May 6, 2024

Pet-Friendly Mental Health Facilities

an image of a client and a dog at Gratitude Lodge representing animal assisted therapy

Pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy can be a wonderful source of comfort, love, and companionship for those dealing with mental health issues. 

However, when it comes to seeking mental health treatment, pet owners may feel hesitant to leave their furry friends behind. Pet-friendly rehabs and mental health facilities provide a wonderful option for pet owners to receive the care they need without sacrificing the companionship and support of their furry friends.

For many pet owners, their pets are like family members, and the thought of leaving them behind during a stay in a mental health facility can be distressing. However, more mental health facilities are recognizing the importance of pets in their patients’ lives and have started creating pet-friendly policies.

Gratitude Lodge is one treatment center in Southern California that offers pet-friendly treatment programs to ensure that our clients’ stay is as comfortable as possible. Call our team today and learn more about how our program can help you.

people sitting with dog representing pet friendly mental health facilities near me

What are the Benefits of Having Pets in Mental Health Facilities?

Having pets in mental health facilities can offer several benefits, both for patients and the therapeutic environment as a whole. 

Benefits of having a pet in a mental health treatment center include:

  1. Stress Reduction: Interaction with pets has been shown to decrease cortisol, a stress hormone, and increase serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain. This can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in patients.
  2. Nonjudgmental Support: Animals offer unconditional love and acceptance. They do not judge by a person’s past or their mental health condition, which can be incredibly comforting to patients who may feel stigmatized by their mental health struggles.
  3. Increased Social Interaction: Pets can help facilitate social interactions among patients and between patients and staff. They can act as social lubricants, easing conversations and fostering community within the facility.
  4. Physical Activity: Physical activity, such as walking or playing, is encouraged, especially with dogs. This can be beneficial for mental health, as regular physical activity is known to help reduce depressive symptoms and improve mood.
  5. Routine and Responsibility: Caring for a pet requires a certain level of responsibility and routine, which can benefit people with mental health issues. It helps bring structure to their day and can make them feel needed and valuable.
  6. Emotional Comfort: Pets can provide emotional comfort. Simply petting an animal can help soothe and relax individuals. They can also help reduce feelings of loneliness by providing companionship.
  7. Increased Engagement: Pets can increase patient engagement with therapeutic activities. They can be incorporated into therapy sessions to encourage participation and make them more appealing and less intimidating.
  8. Therapeutic Tool: Therapists can use animals in their sessions as therapeutic tools. For example, observing a patient’s interaction with an animal can provide insights into their behavior and emotional state. Pets can also be used in specific therapeutic approaches, like animal-assisted therapy (AAT).

These benefits can contribute significantly to the healing and comfort of individuals in mental health facilities, enhancing the overall therapeutic environment.

For pet owners seeking mental health treatment, pet-friendly mental health facilities provide a unique option that allows them to receive the care they need without sacrificing the comfort and support of their furry friends. 

If you or a loved one are searching for pet-friendly mental health facilities, Gratitude Lodge offers a substance abuse and mental health treatment program that welcomes you and your pet. 

Visit our pet-friendly rehab page or call (800) 994-2184 to learn more. 


Many mental health and substance abuse treatment programs offer alternative or holistic therapies to supplement traditional treatment methods. While animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is not a “cure” for substance abuse or mental health issues, you can benefit from including pet therapy as a part of your comprehensive treatment program.

According to Heart Views“Animals make people feel good – and a pet can improve health, studies show. Pets can ease loneliness, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, promote social interaction, encourage exercise and playfulness, and provide unconditional love and affection.”

Whether you have a pet of your own or engage with animals as part of your mental health or substance abuse treatment program, many studies have shown that animals and pets can help with your mental health.


Sometimes, mental health and substance abuse problems can create issues with the essential people in your life. You might experience disruptions in friendships or family relationships if your addiction or mental illnesses caused problems in those crucial relationships.

As you repair those essential relationships, you can still receive unconditional love from your pet. Pets are often happy to see their owners despite any of their flaws or issues. As you build your self-esteem during recovery, your pet can provide you with unconditional love and acceptance — even if your friends and family aren’t quite “there yet.”

image of gratitude lodge | Carson drug rehab


If you’re struggling with addiction and mental health disorders, our pet-friendly recovery centers offer a safe and welcoming place for both you and your furry friend. 

At Gratitude Lodge, we offer compassionate care for mental health disorders and substance use disorders. When you call, our friendly team will walk you through the process of getting treatment with your pet by your side, providing a free insurance coverage check, creating a customized treatment plan for them, and much more.

Our world-class, people-first program includes addiction treatments like:

  • Individual and group therapy (CBT, DBT, etc.)
  • Dual-diagnosis (mental health treated with addiction)
  • Adventure therapy (surfing, hiking, beach days, etc)
  • Holistic therapy (yoga, art therapy, music therapy, etc)
  • & More

Learn more about our programs on our treatments page, or call our friendly team today at (800) 994-2184.

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Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
an image of clients representing drug detox california

Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
Gratitude Lodge clients laughing, representing drug detox california


An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
woman at beach representing drug detox in california

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
an image of a client and therapist at Gratitude Lodge's Long Beach addiction treatment center

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
an image of clients outside after getting help at Gratitude Lodge's rehab in Long Beach, California

Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
an image of clients at Gratitude Lodge's carson drug rehab

Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
An image of clients going through inpatient substance abuse treatment

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
an image of clients at clients at Gratitude Lodge's representing fear in recovery

Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.
Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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