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HABRI and Partners with World Small Animal Veterinary Association

Partnership highlights veterinarian role in strengthening the human-companion animal bond.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON, DC and ONTARIO, CANADA — 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).

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“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.

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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.”

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