Human Behaviour Change in Veterinary Contexts

The application of Human Behaviour Change theory to veterinary care

veterinary human behaviour change
The main determinant of animal welfare is the environment they live in, which is most often managed by humans. Supporting people to change their behaviour with regards to animals is the most powerful animal welfare tool we have.

Jilly MacKay


October 19, 2023

In public health, we know that people often behave in a way that doesn’t promote good health. We eat more treats than we know we should, we drink more alcohol than we know we should, we don’t exercise as much as we should. One of the great paradoxes in public health is that many people know how they should behave, but then don’t. Changing behaviour necessitates knowing the desired behaviour, understanding the implications of changing that behaviour, having a desire to change the behaviour, and believing that you can indeed change your behaviour.

We know lots about what promotes good animal welfare, but we also know that its hard for animal owners and managers to support that. Over the last few years, I’ve been involved in a number of projects exploring how human behaviour change literature can support animal behaviour and welfare and I feel I can finally call it a research theme in my work.

This project page collects all the publications, talks, and resources that I have collated in this area. If you are interested in this field, please do reach out to talk to me


You can find publications associated with this project here


You can find talks associated with this project here

(Featured image adapted from GraphicMama-team from, cc0)