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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Stan Baker, JD, DVM (Hons), MRCVS, CVA
Public Affairs, United States
“I became a veterinarian to create positive change in the world. Working at Zoetis allows me to do that every day.”
Edwina Gildea, MVB, MRCVS
Companion Animal, Scotland-United Kingdom
“Veterinary practice brings together everything that I love — helping animals and interacting with people, as well as continued scientific learning.”
Christina Mayer, Dr. med. vet., Fachtierärztin für Kleintiere
Companion Animal, Germany
“I decided to become a veterinarian to contribute to animal welfare and provide good veterinary practice.”
Alexandre Merlo, DVM, MSc
Companion Animal, Brazil
“Taking care of pets and contributing to food production and human health reinforced my decision to become a veterinarian.”
Jessica Wu, BSc, DVM, PhD
Companion Animal, Canada
“As a veterinarian, I want to give a voice to those that don’t have one.”
Xiaoxiao Yu, BVSc, MVSc
Companion Animal, China and Australia
“Loving animals is something I was born with. I enjoy being with animals and was eager to do something for them, which is why I became a veterinarian.”
Emiko Aoki, DVM, PhD
Companion Animal, Japan
“I wanted to become a veterinarian because I respect animals and want to learn from them and save their lives.”
Tara Bidgood, DVM, PhD, DACVCP, CCFP
Petcare, United States
“I discovered the human-animal bond through the many pets we had as a family. This grew into a passion for helping people and animals and led me to become a veterinarian.”
Megan Lui, BVSc (Hons 1), MANZCVS (Pharmacology)
Companion Animal, Australia
“A sense of curiosity about animals and a love for helping others are what drove me to become a veterinarian.”
Antoine Fordin, DVM
Companion Animal and Livestock, France
“I have always been a great lover of animals. I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 6 years old. Veterinary medicine is a passion directly inscribed into my DNA.”
Kelly Graham, BVSc (Hons)
Cattle and Dairy, Australia
“I grew up on a farm where animals were my love and passion. Becoming a veterinarian was an easy decision.”
Ocilon Sa Filho, DVM, MSc, PhD, MBA
Cattle and Dairy, Brazil
“I was attracted to this professional purpose when I understood how veterinarians help improve cows’ productivity and, ultimately, our food supply.”
Christian Wunderlich, Dr. med. vet., Fachtierarzt für Rinder
Cattle and Dairy, Germany
“As a veterinarian, I´m able to be a surgeon, an internal specialist, an anesthetist, a consultant and a manager – where else is all of this possible?!”
Luis Leon, Dr. med. vet.
Cattle, Dairy and Diagnostics, Germany
“My strong interest to understand [large] animal anatomy and physiology inspired me to become a veterinarian.”
Jakob Bagger, DVM
“Securing the health of an entire population is an art form and my passion — that’s why I became a livestock veterinarian.”
Kewen Wang, PhD
“I became a veterinarian to provide healthy, happy lives for pigs and people.”
Dieter Vancraeynest, DVM, PhD
“I have a big scientific interest and passion for all living creatures, combined with a huge respect for those ensuring our daily food supply.”
Wendy Talbot, BVSc Cert EM (Int Med) DECEIM, European and RCVS specialist in Equine Internal Medicine
Equine, United Kingdom
“Our profession provides opportunity for lifelong learning. The more I learn, the more I truly appreciate how much our world and well-being is linked to animals.”
Oliver Knesl, BSc, BSc (Hons), MSc, BVSc, MRCVS, CSAM
Diagnostics, United States
“The power of the human-animal bond inspired me to become a veterinarian.”
Michael Loenser, DVM, MBA
Diagnostics, United States
“I have always been fascinated by the art and science of veterinary practice and the diverse ways veterinarians improve the lives of animals and people.”
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.
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.
Pet owners have significantly lower systolic blood pressure than those without pets.
90% of pet owners say pets helped them cope during the pandemic.
Children with a family pet may be more empathetic and have higher levels of self-esteem.
There are more friendships, giving and receiving of help, and community engagement among pet owners.
Pet ownership may instill a sense of self-worth and responsibility and may lead to increased socialization.
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.
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.
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.
Advancing care through innovation and progress
In the hands of knowledgeable veterinarians, advancements in technology, product innovation and training may provide even greater care to livestock and pets. That’s why Zoetis focuses on providing these advancements through the continuum of care — predict, prevent, detect and treat.
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.