Nationwide Becomes Human-Animal Bond Certified Company
The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), joint founders of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program, declared that Nationwide has become a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company.
“Nationwide has earned this meaningful recognition through its significant commitment to human-animal bond research, education, and professional development,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI executive director. “Being a Human-Animal Bond Certified Company recognizes that Nationwide is strengthening the human-animal bond as a core part of its mission.”
As part of the certification process, all Nationwide pet associates will complete human-animal bond training, learning about the science behind the human-animal bond and gaining a deeper understanding of how this science supports pet health and the practice of veterinary medicine. 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 well-being of both.
“Becoming Human-Animal Bond certified is an honor and a process that we are committed to in every interaction we have with pets and their families," said Heidi Sirota, chief pet officer of Nationwide. "We know the more we learn, the more we can protect them.”
Launched in 2018, the NAVC Human-Animal Bond Certification prepares veterinarians and animal care staff to recognize and promote the importance of the bond between pets and their families. The program evaluates the science, communication, community engagement, animal welfare and wellness, and medical care needed to create and maintain a positive human-animal bond.
“The Human-Animal Bond Certification gives veterinarians and all those who support them additional tools and training to understand and safeguard this bond further,” said NAVC CEO Gene O’Neill. “The NAVC is committed to expanding the benefits of the human-animal bond to as many health care professionals as possible.”
The leading role of Nationwide is evidenced by its commitment to education and support of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program. More than a thousand professionals have signed up for the certification, which offers 22 hours of Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) -approved continuing education credit.
Important for its certification, Nationwide has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the human-animal bond by making sizeable investments in independent research on the benefits of companion animals for those such as people with autism, veterans with PTSD and people with cancer diagnoses. The work also researches the benefits of animals in assisting children and adults on the autistic spectrum.
Nationwide’s support for the human-animal bond and the role of pets in society is further demonstrated by its research on pet-inclusive workplaces. In partnership with HABRI, Nationwide has shown how pets and pet-friendly benefits, including pet health insurance, are increasingly important to the millennial workforce, enhancing employee wellbeing, as well as company recruitment, retention, engagement and presenteeism.