The Human-Animal Interaction and Human-Animal Bond

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Human-animal interaction encompasses any situation where there is interchange between human(s) and animal(s) at an individual or cultural level. These interactions are diverse and idiosyncratic, and may be fleeting or profound.

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors considered essential to the health and well-being of both. The bond includes, but is not limited emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment. The veterinarian’s role in the human-animal bond is to maximize the potential of this relationship between people and animals and specifically to promote the health and well-being of both.

The AVMA officially recognizes: (1) the existence of the human-animal bond and its importance to client and community health, (2) that the human-animal bond has existed for thousands of years, and (3) that the human-animal bond has major significance for veterinary medicine, because, as veterinary medicine serves society, it fulfills both human and animal needs.