Animals make a major contribution to the well-being of people and communities around the world. Well-being refers to the physical, emotional and behavioural state of an animal; it means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which he lives. It is a broad term, which includes many elements that contribute to the animal’s quality of life, including, but not limited to his state of health. Animal well-being across the world can be improved by greater training and awareness.–by Rajesh Aggarwal
Responsible pet parenting involves:
- Owning a pet should not be an impulsive decision, one should select a pet who is suited to your home and lifestyle. One also needs to recognise that owning a pet requires an investment of time and money.
- Keeping only the type and number of pets for whom you can provide an appropriate and safe environment. This includes appropriate food, water, shelter, health care and companionship.
- Providing preventive (for example, vaccinations, parasite control) and therapeutic health care for your pet in consultation with your veterinarian.
- Socialisation and appropriate training for your pet to facilitate their well-being and the well-being of other animals and people.
- Making arrangements for the care of your pet when or if you are unavailable to care for them.
Another important concern that requires attention is zoonosis, i.e. a disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals and vice versa, which can have an impact on the human-animal bond. Companion vector-borne diseases (CVBD) are a growing international public health threat and may have zoonotic consequences. These diseases, transmitted by blood-feeding ecto-parasites, include ticks (Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and hemoplasmosis), fleas (canine bartonellosis and feline rickettsiosis), sand flies (leishmaniosis), include Leptospirosis, Ehrlichiosisis, and Heartworm. They are known to veterinarians and public health professionals throughout the world. Pet parents need to be aware of these conditions to protect themselves and their animals against zoonosis.
Ways to keep you and your family safe from Zoonosis
- Wash your hands often after handling pets
- Keep your pet’s environment (bedding, etc.) clean and disinfected.
- Clean up after your pets, as faeces are a primary source of contamination in the environment.
- Prevent your pet from drinking contaminated water.
- Keep up on routine veterinary care especially for deworming and flea/tick control.
- Children should always be supervised around pets. Do not allow children to kiss pets or put pets toys into their mouths.
Bayer as a world leader in animal health products believes that the animals in the keep of humans should receive the best possible care and ensuring their well-being to improve health as well as the innovative capabilities and products to make a difference to the lives of animals around the world, the people who care for them.
Bayer promotes responsible pet parenting and encourages pet parents and keepers have an ethical responsibility to ensure the well-being of animals in their care. It would mean positive involvement to improve the animal’s well-being, respect the need for natural behaviour and strengthen the human-animal bond.
(Rajesh Aggarwal is Head Commercial Operations – Asia, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, Mumbai)