1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
All dogs and cats should have easy access to fresh water and food. They need it to stay strong and healthy. Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs. For example, cats need a higher proportion of meat in their diets than dogs. And, because cats are also real hunters - don’t let the cuteness fool you - they prefer to eat multiple small meals throughout the day. Dogs, on the other hand, love to eat everything at once. They should at least have one delicious meal a day to devour.
2. Freedom from discomfort
Just like us humans love to have our own, safe, comfortable place, cats and dogs want the same. Dogs are happiest with their own bed. They prefer a bed that’s on the floor, in a corner, or in another safe and quiet space. A cat is more of a daredevil. They feel safe on an elevated surface, like perched on top of a scratching pole. Another option is to give your furry friend something to hide inside of. Just to be clear: that doesn't mean they like being kept in a cage!
3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
You know what they say: prevention is better than the cure. Protecting your pet’s health requires close, regular attention. For dogs, that means checking their coat regularly and grooming if necessary. Cats are... a bit cleaner. They spend over 90% of their day grooming themselves - handy. Nevertheless, it’s still worth occasionally checking they’re doing a good job. It’s also good to feel your cat’s body shape to check they’re a healthy size under all that fur. If, unfortunately, your pet does get sick, then make sure to get the problem diagnosed and treated quickly.
4. Freedom to express normal behaviour
This Freedom can be fulfilled by providing your pet sufficient space, proper facilities and company of its own kind. For cats, having somewhere to scratch is really important. So if you're keen on having nice furniture, you should definitely get a scratching post. If you have dogs, it’s better to keep them together for company. But bear in mind they will also need space for themselves. Dogs will also need some behavioural training from a young age. Whereas cats are naturally perfect 😉
5. Freedom from fear and distress
We all want to see our animals living their best life. That means avoiding anything that could lead to mental suffering. For example, make sure your dog is never left alone long enough to become distressed. If you feel like your dog is easily bored - even when left alone for a short period of time - it’s maybe a good idea to give your dog some challenging toys or chewing snacks to keep them busy. For cats, it’s important to respect their likes and dislikes. If your cat is not a people-person, then don’t force lots of cuddles on them. As a general rule, cats need a much gentler approach than their canine cousins.