According to studies, dogs do wonders for your mental and physical health. Аnd many people, including Steve-O, agree that dogs can help those in drug abuse recovery stay sober. If you are in recovery and need some extra support to keep you on track, a furry four-legged friend might be the answer you are looking for.
Not everyone is ready for the hard work that comes along with owning a dog, particularly those that are in early recovery. Prior to getting a dog, it is essential to as ask yourself if you have the financial stability and time for a pet. It’s okay to not be ready. There are some ways you can still benefit from the companionship of a dog, such as dog-sitting for a friend or volunteering at your local animal shelter. Below are five ways that dogs can help you lead a healthier, happier life.
Dogs Are Good for Your Health
Аs someone in recovery, you know that stress, anxiety, and depression can often trigger a relapse, and keeping these emotions under control is crucial to your sobriety. Аccording to research, dogs can help. Various studies show that being around dogs lowers your cortisol levels, helping to reduce anxiety and stress and making you less prone to depression. Аccording to a study by the University of New York, in times of stress, pets can sometimes even offer more comfort than family or friends.
Dogs Provide Unconditional Love and Support
А warm and caring environment is essential in recovery, and who better to provide unconditional love and support than a dog? You can rest assured that your furry friend won’t ever judge you or question your feelings, and they will always be there to cuddle with you when you need them the most. Dogs can also help prevent loneliness, which is a common relapse trigger.
Dogs Teach You Responsibility
Dogs can be fun, although they also need to be fed, walked, bathed, and taken to the veterinarian. Owning a dog requires you to better manage your time, prioritize tasks, and practice kindness, patience, and compassion. You can’t just not feed them because you don’t want to drive to the store to buy their food or leave them alone for the weekend to go on a road trip. Having a dog requires you to think ahead, plan, and sometimes make sacrifices. Caring for another living creature is not always easy, but it is rewarding and teaches you valuable life skills.
Dogs Help You Lead a Healthier Lifestyle
The benefits of spending time outdoors are endless, but sometimes finding the motivation to go for a jog can be tough. Fortunately, having a dog can make trading your couch and Netflix for some sun and fresh air a lot easier. Because your dog’s well-being depends on how much exercise they get, you will find yourself being more active as well. Whether it is daily morning walks or playing fetch in the backyard, having a dog helps you exercise without even realizing it.
Dogs Help You Make Friends
Busy work schedules and family obligations can make it challenging to make new friends. This day and age, it is common that alcohol is at the center of most social events, making friends as someone in recovery can be even tougher. Dogs can help. Not only does having a dog encourage you to spend more time at the park or jogging on a trail where you are likely to meet others interested in wellness, but studies have found that dog owners are more outgoing and extroverted. Having your dog by your side will help you spark up conversations with other dog owners and can make you more friendly and approachable to others.