Pet-Friendly Sober Living

Having pets in sober living may seem like a strange idea, but it isn’t at Real Deal. We believe having pets can be extremely beneficial for our residents. Pets make our lives better by teaching us discipline and showing us unconditional love. It’s a no-brainer than this only makes recovery easier. This isn’t a new idea, either. In fact, schools have been doing this for years. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of pets in sober living.

Pets are big for connection early in sober living

Benefits of Pets in Sober Living

1. Pets Teach Us Discipline

Pets are living creatures that require daily care. They need to be fed, taken outside, and cleaned up after. Since discipline is a key factor in maintaining sobriety, learning to be there for our pets consistently and on time can have major benefits.

2. We Learn Patience

Pets are inevitably going to cause us frustration. From making messes inside to ruining furniture or possessions, pet behavior can be destructive and training them properly takes patience. Over time, we build that patience by responding appropriately to our pet’s behavior and participating in their learning process.

3. Acceptance 

Just like people, pets aren’t always going to behave the way we want them to. They may ignore our commands, bark at strangers, or run out the door when we open it. Some of this behavior can be changed through training, but sometimes we need to accept that it is normal. Gradually, we learn to be accepting and tolerant of our pet’s natural behaviors. These qualities tend to translate well into other areas of life.

4. Selflessness 

With pets, we learn to be selfless. Having another living creature to care for forces us to pay attention to something outside of ourselves. Pets are dependent on us for survival, and they notice who takes care of them. Over time, a special bond between pet and owner develops, and the owner learns to put their pet’s needs first. What could be more selfless than that?

5. Unconditional Love

It’s commonly said that our pets have unconditional love for us. But what does that really mean? It means that no matter what happens to us, our pets will always love us with all their hearts. If we learn to treat other people the way our pets treat us, the world becomes a much better place to live in.

Dog and cat being best Pals

Real Deal Pet Rules

Pets will only be allowed at Real Deal if they meet the following criteria:

  • Spayed/neutered 
  • Over 6 months old
  • Non-aggressive (no history of aggression or violence)
  • Housebroken
Cat hiding under blankets

Which Locations Allow Pets?

Both our Northeast Dallas and Richardson properties allow pets. 

We believe sober living should be a comfortable environment. We choose to allow pets to make sure our residents feel at home. Not only do pets benefit our residents, but they bring us happiness as well! We hope our residents can find the same joy from pets that we do.

Sober Living and Pet Allergies

Some of our residents are allergic to pets. Since resident safety is our top priority, we screen applicants for allergies and make sure those who are allergic are placed in a pet-free environment. Luckily, fewer than 10% of people have an allergy to pets, and according to this article by Live Science, more people have an allergy to cats than to dogs. This is good news, since most Real Deal residents with pets have dogs.

Problems With Pets in Sober Living

As you can imagine, pets can also cause serious issues, particularly in a structured sober living environment. For starters, if the pet is not taken care of properly, it becomes a burden to others who are forced to take care of it. Additionally, pets can be dirty. If their owners don’t clean up after them, the quality of life in the house can take a hit. Pets can also escape and get harmed, taken to the pound, or stolen. Their owner must learn to be responsible for watching over them, a skill that will help build a strong foundation for recovery.