How Can Owning a Dog Help You with your Addiction

There are many types of addictions out there, from drugs to gambling, alcohol, hoarding, and everything in between. Although all are completely different, they all have one thing in common. Be it physical or psychological, the person has a difficult, if not impossible time of stopping that destructive behavior.

Yes, getting into a certified clinic, a 12 step group and/or having partners and coaches that can help you fight the addiction, is one of the best ways to overcome it, but there is one very positive thing that may be overlooked, yet it might mean the possibility of kicking the habit or a relapse. It’s called owning a dog.


You may not be responsible enough to confront or even change being an addict, but if you own a dog, you will need to be. Dogs need to be fed, walked, groomed and cared for just like you do, and for many people who are addicted, that first step back into sobriety may be the realization that their dog needs them no matter how you feel or how you act.

There have been many cases where dogs jump-started an addict back to the clean and sober path, because their best 4 footed friend is dependent on them in a way that is greater than being dependent on drugs, alcohol or other addictive substances.

Your Dog Loves You

Your dog loves you, even in the depths of your addiction. They will never judge you, never scold you for your actions and never try to undermine your behavior in any way. And when your buddy feels good about you, you are going to start feeling good about yourself, and that gives you a sense of pride and self-worth, both of which can be sorely lacking for the person struggling with addiction.


No matter what type of substance or behavior you are or have been addicted too, it just isn’t a lot of fun. But your dog doesn’t care, they want to have fun, from getting a ball tossed to rolling around on the floor to playing fetch. And that’s what it is all about, really, having fun. There isn’t any fun in addiction, but a dog can change that aspect of your life and bring fun where there isn’t any. It is a step in the right direction, and sometimes just remembering to have fun with your dog is all you might need.


Both, stress and addiction have very similar traits, but having a dog is a great stress reliever. On the road to recovery, the last thing you want to think about is your addiction, and the best thing is to interact with your dog. Petting, playing, running, anything with your dog is a great way to forget about what you are addicted to and enjoy the life that is there before you.

Faithful to a Fault

Your addiction may have burned a lot of the bridges between friends and family, but there is one friend who doesn’t care. Your dog will always be faithful to a fault come hell or high water. The only thing your pooch wants is your love, that’s it! They won’t hold grudges, they will never leave you and their devotion will be unquestionable. The best thing is that, even if you are not the great person they believe you to be, you can learn how to be worthy of that love, and that might just make all the difference in the world.

About the Author

Mary Nielsen is a passionate dog lover, blogger and part-time music teacher. She started to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable mutts. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.


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