whiskerDocs Supports Human-Animal Bond Research | HABRI

whiskerDocs Supports Human-Animal Bond Research

Washington, D.C. (December 6, 2018) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that whiskerDocs, the leading provider of telehealth support for pet parents, has become an official supporter of HABRI and its research on the human health benefits of companion animals.

“By supporting the advancement of human-animal bond research, whiskerDocs is demonstrating its commitment to the human-animal bond and the positive role that healthy pets play in our lives,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “HABRI is proud to have the support of whiskerDocs, which is doing innovative work to support pet owners striving to take great care of their pets.”

Recognizing the role of pets as family members, whiskerDocs was started to help pet parents receive unbiased support from veterinary professionals in making the best decisions on behalf of their pets. The whiskerDocs team is available 24 hours a day and provides on-demand support via tech-enabled channels, including live chat, phone, mobile messaging and more. whiskerDocs’ clients partners include employers, pet insurance companies such as Pets Best and Embrace, and pet services companies such as Rover.com and Pethealth.

“Pet owners want to ensure their whiskered family members are healthy and happy at all times, because the human-animal bond is so important to their own happiness and well-being,” said Deb Leon, CEO of whiskerDocs. “As the role of pets in society continues to evolve and the demands of pet owners continue to rise, whiskerDocs will be there to make certain that each and every pet owner has immediate, trusted access to professional veterinary guidance and help. We look forward to working with HABRI to help more people and pets lead worry-free, healthy lives together.”

Scientific evidence increasingly shows that pets improve heart health; alleviate depression; increase well-being; support child health and educational development; and contribute to healthy aging.

New research also shows that pet-supportive workplaces that include pet-services (like veterinary telehealth and pet insurance) boost employee attraction, engagement and retention. When employers support pet owners, employees are more likely to feel highly connected to their company’s mission, become more fully engaged with their work, and are more willing to recommend their employer to others. Additionally, employees at pet friendly workplaces are 52% more likely to report a positive working relationship with their boss and 53% more likely to report a positive working relationship with their co-workers, compared to just 14% and 19% among those in non-pet friendly environments.

“When employers help employees take care of their pets, it has a huge payoff,” Feldman added. “whiskerDocs, which can be offered as an employee benefit, provides another important way to provide that support.”

whiskerDocs is headquartered in Skokie, IL, and supports over 1 million pet parents throughout North America. Since 2011, whiskerDocs has been providing advice to pet parents for behavior, emergency, wellness care, training, and questions about symptoms. Visit whiskerdocs.com to learn more.

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) is a not-for-profit organization that 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.

 

Contact

Liz Thomas

liz@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
New Research Studies to Dig Deeper into the Health Benefits of Companion Animals for Vulnerable Populations

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today announced funding for five new research projects focused on the positive effects of human-animal interaction on human health. These new studies will examine the influence of pet ownership, pet caretaking or animal-assisted therapy on a wide array of health conditions among a varied group of populations, including older adults, children with pediatric cancer, and suicidal adolescents. “With human-animal interaction research more clearly documenting the impact of the human-animal bond on mental and physical health, it is important to support research on how companion animals can benefit vulnerable and at-risk populations,” said Bob Vetere, HABRI President and Chair of the Board of Trustees. “This new group of research projects is particularly exciting as two of the studies will add to existing HABRI research results on the benefits of dog walking for physical activity and the impact of therapy animal visitation on the quality of life of pediatric cancer patients. Two studies will look at mental health and preventing suicide among teenagers, a population that is often overlooked.” Out of a total of more than 40 proposals received, HABRI has funded the following five research projects: Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD (University of Sydney): Increasing Dog-walking in the Community: What is the Potential of Wearable Dog Trackers? The PAWalks Trial Megan MacDonald, PhD and Monique Udell, PhD (Oregon State University): Joint Physical and Social Well-being for Adolescents and Their Family Dog Mary Jo Gilmer, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN (Vanderbilt University): Pilot Study of the Effects of Animal-Assisted Interactions (AAI) on Quality of Life in Children with Life-Threatening Conditions (LTC) and their Parents Sandy Branson, PhD, MSN, RN (Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth): Pet Caretaking and Risk of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Older U.S. Adults Participating in a Nationwide Longitudinal Probability Cohort Study Alexander...

Press Releases
Healthy Paws Foundation Joins Forces with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute

Healthy Paws Foundation, the charitable arm funded in part by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance – the #1 customer-rated provider of insurance for dogs and cats— and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) have joined forces; Healthy Paws Foundation has made a contribution to support the HABRI’s research on the mental and physical health benefits of owning a pet. Healthy Paws will sit alongside other leaders in the pet care community on the HABRI Steering Committee. This commitment focuses on creating awareness of “the pet effect”, including health benefits for people and improved health and welfare for pets. Scientific evidence shows that companion animals can help prevent cardiovascular disease, reduce depression, and provide support for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to autism spectrum disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). HABRI reports that pet ownership saves $11.7 billion in U.S. healthcare costs. The human-animal bond is also good for pets. A recently-published survey by HABRI found that when pet parents are educated on the scientific research on the health benefits of pets, 89 percent said they would be more likely to take better care of their pets. “We believe in the work HABRI is doing. Their research tells us that companion animals have a positive health impact; so while pets are an important part of the family, they’re also significant to our wellbeing,” said Rob Jackson, Chief Pet Protector at Healthy Paws. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, too – the knowledge that a human-animal bond increases their own health and wellness motivates pet parents to take better care of their pets. This means providing the best pet medical care is of utmost importance.” “Healthy Paws is a leader in the growing pet insurance business because they recognize the powerful human-animal bond that makes pets part of our families,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “Research shows that when we take better care...

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.

HABRI