By Marilyn Iturri
A new human-animal bond certification program for veterinarians, veterinary nurses and practice managers was announced at VMX in Orlando, Florida. Veterinarians, researchers and academics developed the course.
“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,” said Tom Bohn, CEO of NAVC.
Bohn says the new certification, sponsored by The Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), will complement Fear Free certification.
“They dovetail nicely, showing clients that veterinarians not only care about their pets’ emotions, but the clients’ own health as well. Our focus is simple: When you help a pet, you help their human, and your practice, too,” he said.
HABRI is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research. It funds research to scientifically document the health benefits of owning companion animals. A recent HABRI survey of pet owners found that veterinarians are considered a trusted resource for scientific information on the human health benefits of pets. Veterinarians are viewed as important messengers for this science, especially by millennial pet owners.
This, Bohn says, gives veterinarians an opportunity to strengthen relationships with pet owners.
According to the HABRI survey, when 2,000 pet owners were informed about the health benefits of pet ownership:
- 92 percent said they were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including preventive care and vaccines.
- 89 percent said they were more likely to give their pet regular veterinary checkups.
- 88 percent said they were more likely to provide their pets higher quality nutrition.
- 51 percent said they were more likely to buy pet health insurance.
- 62 percent said they were less likely to skip visits to the vet.
- 89 percent said they were more likely to take better care of their pets.
- 66 percent of pet owners, and 77 percent of millennial respondents, 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 owners, and 74 percent of millennial respondents, would be more likely to visit their vets if they discussed the health benefits of the bond with them.
Learn more about the new certification program here.
This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.