Merck Animal Health Calls on Dog Owners to Discover the “Power of a Hug”

A Simple Hug Can Brighten Your Day and Help Dogs in Need

MADISON, N.J., December 14, 2015 – Wet noses, wagging tails and soft fur. Nothing quite compares to a hug from man’s best friend. But a lot can interfere with this special connection between dog and owner, whether it’s a busy schedule or parasites like fleas and ticks. With that in mind, today Merck Animal Health, the maker of BRAVECTO™, launched the “Power of a Hug” campaign, encouraging pet owners across the world to take a moment from their day to show their love for their dogs through a nice, long hug. To spread the love even further, dog owners can share their best “dog hug” photos at, where Merck Animal Health will match each upload with a donation to Assistance Dogs International.

Many people understand the value of a good hug, but they may not realize just how important it is—for both themselves and their dogs—to extend this special time. Aside from bringing a smile to your face, a hug from your dog has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure.1 And dogs truly appreciate every extra minute they can spend up-close with their families.

In addition to the daily hustle and bustle that limits the quality time we have with our dogs, infestations with fleas and ticks can also keep us at a distance. Even some products that treat these infestations can come between us.

Dog owners can avoid missing out on time hugging and petting their dog by asking their veterinarian about flea and tick control products that start working fast and provide extended protection. There are now products on the market that are long-lasting and also safe to administer even when the cat likes to sleep in the same place as the dog.

Starting today, dog owners who overcome the obstacles to connect with their dog through a simple hug can show off their best doggie embrace by uploading a photo at For each photo submitted, Merck Animal Health will donate $1 to Assistance Dogs International (ADI). ADI works across the globe to improve the training, placement and utilization of assistance dogs. ADI also works to educate the public about assistance dogs and advocate for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs. To learn more, visit

“At Merck Animal Health, we know that pets are part of the family, and nothing is more important to us than their overall wellness,” said Karin Jager, Director, Global Marketing, Merck Animal Health. “We are committed to furthering the precious bond between dogs and their families by providing treatments for fleas and ticks that do not get in the way of their time together.” 

About Merck Animal Health

Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @MerckAH.

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This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

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The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (
1 Handlin, et al. Associations between the Psychological Characteristics of the Human-Dog Relationship and Oxytocin and Cortisol Levels. Anthrozoös: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals. 06/2012; 25(2):215–228.