The Five Animal Welfare Needs

In the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, there are 5 key things that an animal requires to lead a happy and healthy life. These are known as the Five Welfare Needs and the law requires owners to provide these for their pet. They are as follows:-

  • The need for a suitable environment (place to live)
  • The need for a suitable diet
  • The need to be able to express normal behaviour patterns
  • The need to live with, or apart from, other animals
  • The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

As DHK is a charity that works with children on a daily basis we feel it is incredibly important to educate all children on the 5 welfare needs of the dog. Children are our future dog owners and we believe that teaching them about responsible dog ownership and how to care for their dog is vital.

What a Dog needs:-

Environment – their own draft free bed in a quiet place, secured safely when in a car, daily exercise according to breed, age and health, adequate toileting opportunities throughout the day, and safe from any hazards or poisons in both house and garden.

Diet – a complete balanced diet according to age, breed and lifestyle and 24 hour access to water.

Behaviour – socialisation and training are vitally important for every dog and should be ongoing throughout their life. Undertaking kind and positive training classes and teaching every dog basic instruction is vital to building a great bond with your dog. Playing with your dog and leaving safe toys and chew toys helps prevent boredom. Never leave a dog unsupervised with children under the age of twelve.

Companionship – due to the social nature of the dog they should never be left alone for more than 4 hours in any given day. When on holiday owners should make suitable arrangements for their dog either with a reputable kennels or pet sitter.

Health/Welfare – there are many important treatments dogs require for their long term health and wellbeing. These include neutering, vaccinations, worm and flea treatment, dental checks and having a health check at least once a year by a vet. Pet insurance, grooming and microchipping are also incredibly important. If your dog has an illness or is in pain seek veterinary advice immediately.

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©DHK Dogs Helping Kids, Registered Charity

Callanish, Eastacombe, Tawstock, Barnstaple,
North Devon, EX31 3NX