There are five key welfare needs for dogs:
The need for a suitable environment (place to live)
The need for a suitable diet
The need to express normal behaviour
The need for to live with, or apart from, other animals
The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and diseas
Welfare worries for dogs
- Loneliness – dogs are highly social animals, yet 8% of dogs are regularly left alone for more than 12 hours at a time. Another 15% are regularly left alone for eight to 12 hours. And 39% of dogs have no other animals to keep them company while owners are out.
- Lack of exercise and socialisation – dogs need daily walks outside the property, and regular socialisation with people and other animals. This ensures they remain physically and mentally healthy. Yet 63% of dogs do not get walked daily. 62% of dogs didn’t attend ‘puppy preschool’ socialisation classes.
- Obesity – up to 40% of dogs are overweight. 48% of owners feed their dogs treats at least once a day. Obesity can cause major health problems such as diabetes, and can reduce quality of life and shorten lifespan.
- Lack of preventative vet care – 15% of dogs are not vaccinated against common diseases, 6% aren’t treated for fleas and 7% aren’t wormed.
- Toxic treats – 3% of owners feed their dogs chocolate as a treat, 3% feed them grapes, and 17% them cooked bones as a treat.