Cotswold Life

Home cook­ing for your hound

My new web­site will come up with per­fect recipes to keep your pet happy and healthy

- Con­tact @joethevet Lifestyle · Pets · Hobbies

Now that lock­down has come to an end, at least for most of us, many peo­ple are get­ting back to work across all sec­tors of the econ­omy. For the ve­teri­nary pro­fes­sion, how­ever, it’s still a strange time.

The prac­tice I founded in Swin­don, Vet’s Klinic, is still op­er­at­ing a so­cial­ly­dis­tanced model where pet own­ers have to hand over their an­i­mals in the car park and wait for them to be re­turned once they’ve been vac­ci­nated or checked over. It’s not an ideal sit­u­a­tion by any means, for own­ers or for ve­teri­nary staff, but it’s amaz­ing how quickly a new way of do­ing things be­comes the new nor­mal and ev­ery­one just gets on with it the best they can.

I ex­pe­ri­enced this from the per­spec­tive of a pet owner last week when I took in our col­lec­tion of pets for their vac­ci­na­tions – new pup, Pip, the kit­tens Jasper and Tauri, and the el­der states­man of the house, Cud­dles the cat. Af­ter a car jour­ney punc­tu­ated by loud me­ows and the oc­ca­sional yap from Pip, we ar­rived out­side the prac­tice where we were greeted by one of the nurses. It was then a case of hand­ing over the pets, one by one, for their jabs. The whole process took a lot longer than it would have done usu­ally, and I think most own­ers will re­ally miss the chance to spend some time chat­ting to their vet about their pets (and vice versa), but I guess the new nor­mal will al­ways have a few com­pro­mises com­pared to the way things used to be.

I imag­ine things will grad­u­ally be­gin to re­turn to how they used to be, but I sus­pect the new nor­mal will be around for a while yet, par­tic­u­larly in sit­u­a­tions where it’s prov­ing to be bet­ter than the old ver­sion. Of­fice work is a good ex­am­ple of where the coro­nacri­sis might lead to long-term changes for the bet­ter for many peo­ple, with lots of peo­ple ap­pre­ci­at­ing the ben­e­fits of work­ing from home as op­posed to en­dur­ing gru­elling com­mutes and soul­less of­fice en­vi­ron­ments. That’s not go­ing to be so easy in the vet world, but I wouldn’t be at all sur­prised if in­no­va­tions such as video con­sul­ta­tions which have been so use­ful dur­ing the pan­demic are here to stay and be­come the nor­mal way to in­ter­act with a vet, at least in non-se­ri­ous cases.

Other than vac­ci­nat­ing the pets, I’ve been con­tin­u­ing to work on my lock­down project, Vetchef. This is a free web­site re­source for peo­ple who are in­ter­ested in cook­ing for their pets and is de­signed to help own­ers pre­pare meals that are nu­tri­tion­ally bal­anced and tai­lored to their pet’s in­di­vid­ual needs and pref­er­ences. Work­ing with a friendly soft­ware de­vel­oper, I’ve fi­nally fin­ished the first ver­sion of the sys­tem and it’s live at www.vetchef.co.uk.

The idea is that you en­ter your dog’s de­tails – age, breed, gen­der, ac­tiv­ity level etc, along with any foods you’d like to ex­clude from their diet, and any health is­sues they have – and the sys­tem cre­ates three be­spoke recipes that are tai­lored to meet their re­quire­ments. So far it seems to be work­ing re­ally well, and we’ve had lots of own­ers us­ing the sys­tem and send­ing in pic­tures of meals they’re cook­ing at home for their pets which is great as I’m con­vinced that home-cook­ing is the best and health­i­est way to feed pets.

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