Animals, of all shapes and sizes have freedoms, just like you and me. These animal freedoms are recognized globally by organizations that are in place for the protection of animal welfare such as Humane Societies and SPCA’s. To some these freedoms may not be common knowledge, so today we will discuss the five animal freedoms and how pet owners can help to protect their own pet’s freedoms.
This one is probably the most obvious one! Making fresh water readily available and accessible at all times, especially during hot summers. If your pet lives outdoors, do not rely on snow to be able to satisfy their needs- ensuring their water is not frozen solid is so very important. A diet appropriate to the species (feeding dog food to dogs, and cat food to cats), especially one that is certified to meet the AAFCO minimum standards for that species is very important. Follow the recommend food dosage on your pet’s food bag is a place to start, however often this needs to be adjusted to the individual to prevent over or underfeeding. If you are looking for high quality nutrition information or food for your pet, feel free to book a nutrition consultation!
#2 Freedom From Exposure To The Elements
If your pet lives inside with you, that means if you are comfortable, they are too! Going the extra step and providing a comfy safe kennel will help many dogs feel safe and secure as they often like a den like area to rest in. Providing other caged animals with adequate room, hiding spaces and lighting is so very important for not only their emotional health, but their physical health. If your pet lives outside be sure to provide them with shelter that protects them from wind, extreme heat, and extreme cold. A heated dog house and adequate bedding usually would satisfy these requirements.
It may not always be easy to recognize with your pet is in pain, especially with conditions that develop over longer periods of time such as dental pain or arthritis. Annual wellness exams and appropriate vaccinations with your veterinarian will allow an expert to identify any likely sources of pain and help you ensure your companion is in peak healthl as provide information about potential issues your pet may have.
#4 Freedom To Express Normal Behavior
Ensure that you have sufficient space, facilities, tools and accessories for you pet to carry out their normal behaviours. As a dog owner you can provide them with daily walks, and play time with safe toys. A tired dog is a good dog! Too often, if a high energy dog is not allowed to exercise adequately and daily, it leads to destructive or problematic behaviour that jeopardizes its happy home. See our previous blog here on ways to help enrich your cat’s indoor only home. Using positive forms of reinforcement instead of punishment for bad behaviour has also been showed through extensive studies to be much more effective, and will prevent fear and distress leading to a loss of trust.
To spend time with or away from members of their own species. Animals, just like humans are social creatures and it is important to properly socialize your dog, preferably at a young age. You can do many things to socialize dogs, like going to puppy classes or the dog park. Be sure that if you take your pet to the dog park to diligently watch for aggressive or fearful behaviour. If your pet shows signs of aggression or anxiousness, socialization in the more controlled environment of training classes or with known friendly dogs is a better idea. With cats, some are very independent and prefer the company of their humans over that of other felines. If this is the case, ensure that you are spending an adequate amount of time playing, grooming, and cuddling with your cat to avoid the onset of behaviour problems.