The Five Welfare Needs

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The Five Welfare Needs

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:38 pm

The Five Welfare Needs and Five Freedoms are two extremely important sets of basic needs for all people with animals in their possession. What many people see as guidelines are actually law-enforced rules which must be followed; failure to follow these needs could result in prosecution.
Five Welfare Needs - owners should provide the following basic needs for their pet(s):

Somewhere suitable to live - including the correct size of enclosure/environment, correct substrate, available hiding places if necessary, climbing areas for arboreal animals, etc.. A dog crate or bed should be spacious enough for the dog to lay down, stand, turn around and stretch out comfortably. It should preferably have bedding for comfort and warmth, which can be purchased from most pet stores. The living environment should also be clean and free from harmful objects, as well as secure to prevent the dog from escaping or being stolen.

A proper diet, including fresh water - should be suitable for the animal's natural diet (as much as possible), taking into account whether the animal is herbivorous, omnivorous or carnivorous. Dogs are carnivores, so meat should be the main component of their diet. When looking for a good quality food for your dog, you should aim to choose one with meat as its first ingredient; the first ingredient on the food packaging is the one which makes up most of the bulk. Fresh, clean water should also be provided at all times in an easily accessible place.

The ability to express natural/normal behaviour - such as digging, swimming, climbing, etc.. Dogs come in a variety of breeds, each with their own specific traits. Dogs bred for sled-pulling, for instance, are strong and very social, so this should be taken into account.

For any need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals - taking into account their natural social needs. Dog are naturally social animals; due to domestication, they do not necessarily need canine companionship (although some dogs do prefer to have another dog around), but they do need regular interaction with humans. It should also be noted that some dogs also do not like the company of other dogs and may react aggressively.

Protection from, and treatment of, illness and injury - health should be monitored regularly and medical attention administered as quickly as possible in case of injury or illness. Grooming should also be carried out regularly to ensure good health of the coat, skin, teeth, ears and claws. All dogs should be groomed at least once every two days. Certain breeds may more grooming, particularly those with long/dense/double coats or heavily wrinkled faces.

The Five Freedoms cover the same ideas as the Five Welfare Needs, with the addition of 'Freedom from fear and distress.'

Each Need should be tailored according to the type of animal you own. For domesticated animals such as dogs, it can be difficult to judge which behaviour should be allowed and which behaviour should not, according to the third Need. As a domesticated animal, natural behaviour is often hard to distinguish, as the instincts and natural behaviour of the closest wild ancestors to dogs are very detached from our household pets. For this Need, owners need to take into account the safety of their dog, other animals and humans when they decide which behaviours are appropriate.

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