7 Great Reasons You Should Get a Pet After Drug & Alcohol Treatment


Animals and pets are incredibly impactful in addiction recovery and treatment. For information on treatment options, visit The Edge today.

The feelings experienced after substance abuse treatment can be a mixed bag. On one hand, you may be excited, optimistic, and hopeful of the future. On the other hand, you may be unsure, scared, and even lonely.  

Post-treatment, you are experiencing the world through new eyes and separating yourself from old habits and people. These different feelings and ups and downs can lead to dark moments. However, this is where the smiling face of a furry friend can come to your rescue. Here’s why you should consider getting a pet after treatment.

The Companionship

One of the most significant factors that come with caring for a pet is companionship. After addiction treatment, you can often find yourself alone. You’re leaving old habits, friends, and places. Taking on the world in this new way is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Luckily, the bond you make with your pet can ease you down this road. Instead of tackling obstacles and problems alone, you’ll have a buddy to root you on.

A Sense of Responsibility

Although furry and scaly friends make great buddies, they also come with responsibilities. You have to take care of a pet by feeding them, taking them to the vet, regular exercise, and more. This added sense of responsibility can bring a newfound purpose to your life after treatment. You’ll have another reason to wake up, tackle the day, and give it your all every morning.

Reduced Stress

It’s no surprise interacting with pets and animals can lower stress and anxiety. The trials, tribulations, and exhilaration of life after treatment can be a lot to take on. Coming home after a rough day can be challenging and even more difficult during recovery. However, you can feel less stressed, anxious, and alone with a pet there by your side. You’ll have a friend to keep you company throughout all the highs and lows of your life.

The Opportunity for Exercise

One thing people may not consider when getting a pet is the potential exercise required. Now, some animals may not apply, such as fish and lizards. However, owning a dog can take a lot of work. 

Exercise has many benefits in recovery, including lowering the risk of depression and anxiety. This added exercise into your life will be beneficial and impact every area in a positive way. You’ll have more energy and a better sense of wellbeing, as well as a furry friend to experience these positives with.

Creating a Routine

Another benefit of owning a pet is the routine and care involved. During treatment, you probably had large amounts of structure, routine, and systems. You could be missing that part of the treatment and benefit from some additional structure in your life post-treatment. 

Pets require consistent schedules of feeding, medical appointments, and more. With this needed routine and structure, you can add more consistency and stability to your life.

Social Benefits

One thing that we can overlook with pets and animals is the social element. Not just from the animals themselves, but the people around us as well. Dog parks allow both you and your furry friend to socialize. Cat cafes can be an excellent place to meet new people in a sober environment. You can even join groups and forums for reptile enthusiasts. These new relationships can give you a sense of belonging, acceptance and quell the feelings of loneliness.

A Break From Your Thoughts

After treatment, you may find yourself stuck in your head. Your thoughts may be swirling from new experiences, doubts, and the desire to be perfect. Animals can get you out of this headspace and into the moment. Animals are always in the moment, never worrying about tomorrow, current events, or anything else. You can take a note from their book and join them in the process. 

Things to Keep In Mind

Pets and animals are great companions on your journey of recovery. They can ease the process from treatment to the “real” world. So, what should you keep in mind when choosing a pet?

  • Rescue pets: Adopting a rescue animal is an honorable thing to do. And the best part? Both you and your rescue companion share something in common. You have both had trials, tribulations and conquered them. Together, your bond may even be stronger than a typical relationship. Always be sure to get your animals from a trustworthy source, whether they’re a rescue or not.

  • Lifestyle: You’ll want to consider your lifestyle when choosing a pet. Are you home all the time, or are you away at work often? Some animals and breeds will need more attention than others. Be sure to find a companion that works with your lifestyle.

  • Personality: Are you more extroverted or introverted? Do you want a pet as outgoing as you are? Consider your personality when choosing a pet. If you’re more introverted, consider a quieter and calmer animal. However, active dogs can be great for extroverts.

  • Fur, scales, feathers, in-between: One of the significant factors when choosing an animal companion is the type. From dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and more, you are sure to find a pet for you. Your lifestyle, personality, preferences, and other factors will affect your decision.

These are only some of the variables to consider when choosing an animal companion. The decision will come down to your lifestyle, preferences, budget, and more. Whichever you decide, your pet is sure to bring great joy to your life. A pet can ease you down the road of recovery, relieve your stress, and create lifelong memories.

Getting a pet can help you go through your recovery with companionship and focus. Going through treatment takes time, effort, and dedication. The road is filled with many trials and tribulations, but the opportunities at the end of it make recovery worthwhile. The Edge Treatment Center is here to guide you through that process. We offer personalized treatment programs to fit your unique needs and goals. If you or a loved one is ready to take the first step, call us today!

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer


January 13, 2022