Guest blogger

13 02, 2020

 Tips to Caring for Senior Pets

By |2020-02-10T18:08:02-06:00February 13th, 2020|Guest blogger|1 Comment

A Guest Blog by Nick Burton

The bond between you and your senior pet is priceless. However, caring for senior pets tends to come with more measurable costs. You can keep those expenses low with these tips.

  • Save on Senior Pet Products by Using Online Coupons

 The needs of older pets can be different from younger animals. Your senior pet may need soft organic food,  a more comfortable bed or even a stroller. Or modifications to your home to help improve your pet’s quality of life; for example, anti-slip treads on staircases can help prevent slips and tumbles, while a doggy door will allow them to come and go as they please to take care of outdoor business.

Stocking up on these essentials does not mean sacrificing your budget. You can usually find all you need by shopping online or with major retailers, and you can find your pet supplies at the best prices for any budget if you do your homework. Better yet, you can boost savings on pet supplies by visiting online sites, like Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart or Petco and learning more about cash back deals from sites like Rakuten. It’s the smartest way to keep your senior pet healthy and your family budget happy all at once.

  • Cut Down Your Costs on Those Senior Pet Vet Bills

 Vet costs for senior animals tend to be a bit higher than their younger counterparts. This can even deter people from adopting senior pets, but the love of an older companion animal can be truly priceless.

Senior dogs and cats typically require less training, which can help offset those increased care costs, but there are other ways to save on your vet bills as well.

Pet insurance can help with veterinary costs for your pet at any age and can be cost-effective for people with multiple pets. Additionally, most pet insurance policies provide you with rebates for covered pet care costs.

  • Clean Up After Senior Pets Without Cleaning Out Your Savings

Senior pets tend to have stomach issues and bladder control problems that can spell disaster for your carpets. If your senior pet’s bathroom problems seem to be severe or sudden, you should make an appointment with your vet.

However, you should also stock up on cleaning supplies to address stains and remove odors. You can also make your own pet-safe cleaning supplies. A little vinegar and water are all it takes to eliminate even the smelliest pet messes from your home, and you can score a bottle of vinegar for a couple of dollars.

Pet expenses may increase as animals get older, but your budget doesn’t have to suffer as a result. If you are willing to look for promo codes and research online, you can find ways to save and take care of your senior pets.

You can show your senior pets the love they deserve without sacrificing all your budget needs.


About Nick

Nick Burton is the co-creator of Our Best Doggo. Together with his wife, they are proud parents of three rescue dogs. After the passing of their 15-year-old lab/terrier mix dog, Willie, they decided to create this website to share all types of dog information and help people that are mourning the loss of a dog.

Be sure to check out his website  You’ll find lots of dog-loving information.

1 08, 2019

LUCKY ME

By |2019-08-01T11:06:01-05:00August 1st, 2019|Guest blogger|3 Comments

A Blog by Guest Blogger – Jody Gilmore Payne

I’m from a long line of readers and storytellers. I can’t remember a time my parents and grandparents didn’t have an open book nearby. I realize now the value of the legacy and thank them for the memories.

~I have ignored Papa’s frowning and eloped with a Browning.

~I have fought beside Travis in the Alamo.

~I have discussed cabbages and kings with a walrus.

~I have crossed a vast desert with an Englishman in Arab robes.

~I have dined with a fat king and wept for his queen.

~I have grown older and wiser on Washington Square.

~I have excavated a site for antiquities of ancient cultures and dug a despot from a hole in the same ground.

~I have journeyed through a wardrobe into a land of eternal winter.

~I have advised presidents and a man who would be king.

~I have been horrified to watch Othello give his trust to Iago.

~I have permitted murderers to go free on the Oriental Express.

~I have disagreed with a Medici when he claimed the end justifies the means and then listened with horror as our leaders now quote him.

~I have learned about relativity from a genius and taught him how to tie his shoes.

~I have knit my way through the French Revolution and sought justice for my people.

~My beauty was celebrated, but I was cast aside when I couldn’t give a French dictator a child.

~I have sailed the seven seas on a schooner and navigated across a continent on a sea of grass.

~I have followed an ideal and founded the best government known to man.

~I have hiked the Inca Trail to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu.

~I have drawn lines in the Nazca desert so long ago no one will remember their origin.

~I have built great pyramids in the Valley of the Kings and left a Sphinx to guard them.

~I have descended a mountain carrying stones etched with the sacred words of God.

~I have slain a giant with five smooth stones and changed history.

~I have set giant stones in a circle to explain the miracle of the heavens.

~I have caught words as they slid from the pooka’s mouth and meditated on power.

~I have listened to the caged bird sing and soared above the Grand Tetons with the proudest of all birds, the American eagle.

~I have been betrayed by a man and his church and worn an A on my breast.

~I have roamed the dark forest with werewolves and fled from vampires.

~I have thrilled to my first kiss many times.

~I have crossed the Delaware with brave men to follow the most virtuous of leaders.

~I have fought a war with my brothers and watched Atlanta burn.

~I have composed ballads with a poet and dreamed of returning to Mandalay.

~I have partaken of a moveable feast and baked blackbirds in a pie.

~I have watched in horror as barns burned through the night in Mississippi and found peace at dawn on Walden’s Pond.

~I have flown through space and walked on the moon.

~I have ridden a thoroughbred in the Derby and cried for the fate of a warhorse.

~I have bowed before a lowly donkey carrying a virgin with an unborn God.

Lucky me, I can read.


Jody Gilmore Payne is an author, a blogger, a horsewoman, an animal lover, and now a transplanted Texan …

I’ve always believed in the inescapable order of fate, but I can’t think of one good reason I wasn’t born right here in Texas. Oh the time I wasted wandering around looking for home!

Well, I’m here now and embrace it with open heart and welcoming arms.   

If my writing takes on a decidedly southern cadence, it’s understandable. I write about what I see and what I believe to be good and true.

You can visit Jody on Facebook or her website or her blog

25 07, 2019

Have Needle Will Travel

By |2019-07-22T15:01:39-05:00July 25th, 2019|Guest blogger|1 Comment

A Blog by Guest Blogger Carolyn Wedel

 I’ve dabbled in the needle arts since the ninth grade.  No, I’ll not reveal how long that’s been …only my doctor and I know that secret.

I’ve broaden my horizons recently in my quest to be more creative with my embroidery skills and purchased a Brother Persona PRS100 embroidery machine.  It’s a 68-pound beauty and it took my husband & I together with a dolly to man handle that baby upstairs.

My brother was my first customer on this shining star, and I embroidered 14 aprons for his son, who owns a restaurant in Missouri.

This new machine balked a few times (learning curve), so phone calls to the dealer and a bit of screaming on my part, as I watched the screen tell me “check the top tension or the bobbin tension, before finally getting that tension properly balanced.

Sewing buffs, you know what I mean. What’s up with that!  Which one do I adjust!

Well I looked in the book again and decided the bottom bobbin was my first go to in correcting and balancing the tension. What you need is a balance of top thread showing and only about a third of the top thread showing on the bottom of the garment. My personal tension, on the other hand, was all the way to a 10 on the Richter scale!

Finally, the dealer told me never to touch the bobbin tension (even though it is clearly described in the book). Now they tell me! They regret the book gives you that option.

I purchased a new bobbin to finish my project & learned (vowed) to never touch the bobbin thread case again. I will only turn the top three tension indicators knobs to appropriately make adjustments.

Since there are four tensions adjustments (three on top and one on bottom) for the machine, I learned a few days ago what steps to go by in adjusting these tension knobs.

Whew! What an education.  The top tension, I was told to adjust, made all the difference in the world. Yea! Success.

I’m like a dog with a bone, I just don’t give it up until the lady sings. Such a learning experience and it’s not over yet.  However, I am not as intimidated any longer with this new piece of equipment, which tried to buffalo me.  No-siree, I’m in control and she purrs like a kitten … wonderful!

For now, I have been pulled away from my loving embroidery passion to help my husband with our last phase of house renovations, which has bordered on a nightmare. We are upgrading our existing home and running into so many areas that are not squared. My husband says studs are not on 16” centers, plus leaky toilets. We have pledged to do whatever we can to make our home look square and pretty.

We’ll be content to say this will be the last upgrade and have a blind eye to any imperfections. lol. I really am excited with a mental image of the results, so it will be worth the efforts.

I did squeeze in a small embroidery job and sewed our initial W on a table runner in gold metallic, which had existing gold thread in the material, and it turned out awesome. Sewing with metallic thread is extremely tricky, but my new machine took it in stride.Happy trails to you.

11 04, 2019

Boredom Busters: Keep Fido Entertained

By |2019-04-10T15:02:47-05:00April 11th, 2019|Guest blogger|0 Comments

A Blog by Guest Blogger Brandon Butler

Photo By: Pixabay

Snow, sleet, rain, or shine, when your pooch follows the same monotonous routine day in and day out, boredom is bound to creep in. Unfortunately, along with that boredom might come some unwanted behaviors. Rather than fuss and plea with your pooch, why not fight the boredom and enjoy some quality time with man and woman’s best friend?

Is Your Pup Bored?

Last time you checked, your pooch wasn’t able to verbally express his boredom, unless of course you are Dr. Dolittle. However, there are several signs to look out for that point to a restless pooch.

You may notice your dog using his words in the form of barking at everything and everyone. Perhaps your pooch is suddenly misbehaving such as getting into the garbage, turning over food/water bowls, ripping into treat bags, or suddenly engaging in a behavior that he has been trained not to do. Pay attention to how your dog reacts when you get home, too. He is excited to see you, of course, but all the energy that has built up throughout the day is being unleashed upon you.

Explore Indoor Options

The weather isn’t always cooperative, which means you’ll have to find some ways to entertain your pooch indoors. Have an epic game of hide-and-seek by hiding treats, tennis balls, or other toys around the house to not only get your pup up and moving, but give him some mental stimulation, too. You can even take it a step further and hide yourself. Call out to Fido and suppress the giggles as he sets out on a mission to find you.

Perhaps you could set up an indoor agility course, or play a game of fetch using a soft toy. Since you are already stuck indoors, why not spend some time preparing for future outdoor fun by brushing up on your dog’s public etiquette, leash walking, and basic commands.

Get Out When You Can

Once the weather starts to cooperate, it’s time to head outside for some outdoor fun. There are plenty of dog parks in the area, offering Fido an opportunity for an off-leash romp as well as some canine socialization. Make it a day or overnight trip by heading out for a beach day, hike, or camping trip. If you’re going camping, make sure you’re prepared and that you bring along a pet first aid kit and collapsible water bowl. You can even have your pup help shoulder the load with dog backpack (read reviews before making a purchase).

You could bring some of the indoor activities mentioned above outside by playing hide-and-seek in a fenced-in area or play fetch in a wide-open space. The truth is, there are plenty of dog-friendly activities in your area. If you aren’t sure where to start, sites like BringFido will point you in the right direction.

If Fido is bored, it’s time to do something about it. Entertainment options abound no matter what the weather is like outside, giving both of you an opportunity for fun and bonding.

6 12, 2018

Dog Problems: Keeping Your House Clean on a Budget

By |2018-12-04T11:01:08-06:00December 6th, 2018|Guest blogger, Pet care|0 Comments

Welcome guest blogger Brandon Butler. He’s is a dog lover and vet tech, who loves helping pet owners. You can find more of his wisdom on Fur and Feathers.

Dog Problems: Keeping Your House Clean on a Budget

For dog lovers, one of the best parts of the day can be the time they spend with their beloved canine companion. After all, a pet’s unconditional love and affection is calming. It can be tough to relax, however, when errant fur tumbleweeds, slimy slobber, and muddy paw prints surround you. If you don’t have the cash for a cleaning lady, what can you really do?

Don’t fret. Here are some ways you can maintain a cleaner, healthier home (and pet) without spending a fortune, so you can truly enjoy your time with your pet.

Control the Odor by Cleaning Often

The first thing you’ll need to control is the odor of your home. Many otherwise-spotless homes have a particular smell attached to them, thanks to their dog. There are several major causes of home odors; first, your dog may have gone to the bathroom indoors.

While prevention is the best way to keep the odors from spreading, if your dog has used the bathroom indoors, it may be in an unexpected or hidden place. Seek out the spot and immediately clean it with powerful cleaners so that the effects will not be long-lasting.

If you find that the odors still stick around, it may be time to do a thorough cleaning of your house. Focus on surfaces that may hold on to odors, like carpet and upholstery. Natural cleaning solutions, such as apple cider vinegar and baking soda, will rapidly remove odors and leave your house feeling fresh without running the risk of harming your dog with dangerous chemicals (plus, natural solutions are less expensive).

Follow the same set of principles if your dog drools a lot — if you notice drool, clean it up right away. You may want to consider putting a towel down on your dog’s favorite spot to make cleanup a breeze.

Thoroughly Clean to Improve Air Quality

You probably will still need to improve the quality of the air inside your house, though, by removing the dander already present. Use a good air filter to remove dander and other particles from the air, and light some natural candles to help improve the smell of your home.

Cleaning can also help solve this problem; use a bagged vacuum to make your cleaning even more effective. The bags help you trap the dirt and debris that vacuuming gathers and allow you to seamlessly transfer it to the trash can. Remember to always compare different models of vacuum cleaners to find one with the features you need that falls under your budget.

Improve Your Dog’s Health Through Regular Grooming

The final way you can keep your home clean is to keep your pet clean. The battle between pet parents and their pup’s hair is one of the most well-known. Regularly grooming with a brush designed for your dog’s particular coat will help to remove loose fur from their coat, preventing it from flying around the house, catching on the legs of chairs, and gathering in the corners.

There are also steps you can take between regular baths. Keep paw wipes by the door to prevent your pet from tracking in mud and other unsavory substances from outside, and use a spray-on deodorizer to combat your pet’s everyday smell. As an added bonus, these sprays are made with ingredients that naturally soothe your pup’s skin to prevent scratching, which just spreads more fur.

Keeping your home clean is just as important as keeping your dog happy. However, many of the best ways to maintain your home, such as regularly grooming your dog, are equally good for your dog’s health.

By keeping your house fresh and clean, you will be able to take full advantage of time with your beloved pup, and all the benefits that come with it.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

19 10, 2018

The Power of Not Thinking

By |2018-10-18T10:48:06-05:00October 19th, 2018|Friday on the Miller Farm, Guest blogger, Miller Farm Friday|3 Comments

 A Guest Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara 

I have often heard people speak of “the power of positive thinking.” HiResHowever, I’ve become convinced lately that there is, at times, even greater power in “not thinking.”

For example, when my alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m., I get out of bed, put on my swimsuit, get in my car, drive to the outdoor pool, and jump in before my brain wakes up and realizes that it is January.

No thinking person would behave in such a manner, no matter how “positive” their thoughts.

As moms, I believe “not thinking” is a crucial skill.

For example, when a child (who sleeps on the bottom bunk) comes to your side of the bed in the middle of the night and says, “Rachel (who sleeps on the top bunk) is throwing up and it is dripping down the wall” a mom can get everything cleaned up without giving it a thought.

Most recently, I employed this “not thinking” skill when helping my husband butcher chickens.

I do not usually participate in this process. However, I called everyone I knew who had expressed an interest in observing or even learning this task (a surprisingly long list) and no one was available.

Hesitantly, I donned latex gloves and started plucking chickens. I must say, I felt a certain satisfaction since I was plucking the horrid roosters.

As long as I was “not thinking,” it was not a bad task.

People talked about how bad the chickens smelled, but my nose detected no foul (fowl) odor at all. It made me wonder if perhaps Rachel had secretly bathed the roosters.

I even carried on a pleasant conversation with my husband the entire time. Part of this conversation included, “Hey look what I found!”mm35reddevil1-1I kid you not – it was a marble, which made me think of a song (of course):

“I know an old rooster who swallowed a marble…”

I’m so glad that when my brain goes into “not thinking” mode, it still allows songs to float in and out. A silly song seems to make any task a little more pleasant – as long as you don’t think about it.

The Power of Not Thinking originally appeared on February 1, 2013


9 10, 2018

ONCE UPON A GAME…Playing Bridge Activates Brain Cells

By |2018-10-03T17:10:38-05:00October 9th, 2018|Guest blogger, Once Upon A Tuesday|0 Comments

Welcome new guest blogger Carolyn Wedel. She and I met at a bridge club. She told me she was an avid reader and, sometimes writer. No surprise we struck an immediate friendship. She shared some of her work. I thought her articles would make fun blog posts and convinced her to become regular blogger. Enjoy her first Once Upon A topic below and then be sure to check back on Tuesdays for more tips and thoughts from this multi-talented lady.

ONCE UPON A GAME…Playing Bridge Activates Brain Cells
A Guest Blog by Carolyn Wedel

Do you like to challenge your brain? Do you like to play cards? Do you like to interact with others?

Research shows playing challenging card and domino games can stimulate brain cells. I’m on board with that.

I grew up playing cards. My early beginnings were Canasta, then as an adult, I learned to play the domino game called 42.

One of the characteristics of 42 was it has trumps. Before I learned about 42, I had no idea what a trump was. It sounded foreign to me.

After playing 42 Dominoes, I discovered the game I dearly love to this day, which is called Bridge.

The person who introduced me to the game said it had trumps. Well, I knew what trumps were, so I thought how hard could this game be?

I laugh about that comment today.  Bridge is by far the most brain challenging card game out there.

Bridge is not hard once you learn the basics, but it is challenging.

Playing Bridge requires you to focus, stretch your brain cells, and interact with others. Since I’m a competitive person, this was right up my ally.

Did you answer yes to any of the questions at the beginning? If so, I highly recommend you find a bridge club near you and start playing bridge.

You can choose to play socially, called Party Bridge, or competitively, known as Duplicate Bridge.  But either way, your brain cells will grow and you’ll make lifelong friends.

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Carolyn Wedel’s business life is over (retired) and now she applies her computer skills for the Bridge Community.  She is an avid player of games and sports, which included riding English Dressage competition.  She is a Certified American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) teacher and earned the level of Bronze Life Master this year.  Another love she has is the needle arts…embroidering towels, apparel, and other items, with mostly a bridge theme.

And with a little time left over, she cooks for her husband.

13 09, 2018

Two Etiquette Tips to Help Your Dog Be A Better Neighbor

By |2018-12-04T11:01:44-06:00September 13th, 2018|Guest blogger|2 Comments

Welcome guest blogger Brandon Butler. He’s is a dog lover and vet tech, who loves helping pet owners. You can find more of his wisdom on Fur and Feathers.

Two Etiquette Tips to Help Your Dog Be A Better Neighbor

According to polls, 74 percent of Americans like dogs a lot, while two percent of respondents professed to hate dogs. Even those who like dogs don’t usually like obnoxious dog behavior.

As a dog owner, you probably love everything about your pet. You accept your dog, muddy paws and all. You accept his faults because he loves you unconditionally. Sometimes, adoration for your dog means that you ignore some of his behavior that may be bothersome to others. 

We’re a nation of dog lovers, but… it’s up to owners to teach their pets to be good neighbors. The good news is that you can address most problems yourself.

  1. Correct excessive barking

You may be numb to his barking, but your neighbor probably isn’t. If your dog is an excessive barker who howls at every pedestrian passing your home or just goes off on a yelping rant whenever home alone, there are steps you can take to stop or minimize the yapping.

The first rule is to resist the inclination to yell. Your dog doesn’t know what it means when you raise your voice to him, and if he’s barking, he’s just going to think you are joining in on the noise. Instead, speak to him in a confident, authoritative voice. Here are some tips to curb barking:

  • Remove the barking stimuli. If your dog barks all day at people walking by the front of the house, make it so he cannot see out that window. Restrict access to rooms that face walkers and other activity.
  • Desensitize your dog to things that would cause barking. For example, if your dog barks at other dogs, incorporate socialization with other dogs and reward him for not barking around those that he meets.
  • Train your dog to be quiet when you command. Just like other problem behaviors, your dog is only barking because he hasn’t learned that it’s inappropriate. Again, you accomplish this training goal without yelling, but by rewarding your pup with training treats for stopping barking on command.

 

  1. Calm your dog through adequate exercise

Problem behaviors often arise in dogs who are bored from inactivity. A dog may jump on a visitor, chew on furniture, and even have accidents in the house because of pent-up energy and nervousness. If you provide frequent interaction and activity your dog will be less likely to engage in a destructive stress-relieving behavior. Try this out: double the frequency and duration of your current walking schedule. In most cases, you’ll be hearing more snoring than barking, and your well-exercised pup will be a lot less likely to engage in other inappropriate behavior.

Dog walking provides benefits for owners in addition to controlling bad canine behavior. The activity gives owners exercise and has been shown to reduce stress. It also is a wonderful way to connect with your dog.  If your busy schedule limits your available time for walking, consider hiring a dog-walking/dog sitter service. These services can help make sure your dog gets frequent attention.

Today’s gig economy makes finding dog sitters and walkers easier than ever, but ask some essential questions before hiring a service. For instance, ask how they would handle an emergency situation. Insist that they provide a reference list of current and former clients, and make sure that you give the service clear instructions and have an open line of communication.

Through basic obedience training and frequent exercise, you will find that many of your dog’s problem behaviors disappear. You, your dog, and the entire neighborhood will appreciate it.

26 07, 2018

How Your Family Can Eat Healthy All Summer Long

By |2018-07-24T10:35:25-05:00July 26th, 2018|Guest blogger|2 Comments

Today I am hosting Brandon Butler, one of our regular guest bloggers. He’s sharing four great ways to encourage healthy eating this summer.

How Your Family Can Eat Healthy All Summer Long

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 Think you don’t have an influence on what your kids eat? Think again.

Research suggests that parents have a significant impact on what kids eat — particularly in their early years. While the best solution is to nip bad habits in the bud, it’s never too late to institute a healthy regimen.

Summer can present multiple temptations, but you can still enjoy the season without sacrificing your family’s health.

  • Be Mindful Of Snacking

Despite the fact that it’s a debatable topic amongst pros in the health industry, mindless (and unhealthy) snacking can upend healthy eating habits. Aside from weight gain and the possibility of consuming an unbalanced diet, other risks include memory and learning problems, increased risk of dementia, inability to control appetite, chemical changes that lead to depression, and the risk of uncontrollable cravings.

However, between road trips and summer activities, craving a snack is not out of the realm of possibilities. With that in mind, opt for healthy alternatives, such as a gut-healthy guac (with yogurt or sauerkraut), chopped veggies and hummus, fresh (or grilled) fruit kabobs, whole grain crackers and string cheese, low-fat yogurt, etc.

  • Create Healthier Versions Of Summer Favorites

Everyone loves a grilled burger and ice cream cone come summertime, but there’s no doubt that the calories can add up quickly when consuming such warm-weather delicacies. Instead of denying yourself—and your family—these culinary pastimes, opt for making healthier alternatives.

If unconventional recipes such as sweet potato salad aren’t your thing, consider small changes, such as swapping out highly-caloric mayonnaise, fatty ground chuck, kettle chips, and full-fat ice cream with lower-calorie versions — but don’t’ be afraid to treat yourself and your loved ones once in a while. Experts agree that occasional splurges prevent a decrease in metabolic rate, prevent binges, and help maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long term.

  • Head To The Farmers Market

Aside from the visual stimuli that are incomparable to a grocery store, taking your kids to the farmers market teaches them what real food is, the importance of seasonality, and what goes into a meal.

Allow your kids to choose specific fruits and vegetables that appeal to them visually and taste-wise so that they can get excited about eating healthy foods. Talk about the origin of the produce, different preparation methods, and how such foods help in their daily activities, from sports to sleeping to functioning at school.

  • Cook Together

Not only is cooking an important life skill every youngster should know, it’s also a fun family activity to do together. Combine the two previous points (healthy food alternatives and the farmers market) to teach your kids how to make healthier preparations of their favorite dishes while speaking to them about the difference between the original and your newfound creations.

Cooking is also a good opportunity to point out the importance of eating whole, quality foods versus goods that come out of a can or a box in the frozen section of the grocery store. Give your kids age-appropriate tasks to complete during the prep and/or cooking process so that they have a sense of satisfaction when the meal is served.

Eating is only half the battle. Staying active with your family is a key component to staying healthy, too. There are copious ways to have fun with the family, including day trips, walking in your neighborhood after dinner, dancing, riding bikes, hiking, strolling around the zoo, going for a picnic, and simply horsing around in the backyard by camping out or playing kick ball.

5 07, 2018

Adopting an Animal Aids in Addiction Recovery

By |2018-06-27T14:29:54-05:00July 5th, 2018|Guest blogger|0 Comments

Welcome Jennifer, our guest blogger, today. She’s from The Village Recovery, a drug rehab center in Florida and a fellow dog lover here to tell us how a pet could help in addiction recovery.

How Adopting an Animal Aids in Addiction Recovery

Treatment for addiction is difficult and a lifelong process, someone with a substance use disorder (SUD) must continue their treatment even after they leave their treatment facility, where maintaining recovery can become harder. In a rehabilitation facility, patients are in a controlled environment with people who understand their addiction and how to treat it, but when someone with an SUD leaves rehab and reenters the “real world,” it can be intimidating.

The individual in recovery has to figure out a new routine, learn how to cope with daily stresses in a healthy way, and rebuild relationships that could have been damaged when the individual was misusing. During this time, it’s critical that people in recovery have a strong support network — and for some people it can be a lonely process if they don’t have friends or family to turn to. However, a strong support system doesn’t have to walk on two legs — many people in recovery find support through a furry friend.

According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) people who owned a pet were found to be able to have more positive social interactions, than people without pets had. Owning a pet can also help you build new relationships with other people, the interactions you have with people while walking or playing with your dog, can easily lead to new friendships for both you and your pet.

A study from Harvard Health Publishing determined that pets can help foster human-to-human friendships and increase social support. Another challenge that people in recovery may face are the daily stresses of life. Compiled stress could result in anxiety and depression, and these feelings can be triggering for someone in recovery. To combat these feelings, having a pet nearby can help.

A study in the U.K. demonstrated that 55 percent of people with pets reported that they felt more relaxed after spending time with their animals.

There are numerous benefits to adopting animal for people in recovery, some examples include:
● Developing a routine
● Creating a sense of purpose
● Keeping active
● Learning to socialize
● Building communication skills
● Receiving emotional support

While the benefits of owning a pet are substantial, a person must be certain that they are ready to adopt an animal, because owning a pet is a commitment. If someone in recovery isn’t sure that they’re ready for the major care giving responsibilities that are associated with being a pet owner, they could try lower maintenance animals like fish or hamsters. Only the person in recovery will know when the proper time for them to adopt an animal. Alternatively they can talk to their sponsor or counselor regarding their opinions on the “right time” for pet ownership.

A pet can provide support. Though pet ownership can be challenging at times, recovery can become a little easier with the help of a furry friend. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, call The Recovery Village today to speak with a representative about starting on the path to recovery. The call is free, confidential and there’s no obligation to enroll.

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Jennifer is a Florida-based writer who strives to raise awareness for mental health and lifelong recovery from substance misuse and addiction. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading a book at the beach or park and playing her with her two Pomeranians.

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