According to the ‘PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report’ 51% of UK households own a pet, and 25% own a dog. Worryingly, when it comes to an understanding of what it means to be a responsible dog owner, there is evidence that we as a nation could improve. Shockingly, a whopping 34% of us do not even understand their duty of care under The Animal Welfare Act. Within the Act five areas, otherwise known as ‘The Five Welfare Needs’, are outlined. These specifications were drafted by ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’, who are actively working with the public to ensure that important animal welfare principles are understood and acknowledged.
Every dog owner has the responsibility to ensure that his or her dogs five basic needs are taken care of. These are:
Every dog owner has the responsibility to protect their dog from injury, suffering, and disease as well as to provide treatment if they become ill or injured.
A suitable diet can include feeding appropriately for the pet’s life stage as well as feeding an appropriate amount of food to stop obesity or malnourishment/ Don’t forget to ensure that your dog has access to fresh clean water at all times.
Dogs also require the freedom to run, play, chase, dig and jump. When a dog’s behaviour is restricted and they are not afforded these freedoms, it is likely that their mental health will suffer.
Each and every dog owner also has the responsibility to ensure that their dog has a comfortable place to rest and hide. It is also important that a dog has sufficient space to exercise and explore.
Dogs are social animals and this means that have certain social needs that owners need to be aware of. If your work obligations commit you to leaving the house for extended periods of time then consider getting another dog. When dogs have another fury friend to keep them company, they are less likely to suffer from separation anxiety.
PDSA has partnered up with YouGov, a leading UK research company, that provides accurate insights and statistics researching into global behavioural metrics. In conjunction with PDSA, YouGov have published a report (‘PDSA animal wellbeing report’) with a view to educating the public about what animal welfare. You can find some points highlighted in the report below:
Over the last seven years, the PAW Report has continued to track the health and wellbeing of UK pets. Despite a few positive moves, it is clear; there are still a lot of changes required to ensure The Five Welfare Needs are adhered to. More encouragement is required for our nation to become responsible pet owners. Referring to The Five Welfare Needs is a positive move for dog owners and also reminds them of their responsibilities in looking after our much-loved pooches. You can find this report by following the link below: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/pdsa-animal-wellbeing-report