Add The Pet Effect to Your Product Line
Pet businesses of all stripes can and should promote the many human-health benefits that can be derived from the human-animal bond.
Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or retailer of pet products, a veterinarian or animal health company, small or large, locally or internationally based, the scientific research on the health benefits of pets can help your business thrive. In fact, the more pet owners know about what the research shows—owning a cat can increase your chance of survival one year after a heart attack, or that a pet dog can increase physical activity and reduce stress—the more likely those pet owners
are to buy their pets toys and higher-quality nutrition. They are also more likely to keep up with vaccines and preventative medicine, and even acquire another pet. In short, The Pet Effect is a driver of growth in the pet care community.
Also known as the human-animal bond, The Pet Effect describes the scientifically documented, mutually beneficial relationship between pets and people. Your company plays a role in strengthening the bond between humans and their companion animals, and in-turn, the health and well being of both. The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) can help you send this message to your customers and employees.
HABRI is a non-profit organization that envisions a world where having a pet is part of being a healthy person. Each year, new studies are published that demonstrate the positive role pets play in improving our lives. Some of the latest research shows that pet dogs help improve family functioning and lower stress in families with children with autism, there’s a link between dog ownership and increased physical activity, and evidence that service dogs help to decrease symptoms of post-traumatic stress in our veterans. These promising findings were made possible by the support of a wide range of companies and organizations that recognize research will help define the pet care industry. These companies represent a diverse spectrum of products and services within the industry and their leadership is supporting a bright future for everyone here at Global Pet Expo.
For example, one of HABRI’s newest supporters, Kent Pet Group, makes World’s Best Cat Litter—an environmentally-friendly, all-natural cat litter. Because this litter is lightweight and fully flushable, it strengthens the human-animal bond in a practical way by helping older people—who might not be able to lift a heavy bag—keep their pets in their lives.
Grizzly Pet Products, a small family-owned company in Washington State, provides salmon-based products to pet owners across the country. This company also uses the message of the human-animal bond to advance its mission of providing all-natural, salmon oil supplements and treats to pet parents who want to ensure their beloved family member is receiving the best care possible, including high-quality nutrition.
As more people—not just pet owners, but also potential pet owners, policymakers and even human healthcare professionals—learn about the scientifically documented health benefits of pet ownership, the more pet-friendly society will become and the more people will want to responsibly own pets. Results of a recent HABRI survey demonstrate that knowledge of scientific research on the health benefits of pets can boost pet ownership, with 87 percent of pet owners saying they would be more likely to recommend a pet to a friend or family member and 81 percent saying they would be more likely to get another pet in the future.
Every member of the pet care community has a role to play in advancing the human-animal bond regardless of size, product or service. Now is the time to support HABRI and use the message of The Pet Effect to grow, to show leadership within the industry and to recommit to bettering the lives of pets and the people that love them. It is easy to incorporate the human-animal bond and the science behind it into your brand messaging. HABRI looks forward to working with you to advance scientific research and to create a healthier, happier and more pet-friendly society.
Steven Feldman is executive director of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI).