New HABRI Survey: Knowledge That Pets Improve Our Health Boosts Animal Welfare | HABRI

New HABRI Survey: Knowledge That Pets Improve Our Health Boosts Animal Welfare

The More Pet Owners Learn about Scientific Research on the Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond, the Better They’ll Care for Their Companion Animals

The More Pet Owners Learn about Scientific Research on the Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond, the Better They’ll Care for Their Companion Animals

Washington, D.C. (September 7, 2016) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced the findings of a new survey on the impact of knowledge of the scientific benefits of the human-animal bond on how pet owners care for their companion animals. The survey asked pet owners about their awareness of research that shows pets improve human health and found that this knowledge has the power to motivate them to take better care of their pets in important ways.

“Scientific research shows that pets are good for our health, improving heart health, relieving stress and positively impacting conditions from autism to PTSD,” said HABRI Executive Director, Steven Feldman. “Now, for the first time, we have data to show that it’s a two-way street – when we know how good pets are for us, we are more likely to take better care of them!”

According to the survey, seventy-one percent of pet owners were aware of scientifically-documented health benefits from pets. Most importantly, when asked how knowledge of the scientific research on the human-animal bond would affect their actions:

  • 89% of pet owners said they were more likely to take better care of their pets
  • 75% of pet owners said they were more likely to microchip a pet to ensure it can be found if lost or stolen
  • 51% of pet owners said they were more likely to purchase pet health insurance
  • 62% of pet owners said they were less likely to skip visits to the veterinarian
  • 74% of pet owners said they were less likely to give up a pet for any reason
  • 88% of pet owners said they were more likely to provide their pets with high-quality nutrition
  • 92% of pet owners said they were more likely to maintain their pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventative medicine

The survey also examined how different generations of pet owners viewed and reacted to the human-animal bond. For millennials, in particular, learning about the scientific research on the health benefits of pets had a large impact:

  • 80% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to bring their pet along when they go out
  • 75% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to travel with their pets
  • 74% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to get an additional pet
  • 74% of millennials think employers should consider allowing employees to bring pets to work

“When pet owners are educated about the scientific research on the human-animal bond, the response is tremendously positive for the welfare of the pet population,” said researcher Michael Cohen, Ph.D. “This research tells me that veterinarians and animal shelters should be talking about the benefits of pets to human health.”

The survey also asked pet owners about increased support for pet ownership in society:

  • 84% agree health and life insurance companies should give discounts for owing a pet
  • 87% would be more likely to buy products from pet-friendly businesses
  • 69% agree the government should help make it more affordable to own a pet
  • 88% agree doctors and specialists should recommend pets to patients for healthier living

“As HABRI continues to fund human-animal bond research, it will work hard to educate pet owners and the general public about the positive impacts of pet ownership on human health,” Feldman added. “As more people experience the healing power of the human-animal bond, more and more pets can get the highest level of care and welfare.”

The online survey, conducted by the Cohen Research Group, included 2,000 interviews and had a margin of error of +2.2%.

About HABRI

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 companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about the HABRI Foundation, visit www.habri.org.

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Awards Grant for New Study to Examine Therapy Dog Impact on Pediatric Echocardiograms

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) announced today it has awarded a $44,000 grant to Duke University School of Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Cardiology for a new research study titled Impact of Animal Assisted Therapy on Quality, Completeness, and Patient and Parental Satisfaction in Children Undergoing Clinical Echocardiography. This study will examine the influence of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) on young children undergoing an echocardiogram. It is hypothesized that children will have a more complete and higher quality echocardiogram in the presence of therapy dogs. In addition, parents are expected to report higher visit satisfaction scores and greater exam comfort for their children. “Echocardiography is an effective way to use ultrasound to ‘see’ inside the heart, and while taking the pictures is non-invasive, it can still be a scary procedure for young children,” said the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Piers C.A. Barker, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Duke University School of Medicine. “Typically, we must sedate children who have trouble holding still so that we can get adequate pictures. This study aims to evaluate whether animal-assisted therapy could serve as an effective alternative technique to comfort the children and put them at ease, potentially resulting in more complete echocardiograms, higher quality images, and avoidance of sedation drugs.” “We know from previous scientific research that animal-assisted therapy is effective in alleviating anxiety in hospital patients,” said co-investigator, Margaret Gruen, DVM, PhD, DACVB of Duke. “This is one of the first studies to focus on the potential of animal-assisted therapy to impact a clinical outcome. If results are successful, this study could potentially add non-pharmacologic, low-cost options to improve diagnostic quality for children having medical imaging procedures and could encourage broader use of therapy dogs in other pediatric cardiology settings.” The...

Press Releases
New Scientific Results: Asking Patients About Pets Enhances Patient Communication and Care

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), The University of Toronto, Markham Stouffville Hospital, and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan announced the publication of a study exploring whether Primary Healthcare Professionals asking their patients about the pets in the family would positively impact communication to gather clinically relevant information and improve patient care. “Results of our survey show that asking about pets in the family is an easy and effective way to build trust with a patient, strengthening the patient-provider therapeutic alliance,” said Kate Hodgson, DVM, MHSc, CCMEP, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. “When healthcare providers learn about the pets in patients’ lives, they are also developing an understanding about specific aspects of their patients’ environment and social history that can improve the delivery of healthcare.” “Having an exam-room conversation about companion animals helps healthcare providers learn important information about patients’ lifestyle and home life which can positively influence the way they evaluate and treat their patients,” said Alan Monavvari, MD, Chief of Family Medicine, MHSc, CCFP, CHE, CPHQ, at Markham Stouffville Hospital. Dr. Hodgson and Dr. Monavvari, along with co-authors Marcia Darling, BSc and Dr. Douglas Freeman, DVM, PhD, DipACT, analyzed results of a baseline and follow-up survey of 225 healthcare professionals asking about prevalence of patients living with pets, the health impact of pets, and influences on patient communication. Results revealed that patients are more open to talking to their healthcare providers about their pets, revealing clinically relevant information about how they live. Baseline and final surveys measured awareness of pets in patients’ families, assessment of determinants of health, impact on rapport with patients, and patient care. A sign test assessed difference in scores using repeated-measures...

Press Releases
With Announcement of 2017 Research Grants, Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) Hits $2 Million Level for Research Support

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today announced funding for four new research grants focused on the effects of human-animal interaction on human health, including social skills outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder; the physical and developmental health of children living with family pets; and the mental health and well-being of seniors living alone. These four grant projects raise HABRI’s total research funding to more than $2 million. “The companies and organizations that make HABRI’s research program possible deserve the credit for hitting the $2 million dollar milestone,” said Bob Vetere, HABRI President and Chair of the Board of Trustees. “With their support, HABRI is building a strong pipeline of high-quality research projects that are showing how pet ownership is essential for human health and wellness.” Since HABRI’s founding in 2010, HABRI has funded 21 competitive research projects from institutions across the globe, and has supported the creation of the world’s most comprehensive online library of human-animal interaction research, bringing its research funding to more than $2 million. In 2017, HABRI awarded a total of approximately $200,000 to the following four research projects, identified by the expert HABRI Scientific Advisory Board out of a total of 48 proposals received: Heidi Ewen, PhD (University of Georgia Research Foundation): Healthy Aging: Human Companionship Through Fostering Felines Gretchen Carlisle, PhD (University of Missouri): Shelter Cat Adoption in Families of Children with Autism: Impact On Children’s Social Skills and Anxiety as Well as Cat Stress Alexandra Protopopova, PhD (Texas Tech University): Integration of AAI and Applied Behavior Analysis to Improve Academic Performance in Children with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability Hayley Christian, PhD (The University of Western Australia): The Health and Developmental Benefits of Companion Animals for Young Children: Advancing...

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