I’m Dr. Mike McFarland, Chief Medical Officer at Zoetis

As a veterinarian for over 35 years, I have witnessed the bond between humans and animals up close. I can tell you, it’s as powerful between people and pets as it is among farmers and livestock.

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It’s because I believe so strongly in this bond that I’ve focused my work on the intersection of science and care. It’s the place where intuition meets data. Where we prove the science behind what I know in my heart to be true — the human-animal bond has the power to improve our mental, emotional and even physical health. And from pets to families to farms, in communities around the world, every veterinarian plays a crucial role in our public health ecosystem.

I believe in a future where the lives of animals and people are made better by this incredible bond. And it begins at the intersection of science and care.

WSAVA Pain Course

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Zoetis have partnered to create a Certificate in Pain Management for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. The course will promote the importance of managing companion animal pain to protect the human-animal bond, and is comprised of three modules:

  • Understanding and assessing pain
  • Preventing and treating pain
  • Pain management in practice

Advancing the future of animal care

The FutureBound mini-documentary series follows Dr. Mike as he visits animal care professionals from all over the world. At the center of care for pets and livestock, these dedicated people are a critical element in our global public health system.

Talking with trailblazers

Our bond with animals isn’t just intuition, it’s science. Listen in as Dr. Mike talks with veterinary leaders about the human-animal bond, current veterinary topics, and the ways innovations in animal care can benefit people, too.

Vet Visit Podcast

Dr. Mike’s Global Veterinary Advisory Team

Globally, the Zoetis team includes veterinarian experts serving across multiple disciplines, including R&D, outcomes research, technical and product support, and in-field expertise with customers and veterinarians. Dr. Mike works closely with a cross-segment of those experts, the Global Veterinary Advisory Team (GVAT), to help connect and learn as we strive to advance the standard of care for livestock and pets.

The Human-Animal Bond

From pet owners to veterinarians and in cultures around the world, our bonds with animals can help us be happier and healthier.

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The human-animal bond goes global

The results of a new global survey from HABRI show there’s just no denying the power of the bond.

Want to learn more? See the full survey results.

Pets make for healthier humans

Companion animals have assisted in the treatment of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorder. And when you look at all of the ways pets support human health and well-being, it’s easy to see why.

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Heart Health

Pet owners have significantly lower systolic blood pressure than those without pets.

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Mental Health

90% of pet owners say pets helped them cope during the pandemic.

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Child Development

Children with a family pet may be more empathetic and have higher levels of self-esteem.

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There are more friendships, giving and receiving of help, and community engagement among pet owners.

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Pet ownership may instill a sense of self-worth and responsibility and may lead to increased socialization.

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Of people who live alone, dog owners have a 36% chance of living longer than those without dogs.

In turn, bonded pet owners are more likely to provide their pets with preventive care and have a higher propensity to seek care for symptoms such as weight loss, itchiness or decreased appetite.

The Veterinarian’s Role

No one understands or appreciates the human-animal bond better than veterinarians, who, by caring for our pets and livestock, are essential to our global public health. As we endeavor to prove the science behind the bond, veterinarians play a critical role.

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The human-animal bond can strengthen the human-veterinarian bond

When pet owners understand that their pet’s health may be intrinsically linked to their own, they may be more encouraged to schedule regular checkups. In fact, research shows the most successful veterinary practices are those that focus on nurturing the human-animal bond.

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Veterinarians care for animals, humans and our world

By serving as the first and best line of defense against diseases that affect both people and animals and by helping farmers raise healthy animals for a safe and sustainable food supply, veterinary professionals play an integral role in public health and well-being.

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Advancing care through innovation

Driven by our customers' unmet needs, our scientists help pets live longer, healthier lives and support healthier, more productive livestock. We are committed to innovation across the continuum of care — predict, prevent, detect and treat.

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Nurturing the industry and the future

Through the work of the Zoetis Foundation, we’re committed to helping communities and animal caretakers. Our initiatives support diversity, veterinary debt relief and mental wellness for farmers and veterinarians in Africa, Australia, Brazil, China, Europe and the United States. The Zoetis Foundation is a private charitable organization and is solely funded by Zoetis, with distinct legal requirements and restrictions.