When it comes to the human-animal bond, veterinarians continue to play a vital role in educating the public on the benefits of pet ownership.
This is according to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI). The organization has partnered with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) to highlight the importance of veterinary medicine in supporting human-companion animal bonds, as well as promoting the human health benefits of interacting with pets.
“Caring for an animal companion provides benefit not only for the animal itself in terms of its health and welfare needs, but can have many positive benefits for the owner,” says WSAVA past president, Shane Ryan, BVSc (Hons), MVS, CVA, GradDipAnimChiro, MChiroSc, MRCVS. “This mutually beneficial relationship, with a shared lifestyle and environment, forms the basis of the human-animal bond.”
A recent HABRI-conducted survey of American pet owners revealed veterinarians are a trusted resource for scientific information supporting the benefits of pet ownership. Additionally, the findings suggest a knowledge of the science behind the human-animal bond can motivate pet owners to take better care of their pets, HABRI reports.
Specifically, when pet owners understand the human health benefits of pet ownership, the survey found:
- 92 percent were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventive medicine;
- 89 percent were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including regular check-ups with a veterinarian; and
- 89 percent were more likely to take better care of a pet overall.
Under the newly formed partnership, HABRI and WSAVA will focus on activities promoting the science of the human-animal bond, as well as the veterinary profession’s positive role in animal welfare and human wellness. Additionally, WSAVA will be represented on HABRI’s advisory committee.
“Veterinarians are uniquely positioned as trusted resources for pet owners who are more attuned to their pets’ health needs than ever before,” says HABRI’s president, Steven Feldman. “HABRI is proud to join with WSAVA to help veterinarians connect with their clients and share scientific information about the human-animal bond.”
For more on the science behind pet ownership, click here.