Are You Meeting the 5 Welfare Needs For Your Pet?

Are you an animal lover? Do you spoil your pets? Do you consider them a part of the family? Chances are you’ve said yes to all of these questions. A lot of us own at least one pet. According to the PDSA 49% of adults in the UK own a pet, almost half the population.

It’s important to identify what our pets need from us in order for them to thrive and live happy and healthy lives. There’s no point having pets if you don’t put their needs first.

The 5 Welfare Needs

It’s written in law that your pet needs a certain amount of things in order for it to live a healthy and happy life. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. The 5 welfare needs every animal requires are as follows:

  1. A suitable diet. Like most living things a healthy balanced diet is key in keeping your pet fit and disease free.
  2. A suitable environment. Your pet may require a big garden to run around or a small hutch that keeps it safe. Either way it is paramount that your pet has the necessary surroundings.
  3. Animals need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns. This means letting it run around, play, dig, jump, explore etc.
  4. It is vitally important that the pet guardian looks after the pet and protects it from harm, ie, suffering, injury and disease.
  5. Some animals are social creatures whilst others are more solitary. It is important to recognise the need for companionship in your animal. Rabbits and mice might prefer some friendly interaction with other pets whereas cats and hamsters prefer their own company and look to their human carer for companionship.

Pet stats

It’s important to lead a healthy life alongside your pet. Your pet relies on you for its food, exercise and all around well being. However, there has been some evidence to suggest that dog owners are not even walking there dogs.

Why are some owners choosing not to walk their dogs at all? Top answers given were:

  • Garden is big enough for exercise (40%)
  • I have health problems (19%)
  • My dog has health problems (17%)
  • Restricted areas to exercise a dog where I live (16%)

Other answers suggest that the owner is more worried about what might happen instead of putting their dog first. Walking your dog will keep them physically and mentally fit. other answers included:

  • Being scared of their dog being attacked by another dog (17%)
  • Time restrictions (13%)
  • Concern over their dog’s behaviour on a walk (10%)
  • That their dog doesn’t come back when called (10%).

Did You Know….

1.4 million dogs (16%) are walked less than once a day!

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