Scales, Feathers, or Fur: How Pets Aid Recovery
Back to Blog Posts

Scales, Feathers, or Fur: How Pets Aid Recovery

Scales, Feathers, or Fur: How Pets Aid Recovery

Pets and their positive relationships with their owners are not a new concept. There has been plenty of evidence to demonstrate the healing benefits of having a pet. It is also no question that being a pet parent can have a beneficial effect on so many aspects of your life in recovery. It influences your mental, emotional, and even professional wellbeing. If you have not yet considered a pet, or are wondering if having a pet can help benefit you, then let's take a look at the responsibilities and rewards that caring for a pet can offer.

Pets Promote Energy

Being successful in an endeavor takes a fair amount of energy. What better way to start your day than taking your dog for a walk? Having to walk your dog daily will increase both responsibility and fitness. It also helps you develop a bond of trust with your pet. Dog owners get more exercise than non-dog owners. Even if it is too hot, too cold, or raining, the needs of your animal will keep you consistent with this daily act. In recovery, not only is exercise essential, but having a consistent activity to fill time in your day can also prevent you from feeling lonely or bored.

Loneliness and boredom are two feelings that can cause cravings and possibly lead to relapse. Since you will be exercising and bonding with your pet, you will improve your mood, memory, concentration, and self-control. These habits will transcend your efforts and have a positive impact on your professional practices, too.

Get Outside Your Thoughts

It's normal for anybody to become preoccupied with their thoughts. However, getting too caught up in your worries can create unhealthy habits and concerns such as anxiety, stress, and depression. Having to tend to a pet forces you to set aside your problems for a moment to take care of something else. Pets demand attention, food, and shelter and will always have needs. Your pet's health, safety, and happiness expand your awareness so that you are less focused on your problems. Having a pet also helps to give you a sense of purpose and boosts your self-esteem. Focusing on the needs of your pet will also increase health benefits for you.

Help Reduce Stress

The shared bond between you and a pet will decrease stress and heart-related illnesses, especially when you see your pet happy to see and need you. Pets reduce stress in various ways. For one, they help to reduce loneliness. Having a pet around will make you feel safer and more at ease in your home environment. Studies also show that spending time with pets releases oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, which reduces stress. The stronger your relationship is, the more of this hormone is released. Pets also facilitate social contact by giving you something to talk about and the regular contact you will have when caring for your pet. When you work to make your pet feel happy, you feel happy, too.

All of these positive stress-relieving traits help to promote in you a better outlook on life. Pets help to prevent depression and maintain a healthy perspective. A positive outlook helps you stay focused and nail the tasks and deadlines you have in your personal and professional life. Additionally, being responsible for a pet can invite you to learn and earn more. You will want to work harder to afford the food and toys that your pet needs. You will also be expanding your knowledge based on the pet you care for, which in turn helps you take on new skills and ventures while getting to know your pet.

Consistent Schedule

Maintaining a schedule is the essence of maintaining a healthy life and recovery. Regular sleep is essential because it leads to more restful sleep, improving cognitive and immune system function. Pets are very driven by a consistent routine, waking at the same time, eating at the same time, and even exercising at the same time. They will let you know when to get up, eat, and play, too.

Having a pet also helps you report back home at a reasonable hour, so you're not overworking at the office or staying out too late with friends. Ultimately, having a pet companion can help bring balance to your life and your schedule. They offer a healthy distraction from work, other activities, and stress-related thoughts and activities. Working with your pet to maintain a consistent schedule can also teach you valuable characteristics to becoming a great leader, including organization, discipline, and responsibility.

At START UP RECOVERY, our goal is to help you build a healthy support network around you to promote motivation, self-confidence, and consistency. Part of this support network includes a place for our furry friends. However, if you are still in a place where you feel like you cannot yet take care of a pet, there are plenty of shelters where you can volunteer to walk and spend time with the animals. Such activities help give you confidence and strengthen the bonds you have with pets. Working with START UP can further establish the relationship and confidence you have within yourself and others so that you can move confidently toward making life-changing decisions. Our goal is to support personal and professional growth, and it all begins with taking the first step toward reaching out for help. With 24/7 admissions, there is never a wrong time to call. Reach out today by calling us at 310-773-3809.

Back to Blog Posts