Pet Food Institute Supports Human-Animal Bond Research | HABRI

Pet Food Institute Supports Human-Animal Bond Research

Washington, D.C. (March 1, 2017) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that the Pet Food Institute (PFI) has made a $25,000 contribution to support research on the benefits of the human-animal bond for people and pets.

“PFI is proud to support HABRI, whose important research on the health benefits of pet ownership advances our collective awareness about the significant role pets play in our lives,” said Cathleen Enright, PhD, President & CEO, Pet Food Institute. “As the voice for U.S. pet food and treat makers, PFI and our members understand and celebrate the special bond between humans and pets.”

“For the nearly 150 million dogs and cats in the U.S., health and wellbeing starts with sound nutrition and safe food,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “Research shows that healthy pets make healthy pet-owners, and HABRI is proud to have the support of PFI, an organization committed to supporting long and healthy lives for pets.”

HABRI has assembled a growing body of scientific evidence showing that pets improve heart health; alleviate depression; increase well-being; support child health and development; and contribute to healthy aging. In addition, companion animals can assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder.

The benefits of the human-animal bond can be found at both ends of the leash. Findings from a recently-published HABRI survey of 2,000 pet owners demonstrate that the more they know about the scientific research on the human-animal bond the more likely they are to take better care of their pets, including providing pets with higher-quality nutrition and keeping up with visits to the veterinarian.

“Spreading awareness of the health benefits of pet ownership improves pet health and welfare,” Feldman added. “PFI and its member companies are great partners to share this message.”

PFI, whose members make up 98 percent of all U.S. pet food and treat products, is dedicated to:

  • Advocating for legislation, regulations and technologies that support the domestic manufacture and global distribution of safe, quality pet food and that provide for consumer choice;
  • Promoting pet food safety innovation in manufacturing and handling practices;
  • Delivering information about issues impacting pet food makers, their suppliers and distributors, pet lovers and other relevant stakeholders; and
  • Communicating the benefits of pet ownership to the general public at large.

More information about PFI can be found online at www.petfoodinstitute.org.

PFI joins a broad array of organizations and individuals that help HABRI fund innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; maintain the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; and inform the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about HABRI, please visit www.habri.org.

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
Easing Restrictions on Pets in Rental Housing Could Help 8.75 Million Pets Find Homes Over Time

Non-profit organizations Michelson Found Animals Foundation and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today announced the launch of the Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative, a research and resource development initiative that promotes access to the joy of pets in every home. As part of the initial phase, the organizations today released the results of the most comprehensive survey research to-date on pets and rental housing in the United States. The research shows that, while the majority of rental housing allows pets, significant restrictions present hurdles for pet-owning renters. The research also shows that there are major opportunities for property owners and operators who can ease such restrictions. “Michelson Found Animals and HABRI had a clear goal with this research: to provide actionable insights that can help make it easier for renters to have pets in their lives,” said Aimee Gilbreath, executive director, Michelson Found Animals. “More pet-inclusive rentals could lead to millions more adoptions for renters who want pets.” Steven Feldman, HABRI executive director, added: “The health and wellness benefits of pet ownership are well documented. Both renters and property managers understand how great pets are, and when restrictions are lifted, everyone can enjoy the full benefits of the human-animal bond.” One third of pet owners in restricted pet-friendly housing said they would get another pet if restrictions were lifted, and 35% of non-pet-owners in non-pet-friendly housing would get a pet if restrictions were lifted. With changes that would allow more pets to be accommodated, as many as 8.75 million animals could find new homes over time.   24% of renters with pets said that “my pet has been a reason for me needing to move,” which means as many as 6 million people have experienced a move related to pet ownership at some point in their lives. 83% of property managers say that pet-friendly vacancies can be filled faster. 79%...

Press Releases
Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Announces 2015 Research Grants

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced funding for seven research grants in 2015, totaling more than $225,000 dollars. Focused on child health and development, mental health and wellness, and healthy aging, these grants will advance scientific understanding of the human-animal bond and its impact on human health. “As one of the organization’s founders, I am proud of how far we have come in only a few years,” said Bob Vetere, President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association and President of the HABRI Board of Trustees. “With HABRI, we can put science behind what many of us believe – if we take good care of our pets, they will take good care of us!” “The companies and organizations that support HABRI are leaders in supporting the scientific research to advance our knowledge of the human-animal bond,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “Everyone associated with HABRI is grateful for their commitment to this important endeavor.” HABRI has awarded a total of $226,557 to the following recipients and research projects: Sandra Branson, PhD, MSN, RN (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston): Biobehavioral Effects of Therapy Dog Visitation in Elderly Intensive Care Unit Patients Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, ABPP (Yale University): Interactions with Animals to Reduce Children’s Stress Rebecca A. Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP (University of Missouri): Companion Animals, Social Engagement, and Psychological Well-Being in Mid and Later Adulthood Annie Petersen, Ed.D (Association for Human-Animal Bond Studies): Listening EARS: How Does Reading to Rabbits Effect the Reading Skills of Third Grade Students? Robin L. Gabriels, PsyD (University of Colorado, Denver): Physiological Wellness Effects of Animal-Assisted Activities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Specialized Psychiatric Hospital Program Marguerite E. O’Haire, PhD (Purdue University): Pilot Study of the Effects of Service Dogs...

Press Releases
New Study to Investigate the Impact of Pets on the Mental Health of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today the award of a new research grant to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to examine the relationship between sexual and gender minority (SGM) stressors in young adulthood and human-animal interaction (HAI), investigating how pets may serve as a protective factor for this marginalized population during the transition to adulthood. The lead investigators of the grant are Drs. Rosalie Corona and Shelby McDonald, both in the Department of Psychology. SGM emerging adults (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender minority identities or “LGBTQ+” ́) are a diverse group of young people facing stigma, victimization, and discrimination at levels that impact their wellbeing. This research project involves a three-wave panel study of 300 SGM emerging adults. Over a 6-month period, researchers aim to identify unique relations between SGM stressors and HAI, exploring how pets are associated with increases in personal hardiness, and whether comfort derived from them buffers the negative impact of victimization on self-esteem. This study will allow researchers to assess these effects over time and identify causal mechanisms that explain the relationship between pets and improved health outcomes, providing further evidence for the role of pets as a social determinant of health. “This study is the first to longitudinally test whether relationships with pets help this underserved population cope with stress,” said Dr. Shelby McDonald, Co-Principal Investigator. “I’m thrilled to be working with Co-PI Dr. Rosalie Corona, on this project, who brings expertise in reducing risk, health disparities, and improving health behaviors. We expect to find that measures of the human-animal bond, such as attachment to pets and comfort derived from pets, will be positively associated with self-esteem and personal hardiness, and negatively associated with stress and substance use.” Dr....

HABRI