Human-animal bond

Human-animal interaction a broad term that refers to any manner of relationship or behavior between people and animal(s). These interactions can vary widely and be positive, negative, or neutral for either party. They can occur in individual, community, or societal contexts. The veterinarian's role in human-animal interaction is to minimize negative interactions and promote positive ones.

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 wellbeing of both. This bond is beneficial to the mental, physical, and social health of people, and animals. 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 wellbeing of both.

The AVMA officially recognizes: (1) the existence of the human-animal bond (2) its importance to human, animal and community health and welfare, and (3) that the human-animal bond has major significance for veterinary medicine. By strengthening the bond, the veterinary profession furthers both public and animal health and welfare.

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.

humananimalbondatavma [dot] org (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 certificate program 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.