Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2020) — The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), joint founders of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program, announced today that Nationwide, the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the U.S., has become a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company.
“Nationwide has earned this meaningful recognition through its significant commitment to human-animal bond research, education, and professional development,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “Being a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company recognizes that Nationwide is strengthening the human-animal bond as a core part of its mission.”
As part of the certification process, all Nationwide pet associates will complete human-animal bond training, learning about the science behind the human-animal bond and gaining a deeper understanding of how this science supports pet health and the practice of veterinary medicine. The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors considered essential to the health and well-being of both.
“Becoming Human-Animal Bond certified is an honor and a process that we are committed to in every interaction we have with pets and their families. We know the more we learn, the more we can protect them,” said Heidi Sirota, Nationwide’s Chief Pet Officer.
Launched in 2018, the NAVC Human-Animal Bond Certification prepares veterinarians and animal care staff to recognize and promote the importance of the bond between pets and their families. The program evaluates the science, communication, community engagement, animal welfare and wellness, and medical care needed to create and maintain a positive human-animal bond.
“The Human-Animal Bond Certification gives veterinarians and all those who support them additional tools and training to further understand and safeguard this bond,” said NAVC CEO Gene O’Neill. “The NAVC is committed to expanding the benefits of the human-animal bond to as many health care professionals as possible. We are proud to bestow Nationwide with the Human-Animal Bond Certified Company designation, and we thank them for their commitment to this important education initiative.”
The leading role of Nationwide is evidenced by their commitment to education and support of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program. More than a thousand professionals have signed up for this certification, which offers 22 hours of Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) -approved continuing education credit.
Important for their certification, Nationwide has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the human-animal bond by making sizeable investments in independent research on the benefits of companion animals for those such as people with autism, veterans with PTSD and people with cancer diagnoses. The work also researches the benefits of animals in assisting children and adults on the autistic spectrum.
Nationwide’s support for the human-animal bond and the role of pets in society is further demonstrated by their groundbreaking research on pet-inclusive workplaces. In partnership with HABRI, Nationwide has shown how pets and pet-friendly benefits, including pet health insurance, are increasingly important to the millennial workforce, enhancing employee wellbeing, as well as company recruitment, retention, engagement and presenteeism.
“Nationwide is committed to protecting our members’ pets through our direct relationships with pet owners and through our veterinary partners. That is why we are so proud to support human-animal bond research,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s associate vice president of Veterinary Relations. “Understanding and sharing the science of the human-animal bond helps all of us as individuals, families and communities.”
To learn more about the Human-Animal Bond Certification and to find out how you or your clinic can become certified, please visit NAVC.com/HAB.
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, with offices in Orlando, Florida, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is a non-profit organization providing world-class professional development to the global veterinary healthcare community. Its largest event, VMX, hosts thousands of veterinary professionals each year. Other offerings include VetFolio, an online CE platform in conjunction with LifeLearn; the NAVC Institute; the Veterinary Innovation Council; an Industry Services Division; and its Media Division, consisting of: Today’s Veterinary Business, Today’s Veterinary Nurse, Today’s Veterinary Practice, Veterinary Advantage and an online news and lifestyle channel, Spark! In 2018, the NAVC launched its Certifications division including the Human-Animal Bond Certification and added the Veterinary Business Leader Certification and the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification in 2019. Visit NAVC.com for more details.
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, please visit www.habri.org.
About Nationwide pet insurance
With more than 800,000 insured pets, Nationwide is the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the United States. Nationwide pet health insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2018); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2018). Agency of Record: DVM Insurance Agency. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020
More Press Releases
Publication of Largest-Ever Study on Pets in the Classroom Indicates Positive Impact on Academic and Social Behavior
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), The Pet Care Trust, and American Humane announced today the online publication of the Pets in the Classroom Study, which assessed the social, behavioral, and academic effects of the presence of small, resident classroom animals for 591 third and fourth-grade students across the United States over the 2016-2017 school year. The study’s findings suggest that classroom pets may help improve academic performance and social skills in children. “The utilization of classroom pets in third and fourth grade U.S. classrooms appears to hold significant benefits for children’s social, behavioral, and academic development,” said Amy McCullough, PhD, Principal Investigator and Senior Research Advisor, American Humane. “Findings show that the presence of pets in the classroom may increase social skills and competence for children in the third and fourth grades and, additionally, be effective in decreasing select problem behaviors in the classroom.” American Humane’s research team recruited a total of 41 classrooms across 19 schools to take part in the study. A total of 591 third and fourth grade students from 15 U.S. states were enrolled in this study. Overall, 20 participating classrooms had a pet and 21 did not. Teachers, students, and parents were asked to complete survey instruments at three designated time points over the course of the study period. Teachers were not asked to change the way in which they taught and/or utilized the pet in their classroom in an effort to assess the impact of typically occurring classroom pet interaction. Across the school year, teachers with classroom pets, which ranged from guinea pigs to small reptiles, saw significantly greater increases in overall social skills, including every subscale of the social skills measure (communication, cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, engagement, and self-control); social competence; and academic reading competence. In addition, teachers...
New Research to Explore Effects of Service Dogs on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Caregivers
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) has announced funding for a new research project led by the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine to evaluate the effects of service dogs on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their caregivers. The two-year grant from HABRI will enable the research team to conduct a study quantifying the therapeutic effects of service dogs on children with ASD and their caregivers in collaboration with service dog provider Canine Companions for Independence. “While anecdotal evidence suggests service dogs may benefit children with ASD, there is a need for published data on this subject,” said the study’s Principal Investigator, Marguerite O’Haire, PhD, Associate Professor of Human-Animal Interaction, who is part of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. “As the largest and most extensive study on service dogs for children with ASD and their caregivers to date, we expect the findings to provide critically-needed outcomes for this increasingly prevalent application of the human-animal bond.” The study, called the Purdue Canines for Autism Research Study, or Purdue CARES, will compare up to 50 families engaging in usual care that have an ASD service dog with up to 50 families engaging in usual care while on the waitlist to receive a service dog. Participation will include caregivers completing a 30-60 minute online survey and facilitating three mornings of saliva collection with the child to measure cortisol, a stress hormone. O’Haire and Purdue co-investigators Kerri Rodriguez, Dr. Mandy Rispoli and Dr. Bridgette Kelleher along with Dr. Evan MacLean of the University of Arizona will conduct the study, which focuses on children diagnosed with autism who range from ages 4-17. The researchers will compare the symptoms of children who currently have service dogs in the home and those who are on a waiting list for a service dog. They also will assess participants’ cortisol levels, a...
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...