In this article, we will discuss why dog welfare is essential?
Have you ever wonder why it is so necessary?
If you are a dog owner, or you are commonly interacting with dogs, then it is necessary to get basic knowledge of dog welfare. Usually, dogs are unmatched in their love, loyalty, and affection for humankind. Anyone who has ever loved a dog can attest to its hundred-fold return.
What is Animal Welfare?
Animal welfare concerns the state of an animal’s body and mind and the extent to which its nature is satisfied so just like humans.
A dog is in a good state of welfare if it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behavior, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. Good welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling, and humane slaughter/killing.
Animal welfare is a complex subject and there are differences among the opinions of different scientists that what it is. Commonly we are using the five freedoms of animals as a way to assess animal welfare.
Five Freedoms of welfare
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom from fear and distress
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- The animal should be provided clean, hygienic, and healthy food along with clean water at regular intervals of time according to the age, activity level, and sex of the animal to ensure good health. This is a basic freedom that must be given to the animal.
- The animal should be given a spacious and clean environment so that it does not feel any kind of discomfort. Spacious and danger free environment is also necessary to avoid injury and pain to the dogs.
- Do not ever try to put your anger on these animals and always condemn the acts of cruelty.
- Provide your dog with oppourtunities to play and express their normal behaviours. Usually wagging tail is a sign that animal is showing his love for the owner. There are many sitting postures and behaviours of dogs that suggest their feelings.
Why dog welfare is essential?
The welfare of dogs is essential due to the following reasons;
- Dogs are human-friendly animals and they are a source of pleasure for many persons. Poor welfare can lead to bad health and abnormal behaviour of dogs. This will badly affect the dog and owner bonding.
- Dogs are used for various purposes such as; hunting, racing, fighting, and sports purpose. Compromised welfare will affect the abilities of the dog and this will ultimately affect the dog owner.
- Dogs should be handled carefully so that chances of getting any disease or injury are greatly reduced. Routine checkups and strict vaccination schedule should be followed to avoid diseases.
- Behavior Is individual and depends on its age, breed or type and past experience. However, most dogs are playful, sociable animals and they enjoy playing together with toys, people and other dogs.
- Dogs are intelligent animals and can suffer from boredom. If a dog is bored, and does not have enough to do, it may suffer or engage in inappropriate behavior.
Note: Changes in behavior may indicate that something is wrong with a dog’s health.
- Provide dogs with regular opportunities for exercise and to play with people or other dogs.
- Ensure that dogs can rest undisturbed when they want.
- Give dogs the exercise they need, at least daily to keep them fit, active and stimulated.
- If you become aware of changes in behavior, you may need veterinary advice, as the dog may be distressed, bored, ill or injured.
- Use only positive reward based training.
- Avoid harsh, potentially painful or frightening training methods.
- Puppies should be trained to behave normally under stressed situations. Puppies need to get exposure of different objects and activities in their environment, to get used to these.
- Any change in the way a dog behaves can be an early sign that it is ill, or in pain or not feeling well with the training.
Keep Your Dog Healthy
- Dogs are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases and other illnesses. They need protection from serious infections, which can be provided by vaccination.
- Keep house, bedding, and body coat of your dog free from parasites. Follow strict deworming schedule to keep your dog healthy.
- Groom and bathe your dog regularly according to his breed and environment. A clean and well managed dog is a healthy dog. Grooming also helps you to inspect your dog and to ensure proper care and management.
- To avoid gum diseases and teeth decay, clean the teeth of your dog on regular basis. Proper nail trimming is also essential for your healthy dog.
- Many people choose to have their dogs neutered. If there is no interest to breed dogs, veterinarians can advise on neutering and the health benefits of neutering dogs.
- Veterinarians should be asked how often a dog needs a health check, and what can be done regularly to protect the dog’s health.
- Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.
NOTE: Always follow a veterinarian’s medical advice!