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 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
- 88 percent said they were more likely to provide a pet with higher quality nutrition
- 51 percent said they were more likely to purchase pet health insurance
- 62 percent said they were less likely to skip visits to the veterinarian
- 89 percent said they were more likely to take better care of a pet
Veterinarians, already viewed favorably by 97 percent of pet owners, are also viewed as important messengers for scientific information on the health benefits of pets, especially by millennial pet owners:
- 66 percent of pet owners (77 percent 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 percent of pet owners (74 percent 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 percent 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,” Bohn added.
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 humans’ 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.