The Five Domains

The Five Domains are five groups of things animal guardians need to consider when thinking about good animal welfare. The Five Domains, an updated version of the Five Freedoms model, recognise an animals’ emotional needs are equally as important as their physical needs.

SPCA’s Kids’ Portal has been updated from the Five Freedoms to the Five Domains model. This is because the Five Freedoms focus on meeting the basic needs of an animal, while the Five Domains encourage positive experiences and recognise animals' emotional needs, making it a more evolved model.

The four domains of health, behaviour, nutrition and environment are the areas in which we, as animal guardians, can take positive action to ensure they are of a high standard.

These domains all impact on the overall mental wellbeing (the fifth domain) of an animal's welfare.

As responsible animal guardians, the goal is to ensure animals have more positive experiences, helping them to have a life worth living.

The Five Domains of animal welfare was developed in New Zealand and goes beyond the Five Freedoms. The Five Domains and the Five Freedoms contain essentially the same five elements, however, the Five Domains have a great focus on the mental wellbeing (feelings) of an animal and acknowledges that these can be both positive and negative.

The Five Domains are essential to animal welfare. These consist of:


Click on the image to download the infographic











Do you have what it takes?