Friday, May 16, 2014

Zooeyia: The Health Benefits of Pets in the Family #BlogPaws

While we were at BlogPaws last weekend we had the opportunity to learn more about HABRI -- the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative.

One of the cool things that HABRI is doing is awarding research grants to study how the human-animal bond benefits people.  They recently announced their first five grants -- totaling $250,000 --  that include studies about using animals to help autistic children and improving human heart health through dog walking.

HABRI has also launched, an online hub and great resource for human-animal bond research. Check it out when you have the chance. There are more than 20,000 entries including journal articles, books, white papers, videos and more about the relationships between humans and animals.

For their keynote session at BlogPaws, the folks at HABRI brought in Dr. Kate Hodgson, DVM, MHsSs, CCMEP, who spoke about the One Health initiative and the impact of pets on human health.

Dr. Hodgson at BlogPaws
We thought Dr. Hodgson's presentation was fascinating and her points about how pets can help us live a healthier life resonated with us. Here's a taste of what she spoke about, and you can watch her full presentation in the video below. We highly recommend it!

The One Health initiative is dedicated to improving the lives of humans and animals through the integration of human and veterinary medicine.

In her presentation, Dr. Hodgson talked about One Health and why she developed the term Zooeyia, which derives from the Greek root words for animal (zoion) and health (Hygeia was the ancient Greek goddess of health).  Dr. Hodgson explained how she needed a new"scientific" sounding term for the idea of the human-animal bond so that physicians  would take her work seriously. Zooeyia is about the positive impact of companion animals on human health.

Some topics Dr. Hodgson covered included:

Pets can be catalysts for harm reduction, like helping people to stop smoking.

  • When you tell pet owners about the dangers of second-hand smoke to their pets, it's an incredible catalyst to help them stop smoking

Pets can be motivators for healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors

  • Pets can help SUSTAIN physical activity, INITIATE exercise and add enjoyment to exercise. 

Pets can be a therapeutic intervention to help manage stress, anxiety and depression

  • Pets provide emotional well-being and decrease feelings of isolation. 

You can watch this entire keynote session here, starting with the introduction by Steven Feldman, Executive Director of the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative, and Dr. Hodgson's complete presentation  about Zooeyia and the health benefits of pets in the family. Dr. Hodgson's presentation begins at the 19:00 mark.


The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Peggy's Pet Place to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.


  1. Well we agree all round pets are good for us. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. I have to admit, at first we weren't sure about if this HABRI session would be interesting or not, but it was fascinating!

  3. Hi Y'all!

    Thanks so much for sharing. Don't understand why so many farm and rural raised people don't allow us pawed ones inside their houses. Thank Heaven my own rural raised humans like dogs in their house!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    1. Good thing your humans are smart ones!
      Your pals,
      Diane and Rocco

  4. Probably my favorite session -so glad I went to it.

  5. I just now from the seniors in my life what a huge effect dog ownership has on them. Two widows in specific have to get out to walk the dogs and it forces them to interact not only with the dogs, but with the neighbors, with children, and it helps.

    1. Yes! Just another way that dogs are so good for our health and well being!

  6. Sounds like an interesting session. I'll have to watch the video later.

  7. I'm definitely going to watch the session. It seems like it was very informative! I definitely believe pets have a positive impact on our health. There have only been two weeks of my life where I haven't had a pet. I couldn't take it and we went right to our local shelter :)

  8. How cool and very interesting. Petal keeps me healthy for sure, in many, countless ways. I'm very grateful for her.
    Thanks for sharing this! It was very interesting. :)

  9. This HABRI stuff is really interesting. Liking their concept & great that you had the opportunity to sit in on one of their talks. Thanks for sharing

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