Campaign helps veterinarians tout health benefits of pets

Published on May 31, 2017
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The main theme of a new campaign is the idea of prescribing Dog (bestfriendor) or Cat (purrfectis) to people. Videos instruct viewers to “Ask your veterinarian about Dog” or “Ask your veterinarian about Cat.”

Zoetis partnered with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute to launch the Pet Effect campaign in February to promote the health benefits of pet ownership.

The AVMA has long promoted the science behind the physical and emotional aspects of the human-animal connection. A longtime supporter of HABRI, the AVMA began supporting the Pet Effect campaign during National Pet Week in May.

In an announcement, Dr. J. Michael McFarland, group director for companion animal marketing at Zoetis, said the hope is that the Pet Effect campaign will help veterinarians explain the health benefits of pet ownership for people.

According to the announcement, these benefits include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, stress reduction, and decreased rates of anxiety and depression. Research also has found that being exposed to pets can help prevent allergies in children and build immunity. According to a poll conducted by HABRI, 97 percent of physicians in family and general practice believed there are health benefits to having a pet, and most have recommended a pet to a patient.

A HABRI survey of pet owners found that 61 percent would be more likely to visit their veterinarian if the veterinarian discussed the human health benefits of the human-animal bond.

The Pet Effect campaign features videos, posts for social media, fliers and posters, and other materials that veterinarians can share with clients to explain the health benefits of pet ownership. Campaign details and materials are available here.

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