dog cooling down in pool

The Five Freedoms for Animals 


Did you know that your pets have five different welfare needs? These are the 5 things that animals need to be healthy and happy, and are called the Five Freedoms.  

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst (food and water)
    All animals deserve access to clean water and a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Make sure you provide your pets with clean water every day, or every second day. A healthy and balanced diet is important. Ensuring your pets have access to fresh water and good food will keep them healthy and strong. Ensure your pets have the best food you can afford – and realise that this might look different for different people, families, and communities. Just like us, all animals need food and water to survive. If we don’t eat food or drink water we can die from starvation – and the same goes for our pets, and all animals. And just like us, animals enjoy eating and drinking, have their favorite foods and have foods they don’t like as much. They also get irritable, get hunger pains and feel discomfort when they are hungry – just like we do! Depending on their age, breed, size, level of activity and their health, animals have different requirements when it comes to their food and water needs. As a rule, for example younger and fitter dogs need more food than older dogs who don’t exercise a lot. Any female who is feeding babies also need more food of a higher quality. Pets should always have access to water so make sure there is a clean water bowl with clean water available every day.  
  2. Freedom from discomfort (shelter)
    All animals should live in an appropriate environment. The conditions and surroundings given to an animal contribute to its overall well-being. By providing an animal with shelter and a comfortable resting area, you are ensuring that the animal remains healthy and happy. Shelter from the sun, rain, and wind is important. If your dog sleeps outside, make sure their kennel is waterproof and warm. Wet and dirty blankets are breeding grounds for lice, ticks, mites and others; make sure your pets’ sleeping and living areas are clean and dry. Make sure you remove any old food and keep their areas clean from their waste.  
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease (medical care)
    All animals should be entitled to immediate veterinary attention when sick or injured to avoid unnecessary suffering. In certain cases, unnecessary pain and injury can be prevented through regular visits to a vet. Remember, they can not help themselves and rely on you to look out for signs that something is wrong and when they need medical attention.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour (exercise)
    All animals should be allowed to express their normal behaviours. A normal behaviour is the way an animal acts in its natural environment. For example, dogs bark, cats scratch. Enough space, proper shelter and housing as well as adequate exercise, opportunity to play and the company of the animal's own kind encourages the expression of normal behaviour. Chaining a dog, declawing a cat these are all ways that humans can inhibit their normal behaviour. 
  5. Freedom from fear and distress (love and understanding)
    All animals deserve to be happy and feel loved. Ensuring conditions that avoid unnecessary anxiety and stress will help to provide freedom from mental suffering. While favourable physical conditions are essential, appropriate mental conditions are also important to good animal welfare. An animal who is scared of his owners will not be a happy animal. 

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We can all #LiveKinder. Let’s be kinder in what we eat, kinder in what we do and kinder in how we treat animals and the planet.