Wellness – health and well-being for everyone

Well-being is a state of comfort, health and happiness. It can also extend to encompass mental wellness. We took a look at some of the factors that are important when it comes to the health and well-being of pets and people.


We may be vets but as scientists we don’t always appreciate fluffy thinking. The New Economic Foundation has taken an evidence based approach to wellness and has identified five components to human well-being. If you want to read the full report you can find it here.

The report found that a mere 14% of people in the UK had high levels of well-being (defined as ‘flourishing’) so if you feel less than great, you’re not alone.

The keys to well-being according to this organisation are to:

  • Connect – with other people; at home, at work and in the community
  • Be active – discover a physical activity you enjoy that suits your fitness level
  • Take notice (mindfulness) – live in the moment but reflect and discover what matters to you
  • Keep learning (beyond CPD) – learn a new skill, do something different, stay fresh
  • Give – smile, thank, volunteer

Hopefully, these are all things that most people can apply to some extent in their daily lives and those of their families and team members. Are these principles something that you can support and encourage in your practice?

But what about when it comes to pets? There is an increasing focus on health and well-being as it applies to every aspect of a pet’s life. In the USA some veterinary clinics have rebranded as ‘well-being centres’, putting the focus back on the positive outcomes that result from visiting a veterinary clinic.

More practices are becoming champions of preventative health through the use of health plans, nurse-led clinics and other initiatives. Services around behaviour management, multi-modal approaches that look at environmental enrichment, rehabilitation techniques and stress management, all help pets to interact in a more positive way with people, animals and their environment and help restore physical and mental wellness. As a profession, we’re doing great things for pets, not just making them better when they are sick but working hard to restore and maintain good health and more widely, well-being. Whether it’s pets or people, let’s pay more attention to health and well-being in 2018.