What To Do With My Pet When I Go To Rehab?

Although emotional support animals are not allowed at Spring Hill Recovery Center, service animals, per the ADA, are allowed. People with pets may use several options to keep their pets safe while they’re in rehab.

Animals have a special bond with humans, and that bond is beneficial to mental health. If you have a pet, you already know how much of a difference they can make.

If you’re going to rehab at Spring Hill Recovery Center, you may have a lot of questions about your pet’s care.

For example, can you take your pet to rehab during your addiction treatment? What if your pet is a support animal or even a service animal?

Spring Hill does not allow participants to bring their pets, even if the pet is a support animal.

Because support animals do not require specific training, they may be disruptive to our processes. We are committed to giving our full attention to our participants’ recovery.

However, in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Spring Hill does allow service animals.

Service Animals Vs. Support Animals

Some people see support animals as a type of service animal, but “support animal” and “service animal” are two distinct categories.

What Is A Support Animal?

A support animal is a pet that provides calming companionship to its owner, especially when the owner has a mental health condition.

For instance, many people with situational anxiety may train and register their pet as a support animal. The animal can help keep its owner calm during potential anxiety triggers.

Any type of pet may be registered as a support animal, and support animals are not required to have any specific training.

However, some locations may allow support animals into their buildings, even if they do not allow other pets.

Whether or not a support animal is allowed is up to the discretion of the location.

What Is A Service Animal?

Unlike a support animal, a service animal must be a dog, or in some cases, a miniature horse. For an animal to qualify as a service animal, a few requirements must be met.

Those service animal requirements are:

  • The handler must have a disability.
  • The animal must be needed by their handler because of the handler’s disability.
  • The animal must be house-trained and trained to perform tasks that the handler cannot perform on their own.
  • The animal must mitigate the handler’s disability.
  • When in public places, the animal must remain under the handler’s control at all times.

To obtain a service animal, a person must have approval from a doctor, and they must submit an application.

According to the ADA, service animals must be allowed even in places that have a “no pet” policy, as service animals are not pets.

Are Service Animals Only For Physical Disabilities?

Service animals may perform many disability-focused tasks, not just tasks related to physical disability. Some service animals help their handlers with mental and emotional disabilities.

Psychological service animals might perform any of the following tasks:

  • retrieving medication
  • waking the handler from a PTSD-induced nightmare
  • providing deep pressure stimulation
  • reminding the handler to take medication
  • removing the handler from a triggering situation
  • getting help during a panic attack or other mental health emergency

Like any service animal, a psychological service animal must be trained, registered, and needed by the handler.

Where Can My Pet Stay When I’m In Rehab?

Residential drug treatment programs can last for up to 90 days, which may feel like a long time to be separated from your companion.

Many people wonder how they can keep their pets safe while they’re away. If you’re a pet owner, you have several pet care options that you may use while in rehab.

Some pet care options include:

  • leaving your pet with a trusted friend or family member
  • arranging an extended stay at a pet care facility
  • hiring a live-in pet sitter during your rehab stay
  • hiring a pet sitter who will keep your pet in their home until you return
  • hiring someone or asking a friend to feed and check on your pet a few times per day
  • choosing temporary pet surrender at a shelter that allows it

If none of these options are available to you, pet foster care may be an option. Some organizations offer temporary care for pets whose owners are sick, injured, or in rehab.

You might also consider outpatient rehab. Outpatient treatment may still require a lot of time, but it will also allow you to return home to your pet to care for them as much as you need to.

Recover From Addiction At Spring Hill

It’s never easy to be separated from the pet you love. However, rehab can help you regain your physical and mental health and take better care of your furry friend.

When you return from rehab, you may find that you have more physical and mental energy to be there for your companion.

Your pet, likewise, may help you in return. Animal interaction benefits humans in many ways, including by lowering stress.

If you have an addiction, contact Spring Hill Recovery Center to learn more about your treatment options.

  1. Americans With Disabilities Act National Network — Service Animals https://adata.org/factsheet/service-animals
  2. National Library Of Medicine — Potential Benefits Of Pet Ownership In Health Promotion https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9397745/
  3. NIH News In Health — The Power Of Pets https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2018/02/power-pets

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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