Human-animal bond

Smiling woman holding her dog

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals. It is influenced by behaviors essential to the mental, physical, and social health and wellbeing of both. The veterinarian's role is to maximize the potential of this relationship and to promote the wellbeing of people and animals. 

Read AVMA's policy: Human-animal interaction and the human-animal bond

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 with staff support from the Animal Welfare Division.

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.