Your dog falls ill, so you take him to the vet. After a quick consultation you take him home, and soon he appears to be better. But he is not. You and the vet have failed to realise that he is still in severe pain, and the drugs the vet has prescribed will turn him into a social outcast, a dog that may be shunned or even attacked by others.
Such mistakes can happen, say animal behaviour specialists, because our understanding of animal welfare is inadequate, and at times misguided. The human tendency to anthropomorphise means we miss out on animals' real feelings and needs, with the result that we often provide them with inappropriate housing and medical care. This is leading to the health and well being of millions of animals kept as pets, livestock or in zoos being adversely affected.
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