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Being on a recovery journey presents a host of challenges since mental and emotional healing doesn’t happen overnight. Although overcoming addiction isn’t easy, every obstacle and bad day is worth it if it leads you towards happiness and sobriety. As people heal, social interactions and companionship may be needed to alleviate negative feelings. Friends and family members can provide love, understanding, and compassion, but so can therapy animals and emotional support pets.

A recent study shows that having a therapy animal can curb impulsive behavior in those who are recovering from alcohol and substance addiction. Moreover, therapy animals and emotional support pets can help to ease anxiety symptoms, depression, and reduce feelings of loneliness. As such, it’s only natural that some people in recovery may want their presence at all times, especially if they’re going on a holiday. If you’re traveling with an emotional support animal, you’ll need to find a place that will welcome your pet– here’s how to find accommodation that permits therapy animals.

Can You Take Your Therapy Animal or ESA to a Hotel?

People in recovery with ESAs or therapy animals will be happy to know that housing rights for domesticated animals have changed over the years, and that’s why we’re seeing more pet-friendly homes and communities being developed in different parts of the world. However, when it comes to finding pet-friendly accommodations, you’ll have to expect some push back from certain establishments. Before traveling with your canine or feline companion, it’s important to know that most hotels don’t allow animals since they pose a risk to guests and facilities. Moreover, even if you have the proper documentation to prove that your pet is certified to be an emotional support animal or therapy pet, the hotel management has every right to deny you and your dog or cat temporary lodging since ESAs don’t have a legal right to public access.

That being said, there are now a few hotels that will welcome you and your therapy animal, and they’ll even provide some amenities to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable. This includes Loews Hotels, which has a chain of luxury accommodations throughout the US, and they provide animal guests with toys, bedding, litter boxes, and food. For an affordable option, there’s Best Western, while Sonesta allows you to book a pet-friendly room in any of their US and international locations.

Searching for Pet-friendly Places at Airbnb

For some people who are recovering from substance or alcohol addiction, staying at a place where they can have privacy and some peace and quiet is key to having a relaxing holiday with their therapy animal. This is why instead of staying at a hotel, they’d rather find an Airbnb that will accommodate them and their ESA. If you’re leaning towards this option, know that some Airbnb hosts don’t allow pets because of allergies or simply because they don’t want to clean up after them. However, you can certainly find therapy animal-friendly accommodations using the app’s search filters. Simply look for the “pets allowed” option under the listing’s house rules, and if it’s there, then you’re good to go.

You also need to communicate directly with the host to know their pet fees since it’s not usually included in the booking price. Pet fees range from $5 to about $100, depending on the type of accommodation, facilities, and amenities provided. Also, note that Airbnb acknowledges that service animals and ESAs aren’t the same as pets, so they expect hosts to accommodate reservations even if the listing doesn’t allow pets. But just to avoid hassles and misunderstandings, look for a listing that explicitly states that pets are welcome– you’ll be spared from having arguments with your host, and you’ll have a more enjoyable time staying there with your therapy animal.

Staying at Resorts with an ESA

Staying at a nice resort can certainly help you during recovery since it enables you to de-stress, have fun experiences, and take advantage of what the world has to offer. If you’re planning to take your therapy animal with you to a resort, know that most of them are quite lenient and will happily welcome your pet. Places like Walt Disney World Resort, for instance, have pet-friendly accommodations, and they even have access to outdoor areas where your dog or cat can roam around. Meanwhile, the Universal Studio Orlando Resorts offers pet-friendly rooms, and each guest is allowed up to 2 pets per room.

Finding accommodations that will welcome your therapy animal doesn’t have to stress you out. Consider these tips to help you find a hotel room or Airbnb where you and your emotional support animal can spend some time while you’re in recovery. Doing so enables you to enjoy the healing benefits of having your furry friend by your side as you work your way towards sobriety.

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