Pet Therapy at Banyan Pompano

“Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” – George Eliot

Dogs are man’s best friend, cats are our feline companions, and pets are a part of the family. From the typical therapy dogs to the more unusual therapy reptiles, animals can have a variety of therapeutic benefits for humans. They have been used for years in different therapy settings and only continue to grow in popularity, and this is why Banyan Treatment Centers is proud to incorporate these programs at our Pompano Beach rehab. Pet therapy programs have been associated with a range of positive effects on human health, including reduced blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as well as alleviation of feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD.1

How Pet Therapy Works with Addiction Recovery

When it comes to substance abuse, addicts often experience problems with both their physical and mental health from heavy drug usage. During the recovery process, they usually struggle to regain the same health they once had before their addiction. At our drug rehab in Pompano Beach, we believe that this is where animal-assisted therapy can step in to help. We believe in a holistic approach to addiction and these programs could be the extra support our patients need to experience a full recovery beyond just the basics of drug or alcohol addiction treatment. At our drug and alcohol treatment center in Pompano, our pet therapy programs can help our patients receive the comprehensive recovery they desire so that they can move forward happily with their lives.

Because the bond between humans and animals is so strong, our pet therapy in Pompano is used to provide another layer of support during the recovery process. When you first begin a PHP or IOP program with us, you may find it difficult to talk about your addiction with other people, especially during group therapy sessions. While humans can be quick to pass judgment, a therapy dog will not care about the choices you made during your darkest days before you sought out our heroin addiction treatment. Opening up about your cocaine addiction can be difficult, but a therapy cat will listen and never divulge what you told them. Therapy animals can also give those addicts struggling with feelings of depression a sense of purpose and hope for their future.

The Benefits of Pet Therapy

Owing to its extraordinary effects on a variety of physical, emotional, and mental health aspects, this novel approach has become more and more popular in recent years. Having animals around, whether they are feathered or furry, can improve a person's quality of life in many ways.

Pet therapy benefits can include:

  • Emotional well-being: Engaging with animals can significantly improve a person's emotional condition. Time spent with a pet can increase feelings of happiness, comfort, and unconditional love while lowering feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and melancholy.
  • Stress reduction: It has been demonstrated that merely petting an animal will reduce cortisol and other stress hormone levels. Caressing a soft fur or feather can have a soothing impact on the tactile sense, resulting in a feeling of calm and relaxation.
  • Improved socialization: Pets can serve as social mediators, facilitating people's interactions with one another. A loving animal can start a conversation in both public and therapeutic settings, assisting in the removal of social boundaries and fostering deep connections.
  • Physical health: Spending time with pets regularly might benefit one's physical health. For instance, walking a dog promotes physical activity and can lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and raise levels of physical activity.
  • Enhanced communication skills: Interacting with animals can offer a nonjudgmental and safe space for people with speech or communication issues to practice and improve their verbal and nonverbal communication abilities.
  • Mood regulation: Research has demonstrated that pet therapy can increase endorphin release, which is the body's natural feel-good hormone. This can promote general well-being and aid in mood regulation.
  • Sense of purpose: Taking care of a pet instills in people a sense of accountability and direction. It offers a schedule, an incentive to wake up in the morning, and a source of companionship—benefits that can be especially helpful for people who are feeling lost or alone.

Pet therapy has proven to be incredibly effective at promoting healing and raising people's quality of life in a variety of healthcare settings, including schools, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities. The significant psychological effects of these feathered and furry friends underscore the need to appreciate and harness the healing potential that animals offer to our existence.

Common Examples of Therapy Animals

Animal-assisted therapy plays a crucial role in providing comfort, companionship, and support to individuals in various settings. While dogs and horses are the most widely recognized therapy animals, and the ones utilized within Banyan Pompano’s pet therapy programs, there is a diverse range of species that can be trained to offer therapeutic benefits.

Common types of therapy animals include:

  1. Dogs: Canines are the most popular and versatile therapy animals. Because they come in a range of sizes and breeds, they can suit a broad spectrum of individuals and circumstances. Their kind nature, ability to form human bonds, and gregarious nature make them great therapeutic partners.
  2. Cats: Due to their gentle disposition and calming aura, cats are used as therapy animals more and more frequently. Their independent yet compassionate nature may bring calm and serenity to those in need of emotional support.
  3. Horses: Equine-assisted therapy, or horse therapy, is the practice of treating mental, emotional, and physical problems via interactions with horses. Horses' enormous stature and gentle demeanor make them great for working with people of all ages.
  4. Rabbits: These cute, kind animals are excellent companions and sources of comfort in a range of environments. Those who are experiencing stress, anxiety, or loneliness may find solace in their gentle fur and peaceful demeanor.
  5. Birds: More and more, therapy settings are using birds, like cockatiels, parrots, and canaries. Their lively hues, upbeat melodies, and capacity to build relationships with people can offer emotional support and intellectual stimulation.
  6. Miniature Pigs: Because of their loving and amiable disposition, little pigs are being utilized in therapy more and more. They can connect with a wide spectrum of people in a variety of settings thanks to their small stature and gregarious nature.
  7. Turtles and Tortoises: Reptiles with slow, steady movements, like turtles and tortoises, can be unexpectedly soothing to those who are anxious or stressed. They are fascinating and healing friends because of their unusual appearance and kind nature.

These common examples of therapy animals show the variety of species that can support people's health and healing in a variety of contexts. The choice of a therapy animal is based on the individual requirements and interests of the people it is intended to help, demonstrating the flexibility and adaptability of animal-assisted therapy.

Pet Therapy at Banyan Pompano

As part of our drug treatment program in Pompano, we use therapy pets to help our patients on their path to recovery. The designated therapy pets will visit at appropriate times and provide our patients with the extra support they need as they struggle to maintain their sobriety. The combination of our animal-assisted therapy, as well as relapse prevention programs and optional faith-based treatment, will give you the tools you need to put your life back together. If you or a loved one is looking for substance abuse treatment in Pompano, do not hesitate to reach out.

Our comprehensive list of unique therapies and treatments is designed to give you or your loved one the individual help needed to overcome addiction as well as create a brighter future. Contact us today to begin your recovery journey at one of our Florida rehabs.


  1. CDC - How to Stay Healthy Around Pets and Other Animals

Most Insurance Plans Accepted

At Banyan Pompano Detox, our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction is able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.

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