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The five welfare needs for pets

All pet owners and keepers have a legal duty of care as detailed in The Animal Welfare Act 2006, to provide for their animal's welfare needs. 

Every pet owner must provide for the following needs of their pets: 


  • HEALTH - Protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease and seek treatment if they become ill or injured.


  • BEHAVIOUR - The ability to behave naturally for their species e.g. play, run, dig, jump, fly etc.


  • COMPANIONSHIP - To be housed with, or apart from, other animals as appropriate for the species i.e. company of their own kind for sociable species like rabbits or guinea pigs, or to be housed alone for solitary species like hamsters. 

  • DIET - A suitable diet. This includes feeding appropriately for the pet’s life stage and feeding a suitable amount to prevent obesity or malnourishment, as well as access to fresh clean water. 

  • ENVIRONMENT - A suitable environment. This should include the right type of home with a comfortable place to rest and hide as well as space to exercise and explore. 

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