Life Skills & Welfare

Life Skills

Good life skills are life saving. Every year millions of puppies and kittens join homes, where families await them with expectations of a wondeful relationship. Sadly, many of these dogs and cats end up in shelters, are re-homed or lose their lives as a result of behaviour that their owners find difficult to live with.


Truly understanding the welfare of animals remains a challenge. Relationships between animals and humans are complex and influenced by the attitude and behaviour of the individual human and the animal's response. Companion animal welfare is improving in many parts of the world and owners are more informed and strive to meet both the physcial and the emotional needs of their  pets. However, at present pets are used in a wide variety of activities and it would be foolish to think that their welfare will not always be compromised to some degree regarless of the intentions of the owner or handler. Vets are calling on prospective dog owners to think twice before buying a puppy due to increasing severe breeding and hereditary defects resultig in suffering, pain and euthanasia.

What are Life Skills?

  • Ability to cope with the challenges of every day life.
  • Ability to adapt one's behaviour to what is socially acceptable. 
  • Ability to understand human communication.
  • Ability to share resources.
  • Ability to meet owner expectations.

Welfare of Dogs

In post-industrial western societies the role of the dog living with humans has gradually changed from a working  animal to a companion animal.  The welfare of the dog, more than that of any other species reflects its use, and the attitude and welfare of the human community. Dogs are not essential animals in urban society therefore their welfare is closely linked to the wealth and philosophy of their owners. In these societies the physical welfare (health, nutrition, comfort) of dogs may be high but their lives may be dull as they are severly restricted in where they can go, what they can do and whom they can meet.

(Kobelt, et al., 2003b, Podberscek, 1997)

Welfare of Cats

Issues affecting the welfare of

domestic cats:

  • Behaviour
  • The human-cat relationship
  • The impact of housing
  • Neutering/Spaying
  • Disease
  • Nutrition
  • Breeding


Tel: +32-474.690.012

Languages spoken:

English, French, Dutch/Flemish, Swedish, Finnish, German & Spanish.


Appointments can be made by mail, by phone or by filling out the online form at the bottom of the 'Contact' page on this web site. All sessions are conducted on appointment and individual basis (in multi-pet households several pets may be concerned).

The first session lasts about 2 hours and takes place in the living environment of the animal.

This session costs 70 eur (incl. VAT) and includes a treatment plan  which will be sent to you by mail within a week of the session. Based on the outcome of the consultation and the proposed treatment plan we decide together how to proceed.

Consecutive sessions of 60-90 minutes cost 50 eur (incl.VAT). This includes follow up by mail accompanied by handouts and helpful sources. These sessions can be held in your home, in my premises, in a vet's practice or in another suitable location. Skype sessions are also possible in certain cases.

Practical matters

I do home visits all over Belgium.

A standard kilometer compensation of 0,50 eur/km will be applied outside of the Brussels-region.

I may ask for a vet-check if I suspect a medical condition or pain influencing the behaviour of your pet.

A disclaimer document may be necessary for certain high-risk cases.



40 Chemin d'Odrimont

1380 Lasne


VAT: BE 0451.583.696

Bank Account:

BE75 4014 5351 7151


© Copyright 2017 - Annika Mattson