New Survey Reveals 97% of Doctors Believe There Are Health Benefits to Owning a Pet | HABRI

New Survey Reveals 97% of Doctors Believe There Are Health Benefits to Owning a Pet

Results Show 75% of Doctors said Patients’ Health Improved as the Result of Getting a Pet

Results Show 75% of Doctors said Patients’ Health Improved as the Result of Getting a Pet

Washington, D.C. (October 27, 2014) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation, today released the results of a first-of-its-kind survey detailing the views of family physician on the benefits of pets to human health.

“Doctors and their patients really understand the human health benefits of pets, and they are putting that understanding into practice” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative funds research on the evidence-based health benefits on humananimal interaction, and this survey demonstrates that we are on the right track.”

HABRI partnered with Cohen Research Group to conduct an online panel survey of 1,000 family doctors and general practitioners. This is the largest survey of its kind to explore doctors’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior regarding the human health benefits of pets. The 28-question survey was conducted in late August 2014 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%. The physicians in the survey had a median of 18 years of practice experience.

Among the survey’s key findings:

    • Most doctors have successfully worked with animals in medicine.

      69% have worked with them in a hospital, medical center, or medical practice to assist patient therapy or treatment. They report interactions with animals improve patients’ physical condition (88%), mental health condition (97%), mood or outlook (98%), and relationships with staff (76%).

    • Doctors overwhelmingly believe there are health benefits to owning pets.

      97% reported that they believe there were health benefits that resulted from owning a pet.

    • The majority of doctors have recommended a pet to a patient.

      60% of doctors interviewed have recommended getting a pet to a patient. 43% recommended the pet to improve overall health and 17% made the recommendation for a specific condition.

    • Most doctors have seen their patients’ health improve as a result of pet ownership.

      75% of physicians said they saw one or more of their patients overall health improve, and 87% said their patients’ mood or outlook improved.

    • Doctors are willing to prescribe pets.

      74% of doctors said they would prescribe a pet to improve overall health if the medical evidence supported it; 8% said they would prescribe a pet for a specific condition.

The survey also revealed that while 69% of doctors at least occasionally discussed the health benefits of pets with patients, 56% identified “time constraints” as the biggest barrier to having these discussions.

“The science shows that pets can help with a wide range of health conditions – from heart health to depression to PTSD,” Feldman added. “HABRI hopes that this survey will help break down the barriers and get more doctors and their patients talking about the important, scientifically-validated health benefits of pets.”

The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of pets and other animals; informs the public about human-animal bond research; and advocates for public policies that support the beneficial role of pets in society.

Founded by The American Pet Products Association (APPA), Petco Animal Supplies Inc., and Zoetis, the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) is a non-profit foundation that serves as a rallying point for a growing assembly of companies, organizations and individuals with the common goal of demonstrating that our relationship with pets and animals makes the world a better place by significantly improving human health and quality of life. For more information about the HABRI Foundation, please visit www.habri.org.

Contact

Brooke Gersich

brooke@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
Healthy Paws Foundation Joins Forces with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute

Healthy Paws Foundation, the charitable arm funded in part by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance – the #1 customer-rated provider of insurance for dogs and cats— and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) have joined forces; Healthy Paws Foundation has made a contribution to support the HABRI’s research on the mental and physical health benefits of owning a pet. Healthy Paws will sit alongside other leaders in the pet care community on the HABRI Steering Committee. This commitment focuses on creating awareness of “the pet effect”, including health benefits for people and improved health and welfare for pets. Scientific evidence shows that companion animals can help prevent cardiovascular disease, reduce depression, and provide support for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to autism spectrum disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). HABRI reports that pet ownership saves $11.7 billion in U.S. healthcare costs. The human-animal bond is also good for pets. A recently-published survey by HABRI found that when pet parents are educated on the scientific research on the health benefits of pets, 89 percent said they would be more likely to take better care of their pets. “We believe in the work HABRI is doing. Their research tells us that companion animals have a positive health impact; so while pets are an important part of the family, they’re also significant to our wellbeing,” said Rob Jackson, Chief Pet Protector at Healthy Paws. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, too – the knowledge that a human-animal bond increases their own health and wellness motivates pet parents to take better care of their pets. This means providing the best pet medical care is of utmost importance.” “Healthy Paws is a leader in the growing pet insurance business because they recognize the powerful human-animal bond that makes pets part of our families,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “Research shows that when we take better care...

Press Releases
Study Finds Dogs De-Stress Families with Autistic Children

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation announced today the results of a long-term study to explore the effects of pet dogs on families with children with autism spectrum disorder, just published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. The findings of the study showed significantly improved family functioning of families with a dog compared to those without. The study also found a reduction in parent-child dysfunctional interactions among families that had a dog. “While there‭ ‬is‭ ‬growing‭ ‬evidence ‬that ‬animal-assisted‭ ‬therapy‭ ‬can aid in ‬the‭ ‬treatment‭ ‬of‭ children with ‬autism‭ ‬spectrum‭ ‬disorders, this study is one of the first to examine how‭ ‬pet‭ ‬dog‭ ‬ownership‭ ‬can also ‬improve‭ ‬the‭ ‬lives‭ ‬of‭ ‬those‭ ‬more widely affected‭ ‬by‭ ‬autism,” said the principal investigator ‬on the study, Professor Daniel Mills, BVSc, PhD, from the University of Lincoln, UK. “We found a significant,‭ ‬positive‭ ‬relationship‭ ‬between‭ ‬parenting‭ ‬stress‭ ‬of‭ ‬the child‭’‬s‭ ‬main‭ ‬caregiver‭ ‬and‭ ‬their‭ ‬attachment‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ family dog. This highlights the importance of the bond between the carer and their dog in the benefits they gain.”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman said: “Parents of children with autism can experience increased anxiety and stress, and now we have strong scientific evidence to show that pets can have positive effects on these quality-of-life issues. Families with an autistic child should consider pet ownership as a way to improve family harmony.” This...

Press Releases
New Study to Examine Benefits of Pets for Older Americans

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) today announced it has awarded a $43,000 grant to the University of Missouri for a new study to explore how companion animals effect social engagement and psychological well-being in adults ages 55+. The primary objective of the study is to examine the influence of companion animal ownership on the social engagement (social contacts and organizational participation) and psychological well being (life satisfaction and depression) of adults. It aims to discover if companion animal owners have better social engagement and well-being than those who do not during mid- (55-64 years) and later (65+) adulthood, in addition to exploring the differences between the two age groups. “We are excited to be able to look at how having a cat or dog impacts social engagement and mental health for middle-aged and older adults,” said Dr. Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, lead investigator and professor at the University of Missouri. “We believe that people who have a dog or cat will be less socially isolated, have lower depression, and higher life satisfaction compared to non-pet owners.” The research team will analyze data from a recent national study, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and utilize a novel approach in looking at those individuals who participated in an experimental human-animal interaction portion of the survey to provide a robust contribution to information on how companion animals can impact this demographic. The project is expected to be complete in one year. “With 75 million baby boomers entering mid and later adulthood it is vital that we understand how everything, including pets, can improve their lives,” said HABRI Executive Director Steve Feldman. “With the results of this study in hand, potential pet owners will have new information about the benefits of bringing a pet into their lives, and health care providers could more frequently consider prescribing pets for older Americans in their care.”

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!