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Healing With Animal Companions

Humans have a special relationship with animals. We find comfort, love, and companionship in the relationships we form with animal companions. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, hamster, or lizard, the bonds you form with your animals can have a profound positive effect on your wellness and support recovery.

At The Guest House, we know how impactful the deep emotional bond you form with animals can be for your mental health recovery. Therefore, we provide a space where the power of animal companions is embraced and nurtured as a tool on your recovery journey.

Improving Wellness With Animal Companions

According to a booklet from the National Parks Service, the human-animal bond you have with your animal companions can have a positive impact on your physiological, psychological, and social health. Listed below are some of the benefits of pet ownership:

  • Physiological benefits:
    • Decreases various risk factors, including:
      • Cardiovascular disease
      • Blood pressure
      • Cholesterol
    • Reduces stress hormone
  • Psychological benefits:
    • Lowers anxiety
    • Reduces stress
    • Decreases depression and loneliness
  • Social benefits:
    • Engagement
    • Interaction
    • Inclusion

Moreover, as noted in an article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), having pets increase opportunities for exercise and socialization to improve physical and mental health.

Animal Companions and Mental Health Recovery

An article from the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry explains that factors like personal development, learning, healing, adaptation, and socialization play a key part in mental health recovery. In particular, animal companions like pets and service animals can enhance mental wellness for recovery. Some of the ways animal companions provide therapeutic support include:

  • Companionship
  • Empathy
  • Empowerment
  • Independence
  • Self-efficacy
  • Responsibility
  • Self-esteem

Benefits of Service and Emotional Support Animals

According to an article from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), service animals are trained to do specific tasks to support you when you have a disability. Service animals can do many tasks that pets and emotional support animals cannot do, such as picking things up for you, guiding you, and offering support with balance issues.

An emotional support animal, on the other hand, does not require special training to provide emotional support. Some mental health conditions and disorders may require additional emotional support that emotional support animals can provide. If it is appropriate for your needs, your mental health provider can write a letter that acknowledges your pet as an emotional support animal.

Finding Support With the Guest House

Animal companions can play an important role in long-term recovery as their companionship and emotional support can extend far beyond your time in treatment. We know recovery is a process of self-discovery, learning, and growth that you participate in across your lifetime. Therefore, at The Guest House, we believe in the importance of building long-lasting management techniques for long-term well-being. Moreover, we are committed to providing multiple levels of care to meet you where you are in your recovery journey as additional support tools and resources to help you build an independent life.

The bond you have with an animal companion can have a positive impact on your physical and psychological well-being. Animals can provide therapeutic support that reduces stress, increases positive socialization, and improve self-efficacy. Moreover, an animal companion can be a service animal, an emotional support animal, or a pet. At The Guest House, we know how important it is to build resources that can support your long-term healing beyond your time in treatment. Therefore, we offer a wide range of personalized treatment plans and levels of care to support you. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.