Nationwide receives human-animal bond certification

March 17, 2020
dvm360 Staff

The certification program evaluates the science, communication, community engagement, animal welfare and wellness, and medical care needed to create and maintain a positive human-animal bond.

Earlier this month, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI)—joint founders of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program—announced that Nationwide is now a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company.

“Nationwide has earned this meaningful recognition through its significant commitment to human-animal bond research, education and professional development,” says Steven Feldman, executive director of HABRI, in a Nationwide press release. “Being a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company recognizes that Nationwide is strengthening the human-animal bond as a core part of its mission.”

As part of the certification process, all Nationwide associates who work in the company’s pet division will undergo human-animal bond training, including the science behind the human-animal bond and how this science supports pet health and the practice of veterinary medicine.

“Becoming human-animal bond certified is an honor and a process that we are committed to in every interaction we have with pets and their families. We know the more we learn, the more we can protect them,” says Heidi Sirota, Nationwide’s chief pet officer.

Nationwide has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the human-animal bond by investing in independent research on the benefits of companion animals for people with autism, veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and people with cancer diagnoses. The work also includes research on the benefits of animals in assisting children and adults on the autistic spectrum.

In partnership with HABRI, Nationwide has also done groundbreaking research on pet-inclusive workplaces, showing that pets and pet-friendly benefits—including pet health insurance—are increasingly important to the millennial workforce and help to enhance employee wellbeing, recruitment, retention, engagement and presenteeism.

“Nationwide is committed to protecting our members’ pets through our direct relationships with pet owners and through our veterinary partners. That is why we are so proud to support human-animal bond research,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s associate vice president of veterinary relations. “Understanding and sharing the science of the human-animal bond helps all of us as individuals, families and communities.”

If you are interested in human-animal bond certification, visit