Science Says: Talk About Pets!

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute, The University of Toronto, Markham Stouffville Hospital, and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan recently announced the publication of a study exploring whether primary healthcare professionals asking their patients about the pets in the family would positively impact communication to gather clinically relevant information and improve patient care.

225 healthcare professionals were surveyed about the prevalence of patients living with pets, the health impact of pets and influences on patient communication.

The Results:

  • Patients are more open to talking to their healthcare providers about their pets, revealing clinically relevant information about how they live
  • Asking about pets in the family is an easy and effective way to build trust with a patient, strengthening the patient-provider therapeutic alliance
  • Having an exam-room conversation about companion animals helps healthcare providers learn important information about patients’ lifestyle and home life which can positively influence the way they evaluate and treat their patients.

 

Kate Hodgson, DVM, MHSc, CCMEP, and co-author of the study said, “When healthcare providers learn about the pets in patients’ lives, they are also developing an understanding of specific aspects of their patients’ environment and social history that can improve the delivery of healthcare.”

Click here to learn more about this recently published study. For more information about the innovative research projects, HABRI has funded, visit their website.

Advertisements

New Study to Focus on Cats and Children with Autism

University_of_Missouri_logo.svgThe Human Animal Bond Research Institute recently awarded a $52,204 grant to the University of Missouri for a new study, Shelter Cat Adoption in Families of Children with Autism: Impact on Children’s Social Skills and Anxiety as well as Cat Stress.

The study will examine the effect of the introduction of a shelter cat on social skills and anxiety in children with autism, and on stress levels for the cats themselves.

Regarding the decision to study cats, the study’s Principal Investigator, Gretchen Carlisle, PhD, said “While many studies have focused on the impact of dogs on children with ASD, this study aims to determine the beneficial impacts of a pet cat on children with autism and their families, as the temperament and the ease of care for cats compared to other animals may increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for the children, the cats and the family as a whole.”

In addition to HABRI’s grant award, the PIs also received funding from the Winn Feline Foundation in the amount of $25,000. The combined funding from Winn Feline and HABRI have enabled the PIs to expand the sample size and add the support of a statistician, which will greatly enhance the power of the study and hopefully result in more definitive and robust findings.

Click here to learn more about this study. For more information about the innovative research projects, HABRI has funded, visit their website.

The Pet Industry Rallies Together for Hurricane Relief

It’s not every day you see top industry competitors working side by side together on one project, but when it benefits the common good and helps thousands of displaced pets and their owners, the companies that make up our industry have answered the call of duty.

image1

Hurricane Harvey

In an unprecedented collaborative effort, pet stores and veterinary hospital groups, manufacturers, distributors, associations and organizations within the pet industry pooled their resources and worked with lead disaster and shelter officials to coordinate logistics of providing much-needed supplies including sharing warehouses, facilities and distribution centers for storage until affected areas could be accessed.

They also tapped connections and resources to help provide vehicles and helicopters to assist with evacuations and provided financial assistance to rescue organizations.

An overview of the pet industry’s animal assistance in Houston is available here. These supplies have already greatly assisted shelters and aid organizations and will continue to help pet owners with the long-term recovery ahead.

 

Hurricane Irma

In order to streamline relief efforts and ensure maximum assistance from the country’s pet care community to those most in need, The Pet Leadership Council (PLC), made up of pet industry leaders, animal welfare, veterinarians and academia, partnered with GreaterGood.org to provide aid to those impacted by both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The PLC is working with GreaterGood.org to help assess critical needs and manage the distribution of desperately needed items from PLC members, including food, crates, litter, hard goods and veterinary medical products.

In the first few days of response alone, they shipped enough pet food for one million meals along with other critical supplies.

The Pet Leadership Council has also developed a public map of locations where open animal hospitals and supplies can be found and will regularly update as conditions change.

More information on how companies and the general public can assist in the hurricane aid efforts is available here.

Now, let’s hope hurricane Maria changes her trajectory. If not, together, we now have a system in place and will be here to help!

New Research Shows Dogs Improve Social Skills for Children with Autism

Green Chimneys - dog in social skills training

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) recently announced the publication of a study that explored the effectiveness of an animal-assisted social skills intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The research was conducted by Green Chimneys, a therapeutic school and treatment center for children facing social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

Dr. Joanna Becker, the study’s principal investigator, along with co-PIs Dr. Erica Rogers and Dr. Bethany Burrows, analyzed 31 Green Chimneys students ages 8-14 diagnosed with ASD and compared social and emotional functioning before and after the intervention. Students either participated in an animal-assisted social skills group or in a traditional social skills training group without an animal present.Not only do dogs appear to have a positive effect on children_s emotional states, but they can also be motivating factors that encourage social interaction and involvement

Findings showed that the inclusion of dogs in social skills training was more effective than traditional programs.

Specifically, participants who received the animal-assisted social skills intervention exhibited fewer social skills deficits overall, fewer restricted and repetitive behaviors, and more typical social communication following the intervention. The study also found that participants who received the animal-assisted social skills intervention exhibited a greater level of change in social skills, perspective taking, theory of mind, and decreased feelings of isolation and depression.

For more information and to read about the innovative research projects HABRI has funded, visit their website. To learn more about Green Chimneys, visit their website here.

APPA Staff Members Are Internationally Recognized!

We are proud to announce three staff members have earned certifications from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) and one was named to the IAEE’s 20 Under 30 program.

20under30_sponsor-hi-res-230x300Alexandra Simonfay, Associate Manager, Industry Relations, Sarah Lee Bopp, Manager, Booth Sales & Operations and Kaitlin Simonfay, Associate Manager, Exhibitor Services each earned IAEE’s Certified in Exhibition Management™ (CEM) designation. The CEM is a premier mark of professional achievement, as the individuals who earn this designation are recognized as knowledgeable and dedicated professionals with a long-term commitment to the exhibitions and events industry.
In addition to completing the CEM program, Alexandra Simonfay was also named as one of IAEE’s 20 Under 30 honorees and was recognized at IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, Expo! Expo! this month.

We are very proud of each of these staff members for their achievements and dedication to the industry!

Don’t Miss the 2nd Annual Pet Industry Leadership Conference

Registration for the 2nd Annual Pet Industry Leadership Conference is now open!

Join us for an excellent line up of speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities, all against the backdrop of the California coastline at Laguna Beach.

screen-shot-2015-09-22-at-8-12-33-am

Attended by nearly 300 of the pet industry’s leading voices and thought leaders whose achievements are celebrated worldwide, this conference brings all segments of the pet industry together to a beautiful beachfront setting where the emphasis is on problem solving, not selling.

The event’s keynote speakers include Chris Kuehl, Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, Nathan Richter, Partner at Wakefield Research, Troy Hazard, serial entrepreneur and Josh Linkner, business owner and founder. And the learning continues with breakout sessions that allow for deep dives into critical topics for the pet industry like Effectively Controlling Price Erosion and a Shelter Population Study with reliable data on the number of dogs and cats in shelters.

The cool vibe of the Southern California Coast is the perfect backdrop to a week of collaboration, harmony and inspiration. Check out the schedule of events and download the Registration Form today!

Research to Study Affect of Therapy Dogs on Children in Hospitals

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation recently awarded two grants, totaling $123,000, to study the affects of therapy dogs on children in hospitals.

Young Girl Being Visited In Hospital By Therapy Dog

The University of Tennessee received a $79,000 grant for a new study, The Effect of Animal-Assisted Intervention on Preoperative Anxiety and Dose of Sedation in Children. The study will examine the effect of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) on children’s anxiety levels and sedation medication dosages prior to surgery.

72 children between the ages of 2 and 17 will receive a therapy dog or an iPad tablet 20 minutes before sedation. Heart rate, blood pressure and medicine levels for sedation will then be evaluated for each group and compared.

It is expected that children provided with a therapy dog prior to surgery will have significantly lower preoperative anxiety and will require a decreased amount of medication for sedation compared to children who do not interact with a therapy dog.

_________________________________________________________________

Duke University School of Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Cardiology also received a $44,000 grant for a new research study, Impact of Animal Assisted Therapy on Quality, Completeness, and Patient and Parental Satisfaction in Children Undergoing Clinical Echocardiography. This study will examine the influence of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) on young children undergoing an echocardiogram.

150 children between the ages of 1 and 5 will be randomly assigned to a group: canine-assisted therapy only; canine-assisted therapy plus standard distraction techniques; and standard distraction techniques only. Quality, completeness and parental satisfaction of echocardiograms will be evaluated among the three groups, as well as reduction of stress or fear among the children.

It is expected that children will have a more complete and higher quality echocardiogram in the presence of therapy dogs. In addition, parents are expected to report higher visit satisfaction scores and greater exam comfort for their children.

For more information and to read about the innovative research projects HABRI has funded, visit their website.