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Training veterinary students in animal behavior to preserve the human-animal bond

By B. L. Sherman, J. A. Serpell

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Knowledge of animal behavior is an extremely important component of modern veterinary practice. Appreciation of species-typical behavior helps to ensure that veterinary patients are handled safely and humanely, and plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis of health and welfare problems in animals, including the recognition of pain and distress. Veterinary students who acquire a good understanding of animal behavior will be better clinicians and will be best able to promote and repair the "human-animal bond," that important connection between people and their pets. Animal behavior problems can negatively impact this critical relationship, leading to abandonment, re-homing, relinquishment to an animal shelter, and sometimes premature euthanasia of the animal. Therefore, identifying, preventing, and treating behavior problems is important in maintaining the human-animal bond. Education in animal behavior should be an essential part of the veterinary curriculum; a board-certified veterinary behaviorist should be an integral member of the veterinary college faculty.

Date 2008
Publication Title Journal of Veterinary Medical Education
Volume 35
Issue 4
Pages 496-502
ISBN/ISSN 0748-321X
Language English
Author Address Department of Clinical Sciences & Program in Animal Welfare, Ethics, and Public Policy, North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, 4700 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27606-1499, USA. barbara_sherman@ncsu.edu serpell@vet.upenn.edu
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Education
  4. Employees
  5. Euthanasia
  6. Health
  7. Mammals
  8. Maturity
  9. Pain
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. Pets and companion animals
  12. Practice and service
  13. practices
  14. Primates
  15. students
  16. training
  17. Veterinary education
  18. veterinary practices
  1. peer-reviewed