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How Pets Stay Attuned to You In RECOvery

This probably comes as no surprise to many, but there is scientific proof that animals experience love and are often attuned to their human owner’s needs and feelings. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), pets can also lower their owner’s stress, improve their heart health, and help children develop their emotional and social skills. 


Bonding with Pets


Many pet owners feel a close bond and a sense of love and attachment with their furry friends. Animal attunement to humans has developed over time as wild animals and humans continue to share more spaces, habitats, and resources. This closeness may also be dependent on our human need for companionship. In a study published by the Public Library of Science on the interactions between humans and animals during COVID-19, researchers suggest that the strength of the bond depends on the human in the relationship. They also reported no difference in the intensity of the perceived bond between different species of animals and humans, meaning that any type of pet can create the desired effect of establishing a close bond and a loving, positive relationship. 


Health Benefits of Pets


As mentioned above, owning a pet can produce a number of positive health effects. Their constant companionship and close attunement to your needs and feelings provide both comfort and a sense of love and care. The NIH confirms that your choice of pet should depend on how much you hope to get from the relationship. For example, if you are looking for a low-maintenance but beautiful pet, a fish may be best for you. Fish are soothing to watch as they swim, and they do not require a lot of attention. If you are looking to exercise more, a dog may be a perfect choice. Dogs require walking and lots of attention. Dogs are also great at attuning to their human’s needs and establishing routines. If you’re looking for a pet who is cuddly yet still low-maintenance, a cat may be your best option.


When Pets Sense Your Stress


Many pets seem to react when their human is stressed. Your pet may be trying to communicate that they are there for you (in the ways they can be). Dogs can sense emotional distress, as can cats and other animals. Dogs will generally stay near a distressed person, offering companionship and occasional licks. Emotional support animals are highly trained to not only provide care and support, but to call for help when needed. Animals have also been proven to help children engage in more loving and empathetic relationships and learn social skills. Pets can also soothe children suffering from emotional crises. 


If you are in recovery for substance abuse or addiction, a pet or emotional support animal could be very beneficial to you. Recovery is hard, and there will be some challenging days. Owning a pet is a good way to safeguard your emotions and help you stay in the moment when things get overwhelming. If you are someone in recovery who has other health issues, such as physical disabilities or mental health concerns, you may want to consider a service animal. Dogs especially have a keen ability to soothe their human owners and monitor their health and mental well-being. Dogs are the most common service animal due to this innate ability to stay attuned to the humans they care for.


Pet and Animal Therapy


Engaging with pets and other animals can also have incredible therapeutic benefits. Research published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine shows that when patients at hospitals or other facilities are in crises, animals are often the first to sense their building stress and intervene accordingly. This is why animals are used often in hospitals, nursing facilities, and even schools to provide animal therapy. 


Equine therapy has proven to be especially beneficial for those in treatment for addiction or mental health issues, as well as animal rescue volunteering. Animal therapy continues to help with ailments such as mental disorders, emotional distress, and even cancer patients, who may be offered animal intervention to deal with the stress of chemotherapy and other treatments. Psychiatric patients treated with equine therapy and canine therapy show a decrease in aggression, higher participation in activities, and increased social skills


Pets Require a Commitment


Pets offer so many benefits, but they do come with a commitment. All pets require their food, shelter, safety, attention, and emotional needs to be met. People have different pet-parenting styles, but ultimately any pet needs to be well cared for. They deserve a safe place to thrive, just as you do. Make sure to properly train your pets and give them plenty of love and attention. If you are looking for a new pet, be sure that you understand its nature and its needs before you adopt or purchase one of your own.


Animals are wonderful at soothing those who suffer from addiction, mental health disorders, and other issues. Their keen ability to gauge human emotions and offer comfort and stability can be incredibly helpful to those who need support. At RECO Intensive, our professional staff and experienced alumni are here to find a treatment plan that is catered specifically to you, including a variety of animal therapy options. We offer equine-facilitated psychotherapy at our RECO Ranch, allowing our clients to care for and ride horses here at our facility. We also offer Animal Rescue, where our clients take an excursion to West Palm Beach and offer their services to animals in need. At RECO Intensive, we understand how beneficial animals can be to your treatment and RECOvery. Call us today at (561) 464-6533 to learn more about animal rescue, equine therapy, and our other treatment options. Let’s get back to a brighter future.

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