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‘The Pet Effect’ Releases New Data, Videos on Human-Animal Bond


March 14, 2018

Zoetis has released two new videos as part of “The Pet Effect,” an educational campaign to raise awareness that having a pet can have positive health benefits for humans and how, by extension, the veterinary professionals who keep pets healthy are also key contributors to public health. “Comrade” and “Adopt a Human” demonstrate both the physical and the emotional impacts that service dogs and adopted shelter pets can have on their humans. Zoetis has partnered with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) to publicize the scientific research supporting “The Pet Effect.”

“The Pet Effect aims to put veterinarians at the center of the conversation with pet owners and potential pet owners about how human and pet health are connected,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, executive director of Zoetis Petcare Marketing. “As a HABRI co-founder, Zoetis firmly supports human-animal bond research, and we hope these videos and new research results will help spread the word of the physical and emotional benefits of pet ownership.”

The Pet Effect campaign has assembled significant scientific evidence that demonstrates how pets improve heart health, alleviate depression, increase well-being, support child health and development, and contribute to healthy aging. Pets can also assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from autism spectrum disorder to Alzheimer’s disease to post-traumatic stress.

The new Pet Effect campaign videos, “Comrade” and “Adopt a Human,” portray two situations in which pets can positively affect the physical and emotional well-being of their humans—in effect saving lives on both ends of the leash. The first video depicts the pains veterans go through during post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) episodes and how service dogs can help them defeat the difficult symptoms that arise from the condition. The second video demonstrates that adopting shelter pets can save these animal companions as well as the people who adopt them.

“For a veteran suffering from PTSD, a positive change in their psychological well-being and higher levels of life satisfaction are huge milestones to celebrate—and that’s why we know The Pet Effect is a true game-changer,” HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman said.

While pets are making people healthier, there are also significant implications for those who care for pets’ health. By keeping pets healthy, veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other pet health professionals play an integral role in human health.

The Pet Effect website features humorous and serious videos, smart social media posts and other assets that veterinarians can share with their clients to explain the health benefits of the human-animal bond. According to Zoetis, research has shown that pet owners had a more favorable perception of their veterinarian if they displayed The Pet Effect materials in their practice, and when pet owners understand that their pet’s health is intrinsically linked to their own, they may be more encouraged to bring their pets to their veterinarian for regular checkups.

“Zoetis is committed to supporting veterinarians and their practices, and The Pet Effect can be an important part of that equation,” Dr. McFarland said.

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