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Pet Friendly Sober Living

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For years, animals have been used to boost healing in therapeutic settings. Therapy and service animals can help reduce anxiety and depression, improve emotional well-being, and provide companionship. There is a growing body of evidence that pets can even help in addiction recovery — especially in pet friendly sober living such as ours in Los Angeles.

What is Pet Friendly Sober Living?

Sober living homes are recognizing the benefits that pet therapy can offer their residents. Pets and animal companions provide adjunct therapeutic options that can help create a calm and relaxing environment, minimize stress and anxiety symptoms, and reduce loneliness. Having a pet companion while in residence at a sober living home can provide comfort, unconditional love, and support while adapting to a new sober lifestyle. 

Pet friendly sober living homes recognize that pets are an important part of your life. When you are transitioning from treatment into day-to-day living, ensuring that your pet is well taken care of can make a difference. When you are able to bring your animal companion with you to sober living, it helps you to focus on your recovery. In fact, research has found that participating in pet therapy while in sober living can help recovering addicts to be more open with their counselors and express themselves on a higher level, creating a stronger sense of healing and self-confidence..

Benefits of Pet Friendly Sober Living

Having a pet in sober living helps reduce the anxiety and stress that are often part of early recovery. Additionally, having an animal to care for can provide structure and restore a sense of purpose. Pets can be a positive motivator in avoiding relapse because they need you to take care of them. Other benefits of pet friendly sober living include:

  • Pets give unconditional love as well as relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. Taking care of your pet, from grooming to training – and even cuddling – has been shown to activate the “feel good” centers of the brain. 
  • Learning to care for an animal can be part of the process of learning how to be more responsible and accountable. Pets depend on their people for food, exercise, and care.
  • Pets can increase the opportunity for more exercise. Regular exercise has been shown to help improve recovery outcomes, reduce stress, and minimize depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Having a pet makes sober living less lonely because pets provide companionship. Pets are also a great way to meet new people and form important relationships.
  • Pets pick up on our emotions and can help you learn to be more aware of your emotional landscape.

How Do Pets Help During Addiction Recovery?

Stress is one of the leading relapse triggers for newly sober individuals. Because of the benefits of pet ownership – including stress reduction – taking care of your companion while in a pet friendly sober living home can minimize the risk of relapse. Consider this: according to a recent survey, 50% of dog owners feel less stress and a greater sense of positivity after spending time with their animal. Furthermore, pets can help you to feel more calm, lower your heart rate, and help you focus outside of yourself.

Researchers have proven that pet therapy is a reliable technique for recovering addicts. Pets can reduce feelings of loneliness and help to form a bridge in relationships with other residents, as well as counselors and house managers. Having a pet while you are in recovery can even boost your ability to express emotions and feelings, building a stronger sense of self-esteem and rapport.

Challenges of Pet Friendly Sober Living

Challenges can exist when taking on the responsibility of caring for a pet no matter where you live. As pet friendly sober living homes are beginning to become more widespread, it is helpful to be aware of some of the challenges that come with these facilities.

  • Pets can be dirty and failure by their owners to clean up after them can cause discomfort to the other residents.
  • If a resident isn’t taking care of their pet, the burden of care falls to other members of the house.
  • Some people have pet allergies that they may not be aware of.
  • While most pet friendly sober living homes will ask about allergies and make the appropriate accommodations, pet dander can be a problem for people with allergies.
  • Not all pets get along with each other. It’s important to be aware of your pet’s temperament before bringing them with you to a sober living environment.
  • Pets – especially dogs – can be noisy, which can be disruptive to other people in the house.

While there are some drawbacks to pet friendly sober living, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Most pet friendly sober living opportunities are positive experiences and are a great benefit to learning how to live a healthy sober lifestyle.


Pet Friendly Addiction Treatment

If you are interested in living in a pet friendly sober living home, the first step is recognizing the responsibilities and discussing the possibility with your addiction treatment counselors. Frequently sober living facilities are associated with treatment centers and collaborate closely with them to offer the best options for the residents. 

Riviera Recovery acknowledges the significance of allowing residents in our sober living environments to have pets. We have been at the forefront of using pet therapy to help recovering addicts. Residents get to benefit from living with their pets in our luxurious, clean, and pet-friendly surroundings. We would be happy to assist you with your questions concerning pet friendly sober living programs and how beneficial they are for our residents.

Pet Friendly Sober Living in Los Angeles, CA

Being able to have your best friend by your side, as you step onto the road to recovery, can have amazing benefits. Riviera Recovery  knows how important our pets are in our lives and for recovery. Our clean, luxurious, pet friendly sober living environment is the right place for you to build your recovery for long-lasting sobriety. If you have questions, reach out to us for more information about our Los Angeles sober living homes.