Many people perceive drug or alcohol rehab to be a lonely place. It’s understandable that you’d want to bring a pet companion to keep you company and to also support you emotionally throughout the process. Not being able to bring your pet with you to drug or alcohol rehab could be a deciding factor as to why people don’t join rehab centres.

Whilst it’s true that most rehab facilities don’t allow pets onsite, we’re seeing several rehab centres becoming more flexible on these rules and taking a more positive approach to allow patients to bring their pets with them.


Pet Friendly Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centres

In 2015, an addiction charity called Phoenix Future opened a block of the kennel at their base in Wirral, UK. They made this decision after receiving consistent feedback that people couldn’t receive alcohol or drug addiction treatment because they didn’t want to leave their pets behind or didn’t have someone who could take care of them whilst they were at rehab. This is believed to be the first rehab centre to have opened kennels onsite, intended for patients’ pets to stay with them throughout their addiction treatment.

Residents will be able to spend time with their pets and walk them within the rehab centre grounds if they remain on a lead. With such success, this has helped to encourage other rehab centres to take similar action.

Each rehab centre will differ from the next as they’ll each have their own policy on pets. Therefore, the best way to find a pet-friendly rehab centre is to check on their website or call their admissions team. It may be worth speaking to them in detail about why you feel your pet would benefit your rehabilitation.

In some cases, only certain pets may be allowed to join you, or only certain areas of the rehab centre are open to pets; it’s certainly worth speaking directly to the rehab facility for more information. To learn more about drug or alcohol addiction treatment or how an animal can benefit your recovery experience, please contact us today on 0800 012 6088 or text HELP to 83222.


What Your Pet Can Do for Recovery?

Many rehab centres are beginning to recognise the health and well-being benefits that having your beloved pet with you throughout rehab can bring. Being more flexible on their policy towards pets will also encourage more people to join a drug and alcohol rehab facility as they don’t have to worry about leaving their pets behind.

Having your pet alongside you during rehabilitation has proven to improve your overall attitude towards addiction treatment. This improved outlook benefits your mental health, resulting in a happier and more positive environment to undergo treatment. When you take care of a pet, this gives you an important responsibility which can, in turn, help to build your self-esteem and refocus your efforts on them as opposed to feeling overwhelmed with your rehabilitation.

Pets are also great in helping us to improve our social interactions and to also instigate more social activities. People who are suffering from addiction are often anxious and withdrawn, so having a pet with them can be a great ice breaker in social situations and helps to promote the feeling of inclusivity.

Having pets in rehab can help clients to feel as though they’re still connected to the outside world during rehabilitation. Having their familiar face can ease anxiety and make the transition into rehab and back into home life much more manageable as they’re alongside you for the whole experience.

It’s well known that taking care of an animal and spending time with them can trigger a physical and mental reaction in the owner. Just stroking a pet can increase your serotonin levels and release oxytocin which results in relaxation, reduced pain, lower stress levels, a boost in your mood, reduces feelings of loneliness, lowers blood pressure, and increase the likelihood of completing your drug or alcohol addiction treatment. This is particularly helpful under stressful circumstances as our pets help us to relax in high-anxiety situations and to deal with pain, panic, and fear more effectively.

Even after your addiction treatment, pets can help tremendously during your aftercare programme as you continue your recovery at home. They can help by creating a routine for you which discourages any negative influences or harmful patterns of behaviour such as going on walks, grooming, socialising, and feeding.


Disadvantages to Pet Friendly Rehab Centres

Whilst there are some great benefits to having your pet with you throughout rehabilitation, there are still many rehab centres that won’t allow animals onsite for several valid reasons. One of these reasons is that there could be staff members or other patients who are allergic to pet fur, causing disruption or a severe reaction in the facility. It’s also possible that not all dogs are well-behaved which can be a big distraction to those delivering the addiction treatment and to those receiving their treatment.

Most treatment centres are extremely busy and focused on rehabilitating people who need it most. They don’t have time in their day to clean up after pets or repair any damage that they may cause. They might simply not have the space or extra resources that are needed to deal with animals at the rehab centre.

It’s also important to note that not all pets are friendly with everyone and not everyone enjoys the presence of animals. For safety concerns, some rehab centres will enforce a no-pet policy, particularly as some dogs may respond unusually or even aggressively to a new environment.


Finding the Right Addiction Treatment for you

When recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, the most important thing is that you find a rehab centre that works best for you. Private drug and alcohol rehab centres are the best form of treatment to recover from substance abuse. Start your recovery journey at residential rehab by contacting the admissions team at Addiction Advocates today.

Contact our team for further advice today on 0800 012 6088 or text HELP to 83222.