Dogs and cats, like all domestic animals, depend on people to provide food, water, shelter and care. They need the same things that all domestic animals need:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst by constant access to fresh water, and a suitable diet to maintain full health and vigour.
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind (if they are a social species).
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
In the next few pages we will look at some of those daily needs in a little more detail…