HABRI and WSAVA Team Up to Advance the Health and Welfare of Pets and People Globally
Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2021) — 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 owner.
“This mutually beneficial relationship, with a shared lifestyle and environment, forms the basis of the human-animal bond. Partnering with HABRI will help WSAVA provide veterinary practitioners everywhere with further resources to ensure the veterinarians continue to play an essential role in maintaining the resilience of this bond.”
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, please visit www.habri.org.
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including nutrition, pain management and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.
More Press Releases
Phillips Pet Food & Supplies Supports Human-Animal Bond Research
The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation announced today that Phillips Pet Food & Supplies has joined the organization’s Steering Committee and made a $25,000 contribution to support research on the human health benefits of companion animals. “Phillips Pet Food & Supplies is proud to support the HABRI Foundation and its mission to study the healing power of pets,” said Blaine Phillips, CEO of Phillips Pet Food & Supplies. “We represent more than 375 vendors and 700 brands of quality pet products across the nation, and understand that the better we take care of our pets, the better they will take care of us.” “Phillips Pet Food & Supply is a leader in keeping pets happy and healthy,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “By supporting HABRI, Phillips is demonstrating its dedication to the incredible bond pets share with their owners.” HABRI has assembled a growing body of scientific evidence that pets improve heart health; alleviate depression; increase wellbeing; support child health and development; and contribute to healthy aging. In addition, companion animals can assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder. “Phillips Pet Food & Supplies customers, the independent retailers, play a major role in strengthening the human-animal bond,” Phillips added. “We’re going to work together to develop and share even more information about how pets make people, families and communities happier and healthier.”
New Study to Investigate Impact of Pets on Recovery of the Gut Microbiome Following Antibiotic Regimen in Older Adults
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today it has awarded a new research grant, titled “Sharing is caring: can pets protect their owners against antibiotic-associated disruption of the gut microbiome?”, to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) to investigate whether pets are a source of microbiota that can help restore deficiencies in their owner’s gut microbiome. “A growing number of studies have documented the ability of animal contact to impact the human microbiome (collection of microbes in the intestines) in ways that may help prevent certain types of disease, such as cardiovascular disease and asthma,” said Dr. Laurel Redding, VMD, PhD, DACVPM, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Penn Vet, the project’s Principal Investigator. “In conducting this study, our goal is to shed light on the microbial exchanges that occur between pets and pet owners and assess whether pets can mitigate disruption of their owner’s gut microbiome following antibiotic therapy.” This groundbreaking project will follow pet owners over 60 years old who are taking antibiotics for dental implant placement. Antibiotics disrupt the native gut microbiome, which can result in a range of outcomes, from mild diarrhea to severe “C. diff” infection (infection with Clostridioides difficile), and the elderly are particularly at risk for some of these adverse outcomes. Recovery from this type of disruption is not well understood, and factors that promote this recovery are only beginning to be explored. Researchers hypothesize that the gut microbiomes of pet owners and their pets will resemble each other prior to the course of antibiotics, diverge during the disruption phase, then steadily converge during the recovery phase. In demonstrating that animal contact can yield beneficial effects on the restoration of the human gut microbiome, results of this study may reduce concerns about and even promote contact with household...
New Research to Evaluate the Effects of Station Dogs on Mental Health of First Responders
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Pet Partners today announced funding for a new study to evaluate how resident facility dogs in police stations, also known as “Station Dogs”, may impact officers’ job-related well-being and mental health. This funding was awarded to a team of researchers at the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine led by Dr. Kerri Rodriguez. “Pet Partners is proud to fund this research to evaluate the impacts of trained facility dogs within police stations,” said C. Annie Peters, President & CEO of Pet Partners. “Our nation’s hard-working first responders deserve every form of mental health support, and this research will show how the positive effects of the human-animal bond can be part of that equation.” “Previous research has found that facility dogs can reduce stress and provide emotional support for both staff and clients in schools, hospitals, and courthouses- but their effectiveness in police stations has been minimally studied,” explained Dr. Kerri Rodriguez, principal investigator for the project. “Our research hopes to describe how facility dogs may be similarly beneficial for promoting wellness within law enforcement.” This study proposes to evaluate the impact of facility dogs, a type of therapy dog trained to provide daily comfort and support in a facility setting, as a workplace intervention in law enforcement stations. Researchers will use a cross-sectional study design to measure self-reported outcomes among an estimated 300 law enforcement officers across stations currently placed with a facility dog or on the waitlist to receive one. “Station Dogs” will be trained and placed free of cost by the non-profit organization K9s For Warriors, which has already placed over 40 Station Dogs in police and fire stations across the US. Researchers hypothesize that the presence of a facility dog will be significantly associated with better self-reported outcomes among first responders...