Home cooking for your hound
My new website will come up with perfect recipes to keep your pet happy and healthy
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.