Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Announces Results of Research Project
Washington, D.C. (November 14, 2016) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced the results of a study exploring the effects of an email mediated intervention to increase walking in dog owners and non-dog owners, conducted by researchers at Purdue University and published in the journal Clinical Nursing Research.
Findings of the study showed that a simple email intervention sharing the importance of walking and the positive impact of walking on a dog’s health were effective tools to promote walking. These interventions caused participants to increase and maintain dog walking over a 12-month period. Email intervention for non-dog owners also increased weekly minutes of walking compared with baseline measures and control groups, however dog owners accumulated significantly more walking minutes per week than non-dog owners.
“Walking is an easy, accessible way to increase physical activity, which is important for the health of people and their pets,” said the principal investigator on the study, Elizabeth A. Richards, PhD, RN, CHES, of Purdue University. “Because an email reminder is so simple, these findings should be easy to replicate, encouraging dog owners and non-dog owners alike to lead more physically active lifestyles.”
Participants assigned to the intervention group received a twice-weekly email message for the first four weeks of the intervention followed by weekly email messages for the next eight weeks. The emails attempted to influence confidence through a variety of mechanisms which the investigators hypothesized would directly influence dog walking for dog owners and walking for non-dog owners. Previous studies have supported that dog owners who walk their dogs are motivated to do so because of dog-related support for walking. A number of dog-owner participants in this study anecdotally reported that their ability to maintain behavior change in physical activity was in part due to the dog expecting a walk and conditioning the owner to comply.
“With more than 50 million dog-owning households in America, the scientifically-documented link between dog ownership and physical activity has the potential to positively impact public health on a broad scale,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “HABRI is committed to funding research that demonstrates the incredible power of the human-animal bond to improve our health and well-being.”
Richards, E. A., N. Ogata, and C.-W. Cheng. “Randomized Controlled Theory-Based, E-Mail-Mediated Walking Intervention: Differences Between Dog Owners and Non-Dog Owners.” Clinical Nursing Research (2016): 1-21. 1 July 2016.
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, please visit www.habri.org.
More Press Releases
Federal Grant Applications Now Open: Funding to Support Pet-Friendly Domestic Violence Shelters
The PAWS Act Coalition, a group of nonprofit and for-profit organizations committed to better protecting survivors of domestic violence by establishing, validating and promoting the criticality of protecting their pets, too, is informing the domestic violence shelter community of the recent announcement of the Fiscal Year 2021 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program. “With the opening of the 2021 grant applications, we encourage domestic violence shelters around the country to apply for funding to become pet-friendly facilities,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. FY 2021 grants will 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 an abuser to locate and secure safe housing with their pet, safe accommodations for their pet, or related services such as transportation and other assistance. The $2.5 million appropriated for 2021 represents a $500,000 increase in funding following the success of the FY 2020 Emergency Transitional Pet Shelter Housing and Assistance Grant Program. The program awarded approximately $2 million to six organizations in six states to support transitional housing services for survivors of domestic violence and their companion animals. Grants have enabled shelters to expand housing and supportive service resources for domestic violence survivors, provide assistance including rent, pet deposits, and pet supplies to those seeking transitional housing with their pet, and more. “The first round of the PAWS Act Grant Program funding in 2020 came at a critical time to aid survivors of domestic violence seeking safe shelter and healing with their pets across the nation,” said...
Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) Shareable Infographic: The Top Benefits of Pet Ownership for Healthy Hearts
In recognition of Heart Health Month, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) has created a new shareable infographic, “The Top Benefits of Pet Ownership for Healthy Hearts”. The infographic highlights research supporting the positive role of pets in improving cardiovascular health. “Scientific research shows a link between pet ownership and improved heart health, including a lower risk of heart diseases and heart-related health issues,” said HABRI President Steven Feldman. “HABRI’s goal is to raise awareness of the important role of human-animal bond for healthier hearts during Heart Health Month, a time to focus on cardiovascular health.” This infographic is part of an ongoing series to share human-animal bond research. In June, HABRI shared “Can Pets Help You Live Longer?“. In November, HABRI issued “5 ways the Human-Animal Bond is Improving Lives During the Pandemic”.
New Survey Shows Cat Owners with Cat Allergen Sensitivities Go to Extraordinary Lengths to Manage Cat Allergens
For the as many as 1 in 5 adults globally who are affected by cat allergen sensitivities, the daily effort to manage cat allergens and coexist with the cats they love can be a struggle. From excessive cleaning around the house to spending less time with the cat, there are no easy choices. Despite these daily struggles, cat owners are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their cats, going as far as ignoring doctor’s orders. If told by their doctor to give up their cat to help manage cat allergens, 84 percent of cat owners would dismiss the advice. Twenty percent even said they would keep the cat and get a new doctor, showing the need for better management methods. These statistics are from a new survey of 2,000 U.S. cat owners from Purina Pro Plan, a leader in pet nutrition, in partnership with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), which sought to understand the impact of cat allergens on cat-owning households. The survey confirmed that the bond that owners share with their cats is strong – a universal truth for all cat owners regardless of cat allergen sensitivities. Ninety percent of cat owners feel their cats are members of the family, and three in four owners say their relationship with their cat is important to and a core part of their health and well-being. But it’s not always easy for those with cat allergen sensitivities; 37 percent say they’ve had to change their lifestyle to accommodate their cat, significantly higher than those without sensitivities (22 percent). In an effort to help, Purina Pro Plan has introduced Pro Plan LiveClear, the first and only cat food that reduces the allergens in cat hair and dander. Backed by more than a decade of research, Pro Plan LiveClear is shown to safely and effectively reduce allergens in cat hair and dander in as little as three weeks of daily feeding. The key ingredient is a specific protein sourced from eggs. When cats eat LiveClear, the protein binds to the major cat allergen, Fel d 1, and...