An extensive survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Zoeti showed that 95 percent of pet owners worldwide thought of their pets as part of their families.
Additionally, the survey found that pet ownership can significantly enhance humans’ sense of well-being. Up to 87 percent of survey participants reported tangible mental and physical health benefits as a result of their bonds with their pets. Virtually all surveyed pet owners (98 percent) confirmed that having a pet improved their health in at least one way, such as by boosting their happiness and/or by decreasing their stress or loneliness.
There is a clear relationship between strong owner-pet bonds and the quality of the veterinary care that pets receive. Highly bonded owner-pet pairs were shown to visit the veterinarian two or more times annually. These pet parents were also much more likely to provide their pets with preventive care to protect them against disease and injury, compared to less bonded pet owners.
In line with the above findings, 89 percent of surveyed veterinarians globally asserted that they believed in the positive effect of strong animal-pet bonds on pets’ general welfare.
While the bond between humans and their pets has historically been strong, the two institutions’ new research suggests that it’s also universal.
The survey results, as provided to WFMZ-TV 69 News, summarize responses from 1,200 veterinarians and 16,000 dog and cat owners. Participants were located across four different continents and eight countries, namely the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Japan and China.
Dr. Mike McFarland, Chair of the HABRI Board of Trustees and Global Chief Medical Officer of Zoetis, asserts that this survey is the most comprehensive documentation of the bond between humans and animals to date.
Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Dog
Many pet owners already take in an animal out of an active desire to nurture and care for another living creature. This strong bond, however, is something you can develop and fortify even more with quality time and plenty of careful attention.
Beyond addressing their pets’ basic needs such as food, water, and shelter, many pet owners find joy in providing their beloved fur babies with more personal effects. Comfy custom dog beds, personalized dog blankets, and custom plush toys are just a few practical but meaningful items you can give your dog to make them feel like a true part of the family. Identifying what your dog needs and wants, and then doing your best to meet them where they are, can only bring you closer together as time goes by.
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