What is Animal Welfare, Anyway?
As Animal Welfare Week approaches, you may have ideas for helping animals on the mind! Have you ever heard the term "animal welfare" and wondered what it's all about? It’s technically one of those terms that can mean quite a few different things, depending on the context of the conversation. Let’s start breaking down what animal welfare means, why it's different from animal rights, and why you should care!
So, What is Animal Welfare?
Okay, let's start with the basics: What is the meaning of animal welfare?
Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment. Animal welfare is all about making sure our dogs, cats, snakes, birds, hermit crabs, and pet rocks are all well taken care of and are living their best lives. This includes how they eat, where they sleep, and how they're generally treated.
The Animal Welfare Act: What You Need to Know
Heard of the Animal Welfare Act? It's a big deal. Passed in 1966, this U.S. law sets the minimum standards for how animals should be treated, especially those in research, exhibitions, and while being transported. Basically, it's the rulebook that animal caregivers have to follow.
And don't worry, there's a referee. Federal agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) make sure everyone's playing by the rules.
Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare: What's the Difference?
Here's where things get interesting. You've probably heard of animal rights, too, right? Well, it's not the same as animal welfare.
Animal Rights: These folks say animals have a value all their own and should not be used for human benefits. They're all about ending things like animal testing and factory farming.
Animal Welfare: This is more about making sure animals that are under human care are treated well. So, while some animal use is accepted, the focus is on humane treatment.
Even though they're different, both movements want animals to live good lives.
Why Should We Care About Animal Welfare?
Great question! First off, it's just the right thing to do. Animals feel things just like we do, so they deserve to be treated well. But there's more to it than simply treating others (including pets) well!
Treating animals well means less chance of diseases making the jump from animals to humans, as quite simply put: a healthy animal is less likely to contract a disease that can jump between humans and animals. When we speak of holistically improving an animal's health, this concept of “holistic care” begins to even expand beyond our initial intentions. By making sure our pets are well taken care of, happy, and able to fight off sickness when it comes knocking, we’re also improving the holistic health of our own homes (and some could argue, improving the overall health of our communities as a result). Remember, having a holistic mindset means that you view things as interconnected systems as opposed to completely isolated systems.
What Exactly is Holistic Pet Care?
Holistic pet care looks at your pet's overall health instead of just focusing on treating individual symptoms. It's a comprehensive approach that aims to maintain a balanced lifestyle for your pet, taking into account mental, physical, and emotional well-being. To define holistic specifically: it is “characterized by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole”. This means that when you view your pet's health through a holistic lens, you realize that it’s not just about brushing your dog's coat to keep it healthy; the first step to a healthier coat is actually inside your dog's diet!
The Significant Role of Nutrition in Pet Health
Now, you might be wondering, what's one of the most effective ways to improve overall wellness? The answer is simple: proper nutrition. In the same way that you must change your diet to exercise and gain healthy weight, so should your pet's diet shift to match their needs. If you’re looking to improve your dog’s joint discomfort, for example, your extinct may be to lean towards a topical treatment. Your joints, and your dog's joints, can benefit from the introduction of healthier foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to support your joint health.
Why Nutrition is Critical: Good nutrition is the foundation of your pet's health. Without it, your pet can't function optimally. Just like you wouldn't expect a car to run without the right fuel, you can't expect your pet to thrive without proper nutrition.
Essential Nutrients: Carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals are crucial. They maintain a healthy coat, optimal eye function, and overall well-being.
The Role of Supplements: Even high-quality pet foods can miss some nutritional elements. That's where supplements come in handy. They can provide those missing nutrients to ensure a balanced diet for your pet. Supplements can come in many forms from tablets, capsules, syrups, and chews to oil droplets (often the easiest way to introduce a supplement), so even if you’re finding your dog is particularly stubborn you can rest assured that there’s alternative ways to give your dog a supplement. Chances are, they’ll like one of these options!
Understanding the holistic approach to pet care and the importance of nutrition sets you on the path to becoming an informed pet owner. Isn't the ultimate goal to always ensure our pets are healthy and happy?
Sometimes, the best advice comes straight from the source itself!
What’s the best way to make sure I’m taking care of my pet’s welfare?
“You should be able to provide your pet with proper nutrition, comfortable housing, appropriate exercise, and a wellness plan including updated preventive vaccination (core and non-core), endoparasiticides (deworm), and ectoparasiticides (anti - tick, flea, mites, and lice). Occasional treats and positive reinforcement during training are also encouraged. Pets should also be given the freedom to express themselves and live their lives to the fullest. As much as possible, they should be free from distress, fear, pain, discomfort, injury, and diseases. When they get sick, their medical needs should be addressed. Special care and attention should be given during their senior years to make them feel wanted despite their decreased activity.”
When should I consider health supplements such as probiotics for my pets?
“Probiotics can be given to all animals. It could be given to improve their digestion, help boost their immune system, and overall health. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation as different products have different formulations. For sick animals, treatment dose is usually given under the guidance of a veterinarian. For other supplements, the dose would depend on the health condition of the animal. Remember that anything in excess is not good. The same is true with supplements. Take vitamins for example, there are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins which stays longer in the body and too much of it can cause kidney and liver damage. Too much calcium could also cause kidney stones.”
What types of supplements are a good idea for my dogs?
“Generally, multivitamins, minerals, probiotics, and omega fatty acids are good supplements for dogs. Depending on the age breed, lifestyle, and health condition, some supplements are prescribed such as CoQ-10 as a supplemental therapy for heart and neurological conditions, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, and other herbs such as ginger, turmeric, moringa, bitter melon, and hemp seed oil among others as an integrated approach to certain health problems.”
What animal welfare organizations would you recommend donating to?
“There are many animal welfare organizations that you could donate to depending on the advocacy that is close to your heart and in line with your personal goals. Some of these are Muttville Senior Dogs Rescue, Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) or Oceana.”
Unveiling Our Daily Health Support Supplements
Nourishing Choices for Your Pet's Overall Wellness
We've talked a lot about holistic pet wellness and the importance of proper nutrition. Now, how about we introduce you to some powerhouse products that can elevate your pet's wellness? We’ve pulled together a list of our best products that supplement your dog's health and wellness:
Turkey Tail Mushroom Complex: A Shield for Your Dog's Immunity
First off, meet our Turkey Tail Mushroom Complex. This isn't just a supplement; it's a complete immune system booster for your dog. Packed with antioxidants and beneficial beta-glucans, this blend supports digestion and protects against oxidative damage. Don't take this as medical advice, but if you're searching for a natural approach to wellness, consult your veterinarian about including Turkey Tail Mushroom Complex in your pet's regimen.
Pre+ Probiotics: A Gut Health Game-Changer
Next up, we have the Pre+ Probiotics designed explicitly for optimizing your dog’s digestive health. Our formula doesn't just stop at aiding digestion; it goes a step further to boost the immune system. With six probiotic strains and high-quality ingredients like organic spinach-based Solarplast and Inulin, this supplement works double-duty. Not just for gut health, it can also alleviate discomfort from seasonal allergies. We say it's a win-win!
Salmon Oil + CBD: Holistic Health in a Bottle
Imagine combining the Omega-3-rich benefits of wild Alaskan salmon oil with the therapeutic properties of CBD. That’s exactly what our Salmon Oil + CBD offers. This supplement focuses on heart health, eye function, and skin wellness. Plus, it comes with a user-friendly pump that simplifies dosing. If you’re after an all-around health enhancer for your pet, this one's worth considering.
Green Lipped Mussel Products: Joint Care That’s Beyond Ordinary
Finally, we present our Green Lipped Mussel joint powder. This unique blend supports your pet’s joint and hip health by combining the natural anti-inflammatory properties of Green Lipped Mussel with Boswellia Serrata. It’s designed to offer your pet increased mobility, better cartilage health, and enhanced comfort. Best of all, it comes in a bacon popcorn flavor your pet will adore. Yes, wellness can be tasty too!
There you have it—a detailed look at our daily health support supplements tailored for your pet’s wellness. Consider these supplements as an extension of your pet’s nutritional diet, closing any gaps and enhancing their overall health. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new supplements to ensure they align with your pet's specific health needs.