Washington, D.C. (June 11, 2020) — In recognition of Pet Appreciation Week, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), in partnership with LifeLearn Animal Health, have created a new, shareable human-animal bond kit, highlighting the health benefits of a healthy relationship with a pet.
The scientific research that supports the human-animal bond – or the mutually beneficial relationship between people and pets – for better health indicates that pets can make a difference in promoting physical activity, facilitating social connectedness, healthy aging and more.
According to HABRI’s survey of pet ownersi, knowledge of the human-animal bond improves pet care and welfare. When educated on the scientific research on the health benefits of pets:
- 92% of pet owners are more likely to maintain their pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventative medicine
- 89% of pet owners are more likely to take their pet to the vet for regular check-ups
HABRI and LifeLearn are proud to work together in creating shareable content for veterinarians and animal health professionals. The more we can remind people that in good times and bad, our companion animals are wonderful sources of support, comfort and joy, the healthier and happier we will be, together.
About LifeLearn Animal Health
LifeLearn Animal Health provides customizable online software solutions for veterinary practices to improve efficiency, save time, increase appointments, adapt, and thrive in a competitive new veterinary landscape. Animal health corporations also rely on LifeLearn to provide custom digital education, marketing, and communications products and services to help them market to their valued veterinary and pet-owner customers. For more information, please visit http://lifelearn.com.
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 http://www.habri.org.
More Press Releases
New Research to Support Unhoused Youth with Pets
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today funding for a new research project that seeks to develop a multi-perspective strategy for reforming housing service systems to support unhoused young people with pets. This research will be conducted by the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. “We want to identify how to improve the policies of existing housing service systems to better support young people with pets who are unhoused,” said Erin Flynn, a Ph.D. student who will co-lead the project. “Through this research, we will synthesize the expertise of unhoused young people and service providers to develop a framework for housing systems to better protect the human-animal bond for this vulnerable population.” Every year, 4.2 million young people in the United States experience some level of homelessness, and unhoused people face higher risks of health problems, substance abuse, and depression. Scientific research demonstrates the health and developmental benefits of pet ownership for young people, ranging from better mental health and quality of life to improved physical health. Pets may be especially likely to benefit vulnerable populations such as unhoused youth. Many young people experiencing homelessness describe their pets as family members and experience distress when they perceive this relationship is not being respected by housing services. A lack of pet-friendly policies leaves unhoused young people with pets excluded from housing, health, and other related services. Young people have reported delaying seeking help or refusing services altogether if it meant they would be separated from their pets. Erin Flynn will be joined by co-Principal Investigator Laura Coddington, also a Ph.D. student of the Graduate School of Social Work, and Co-Investigators Dr. Kimberly Bender and Dr. Jennifer Wilson. Researchers will conduct in-depth interviews with unhoused young people and housing service providers in the Denver, CO...
New Publications Highlight Impact of Companion Animals on Loneliness During the Pandemic
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Mars Petcare, with support from a broad Consortium of partners, today announced the publication of three papers in the open-access Journal Animals, part of a special issue focused on the role of companion animals during the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Isolation and the Roles That Animals Play in Supporting the Lives of Humans: Lessons for COVID19. The papers focus on the role of human-animal interaction (HAI) in helping to alleviate loneliness and social isolation during the pandemic. These papers were authored by working group members of the Consortium on Social Isolation and Companion Animals, established by HABRI and Mars Petcare in 2018. “These publications represent a critical aspect of our Consortium effort to explore the potential of companion animals to help address the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation, which has only grown more pressing since the pandemic began,” said Steven Feldman, president of HABRI. “As these papers highlight, the human-animal bond has served as a key source of emotional and social support for so many over the last year-and-a-half, underscoring the importance of future research investigating this impact.” “Social isolation and loneliness are immense societal challenges, affecting people in many ways, which require different interventions and treatment approaches,” said Rena Crumplen, Global Vice-President of Research and Development, Mars Petcare. “These publications represent an important scientific milestone in bridging research and practice – helping bring evidence-based solutions to those affected by social isolation and making the case for multidisciplinary efforts to further the field of HAI more broadly.” The paper led by Dr. Dawn Carr, Department of Sociology, Florida State University analyzed longitudinal survey data obtained from a Florida community-based sample of adults aged 60+ in September 2018 and October 2020. Researchers set out to test the association...
New Effort Highlights Potential Impact of Pets on Social Isolation and Loneliness
Mars Petcare and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today gathered leaders in public health, research, psychology, gerontology, and veterinary medicine to advance scientific research, best practices, and practical solutions to facilitate the role of companion animals and human-animal interaction (HAI) in addressing the public health crisis of social isolation and loneliness in society. Health experts have described loneliness as reaching epidemic levels – affecting people of all generations from all walks of life.[i] And most importantly, social isolation has been shown to be as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, making it a serious threat to public health.[ii] There is widespread agreement among both pet owners and non-owners that companion animals can play a role in addressing the societal challenge of loneliness and social isolation.[iii] Results from nationally-representative market research reinforce the social bond between humans and pets. Specifically, 80 percent of pet owners say their pet makes them feel less lonely. When it comes to both pet owners and non-pet-owners, 85 percent of respondents believe interaction with a companion animal can help reduce loneliness and 76 percent agree human-animal interactions can help address social isolation. Further, pet owners with the closest bond to their pet see the highest positive impact on their feelings of loneliness and social isolation.[iv] The market research also showed:[iii] Around one in four (26 percent) pet owners stated they got a pet because they know it is good for mental health – with respondents aged 55+ doing so more frequently (55 percent). 54 percent of respondents say their pet helps them connect with other people. Half of respondents (51 percent) say their pet helps them feel less shy. 9 in 10 people aged 55+ believe pets can help older adults feel less lonely. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of those surveyed believe nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have...