During the month of June people across the country have been acknowledging the importance of sleep with National Bed Month organised by The Sleep Council. However, a good night’s sleep isn’t just vital for humans, but for animals too.
Why is having a good night’s sleep important?
There are five welfare needs outlined by the 2006 Animal Welfare Act to ensure the welfare needs of animals are met:
- need for a suitable environment
- need for a suitable diet
- need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
- need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
- need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Ensuring your pet has a suitable environment in which to rest comfortably will encourage them to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, reap the benefits of their healthy diet, and help them to remain free from suffering due to the fact that they will be happier and healthier overall.
These welfare needs don’t just apply to household pets; they extend to horses, ponies and donkeys and also farm animals such as cattle. As part of their welfare, it’s important that all animals are able to get the rest that they need..
How can I ensure my pet is getting the right kind of rest?
The key to a good night’s sleep, as we all know, is having somewhere adequate to rest. We know all too well that an uncomfortable mattress, pillows that don’t support us, or duvets that don’t keep us warm enough hinder our ability to get a good night’s sleep. While needs may be different the same principle applies to animals. Dependent on what type of pet you own it is important to be aware of what requirements they have to be comfortable, safe and warm when they’re resting. This might not be at night: cats are most active at dusk and dawn while some species like hamsters are nocturnal: they are active at night. You can find advice tailored to your pet at www.pethealthinfo.org.uk.
Keeping your pet content and happy when they’re active is the best way to ensure that they rest well when they need to. In the same way that we struggle to sleep if we are stressed or upset, animals feel the same. Taking your dog for a walk, providing toys for your cat to play with, and grooming and stroking your rabbit are all activities that can help them feel happy and safe leading to a great sleep when it’s time for them to rest.
For more advice and info on National Bed Monthvisit: http://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/