FCI COMPLETE DOCUMENT GUIDELINES FOR BREEDERS AND OWNERS ON WELFARE, WELL-BEING AND PROTECTION FOR DOGS WORLDWIDE
José Luis Payró
Dog´s welfare means how dogs is coping with the conditions in which it lives. A dog is in a good state of welfare if it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behavior, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. Good dog´s welfare requires disease prevention and treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling and humane slaughter/killing. Dog´s welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that dogs receive is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment.
Dog´s behavior. Is individual and depends on its age, breed or type and past experience. However, most dogs are playful, sociable animals and they enjoy playing together with toys, people and other dogs.
Play is an important part of getting along with people and other dogs, and although dogs will spend some time playing alone with toys etc., they should have regular opportunities for interactive playing. Dogs are intelligent animals and can suffer from boredom. If a dog is bored, and does not have enough to do, it may suffer or engage in inappropriate behavior.
Changes in behavior may indicate that something is wrong with a dog’s health. All dogs, in particular puppies, need rest. However, individual dogs have different needs and some will sleep for long periods after exercise or food; others will need less rest and will be more active. A dog needs regular exercise and regular opportunities to walk and run. The amount of exercise a dog needs varies with age, breed and health.
Some breeds of dog need a lot of young dogs may need to have their exercise restricted during periods of rapid growth, to avoid developmental problems. Exercising dogs in extremes of weather can lead to suffering. Training a dog is important to help it learn to behave appropriately and to make it easier to keep under control.
Puppies need to get used to the many noises, objects and activities in their environment, some of which are frightening when first experienced.
Good training can enhance a dog’s quality of life, but punishing a dog can cause it pain and suffering.
Dogs need to have enough to do so that it does not become distressed or bored and have access to safe toys and suitable objects to play with and chew.
Ensure that dogs can rest undisturbed when it wants to. Puppies and older animals may need more rest.
Provide dogs with regular opportunities for exercise and play with people or other friendly dogs.
Give dogs the exercise it needs, at least daily unless a vet recommends otherwise, to keep your dog fit, active and stimulated.
If become aware of changes in behavior, need veterinary advice, dog may be distressed, bored, ill or injured.
All dogs, including dog shows should be trained to behave well, ideally from a very young age. Only use positive reward based training. Avoid harsh, potentially painful or frightening training methods.
Dog´s must be free from Pain, Suffering, Injury and Disease.
Dogs feel pain and have similar pain thresholds to people. However, individual dogs and different breeds or types may show pain and suffering in different ways. Any change in the way a dog behaves can be an early sign that it is ill, or in pain. Dogs which are ill, or in pain, often change their eating and drinking habits. They may eat less or stop eating and lose weight. They may drink water excessively; drink less or not at all. Some dogs become withdrawn and unwilling to exercise or play, cry when approached or touched, some dogs in dogs shows may have signs uncharacteristic fear or aggression when judges approached, or they may try to hide.
They may also show specific signs of ill health such as discharges from the eyes, ears or nose, excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, difficulties with passing urine, coughing, and they may scratch excessively and develop skin sores. Limping and swellings are also signs of possible ill health.
Dogs are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases and other illnesses. They need protection from serious infections, which can be provided by vaccination.
Many people choose to have their dogs neutered. If there is no interest to breed dogs, veterinarians can advise on neutering and the health benefits of neutering dogs. If the decision is to breed dogs, veterinarians can advise on the risks of inherited conditions that could affect the welfare of the puppies.
A dog which can be easily identified by tattoo, microchips etc. more likely to be reunited with its owner if injured, or lost, particularly if it loses its collar. It is thus more likely to receive the prompt veterinary treatment it needs if injured. What breeders or owners should do:
- Take sensible precautions to keep dogs safe from injury.
- If notice changes in dog’s behavior should contact veterinarians and follow the given advice.
- Check dogs over regularly and watch out for signs of injury, hereditary disease or illness. Make sure someone else does this if owners are away.
- Dogs should be carefully checked coat regularly and groomed, it is necessary to maintain a healthy coat.
- If recognize signs and symptoms of disease or suspect that any dog is in pain, ill or injured ,a veterinary should be contact promptly and follow his advice regarding its treatment
- Ask veterinarians how often dog needs a health check, and about the things he can do to protect dog’s health. there are many hereditary diseases in different dogs breeds, they should be examined by an expert to avoid using them for reproduction. Follow the given advice. Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.
General kennel inside housing facilities.
Areas used for storing dogs food or bedding must be free of any accumulation of trash, waste material, junk, weeds, and other discarded materials. Dogs areas inside of housing facilities must be kept neat and free of clutter, including equipment, furniture, and stored material, but may contain materials actually used and necessary for cleaning the area, and fixtures or equipment necessary for proper husbandry practices.
Surfaces General requirements.
Including houses, dens, and other furniture-type fixtures and objects within the facility must be constructed in a manner and made of materials that allow them to be readily cleaned and sanitized, or removed or replaced when worn or soiled. Interior surfaces and any surfaces that come in contact with dogs must be free of excessive rust that prevents the required cleaning and sanitization, or that affects the structural strength of the surface and be free of jagged edges or sharp points that might injure the animals.
Hard surfaces with which the dogs come in contact must be spot-cleaned daily and sanitized to prevent accumulation of excreta and reduce disease hazards. Floors made of dirt, absorbent bedding, sand, gravel, grass, or other similar material must be raked or spot-cleaned with sufficient frequency to ensure all animals the freedom to avoid contact with excreta.
Contaminated material must be replaced whenever this raking and spot-cleaning is not sufficient to prevent or eliminate odors, insects, pests, or vermin infestation.
Water and electric power.
The housing facility must have reliable electric power adequate for heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting, and for carrying out other husbandry requirements
The housing facility must provide adequate running potable water for the dogs’ drinking needs, for cleaning, and for carrying out other husbandry requirements.
Supplies of food and bedding must be stored in a manner that protects the supplies from spoilage, contamination, and vermin infestation. The supplies must be stored off the floor and away from the walls, to allow cleaning underneath and around the supplies. Foods requiring refrigeration must be stored accordingly, and all food must be stored in a manner that prevents contamination and deterioration of its nutritive value. All open supplies of food and bedding must be kept in leak proof containers with tightly fitting lids to prevent contamination and spoilage. Only food and bedding that is currently being used may be kept in the dogs areas.
Substances that are toxic to the dogs but are required for normal husbandry practices must not be stored in food storage and preparation areas, but may be stored in cabinets in the dog´s areas.
Drainage and waste disposal.
Housing facility operators must provide for regular and frequent collection, removal, and disposal of animal and food wastes, bedding, debris, garbage, water, other fluids and wastes, in a manner that minimizes contamination and disease risks.
Housing facilities must be equipped with disposal facilities and drainage systems that are constructed and operated so that dogs waste and water are rapidly eliminated and animals stay dry. Disposal and drainage systems must minimize vermin and pest infestation, insects, odors, and disease hazards. All drains must be properly constructed, installed, and maintained. If closed drainage systems are used, they must be equipped with traps and prevent the backflow of gases and the backup of sewage onto the floor. If the facility uses sump or settlement ponds, or other similar systems for drainage and dogs waste disposal, the system must be located far enough away from the dog´s area of the housing facility to prevent odors, diseases, pests, and vermin infestation. Standing puddles of water in animal enclosures must be drained or mopped up so that the dogs stay dry.
Trash containers in housing facilities and in food storage and food preparation areas must be leak proof and must have tightly fitted lids on them at all times.
Washrooms and sinks
Washing facilities such as washrooms, basins, sinks, or showers must be provided for dog´s caretakers and must be readily accessible.
Heating, cooling, and temperature
The kennels and shelters housing facilities for dogs must be sufficiently heated and cooled when necessary to protect the dogs from temperature or humidity extremes and to provide for their health and well-being, for those breeds that cannot tolerate lower temperatures without stress and discomfort (such as short-haired breeds), and for sick, aged, young, or infirm dogs. Dry bedding, solid resting boards, or other methods of conserving body heat must be provided.
Must be sufficiently ventilated at all times when dogs are present to provide for their health and well-being, and to minimize odors, drafts, ammonia levels, and moisture condensation. Ventilation must be provided by windows, vents, fans, or air conditioning. Auxiliary ventilation, such as fans, blowers, or air conditioning must be provided when the ambient temperature is higher.
Must be lighted well enough to permit routine inspection and cleaning of the facility, and observation of the dogs.
All areas must be provided a regular diurnal lighting cycle of either natural or artificial light. Lighting must be uniformly diffused throughout animal facilities and provide sufficient illumination to aid in maintaining good housekeeping practices, adequate cleaning, adequate inspection, and for the well-being.
Primary enclosures must be placed so as to protect from excessive light.
General outside kennel housing facilities
The following categories of dogs must not be kept in outdoor facilities, unless that practice is specifically approved by the attending veterinarian:
- Dogs that are not acclimated to the temperatures prevalent in the area or region where they are maintained
- Breeds of dogs that cannot tolerate the prevalent temperatures of the area without stress or discomfort (such as hair less and short-haired breeds in cold climates)
- Sick, infirm, aged or young dogs and puppies. When their acclimation status is unknown, dogs must not be kept in outdoor facilities when the ambient temperature is less than 50 °F (10 °C).
Outdoor facilities for dogs must include one or more kennel structures that are accessible to each dog in each outdoor facility, and that are large enough to allow any dog in the kennel structure to sit, stand, and lie in a normal manner, and to turn about freely. In addition to the kennel structures, one or more separate outside areas of shade must be provided, large enough to contain all the dogs at one time and protect them from the direct rays of the sun.
- Kennels in outdoor facilities must contain a roof, four sides, and a floor, and must:
- Provide adequate protection and shelter from the cold and heat
- Provide protection from the direct rays of the sun and the direct effect of wind, rain, or snow.
- Provide with a wind break and rain break at the entrance
- Provide clean, dry, bedding material
Building surfaces in contact with dogs must be impervious to moisture. Metal barrels, cars, refrigerators or freezers, and the like must not be used as shelter structures. The floors of outdoor housing facilities may be of compacted earth, absorbent bedding, sand, gravel, or grass, and must be replaced if there are any prevalent odors, diseases, insects, pests, or vermin. All surfaces must be maintained on a regular basis. Surfaces of outdoor housing facilities—including houses, dens, etc.—that cannot be readily cleaned and sanitized, must be replaced when worn or soiled
Traveling Kennel facilities.
Heating, cooling, and temperature.
Traveling Kennel facilities for dogs must be sufficiently heated and cooled when necessary to protect the dogs from temperature or humidity extremes and to provide for their health and well-being. Those breeds that cannot tolerate lower temperatures without stress or discomfort (such as hairless and short-haired breeds), and for sick, aged, young, or infirm dogs. Dry bedding, solid resting boards, or other methods of conserving body heat must be provided.
The ambient temperature must not fall below 45 °F (7.2 °C) for more than 4 consecutive hours when dogs are present, and must not exceed 85 °F (29.5 °C) for more than 4 consecutive hours when dogs are present.
The preceding requirements are in addition to, not in place of.
- Ventilation. Traveling kennel facilities for dogs must be sufficiently ventilated at all times when dogs are present to provide for the health and well-being, and to minimize odors, drafts, ammonia levels, moisture condensation, and exhaust fumes. Ventilation must be provided by means of windows, doors, vents, fans, or air conditioning. Auxiliary ventilation, such as fans, blowers, or air conditioning, must be provided when the ambient temperature within the animal housing area is 85 °F (29.5 °C) or higher.
- Lighting. Traveling housing facilities for dogs must be lighted well enough to permit proper cleaning and inspection of the facility, and observation of the dogs. Animal areas must be provided a regular diurnal lighting cycle of either natural or artificial light. Lighting must be uniformly diffused throughout animal facilities and provide sufficient illumination to aid in maintaining good housekeeping practices, adequate cleaning, adequate inspection, and for the well-being.
Primary enclosures must meet the following minimum requirements
Primary enclosures must be designed and constructed of suitable materials so that they are structurally sound. The primary enclosures must be kept in good repair. Primary enclosures must be constructed and maintained so that they:
- Have no sharp points or edges that could injure the dogs.
- Protect the dogs from injury
- Contain the dogs securely
- Keep other animals from entering the enclosure
- Enable the dogs to remain dry and clean
- Provide shelter and protection from extreme temperatures and weather conditions that may be uncomfortable or hazardous to all the dogs
- Provide sufficient shade to shelter all the dogs housed in the primary enclosure at one time
- Provide all the dogs with easy and convenient access to clean food and water
- Enable all surfaces in contact with the dogs to be readily cleaned and sanitized
- Have floors that are constructed in a manner that protects the dogs feet and legs from injury, and that, if of mesh or slatted construction, do not allow the dogs’ feet to pass through any openings in the floor
- Provide sufficient space to allow each dog and cat to turn about freely, to stand, sit, and lie in a comfortable, normal position, and to walk in a normal manner;
- Each dog housed in a primary enclosure (including weaned puppies) must be provided a minimum amount of floor space
- Each bitch with nursing puppies must be provided with an additional amount of floor space, based on her breed and behavioral characteristics, and in accordance with generally accepted husbandry practices
- The interior height of a primary enclosure must be at least 7 inches higher than the head of the tallest dog in the enclosure when it is in a normal standing position.
All dogs housed in the same primary enclosure must be compatible, as determined by observation. Not more than 12 adult non conditioned dogs may be housed in the same primary enclosure.
Bitches in heat may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with sexually mature males, except for breeding purposes. Except when maintained in breeding colonies, bitches with litters may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with other adult dogs, and puppies under 3 months of age may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with adult dogs, other than the dam or foster dam.
Dogs with a vicious or aggressive disposition must be housed separately.
Dogs in mobile or traveling shows or acts.
Dogs that are part of a mobile or traveling show or act may be kept, while the show or act is traveling from one temporary location to another, in transport containers that comply with all requirements before described.
When the show or act is not traveling, the dogs must be placed in primary enclosures that meet the minimum requirements.
Dogs Health and Husbandry Standards
Dogs that are housed in the same primary enclosure must be compatible, with the following restrictions:
- Females in heat (estrus) may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with males, except for breeding purposes
- Any dog exhibiting a vicious or overly aggressive disposition must be housed separately
- Puppies 3 months of age or less may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with adult dogs other than their dams or foster dams, except when permanently maintained in breeding.
- Dogs may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with any other species of animals, unless they are compatible.
- Dogs that have or are suspected of having a contagious disease must be isolated from healthy animals in the colony, as directed by the attending veterinarian. When an entire group or room of dogs is known to have or believed to be exposed to an infectious agent, the group may be kept intact during the process of diagnosis, treatment, and control.
Exercise for dogs.
Breeders, exhibitors’ facilities must develop an appropriate plan to provide dogs with the opportunity for exercise. The plan, at a minimum, must comply with each of the following:
Dogs housed individually.
Dogs over 10 weeks of age, except bitches with litters, housed, held, or maintained by any breeder, exhibitor, must be provided the opportunity for exercise regularly if they are kept individually in cages, pens, or runs that provide less than two times the required floor space for that dog.
Dogs housed in groups.
Dogs over 10 weeks of age housed, held, or maintained in groups by any breeder, exhibitor, do not require additional opportunity for exercise regularly if they are maintained in cages, pens, or runs that provide in total at least 100 percent of the required space for each dog if maintained separately. Such dogs may be maintained in compatible groups.
Period of providing exercise opportunity
The frequency, method, and duration of the opportunity for exercise shall be determined by the breed
Breeders and exhibitors, in developing their plan, should consider providing positive physical contact with humans that encourages exercise through play or other similar activities. If a dog is housed, held, or maintained at a facility without sensory contact with another dog, it must be provided with positive physical contact with humans at least daily.
The opportunity for exercise may be provided in a number of ways, such as
- Group housing in cages, pens or runs that provide at least 100 percent of the required space for each dog if maintained separately under the minimum floor space requirements.
- Maintaining individually housed dogs in cages, pens, or runs that provide at least twice the minimum floor space required
- Providing access to a run or open area at the frequency and duration
- Other similar activities.
Forced exercise methods or devices such as swimming, treadmills, or carousel-type devices are unacceptable for meeting the exercise requirements.
If, in the opinion of the attending veterinarian, it is inappropriate for certain dogs to exercise because of their health, condition, or well-being, the breeder, exhibitor may be exempted from meeting the requirements for those dogs.
Such exemption must be documented by the attending veterinarian and, unless the basis for exemption is a permanent condition, must be reviewed by the attending veterinarian.
Dogs must be fed at least once each day, except as otherwise might be required to provide adequate veterinary care. The food must be uncontaminated, wholesome, palatable, and of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain the normal condition and weight of the dog. The diet must be appropriate for the individual dog’s age and condition.
Food receptacles must be used for dogs, must be readily accessible to all sizes of dogs in the different breeds, and must be located so as to minimize contamination by excreta and pests, and be protected from rain and snow. Feeding pans must either be made of a durable material that can be easily cleaned and sanitized or be disposable. If the food receptacles are not disposable, they must be kept clean and must be sanitized. If the food receptacles are disposable, they must be discarded after one use. Self-feeders may be used for the feeding of dry food. If self-feeders are used, they must be kept clean and must be sanitized. Measures must be taken to ensure that there is no molding, deterioration, and caking of feed.
If potable water is not continually available to the dogs, it must be offered as often as necessary to ensure their health and well-being, but not less than twice daily for at least 1 hour each time, unless restricted by the attending veterinarian. Water receptacles must be kept clean and sanitized, and before being used to water a different dog or social grouping of dogs
Cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control.
Cleaning of primary enclosures.
Excreta and food waste must be removed from primary enclosures daily, and from under primary enclosures as often as necessary to prevent an excessive accumulation of feces and food waste, to prevent soiling of the dogs contained in the primary enclosures, and to reduce disease hazards, insects, pests and odors. When steam or water is used to clean the primary enclosure, whether by
hosing, flushing, or other methods, dogs must be removed, unless the enclosure is large enough to ensure the animals would not be harmed, wetted, or distressed in the process.
Standing water must be removed from the primary enclosure and animals in other primary enclosures must be protected from being contaminated with water and other wastes during the cleaning.
The pans under primary enclosures with grill-type floors and the ground areas under raised runs with mesh or slatted floors must be cleaned as often as necessary to prevent accumulation of feces and food waste and to reduce disease hazards pests, insects and odors.
Sanitization of primary enclosures and food and water receptacles.
- Used primary enclosures and food and water receptacles must be cleaned and sanitized before they can be used to house, feed, or water another dog or social grouping of dogs.
- Used primary enclosures and food and water receptacles for dogs must be sanitized at least once every week and more often if necessary to prevent an accumulation of dirt, debris, food waste, excreta, and other disease hazards.
Hard surfaces of primary enclosures and food and water receptacles must be sanitized using one of the following methods:
- Live steam under pressure
- Washing with hot water and soap or detergent, as with a mechanical cage washer
- Washing all soiled surfaces with appropriate detergent solutions and disinfectants, or by using a combination detergent/disinfectant product that accomplishes the same purpose, with a thorough cleaning of the surfaces to remove organic material, so as to remove all organic material and mineral buildup, and to provide sanitization followed by a clean water rinse.
- Pens, runs, and outdoor housing areas using material that cannot be sanitized using the methods provided, such as gravel, sand, grass, earth, or absorbent bedding, must be sanitized by removing the contaminated material as necessary to prevent odors, diseases, pests, insects, and vermin infestation.
Housekeeping for premises.
Premises where housing facilities are located, including buildings and surrounding grounds, must be kept clean and in good repair to protect the dogs from injury, to facilitate the husbandry practices required, and to reduce or eliminate breeding and living areas for rodents and other pests and vermin.
Premises must be kept free of accumulations of trash, junk, waste products, and discarded matter. Weeds, grasses, and bushes must be controlled so as to facilitate cleaning of the premises and pest control, and to protect the health and well-being of the animals.
An effective program for the control of insects, external parasites affecting dogs, and birds and mammals that are pests, must be established and maintained so as to promote the health and well-being of the dogs and reduce contamination by pests in animal areas.
Each person maintaining dogs must have enough employees to carry out the level of husbandry practices and care required. The employees who provide for husbandry and care, or handle animals, must be supervised by an individual who has the knowledge, background, and experience in proper husbandry and care of dogs to supervise others.
The employer must be certain that the supervisor and other employees can perform to these standards
Carriers and intermediate handlers must not accept a dog for transport in commerce more than 4 hours before the scheduled departure time of the primary conveyance on which the dog is to be transported. However, a carrier or intermediate handler may agree with anyone consigning a dog to extend this time by up to 2 hours.
Carriers and intermediate handlers must not accept a dog for transport in commerce unless they are provided with the name, address, and telephone number of the consignee.
Carriers and intermediate handlers must not accept a dog for transport in commerce unless the consignor certifies in writing to the carrier or intermediate handler that the dog was offered food and water during the 4 hours before delivery to the carrier or intermediate handler.
The certification must be securely attached to the outside of the primary enclosure in a manner that makes it easily noticed and read. Instructions for no food or water are not acceptable unless directed by the attending veterinarian.
The certification must include the following information for each dog
- The consignor’s name and address
- The tag number, microchip or tattoo must be assigned to each dog
- The time and date the dog was last fed and watered and the specific instructions for the next feeding(s) and watering(s) for a 24-hour period
- The consignor’s signature and the date and time the certification was signed.
Carriers and intermediate handlers must not accept a dog for transport in commerce in a primary enclosure unless the primary enclosure meets all the requirements.
A carrier or intermediate handler must not accept a dog for transport if the primary enclosure is obviously defective or damaged and cannot reasonably be expected to safely and comfortably contain the dog without causing suffering or injury.
Carriers and intermediate handlers must not accept any dog for transport in commerce unless their animal holding area meets the minimum temperature requirements, or unless the consignor provides them with a certificate signed by a veterinarian and dated no more than 5 days before delivery of the dog to the carrier or intermediate handler for transport in commerce, certifying that the dog is acclimated to temperatures lower than those required.
A copy of the certification must accompany the dog to its destination and must include the following information:
- The consignor’s name and address.
- The tag number, microchip or tattoo assigned to each dog.
- A statement by a veterinarian, dated no more than 5 days before delivery, that to the best of his or her knowledge, each of the dogs contained in the primary enclosure is acclimated to air lower temperatures but not lower than a minimum temperature, specified on a certificate, that the attending veterinarian has determined is based on generally accepted temperature standards for the age, condition, and breed of the dog.
- The signature of the veterinarian and the date the certification was signed.
Care in transit.
Surface transportation (ground and water)
Any person transporting dogs in commerce must ensure that the operator of the conveyance, or a person accompanying the operator, observes the dogs as often as circumstances allow, but not less than once every 4 hours, to make sure they have sufficient air for normal breathing, that the ambient temperature is within the limits.
The person must ensure that the operator or person accompanying the operator determines whether any of the dogs are in obvious physical distress and obtains any veterinary care needed for the dogs at the closest available veterinary facility.
During air transportation of dogs, it is the responsibility of the carrier to observe the dogs as frequently as circumstances allow, but not less than once every 4 hours if the dog cargo area is accessible during flight. If the animal cargo area is not accessible during flight, the carrier must observe the dogs whenever they are loaded and unloaded and whenever the animal cargo space is otherwise accessible to make sure they have sufficient air for normal breathing, that the animal cargo area meets the heating and cooling requirements.
The carrier must determine whether any of the dogs are in obvious physical distress, and arrange for any needed veterinary care as soon as possible. If a dog is obviously ill, injured, or in physical distress, it must not be transported in commerce, except to receive veterinary care for the condition.
Except during the cleaning of primary enclosures, during transportation in commerce a dog must not be removed from its primary enclosure, unless it is placed in another primary enclosure or facility that meets the requirements.
This document pretends to help FCI members to offer the welfare, well-being and protection for breeders and dog owners worldwide according to the new laws that many countries have.