Dog Friendly Rehab Centers
Medically reviewed byIsaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
January 23, 2019
Many people with dogs find it difficult to go to treatment while leaving their pet at home. Thankfully, many rehab centers now welcome the presence of dogs because of the additional health benefits they can bring to the recovery process.
Rehabilitation Benefits Your Dog Can Provide For You
Dogs have been shown to offer people real physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. Many of these benefits are crucial to someone who is suffering from drug addiction, as they can bring a sense of stability and love into the life of someone who may feel like they lack both.
First of all, petting a dog is a physically stimulating activity that promotes better blood flow and creates a sense of peace and calm. People suffering from addiction often need that calm, as many of them suffer from social isolation due to their condition.
Dogs also offer unconditional love: they won’t feel any shame about your addiction or won’t give you any moral lectures. A friend like that can be crucial during the difficult period of detoxification and withdrawal, as well as your penetrating psychological sessions.
People bearing their hearts during these sessions can feel emotionally and physically drained and may want to turn their drug for support. However, a friendly puppy smile and a wagging tail can help alleviate that need.
In fact, studies have shown that the symptoms of post-traumatic-stress-disorder, a condition commonly suffered by people with drug addictions, can be successfully alleviated by dogs.
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Centers That Allow Dogs
The health benefits of dogs for people in rehab has led to an increasing number of pet centers allowing them to attend. In fact, there are several luxury rehabilitation centers around the world that offer pet-friendly services. However, these centers may be too expensive for many people.
Finding a less expensive pet-friendly rehabilitation center may require a little legwork. Simply call up centers you are interested in attending and ask if you can bring your dog. If they are hesitant or flat out refuse, try another center.
After all, if you think your dog is important to your emotional well-being during rehabilitation, you should find a center that will allow her. Just be prepared to travel or even pay a little extra for your treatment.
Taking Care Of Your Dog In Rehab
Remember: taking care of your dog in rehabilitation is your responsibility, so be prepared to bring food, bowls, leashes, and doggy bags for when they go to the bathroom. You also need to manage its behavior and make sure it doesn’t disrupt anyone else in the center.
That doesn’t mean you can’t socialize with your dog or take it to visit others. In fact, the health benefits of your dog may be transferred to them simply by its presence. A friendly, calm, and playful dog can bring smiles to their faces and may help their treatment go more smoothly.
And more importantly, it can increase your social integration among a group of strangers. Making those social connections can help build personal, emotional, and empathetic bonds that will make you feel less isolated during your treatment.
Centers That Don’t Allow Dogs
Centers that don’t allow dogs are still in the majority and there are multiple reasons for their exclusion. Some centers are unprepared to deal with dogs, either because they are too small, or lack the faculty to deal with the potential difficulties. After all, during your treatment sessions, someone will have to watch your pup.
Other centers are more concerned about kicking over a row of dominoes: if one person brings a dog, everyone will. And then they may have over a dozen dogs roaming the halls, competing for attention, and raising a ruckus.
What To Do When They Won’t Allow Dogs
If you find yourself forced to attend a rehabilitation center that won’t allow your dog, you need to take steps to ensure it is cared for during your treatment. Thankfully, there are several dog care options available:
- Friends and family members
- Dog kennels
- Dog sitters
- Long-term boarding options
The latter two options are especially useful: dog sitters come to your home and watch your dog while long-term boarding centers will watch your dogs in an open, friendly, and relaxed environment.
Finding A Center Near You
If you’re convinced you need to find a dog-friendly rehabilitation center before you begin treatment, please reach out to us for more information. We can help you find a rehabilitation center that is right for both you and your best friend. Contact us at RehabCenter.net for help getting the treatment you deserve.