Bond-centered veterinary practice: lessons for veterinary faculty and students

J Vet Med Educ. Winter 2008;35(4):545-52. doi: 10.3138/jvme.35.4.545.


We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift in attitudes to companion animals, in part due to our greater understanding of the health and social benefits associated with the human-animal bond (HAB). Recent demographic changes, including smaller family size, increased longevity, and a higher incidence of relationship breakdown, have resulted in a greater dependence on pets for companionship and social support. It is therefore important for the veterinary profession to understand the HAB, keep abreast of knowledge in this field, and apply research findings to help our clients, their companion animals, and the wider society in which we live. How can veterinarians incorporate the HAB into their practices for the benefit of people and animals, and what are the effects of using a bond-centered approach? This article addresses this question, and arises from the experience of a veterinarian who introduced a bond-centered approach to her practice in the United Kingdom over 20 years ago.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Welfare*
  • Animals
  • Communication
  • Education, Veterinary
  • Faculty
  • Human-Animal Bond*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Students
  • United Kingdom
  • Veterinarians
  • Veterinary Medicine / methods*