Pet-assisted therapy uses animals to help people cope with a range of problems, from heart disease to mental health disorders. It is a structured therapy that uses animals to help lower stress, improve health problems, calm people down, and many more benefits. The human-animal bond can be very therapeutic. A review of 17 studies about animals’ effect on mental health shows why. 15 of the 17 studies (more than 88%) found that owning pets is beneficial for people experiencing mental health struggles. Among those benefits include providing emotional support and unconditional love, helping people stay present, combatting feelings of isolation, and helping people calm down when anxious or panicking. In recovery, taking care of a pet can give people a purpose and make them feel connected to something larger. Walking a dog or playing with a cat brings an opportunity for physical activity, which is beneficial for mental health. Amatus’ facilities Atlanta Detox Center and Atlanta Center for Mental Health have a therapy dog named Maybelle, and clients say treatment wouldn’t be the same without her. Early recovery can feel like its own crisis; people often come to it with a host of personal problems, while dealing with physical symptoms of withdrawal. On top of that, they’re learning to cope without using substances, perhaps for the first time. Maybelle provides hope, comfort, and love. If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you heal in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.