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
When Doctors Ask About Pets, Good Things Happen

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) today announced it has awarded a $55,000 grant to Markham Stouffville Hospital for a groundbreaking research study, Using the Pet Query to Assess Patients’ Environmental History and Social Context, to explore how questions about pet ownership can help healthcare professionals better serve their patients. “If primary care practitioners – physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers – just ask patients about pets in their families, a whole new world of patient care is open to them,” said Dr. Kate Hodgson, co-investigator of the study, veterinarian and Certified Continuing Medical Education Professional. “Pets can build social capital, motivate healthy behavior change, catalyze harm reduction, and even participate in a patient’s treatment plan.” It is expected that by utilizing the Pet Query, (Do you live with companion animals? How many? What species?) patients will be more open about their environmental history and habits, allowing healthcare providers to better assess and address their patients’ health. Pets can then become powerful catalysts and motivators for patients’ healthy choices and behaviors. In addition to enabling primary care providers to leverage the health benefits of companion animals, asking about pets in the family assists in identifying and mitigating any associated risk. “This grant to Markham Stouffville Hospital is an important stepping-stone in HABRI’s mission of investigating and sharing the healing power of companion animals,” said Steve Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “We know 97% of doctors already believe in the health benefits of pets. This research will give them practical tools to act on this belief.” The 12-month study will survey 150-200 healthcare professionals ranging from family physicians to social workers on how specific behaviors relate to pet ownership and how to integrate that information into healthcare practices.

Press Releases
Coalition Hails Passage of Legislation as Key Milestone in Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence and their Pets

(December 21, 2018) – A group of nonprofit and for-profit organizations lauded the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill) after advocating for legislation to better protect domestic violence survivors by establishing the critical importance of protecting their pets, too. With the inclusion of key elements of the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act (H.R. 909, S.322) in the Farm Bill, Congress took an essential step in removing a roadblock to the safety of these survivors with pets. “Thanks to bipartisan passage of the PAWS Act by Congress, more domestic violence shelters will allow survivors of abuse to heal with the love and support of their beloved pets,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, President of Purina. “This is an important milestone in the coalition’s collective efforts to create safer communities for pets and pet owners, and Purina will remain steadfast in our commitment to keeping pets and people together, particularly during times of crisis.” This provision of the Farm Bill establishes grants for domestic violence shelters to carry out programs to provide emergency and transitional shelter and housing assistance or short-term shelter and housing assistance for domestic violence victims with pets, service animals, emotional support animals, or horses. Grants awarded may also be used for programs that provide support services designed to enable someone fleeing domestic violence to locate and secure safe housing with their pet, safe accommodations for their pet, or related services such as transportation and other assistance. The PAWS Act Coalition would like to thank the original co-sponsors of the Pet and Women Safety Act for their leadership and commitment to its passage, especially the lead sponsors Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). The Coalition is also particularly grateful for Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) for spearheading the effort to pass the bill by including...

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