When clients see the health benefits of pet ownership, pets and vets win

September 20, 2016

Results from a Human Animal Bond Research Initiative and American Animal Hospital Association survey reveal a link between owner knowledge of the scientific benefits of the human-animal bond and the veterinary care they provide.

Do your clients see the health benefits of the human-animal bond? (Getty Images)A new survey of 2,000 pet owners from the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) suggests that pet owners who know the health benefits of owning pets are more motivated to provide better veterinary care for them, according to a press release on HABRI's website.

“When people find out that pets improve heart health, decrease stress, help alleviate depression and address specific conditions that include autism, PTSD and Alzheimer's, they become more focused on caring for their pet's health,” says HABRI executive director Steven Feldman.

89% said they were more likely to take better care of their pet after learning about the health benefits of the human-animal bond.

According to the release, 89 percent of survey respondents said they were more likely to take better care of their pet after learning about the health benefits of the human-animal bond. More than 90 percent said they were more likely to maintain a pet's health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventive medicine. And 89 percent said they were more likely to maintain a pet's health, including regular check-ups with a veterinarian.

Furthermore, 88 percent of respondents said they were more likely to provide “higher quality nutrition,” while 51 percent said they were more likely to purchase pet health insurance.

Win-win for vets

Pets aren't the only ones who stand to benefit from human-animal bond information. According to the release, 62 percent of survey respondents said the newfound information made them less likely to skip taking a pet to the veterinarian, and 61 percent would be more likely to visit their veterinarian if they discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them. That number jumped to 74 percent for millennials.

77% of millennials said they'd like their veterinarian more if he or she talked to them about the health benefits of the human-animal bond.

Human-animal bond education can boost a veterinarian's approval ratings too. 66 percent of survey respondents said they would have a more favorable view of their veterinarian if they discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them-a number that reached 77 percent for millennials.

“The science of the human-animal bond offers veterinarians a real opportunity to improve their relationships with clients, and to provide the best care for their patients,” says AAHA CEO Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, in the release.