Washington, D.C. (November 23, 2020) — In recognition of how pets are helping us during the pandemic and just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) has created a new shareable infographic, “5 Ways the Human-Animal Bond is Improving Lives During the Pandemic”. The infographic highlights research showing the positive role of pets in providing companionship and relief from stress, anxiety and loneliness.
“This is the time of year when many of us reflect on all of the things for which we are thankful. For pet owners, the human-animal bond is high on that list,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman, “HABRI’s goal is to raise awareness of the important role of human-animal bond, especially during difficult times.”
This infographic is part of an ongoing series to share human-animal bond research. In October, HABRI released the “Top 5 Health Benefits of Cat Ownership” infographic. In June, HABRI shared “Can Pets Help You Live Longer?“.
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 https://habri.org/.
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Feeling stressed? Pets help people cope during isolation
As millions of Americans practice social distancing and home isolation to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the nation’s pets are there to help. Scientific studies show that human-animal interaction can reduce stress and loneliness and improve overall mental and physical health. The Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), supported by Nationwide, has funded and gathered scientific research that shows how companion animals can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, promote healthy activity and provide a boost to the cardiovascular system. Research also shows that pets are also a part of the solution to social isolation and loneliness, a growing public health epidemic even before the coronavirus pandemic. A national survey of pet owners and non-pet owners by HABRI and Mars Petcare found that: 85% of respondents agree interaction with pets can help reduce loneliness 76% agree human-pet interactions can help address social isolation 72% believe human-animal interaction is good for their community “The human-animal bond can help lower stress, and the routine of caring for a pet can provide feelings of security and normalcy for improved mental health,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “Pet owners are also more likely to achieve recommended levels of daily exercise and have lower blood pressure, contributing to better physical health.” “Nationwide is focused on supporting pet owners and strengthening the human-animal bond,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s associate vice president of veterinary relations. “HABRI research helps to reinforce the message that having a pet can be a huge benefit during this crisis.” HABRI and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) recently certified Nationwide as a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company, a designation bestowed for its commitment to strengthening the human-animal bond through research, education, professional...
Virtual Lecture Spotlights New Research on the Health and Developmental Benefits of Companion Animals for Young Children
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and IDEXX held a virtual lecture on the impact of pet ownership on young children’s physical activity and development. Today’s lecture marks the third in the IDEXX-sponsored series to highlight impactful scientific research on the health benefits of the human-animal bond and the importance of veterinary medicine in strengthening human-animal bonds. This lecture titled, “The Health and Developmental Benefits of Companion Animals for Young Children”, features Dr. Hayley Christian, BSc, PhD, Principal Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, and Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia, discussing her ongoing HABRI-funded study, “The Health and Developmental Benefits of Companion Animals for Young Children: Advancing the Evidence Base”, including recently published findings which demonstrate that children in dog-owning households experience lower peer problems, lower conduct problems, and higher prosocial behaviors than children from non-dog-owning families. “With HABRI, IDEXX is proud to be delivering this virtual content to pet owners, families with young children, and animal health professionals to help strengthen and promote the human-animal bond,” said Kerry Bennett, Corporate Vice President, IDEXX. Results from Objective 1 of Dr. Christian’s HABRI-funded study were published in the journal Pediatric Research in July 2020. The aim of this objective was to investigate if active play and walking with the family dog facilitates improved developmental outcomes in young children. Results indicate that children of dog-owning families had lower peer problems, lower conduct problems, and higher prosocial behaviors than children from non-dog-owning families. In addition to benefitting from the presence of a dog in the home, even a small to moderate commitment to involving young children in time spent walking with the family dog may provide...
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.