Human-Animal Bond

Human-Animal BondThe human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors  essential to the health and wellbeing of both. This includes, among other things, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment. The veterinarian's role in the human-animal bond is to maximize the potentials of this relationship between people and animals.

The AVMA 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.

Issues related to the human-animal bond are considered by the Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions (SCHAI) with staff support from the Animal Welfare Division. The American Veterinary Medical Association has adopted a range of policies that relate to the human-animal bond.

E-mail us with questions about any of these policies.

Human-Animal Bond Certification

The AVMA is proud to be the founding educational partner for the Human-Animal Bond Certification Program offered through the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC). This certification allows veterinary professionals to fully appreciate the science behind the human-animal bond, and its benefits for both animals and people, and get practical advice on how to ensure good bonds are built and maintained. It also demonstrates how communicating the bond's benefits to clients can help your patients and your practice. AVMA members receive a 20 percent discount off the cost of the program.