woman standing next to dog

Should You Bring Your Dog to Rehab?


Sober Recovery Expert Author

woman standing next to dog

Checking into rehab is both an exciting and challenging time in your life. As a dog owner, it may be critical that your pooch will be invited to share this journey with you. Your pooch can serve as a source of tremendous comfort in moments of anxiety, withdrawal and isolation. This is why your dog's presence shouldn't be underestimated as you begin this new chapter. If you're set on bringing your pup to rehab, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you'll both be happy.

Here are some things that can tell you which rehab facility is better suited for your pup (aside from being labeled as "dog friendly"):

Your pooch can serve as a source of tremendous comfort in moments of anxiety, withdrawal and isolation.

1. Environment

The facility's environment may be one of the first things you will notice. It's also one of the most crucial aspects to assuring an experience that caters to you and your pup. After looking at pictures online, schedule an on-site visit. At this time, think about your dog's needs, too. Does your dog have any anxieties about being confined to particular/small spaces? Is your dog easily frightened by loud noises or a lot of people? If so, address how these anxieties can be mitigated, such as perhaps getting a room farther away from others and in a quieter location. If your dog is small, maybe a large outdoor space isn't necessary. However, if your dog is on the bigger side, it may be best to have an allocated area for extensive walking and romping around.

2. Staff

Another reason it's imperative to make an on-site visit before deciding on a facility is to meet the staff. At one point or another during your stay, you may need to let your dog be taken care of by someone else. Be prepared to watch how your dog interacts with the employees. It's also a good idea to be armed with a few questions for the employees:

  • What is your staff's training procedures for handling/caring for dogs?
  • Do you have experience doing so?
  • What would you do if my dog had a medical emergency?

3. Restrictions

Every drug rehab center will have a set of rules and procedures. Understanding a facility's restrictions and knowing what you are and aren't comfortable with is essential to a successful experience with your best fur friend. Make sure you identify your own parameters. For example, I don't want my dog to sleep in a crate. I want my dog to be with me as much as possible. I want my dog to have at least 1 hours of physical activity per day. Setting these guidelines will help you determine your best options. That being said, you may also need to be ready to compromise your standards. It may not be possible for your pup to be by your side every minute. It's a good idea to ask for as close as an exact day-to-day schedule as possible to better anticipate what it will really be like staying there.

Finding a dog-friendly rehab center may prove more strenuous, but it is worth it in the long run. If you and your dog are ready for rehab, check our directory or call us to help you find a facility. As tough as it can be, don't let the challenge of finding a dog-friendly rehab center deter you from going. After all, getting clean is the best thing you can do for your pet.

Are you or someone you love ready to get help? Browse our directory of pet-friendly rehab centers or call 800-772-8219 to inquire about treatment centers in your area.

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