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
Zoetis Becomes First Human-Animal Bond Certified Company

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), who jointly founded the Human-Animal Bond Certification program last year, announced today that Zoetis, a leading animal health company, has become the first Human-Animal Bond Certified Company. “With its long-term commitment to funding human-animal bond research, education, professional development and programming, Zoetis is uniquely deserving of this meaningful recognition,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “Being a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company sends a clear message that Zoetis is a leader in strengthening the human-animal bond for the veterinary community and the public.” “For years, Zoetis has been a leading advocate of the bond between humans and animals, and we are honored to have earned this important certification,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, Executive Director, Zoetis Petcare Marketing and Chair of the HABRI Board of Trustees. “Veterinarians play a key role in strengthening the relationship between animals and people, and Zoetis is committed to helping them, their clients, and the animals they care for experience the benefits of the human-animal bond.” As part of the certification process, more than two dozen Zoetis employees successfully completed the certification program, receiving training on the science behind the human-animal bond and developing a deep understanding of how this science supports the practice of veterinary medicine. Zoetis is committed to ongoing training for additional employees. The leadership role of Zoetis is evidenced by its commitment to education, and the company was an early supporter of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program. After only one year, more than 500 professionals have signed up for this certification, which offers 22 hours of RACE-approved continuing education credit. Zoetis has also developed educational resources surrounding the bond for its own employees, for the...

Press Releases
New Handbook for Welcoming Pets at Nation’s Senior Centers

(Washington, D.C.) June 6, 2018 The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) have teamed up develop a handbook focused on helping senior center administrators incorporate pet-friendly programming and policies into their facilities. The handbook, Older Adults and Animal Programming, provides an overview of the scientific research that demonstrates the benefits of human-animal interaction, and a path forward for senior centers looking to develop or expand animal programming. HABRI and NISC first conducted a survey of senior center administrators from across the country to gauge interest in animal programming. A large majority of senior centers surveyed allowed animals in some way, with many senior centers expressing a strong desire for more pet-friendly programs and policies. Responses were received from 113 NISC-member senior center administrators from across America. Of the 28% of respondents that had a current therapy animal program, significant positive health benefits for participants were reported: Improved social interaction 71% Improved mental health 48% Increased physical activity 35% “Scientific research demonstrates the benefits of the human-animal bond for healthy aging – from reducing blood pressure to encouraging social interaction to reducing stress and depression,” said HABRI Executive Director, Steven Feldman. “With this handbook and through our strategic partnership with NCOA and NISC, we can increase opportunities for seniors to experience the healing power of the human-animal bond.” “Only 32% of the senior centers that responded to the survey reported having pet policies in place, so we feel the handbook is a timely and important opportunity to have conversations about the added value that pet programming can provide to the lives of seniors and staff alike,” said Maureen O’Leary, Program Manager for NISC. “We’re excited to provide this excellent...

Press Releases
DC Stands for Dogs and Cats!

Members of Congress have been bringing pets to work since the nation’s founding. A new survey confirms that Capitol Hill remains a very pet-friendly workplace today, with a solid majority of House and Senate offices who responded to the survey saying they welcome pets at work on the Hill. The survey included in-person interviews in House and Senate offices during August, 2017, and was sponsored by Nestlé Purina PetCare and conducted on behalf of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), to call attention to the benefits of pet-friendly workplaces. The Hill survey findings paint a picture of a very pet-friendly workplace: More than 80 percent of the 192 House and Senate offices who responded say they welcome pets in the office, either during recess, while Congress is in session, or both. By comparison, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, just 7% of American workplaces allow pets. The pet-friendly Hill office findings were relatively consistent across party lines, geographic regions, and both chambers, suggesting wide bipartisan support for having pets at work. “The bond we share with pets is something we can all agree on,” said Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, PhD, and Chief Veterinary Officer at Purina. “We’ve been bringing our own dogs and cats with us to work for decades, because we believe life is better with pets. We know that pets help us de-stress, lower blood pressure, get our exercise, and even forge stronger social connections.” Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI, agrees: “Scientific research shows that pets in the workplace can boost productivity, collaboration and employee satisfaction,” said Feldman. “We hope that more companies and workplaces will follow the lead of Congress to begin to think about pets as a way to boost employee health and wellness.” Pets have had a presence in Congress from the beginning. In a recent interview, the Assistant Senate Historian, Dan Holt, said senators used to bring their...

HABRI