Joint founders of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), announced today that Nationwide, the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the U.S., 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.”
Through the certification process all Nationwide pet associates will complete human-animal bond training. This entails 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. We know the more we learn, the more we can protect them,” said Heidi Sirota, Nationwide’s Chief Pet Officer.
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 further understand and safeguard this bond,” 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. We are proud to bestow Nationwide with the Human-Animal Bond Certified Company designation, and we thank them for their commitment to this important education initiative.”
The leading role of Nationwide is evidenced by their commitment to education and support of the Human-Animal Bond Certification program. More than a thousand professionals have signed up for this certification, which offers 22 hours of Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) -approved continuing education credit.
Important for their 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 their groundbreaking 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.
“Nationwide is committed to protecting our members’ pets through our direct relationships with pet owners and through our veterinary partners. That is why we are so proud to support human-animal bond research,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s associate vice president of Veterinary Relations. “Understanding and sharing the science of the human-animal bond helps all of us as individuals, families and communities.”
To learn more about the Human-Animal Bond Certification and to find out how you or your clinic can become certified, please visit NAVC.com/HAB.