Pets play an important role in many people’s lives. Their companionship helps them get through tough times. For most of them, there’s nothing harder to overcome than an addiction. Below is some information about pet therapy benefits and how it helps people who struggle with addiction.
What Is Pet Therapy?
Before getting into pet therapy benefits, it’s important for people to know more about this type of therapy. As the name suggests, it involves sessions with animals. The animals help people feel more comfortable and relaxed so that they want to talk openly with their therapists.
Rehab centers use many types of animals for pet therapy, but the most common are dogs, cats, and horses. The amount of time that people spend with the animals varies. However, a typical meeting lasts between 10 and 15 minutes. During this time, they interact with the animals and talk to the handlers.
In some cases, people take care of animals during pet therapy. That activity is most common when the therapy involves horses. During the sessions, they feed and care for the animals. It teaches them responsibility and shows them that others depend on them.
Pet Therapy Benefits
Pet therapy works for people of all ages. Studies also find that it’s just as effective for men as it is for women. Before individuals can decide if animal therapy is right for them, however, they need to know the benefits it provides. Below is a more in-depth look.
Increases Production of Pleasurable Hormones
Simply being around animals makes a lot of people feel good. Anyone who has a pet can relate to this fact. Experts say that animals make people feel good because their presence increases the production of pleasure hormones in the body.
Forming a bond with animals stimulates the body to create the oxytocin hormone, which some people call the bonding hormone. It gives them a warm and happy feeling and has a positive effect on their overall health.
People can’t talk about pet therapy benefits without covering the fact that it improves mood. Studies show that when people interact and cuddle with animals, it improves their overall attitude and mood. When dealing with addictive substances, improving mood is a top priority during therapy. The better that people feel, the less likely that they are to relapse.
Overcoming addiction causes a lot of stress, which is one of the top reasons why people continue to use drugs. They want to relieve stress in the way that their bodies learned how. Offering natural ways to reduce stress is a top priority for rehab centers. Animal therapy is one of these alternative treatments.
Reducing stress removes strain on the heart, which decreases health risks such as heart attack. Spending time with animals also lowers blood pressure and heart rate. These effects benefit the heart and overall health as well.
Get Help at The Hills Treatment Center
The Hills Treatment Center knows the important role that pets play in helping people cope with stress. That’s why we allow our clients to bring their pets with them during treatment. We find that pet therapy benefits help during detox and rehab. Some of the programs that we offer include:
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Residential treatment
- Sober companion program
- Partial hospitalization programs
At The Hills Treatment Center, we offer dual diagnosis treatment for all of our clients. This program addresses the presence of other mental health conditions that may accompany addiction. Doing so is the key to helping people with co-occurring disorders avoid relapse.
Don’t leave your pet behind while you seek addiction treatment. Find out more about pet therapy benefits at The Hills Treatment Center. Call us today at 866-323-4665 for more information.