Survey: People Who Love Their Pets Most Know How Beneficial They Are

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation recently conducted a survey of over 2000 pet owners and the results hopefully will go a long way in promoting better animal welfare, and more understanding of the human-animal bond relationship.

The survey aimed to determine whether pet owners’ awareness of various research about pets improving human health made a difference in whether or not humans were more motivated or took better care of their pets, and what effects that awareness had.

As there is plenty of scientific research out there that shows clearly how pets relieve stress in our lives, improve heart health, and affect in positive ways situations where people have conditions such as autism, PTSD or depression, the Executive Director of HARBI, Steven Feldman, shared that there is now data to prove specifically that when we understand and appreciate what pets do for us, we tend to do more for them.

Related: HABRI Proves Animals Provide Amazing Health Benefits

Researchers with the survey concluded that when pet owners were educated about various research on pets, particularly the human-pet relationship and benefits that pet ownership, they were much more apt to care more and better for their pets.

For instance, of pet owners who were educated on the health benefits of pets, it was found that:

  • 89% of pet owners said they were more likely to take better care of their pets
  • 75% of pet owners said they were more likely to microchip a pet to ensure it can be found if lost or stolen
  • 51% of pet owners said they were more likely to purchase pet health insurance
  • 62% of pet owners said they were less likely to skip visits to the veterinarian
  • 74% of pet owners said they were less likely to give up a pet for any reason
  • 88% of pet owners said they were more likely to provide their pets with high-quality nutrition
  • 92% of pet owners said they were more likely to maintain their pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventative medicine

In addition to those pretty impressive (and great for our pets!) numbers,

  • 77% of pet owners believe that pets benefit from the human-animal bond as much as 
  • 80% of pet owners who were aware of the health benefits of pets reported spending most of the day or a big part of their day with their pets, compared to 71% of pet owners who were unaware of specific health benefits to humans

This information has important implications for human healthcare providers as well! The survey also revealed:

  • 88% of pet owners agree that doctors and specialists should recommend pets to patients for healthier living
  • 65% of pet owners would have a more favorable view of a doctor who discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them
  • 59% of pet owners would be more likely to visit a doctor who discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them

Related:  Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Health Benefits of Cats

Researchers also felt there were strong conclusions for veterinarians and animal shelters as well.  The responsibility to educate humans on the health benefits is important, as the study found:

  • Virtually all pet owners (97%) have a favorable opinion of their veterinarian and find them credible sources of information
  • 66% of pet owners (77% of millennials) would have a more favorable view of their veterinarian if they discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them
  • 61% of pet owners (74% of millennials) would be more likely to visit their veterinarian if they discussed the health benefits of the human-animal bond with them
  • 25% of millennials always talk to their veterinarians about the health benefits of pet ownership, more than generation X (16%), baby boomers (6%), or greatest/silent generation (4%)

Interestingly, the survey also shows that there is a generational trend among pet owners the understanding of effects of the human-animal bond. Millennials particularly showed high percentages of impact when educated about scientific research about health benefits of a pet:

  • 80% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to bring their pet along when they go out
  • 75% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to travel with their pets
  • 74% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to get an additional pet
  • 74% of millennials think employers should consider allowing employees to bring pets to work

The best news about this survey is that it shows that the more you know about how your pet enriches your life, the more you will do for your pet, and you will help others do for their pets.  We’ve always known that pets make our lives better, but now, maybe more will know, and in turn, return the favor with more care, compassion and love for all animals.


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