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 that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, 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 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.

Within the AVMA, 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.