With an appreciation for the value and importance of companion animals, some addiction programs now allow patients or clients to bring their pets with them when they enter treatment. If the thought of being temporarily separated from your pet has caused you to reconsider getting professional help, a pet-friendly rehab may be the perfect place for you.
What is a Pet-Friendly Rehab?
A pet-friendly rehab is an addiction treatment center that permits people to have pets with them while they are receiving care. (Please note that the information on this page is focused solely on pets, not seeing-eye dogs or other service animals. Authorization for service animals to be in places where pets are not allowed is established in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws.)
Though the term pet-friendly rehab does not specify levels of care, it almost always refers to residential treatment programs.
Inpatient treatment is a short-term, hospital-like experience that offers intensive services to help people achieve stabilization. People who need this level of are not likely to be capable of caring for their feathered or four-footed friends.
At the outpatient level, clients are required to be at the facility only when treatment is in session, so they would not need to be away from their pets for an extended period.
But when someone enters a residential addiction treatment program, they live at the facility where they are receiving care. Also, the typical length of stay in residential treatment is considerably longer than in an inpatient program (often 28 days or more). This can be an optimal situation for people who wish to have a companion animal with them.
Benefits of a Pet-Friendly Rehab Center
Pet-friendly rehab centers offer an array of benefits, such as the following:
- Familiarity: Change can be difficult, even in cases (such as entering rehab) when you know the change can have a significant positive impact on your life. When you enter rehab, you will be in a new place, following an unfamiliar schedule, and living and working with people you haven’t met before. Having a pet with you is a way to make the rehab center feel a bit more like home.
- Companionship: The benefits of having a pet with you in rehab are similar to the benefits of having a pet with you at home. You enjoy their companionship, they add a sense of purpose to your life, and being with them simply makes you happy. The work of recovering from a substance use disorder can be challenging. Having a daily connection with a source of companionship, purpose, and joy can make the good days better and the hard days a bit easier.
- Improved mental health: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of many reputable sources that have reported on the health benefits of pets. At the NIH has noted, spending time in the company of pets can lower your blood pressure and reduce your cortisol levels. (Cortisol is a hormone that your body produces in stressful situations.) Having a pet can also improve your mood and ease feelings of loneliness.
- Responsibility & accountability: Taking responsibility for your actions and being accountable to yourself and others are vital for successful recovery. Being responsible for a pet doesn’t automatically mean that you’re ready for whatever obstacles you encounter on the path to recovery, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. Also, caring for a pet requires you to consider the needs of another living being, instead of focusing solely on yourself. This perspective can be valuable to you in your efforts to build a healthier future.
What to Look for in a Pet-Friendly Rehab Near You
There is no single, standard set of policies and procedures for a pet-friendly rehab. Every facility will have its own rules and expectations. When you’re looking for the best pet-friendly rehab centers, it is important to get a detailed understanding of what life will be like for you and your pet while you are in treatment.
Getting answers to questions like the ones listed below can help you identify the rehab that’s right for you and your companion animal:
- What types of animals does the pet-friendly rehab allow clients to bring with them?
- Does the pet-friendly rehab limit the number of companion animals that can be at the facility at the same time?
- What are the facility’s pet care requirements? For example, can you ask a staff member or another resident to help you care for your pet, or are you the only one who is allowed to perform care-related tasks?
- Will you have opportunities to purchase food and other pet supplies while you are in treatment, or do you have to bring everything that your pet may require with you when you enter the facility?
- Does the pet-friendly rehab center have a fenced exercise area for dogs?
- What happens if your pet gets sick or injured while you are in treatment?
- What happens if another resident complains about your pet?
Contact Our Pet-Friendly Rehab Center in Los Angeles, CA
If you would like to have a companion animal with you while you are receiving treatment for an addiction to alcohol or another drug, LA Detox may be the right place for you. To learn more about our pet-friendly rehab center in Los Angeles, California, please contact us today.