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HABRI and NAVC Launch Human-Animal Bond Veterinary Certification



(PRESS RELEASE) ORLANDO, FL – The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) launched a new certification course for practicing veterinarians, veterinary nurses and veterinary practice managers – Human Animal Bond Certified. 

Through a series of online modules assembled by experts in the field of human-animal interaction science, veterinarians, veterinary nurses and veterinary practice managers can now develop a formal understanding of the research demonstrating the health benefits of pet ownership and human-animal interaction, and learn how best to use that knowledge in the practice of veterinary medicine.

“Human Animal Bond Certified will become the new gold standard for veterinarians looking to engage their clients in a meaningful and effective way,” said Tom Bohn, CEO of NAVC. “Through an easy online interface that can be completed at an individualized pace, the Certification will support every aspect of a veterinary practice, from better client dialogue and compliance to improved financial performance. 

“NAVC is a great partner for HABRI, combining human-animal bond science with an unparalleled educational experience for participants in the course,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “This certification will help veterinarians, veterinary nurses and practice managers understand the science of the human-animal bond, using that knowledge to strengthen client relationships, improve animal care and boost practice wellness.”

Veterinarians will gain from spreading the human-animal bond message. According to a recent HABRI survey of pet owners, veterinarians are a trusted resource for scientific information on the human health benefits of pets, and vets have an opportunity to further strengthen their relationships with pet owners. When 2,000 pet owners were educated about the human health benefits of pet ownership:

  • 92% said they were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventive medicine
  • 89% said they were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including regular check-ups with a veterinarian
  • 88% said they were more likely to provide a pet with higher quality nutrition
  • 51% said they were more likely to purchase pet health insurance
  • 62% said they were less likely to skip visits to the veterinarian
  • 89% said they were more likely to take better care of a pet

Veterinarians, already viewed favorably by 97% of pet owners, are also viewed as important messengers for scientific information on the health benefits of pets, especially by millennial pet owners:

  • 66% of pet owners (77% of millennials) would have a more favorable view of their veterinarian if they discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them
  • 61% of pet owners (74% of millennials) would be more likely to visit their veterinarian if they discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them

“With 98% of pet parents considering their pets to be important members of the family, becoming Human Animal Bond Certified will give veterinarians the tools they need to safeguard these relationships,” added Bohn. 

To assemble the course material, HABRI and the NAVC convened a group of highly-qualified veterinarians, researchers and academics, many of whom have helped advance our understanding of just how much pets improve our health and well-being through their own research. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) was a key contributor, serving as a Founding Educational Partner for the certification.

HABRI co-founders Zoetis and Petco are Premier Sponsors for the Human-Animal Bond Certification course, along with PetSmart Charities, reflecting their longstanding commitment to scientific research and education on the healing power of the human-animal bond.  

For more information about the Human-Animal Bond Certification, please visit



Pet Sustainability Coalition

Pet Sustainability Coalition Presents: Critical Sustainability Strategies for Retailers

This webinar, held on November 7, 2019, is the second in a series from PSC discussing how retailers can establish sustainable practices in their business. Moderated by PSC’s Andrea Czobor, the webinar unveils data behind the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, what retailers have to gain from connecting with these purpose driven consumers, and a new PSC program that makes finding these products easier for retailers.

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Vital Essentials Selects Western Canada Distributor

Avafina Pet Products will market, sell and support Western Canada to more than 400 independent pet retailers and pet chain stores.




(PRESS RELEASE) Vital Essentials announced its partnership with Avafina Pet Products, a leading importer and distributor of pet supplies and accessories. Avafina Pet Products will market, sell and support Western Canada to more than 400 independent pet retailers and pet chain stores.

“Avafina has been a leading ‘natural pet product’ distributor in Western Canada for nearly 10 years. The Vital Essentials line is a perfect fit for our high-end product mix and we are thrilled to be representing this terrific brand! Avafina has high growth expectations for 2020 and we know that Vital Essentials will be a key partner in this growth,” shared Michael Harrison, Avafina VP of sales and operations.

Vital Essentials, headquartered in Green Bay, WI, is a premiere brand in the raw pet food category that includes innovative and unique products to pet parents worldwide. Avafina Pet Products will be offering Canadian Independent Pet Retailers the full line of Vital Essentials freeze-dried treats, toppers, food and RAW BAR. Most recently, the VE RAW BAR was honored with the Pet Business 2019 Industry Recognition Award in the Merchandising Displays category. The one-of-a-kind display, along with Vital Essentials’ other innovative pet foods and treats will now be available to even more pets.

“Avafina’s commitment to the health and well-being of pets is perfectly aligned with our mission to provide all pets with access to the finest food (and treats) available. As we continue to grow our brands throughout international markets, Avafina’s dedication to delivering high quality and reliable service ensures our current standard of service will be provided to customers in these new markets,” stated Melissa Olson, VP of sales and marketing.

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Pet Sustainability Coalition Announces Partnership with Petfood Industry Magazine

This is to increase access to PSC’s tools and expand awareness throughout the global pet food processing industry.




(PRESS RELEASE) The Pet Sustainability Coalition and WATT Global Media’s Petfood Industry have announced a partnership to increase access to PSC’s tools and expand awareness throughout the global pet food processing industry.

Since its founding in 2013 PSC has been steadily building a toolkit full of resources, templates, and case-studies coupled with ongoing educational webinars and events. Sustainability is one of the fastest growing topics in the pet industry and PSC leads in topics like sustainable proteins and packaging as well as other compelling business-smart sustainability strategies like employee engagement programs and consumer demand for sustainability.

“Petfood Industry will leverage its global magazine, digital, online and live event platforms to educate and inform our readers about critical sustainability topics affecting pet food production. PSC is the industry’s leader in sustainability, and we are honored to kick off this partnership in 2020,” said Steve Akins, executive vice president Global Petfood & Events, and publisher of Petfood Industry magazine. Petfood professionals throughout the world can expect regular content from PSC as well as a strong presence at Petfood Forum 2020 in Kansas City, MO, April 27-29.

From day one, the Pet Sustainability Coalition has maintained an open model, choosing not to lock any of its content or tools and instead sharing as much information as possible through its own platform but also among its members. PSC’s media partnerships are no exception to the rule.

“Our industry has incredible media groups that have built loyal audiences for decades. Platforms like Petfood Industry are critical avenues to share our educational content and tools particularly with our increased focus on sustainable proteins and packaging,” said Caitlyn Dudas, executive director of PSC.,

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BAYDOG Releases 2 New Canine Lifejackets

They will be at booth 1015 at Global Pet Expo in February.




(PRESS RELEASE) The Chesapeake Bay Dog Company has released its newest product, the Monterey Bay Canine Lifejacket. The Monterey Bay will be in stores by April 1 and will feature an upgraded Offshore variant made specifically for boaters.

Company founder and CEO Barton O’Brien stated, “We live in Annapolis, MD, the sailing capital of the U.S., and every sailboat we see has a dog onboard. We surveyed the market for dog lifejackets and realized there really wasn’t anything out there made specifically for boaters. So after we developed the Monterey Bay (which took us a year), we went back to the drawing board and worked with experienced boaters to create the enhanced Monterey Bay Offshore. This variant has features that increase survivability in rough waters no matter how far you are away from the shore.”

The Monterey Bay has been designed for any adventure, from a day at lake swimming or jumping off a dock, to boating on the open ocean. Both designs offer exceptional floatation and comfort with full chest and torso support which lift the dog from below and avoid the typical nylon straps cutting into the dog’s tender underside. Also, both models are ergonomically designed to allow for a dog’s natural swimming motion.

The Monterey Bay is loaded with features, such as 600 denier UV-coated nylon, saltwater-resistant hardware, 360 visibility reflective trim, large hook-and-loop panels and buckles to ensure a secure fit, and an expandable neck collar similar to human personal flotation devices.

The enhanced Monterey Bay Offshore model has additional safety features that make it the perfect choice for boaters. Strategically placed outboard pontoons will roll a dog upright in the roughest sea conditions, and extra floatation on the chin / chest area ensure the dog’s head stays above water for increased survivability. The larger sizes have a second handle on the back to aid lifting a dog back aboard.

BAYDOG will display the Monterey Bay Lifejacket at booth 1015 at Global Pet Expo in February, along with the debut of several complementary water toys. The lifejacket will come in two colors: hi visibility Nautical Yellow and Blaze Orange, and is offered in five sizes.

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