Athletic woman and a dog bonding on top of a mountain

The Human Animal Bond (HAB) is defined as the relationship between people, animals and their environment.

What is the meaning of a human animal bond?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) defines this bond as a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors essential to the health and well-being of both.

How is the bond between humans and pets beneficial?

The bond between humans and animals is a mutual exchange. Pets benefit in their basic needs being met by providing them with food, shelter, preventative and medical care, attention and love. People however have deeper physiological and psychological needs that are met by interacting with pets. According to Lone Tree Vet, these include:

    • Anxiety and stress reduction- pets lower heart rate and blood pressure providing faster recovery from stress.
    • Fight depression- pets are a distraction from typical symptoms and promote spontaneous laughter.
    • Increased healing- decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease and other heart related issues.
    • Improved mood- pets provide humans with a sense of purpose, reducing loneliness through companionship.
    • More physical activity-  increase in exercise and recreational activities for dog owners compared to non-dog owners.
    • Social connections- interaction with other pet owners whether visiting pet friendly businesses or joining pet-centric social media groups.
    • Emotional support- pets improve long term mental health issues, having a positive outcome in reducing loneliness and isolation.

The Human Animal Bond is also known as The Pet Effect.

What is The Pet Effect Campaign?

The Pet Effect Campaign is a multi-pronged campaign aimed at introducing pet owners to the health benefits related to how they bond with their pets. It emphasizes the importance of veterinarians needed to maintain the happiness and health of pets. The Pet Effect refers to this unique bond and the positive impact on pets and owners that exist due to this type of companionship.

Led by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) founder Zoetis, the institute has assembled scientific evidence that demonstrates how pets improve heart health, alleviate depression, increase well-being, and support child health and development. Pets can also assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder.

What is a Human Animal Bond Certification?

The AVMA is the founding educational partner for this certification, offered through the HABRI and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC). The certification is available to veterinarians, technicians and practice managers. Certification is completed through a self-paced, online module geared towards the benefits of the bond between humans and animals, medical care and communication skills. Registration is available at for $299.00.

What is the Human Animal Bond Association (HABA)?

The goal of the this association is to be recognized as the leader in the veterinary community for advancing the understanding and importance of the bond between humans and animals. They focus on enhancing the quality of life in animals and humans by ensuring all voices within the community are heard.

Books on Amazon

Learning more about the bond humans and animals have is available through printed literature to help explain the chemistry of attraction between humans and animals.

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