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6 Reasons to Consider Living In a Pet-Friendly Sober Home

There are several benefits of a pet-friendly sober home.

Sometimes it’s not easy to find sober homes with accommodating amenities, such as pet-friendly policies. However, many people in recovery might feel that their pet is an essential part of their life, and therefore, their recovery.

If you feel that your pet helps you emotionally, spiritually, physically, and psychologically, you may not be willing to part with it to move into a sober home. Fortunately, some pet-friendly sober homes allow residents to bring their well-mannered animals to live with them. If you’ve never considered it before, here are six good reasons to live in a pet-friendly sober home.

Related post: 13 Natural Ways to Manage Depression In Addiction Recovery

1. Pets help residents develop discipline.

Caring for a pet requires consistent dedication, work, and time. To take care of your pet, you have to show up regularly and be there to feed them, take them out, and make sure they get regular exercise. Discipline is also a critical factor in maintaining long-term sobriety, so developing it by caring for a pet is great practice.

2. Pets can teach valuable life lessons.

Owning a pet is a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging. Through it all, a pet can help you grow as a person and teach you valuable life lessons like patience, selflessness, and acceptance, which will all help you make your way through life sober.

For example, a pet like a dog or a cat will be destructive at some point. Your dog might chew on your furniture, or your cat might pee on the carpet. It takes time, patience, and understanding to properly train them and teach them which behaviors are okay and which are not. As you deal with the frustrations and challenges of owning a pet, you will learn to respond to these situations appropriately.

Sometimes, people in recovery relapse when things happen that are out of their control because they struggle to accept something they can’t change. As a result, learning and practicing acceptance in all areas of life can be helpful. With a pet, no matter how well-trained they are, sometimes they will still do things that you don’t want them to do, such as barking at people or running off as soon as you open the front door. As frustrating as these behaviors are, it’s essential to learn how to tolerate others’ behaviors, even when they’re not on par with what you want.

Similarly, having someone else to care for forces you to get outside of yourself and learn how to be selfless. While it’s important to be attentive to your own needs, nurturing and caring for another living thing is a great way to spend your time and will help you develop a special relationship and bond with your pet.

3. Pets provide unconditional love.

Joy and happiness are two of the main benefits of having a pet. Pets always provide unconditional love and affection, which can make you feel better if you’re having a rough day. Especially if you’re dealing with challenging emotions that make you want to use or drink alcohol again, it’s helpful to have constant support, love, and acceptance. Having someone who is always there for you no matter what happens is a great feeling, even if that “person” is a dog, a cat, or a fish. 

Additionally, if we pay close attention to the way our pets love us (without any conditions), it’s also a great lesson on how we should also love others. For example, if your friend does something that annoys you, it’s not an excuse to treat them poorly. Instead, it’s an opportunity for you to love them despite their flaws and remember that you also have character defects that you’re working to improve. 

4. Pets provide opportunities to engage with other sober home residents.

When you get sober, you’ll likely need to let go of some old, harmful relationships. This may make you feel lonely as you try to figure out what your new sober life looks like. Establishing new friendships as a sober person can be challenging, but pets provide many opportunities to engage with other residents of your sober home.

For example, you could invite a roommate to the dog park with you. Or, you could walk your dog with another resident and explore your new neighborhood in the process. Even just enjoying some time playing ball with a dog together can provide a pressure-free opportunity to talk with other residents and get to know them. Ultimately, a pet might even strengthen a household bond of residents as you all learn to love and care for the pet together.

5. Pet-friendly sober homes can make the transition out of rehab easier.

If you already have a pet, leaving it behind to complete an addiction treatment program can be tough. However, once you’re done with rehab, being able to reunite with your pet can make the transition into a sober lifestyle a little bit easier.

Instead of having to make arrangements for someone to care for your pet while you’re living at a sober house, you can bring your furry friend with you. A pet-friendly sober home makes it more convenient for you to begin your new life sober because you can eliminate the stress of finding someone to keep your pet while you’re away from home.

Additionally, moving into a sober home can be a difficult transition. Having a familiar pet to bring along with you can make all the difference. Having your pet with you can help you feel more at home and may also open up opportunities to develop relationships with other residents right off the bat.

6. Caring for animals is therapeutic.

Many studies have found evidence that caring for an animal provides therapeutic benefits that boost your mental health and self-esteem. For example, caring for a pet can:1

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Provide a sense of purpose and motivation for life
  • Reduce isolation and decrease feelings of loneliness
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve social skills
  • Decrease boredom
  • Encourage a more positive outlook on life
  • Improve overall mood

Related post: How Pets Can Enhance a Lifestyle of Sobriety

Learn More About Eudaimonia’s Pet-Friendly Sober Homes

Eudaimonia Recovery Homes offers pet-friendly apartment homes in Austin for men and LGBTQ+ individuals in recovery. These apartment homes are specifically designed for  residents with pets, offering spacious accommodations near other pet owners. Our pet-friendly sober apartments in Austin are also located near the on-site dog park for convenient access to outdoor play spaces.

If you’d like to learn more about our pet-friendly sober home options, please call (888) 424-4029 to learn more about the support we offer through our sober living programs.

References:

  1. https://journals.lww.com/nursingmadeincrediblyeasy/fulltext/2020/01000/the_benefits_of_pet_therapy.2.aspx 

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