibility, contact Gateway Foundation for help with your recovery. Gateway Foundation has been providing high-quality, evidence-based treatment options in Illinois for over 50 years. Our caring staff, continuum of care and holistic approach have allowed us to support many individuals. Our goal is to offer treatment that works, so you can reclaim your life.

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