Animal Welfare: How to Care for Your Pets
In simple terms, caring for your pet means making sure that any animal that you own (or taking care of):
- Has a ‘suitable’ and safe place to live.
- Can behave in a normal way and allowed to express itself.
- Is kept with other animals (or away from them).
- Has access to fresh water and a proper diet.
- Is protected from, and gets treatment for, illness and injury.
Warning: Failing to provide proper care for any animal you keep as a pet can result in an unlimited fine or jail sentence for a period up to six (6) months. You may also get banned from owning animals altogether.
UK Rules about Pets and Animals
Many of the regulations are evident when keeping pets and animals in our homes. But, you may be surprised to learn how UK laws relate to animals in the workplace.
We dedicate some of this segment to the safety and the well-being of all animals – no matter how big or small they are! We call it ‘seriously funny legislation’ about pets and animals.
So, we include everything you need to know about caring for animals – from funny dog rules to acts of law. The United Kingdom has some of the strictest laws to protect animals and pets from cruelty and suffering.
You must be over the age of sixteen (16) to buy an animal in the United Kingdom. In some cases, you will need to get a specific licence from your local council for:
- Certain types of exotic and dangerous wild animals.
- Domestic-wild hybrid animals.
- Operating a business that involves keeping animals (e.g. a pet shop or riding stables).
Important: As a rule, you do not need a licence to keep most common domestic pets (e.g. cats, kittens). But, you must get your dog microchipped. You would need to get a licence from your local council before getting the actual animal.
Animals and Pets Guide
This section explains the general rules for keeping birds as a companion at home or in captivity (e.g. a sanctuary or zoo).
Caring for a cat combines a source of enjoyment with the responsibilities of ownership. This introductory guide will help you learn how to look after a cat or a kitten.
Caring for a dog is a lot of fun but there are serious responsibilities that come with dog ownership. Check the introductory guide to help you learn how to look after a dog or a puppy.
Buying a Puppy
Prepare for a long commitment if you plan on getting a small dog and use this guide to check some basic advice before you buy a puppy in Britain or Northern Ireland.
Controlling Your Dog
This guide clarifies the rules for controlling your dog in communal areas and how Public Spaces Protection Orders work in England and Wales.
Foods Poisonous to Dogs
Review our free printable list of toxic foods for dogs and why pet owners should never give some human foods to canines.
Livestock Worrying Legislation
This guide explains how to report dogs worrying sheep and other livestock to the police if the owners do not have full control of their animals.
Things Dogs Hate
Check out the top ten list of human traits that dogs hate and then consider whether your house pet finds your quirky behavior doggedly annoying and confusing at best.
Caring for Horses
Check out the beginners guide to basic horse care and the steps of caring for your first horse. Information in this section will help you feed, water, house, and care for a new horse or pony.
10 golden rules for feeding horses will help you make up the best nutritional feeds and keep your horse or pet pony in peak condition throughout the year.
There may be no equine commandments or official written rules of watering horses because different sized animals crave and require different amounts of watery fluids.
Note: UK Trading Standards have enforced horse passport regulations since 2005. Information in this section explains how to get and use horse passports.
Monkeys and Primates
The RSPCA is against keeping monkeys and primates as pets in the United Kingdom. But, does the pet monkey law allow you to have monkeys at home?
Animal lovers and pet owners should understand pet burial laws before deciding whether to bury pets at home in the garden in the United Kingdom.
Reporting Cruelty to Animals
England or Wales
You can report someone neglecting or being cruel to an animal to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in England or Wales.
RSPCA 24-hour cruelty and advice line
Telephone: 0300 1234 999
Important: The animal helpline will ask you to provide them with a detailed description of what you saw (or heard). There is no requirement for you to give your personal details.