The title of this month’s blog post is the tag line for one of the UKs newest and most refreshing animal welfare organisations – Pet Nation.
Founded by Dr Daniel Allen (author, presenter, otter expert and all-round animal enthusiast), Pet Nation is a collective of animal professionals dedicated to giving the public advice and education on not just the welfare of their pets, but also on how to ensure that their pet is always understood and truly happy. I am very proud to be a big part of this collective, and a Pet Nation Pioneer.
Being involved with Pet Nation, watching it develop, form and being involved in discussions about its purpose and how it could help animals, made me think about the Animal Aid blog from a different perspective: How can we help animals?
We have talked in past months about how animals help us, from my experiences in Animal Assisted Therapy, and that was why the Animal Aid blog came to be. If we look from the other side, however, we begin to wonder how we can help them and give something back in return, for all of the great things that they give us!
In addition to being involved with the formation of Pet Nation, I have also recently been honoured to have been asked to become Patron of another brand new organisation that helps animals (and puts them first) - The Dog Welfare Alliance.
The Dog Welfare Alliance is active in both promoting the welfare of dogs and “Positively” reinforced training techniques (boasting none other than Victoria Stilwell amongst their Expert Panel) and in rescuing dogs enduring hardship, not just in the UK, but worldwide. In just the first month of operation, the DWA has rescued its first dog from Eastern Europe.
So you see there is a way that we can give back to our animals – not just pets but all animals.
We can give Animal Aid to wildlife – many of us use bird feeders, put food out for hedgehogs etc. We can also give back to wildlife by considering it when destroying their natural habitat to build on – ask “Is there somewhere else that we could do this?” Disused warehouses, derelict factories – lets use up the spaces that we have and that nobody uses, before we use up the space that our native animals use (they have as much, if not more, right to be there than we do).
We can give Animal Aid to farm animals – rather than give the minimum levels of care to their animals, farmers should look to exceed the levels of welfare that their animals require, in order to give them the best possible life that they can have. We can help encourage this by buying free range products, such as Packington Pork, where the pigs are not kept in stys or birthing cages, but are free to roam the fields and give birth to piglets in the fresh air and without confinement.
We can give Animal Aid to our pets – Our pets don’t ask for much, but we can give them a whole lot more than they ask for, and make them the happiest pets around! Enhance their lives with toys and activities that give them life enrichment – ball pits, tubes, puzzles, exercise. Animals are all highly intelligent and love nothing more than something to get their brain ticking and their teeth into (doesn’t always have to be your hand!). There are so many of these types of activities available commercially, and yes they are expensive, but we think nothing of spending £400-£500 per year on toys for our kids (BBC Statistic states £461 per year) and our pets are part of that extended family (do we not often refer to pets as “our babies”?) If this is truly how we feel about our pets, then surely they deserve the same treatment as our kids.
I am very proud to be an active member of both of these organisations, and feel honoured to be involved with them. The work that they are doing, and the goals that they intend to achieve will be nothing short of miraculous in helping the welfare of our pets, and helping to educate us so that we can ensure that all of our pets – whether tarantula or frog, lizard or snake, skunk, rabbit, cat or dog – have their needs and their right to be able to lead a happy and fulfilled life very clearly and successfully met.
Give Animal Aid, and give something BACK to our animals, to say “Thank you”!
Find Pet Nation on Facebook, Twitter, or via their website.
Find The Dog Welfare Alliance on Facebook, or via their website.
Critterish Allsorts undertake animal assisted therapy sessions, with their critters (who are all family pets), on an individual or group basis in your home, hospital, care home, foster home, or school. Visit their website for more information.
This blog is written by Dale Preece-Kelly from Critterish Allsorts, if you would like to find out more about them check out our previous article 'Meet the Critterish Allsorts'.