As a veterinarian I have taken an oath to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. I swore to practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity and to keep with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accepted a lifelong obligation to continually improve my professional knowledge and competence.
With this being said, I have grown to have a much stronger appreciation and understanding of the human-animal bond. The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both. As a veterinarian, I can’t help but to explore and expound on how animals and our pets can have a notable affect on our health and well being.
A 2014 survey from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute indicates ninety-seven percent of doctors believe in the healing power of pets. I too, as a veterinarian, share these same beliefs. My father had cervical spinal surgery in January of 2017. Three days after his surgery he went into respiratory and cardiac arrest. My father stayed in the intensive care unit of the hospital for three days after this incident. Once he began his recovery he was unable to move his arms. While recovering in the hospital my father requested to see his granddogs. My sister Ramona and I both brought our dogs Chaise and Roxie, respectively, to visit our father in the hospital. It was at this time that I first witnessed my father moving his fingers and hands trying to caress his granddogs!!! It is now May 2017, and although my father is no longer hospitalized, he is still recovering. My children (Roxie and Aila) and niece (Chaise) his grandpets are still very much an integral component of his therapy team.
It is clearly evident to me as a veterinarian pets are beneficial to our health. It is becoming more common to hear stories and see proven research that reveal evidence of the healing power of pets and thus demonstrate the magnitude of the human-animal bond!!!