Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2021) — 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 important social and emotional benefits for young children. Objective 2 of the study consists of a pilot test of strategies and interventions aimed at increasing the amount of time children spend active with their family dog for improving health and developmental outcomes. Dr. Christian also leads the Play Spaces and Environments for Children’s Physical Activity and Health (PLAYCE) program of research, a multidisciplinary team focused on turning challenges into opportunities to make a positive difference in children’s health and wellbeing.
“The HABRI-IDEXX Lecture Series is a wonderful educational opportunity for pet owners and veterinarians to learn about ongoing research investigating the benefits of the human-animal bond for everyone from young children to older adults,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “We are grateful for the continued support of IDEXX of this series, which has helped bring HABRI’s scientific research program to a broader audience than ever before.”
Professionals who viewed this session live will be eligible to receive RACE-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The lecture will remain available on-demand at http://www.habri.org/HAB-Lectures. The previous lectures in the Human-Animal Bond Lecture Series, “The Efficacy of Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD” and ” The Impact of a Feline Fostering Program for Older Adults Living Alone” are also available on-demand at http://www.habri.org/HAB-Lectures.
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://www.habri.org/.
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a member of the S&P 500® Index and is a leader in pet healthcare innovation, serving practicing veterinarians around the world with a broad range of diagnostic and information technology-based products and services. IDEXX products enhance the ability of veterinarians to provide advanced medical care, improve staff efficiency, and build more economically successful practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing diagnostic tests and information for livestock and poultry, tests for the quality and safety of water and milk, and point-of-care and laboratory diagnostics for human medicine. For more information, please visit https://www.idexx.com/en/.
More Press Releases
PAWS Act Coalition Celebrates Increased Congressional Funding for Grant Program to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Pets
The PAWS Act Coalition, a group of non–profit and for-profit organizations, lauded the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. For the second year in a row this Act provides funding for an important USDA grant program designed to enable more domestic violence shelters to become pet-friendly so that victims of domestic violence and their pets may seek safe shelter together. The $2.5 million appropriated for 2021 represents a $500,000 increase in funding, coming two years after bipartisan passage of the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act as part of the 2019 Farm Bill. “This funding increase by Congress is a significant step forward in the public-private collaboration to keep domestic violence survivors and their pets together as they escape abuse and heal,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and President of Purina, and a champion for the company’s Purple Leash Project in partnership with RedRover. “Purina is proud to be part of the Coalition’s efforts to support funding for this important life-saving program, as we continue working to keep pets and people together, even in times of crisis.” The PAWS Act Coalition would like to thank the original co-sponsors of the Pet and Women Safety Act for their leadership and commitment to its passage, especially the lead sponsors Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and former Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). The Coalition is also particularly grateful to former Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) for spearheading the effort to pass the bill by including its language in the Farm Bill. Domestic violence shelters across the U.S. will be eligible to apply online for grants in the coming months, and additional details about the application process will be forthcoming from the U.S. Department of Justice, which administers the grant program. This continued funding follows the success of the FY 2020 Emergency Transitional Pet Shelter Housing and Assistance...
Partnership Highlights Veterinarian Role in Strengthening the Human-Companion Animal Bond
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have partnered to highlight the importance of veterinary medicine to support strong, long-lasting human-companion animal bonds and to promote the health benefits of interacting with pets. Activities agreed under the partnership will focus on promoting the science of the human-animal bond and the veterinary profession’s positive role in animal welfare and human wellness. The WSAVA is also represented on the Advisory Committee which participates in the development of the online Human Animal Bond Certification course, created by HABRI and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC). “Veterinarians are uniquely positioned as trusted resources for pet owners who are more attuned to their pets’ health needs than ever before,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “HABRI is proud to join with WSAVA to help veterinarians connect with their clients and share scientific information about the human-animal bond.” Findings from a HABRI survey of US pet owners demonstrate that veterinarians are seen as trusted resources on scientific information focused on the benefits of pet ownership. Research also shows that knowledge of the science behind the human-animal bond can motivate pet owners to take better care of their pets. Specifically, the survey found that when pet owners knew more about the human health benefits of pet ownership: 92 percent said they were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventive medicine; 89 percent said they were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including regular check-ups with a veterinarian; and 89 percent said they were more likely to take better care of a pet overall. Dr. Shane Ryan, Past President of the WSAVA, said: “Caring for an animal companion provides benefit not only for the animal itself in terms of its health and welfare needs, but can have many positive benefits for the...
PAWS Act Coalition Hails Passage of Appropriations Bill as Key Milestone in Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence and their Pets
The PAWS Act Coalition, a group of nonprofit and for-profit organizations, lauded the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, which, for the first time, will provide $2 million in USDA grants to enable more domestic violence shelters to become pet-friendly so that victims of domestic violence and their pets may shelter and heal together. The grants come one year after the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act was authorized as part of the 2019 Farm Bill, which received bipartisan support in its passage. “These new grants will help expand the network of domestic violence shelters which allow pets to accompany their families seeking safe shelter,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Purina. “This is an important milestone in the coalition’s collective efforts to create safer communities for pets and pet owners, and Purina will remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the bond between domestic abuse survivors and their pets by ensuring they can safely heal together.” The PAWS Act Coalition would like to thank the original co-sponsors of the Pet and Women Safety Act for their leadership and commitment to its passage, especially the lead sponsors Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and former Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). The Coalition is also particularly grateful for Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) for spearheading the effort to pass the bill by including its language in the Farm Bill. “No one should have to make the choice between finding safety and staying in a violent situation to protect their pet,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5). “This law and the newly appropriated federal dollars will empower survivors with the resources to leave a dangerous situation while being able to continue to care for their pet. I’m grateful for the partnerships we’ve formed between organizations working to end both domestic violence and animal abuse. Together, we will help save lives.” The USDA will now be able...