International Animal Rights Day – 10th Dec
As thousands of animal lovers across the globe begin to mark the 13th annual International Animal Rights Day. Pet Insurance Australia looks at why this day is so important and how everyday pet lovers can promote responsible pet ownership.
“The rights of animals to live in a world free from cruelty and abuse is something many are passionate about,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “This day is all about encouraging kindness and respect for all creatures.”
The annual International Animal Rights Day (IARD),10th December, aims to remember the animal victims of human cruelty and call for the recognition of the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights (UDAR).
“The importance of this day has certainly gained a lot of traction over the past few years, which is just a wonderful thing for all animals around the world.”
Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life and the Companion Animal Rescue Awards, agrees that this day is one of importance for all Australian’s and it all starts locally.
“We have a duty of care to give our pets a good quality of life, not just a life of existence. So, what does that mean? We can look to the Five animal welfare Freedoms, which have been around a long time and universally recognised for assessing animal wellbeing, but in a nutshell, it’s all about giving our pets choice and positive experiences,” she says.
But how can we break this down for everyday living?
Simple things such as allowing your dog the choice of accessing indoors to be to be with the family or able to sleep in a shady spot in the backyard if it’s a hot day.
“Positive experiences could be spending a few minutes daily to play with your cat or training your pup to learn tricks using positive methods,” Cathy suggests. “Giving your pets engaging, interactive toys that prevent boredom and frustration, which can lead to a negative mental state and behavioural problems.”
The five animal welfare freedoms:
Freedom from hunger and thirst
Freedom from discomfort
Freedom from pain, injury and disease
Freedom to express normal behaviours
Freedom from fear and distress
“It really does just start at home and in your local community,” Crighton adds. “Promoting responsible pet ownership and giving your pets the time and love they need and deserve, plus considering adopting and offering a pet a second chance in a loving home.”
According to Cathy, around 186,000 dogs and cats are left unclaimed in shelters in Australia every year. People who are considering becoming pet parents could make a real difference if they considered adoption and visited their local shelter or rescue group.
“If you’re not sure about taking on pet for up to 20 years, consider becoming a foster carer,” Cathy recommends. “Good rescue organisations will match you with a pet that fits in with your lifestyle and energy level.”
Cathy’s TOP TIPS for good pet ownership:
- Ensure your pet’s microchip details are up to date and registered with your local government council
- Look into pet insurance because you don’t want to worry about paying some of those unexpected vet bills – expect the unexpected!
- Keep your pet physically healthy with exercise and an annual check-up at your vet clinic, don’t delay taking your pet to the vet if your pet is showing any signs of not feeling well.
- Regular grooming is good for their circulation and coat health
- Talk to your vet about a balanced diet suitable for your pet’s species, age and breed
- Dog training is great for mental stimulation for dogs of all ages, choose a dog club or private trainer with qualifications in positive methods
- Give your pet a space for them to chill out and escape enthusiastic kids and other pets
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