Online vet launches 24/7 service so you can look after your pet in self-isolation

Brown dog lying on a bed
Look after your pets while at home (Picture: Getty)

Self-isolation throws off our usual routine because we’re limited in what we can and can’t access, like health services, for instance.

Thankfully, we humans have the NHS 111 service to rely on in times of need, but what about our beloved pets?

If you’re stuck at home with coronavirus symptoms and are worried about your pet being sick, there are ways to get help without having to leave the house.

Joii, an app that offers video consultations with veterinarians has just launched a 24/7 service so that you can reach a vet whenever you need one.

If your pet accidentally eats something he or she shouldn’t (naughty dogs , especially), you can video chat with one of the eight animal surgeons or nurses on call, who can then help you determine whether it’s an emergency that requires a visit to an animal hospital or emergency clinic.

The vets are based across the globe – meaning you won’t catch them in the middle of the night when they’re exhausted (because, you know, time difference) but all of them have been trained in the UK.

The service is pretty affordable too; you can speak to a vet surgeon for £20, but any chats with nurses are free, as is the online symptom checker.

Make Yourself the Funnest Thing in the World for a Reliable Recall. When training your dog to “come here” make sure you’re giving out a lot of praise & treats. The goal is to make coming back to you the best decision they could have made, if not your dog is likely going to decide that whatever he was chasing/sniffing is more interesting.

‘Currently there is limited evidence that your pets can be infected with COVID-19 and no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or to humans,’ said Samantha Webster, a veterinary surgeon with eight years of experience.

‘It is recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with their pets, but we realise when they bring so much comfort this may be tricky.

‘The best thing to do is make sure you wash your hands before and after interacting with your pets, as you normally should.

‘Take appropriate hygiene precautions such as keeping floors and surfaces clean at home. Try not to let your pet lick you or share food between you.’

The vet also shared some of her top tips for keeping animals engaged.

Samantha added: ‘Brain stimulation is just as important as exercise and may tire your pet out as much as anything physical.

‘Some ideas that can keep your pet occupied whilst they are indoors include feeding puzzles – try hiding their usual food amongst scrunched up paper in a cardboard box, it’s fun for your pet and avoids them eating too many treats.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Pets are a major source of support and increase the ability to cope, which contributes to keeping cholesterol and blood pressure down.

‘One of my favourite games to play is hide & seek with their favourite toy.

‘There is no need to prevent your cat from going outside during this virus. Dogs can be exercised in the garden, try a game of fetch or some recall exercises to get them moving and burning energy.

‘Mental exercises can be just as tiring for your dog as physical exercise, so now is the perfect time to teach your old dog a new trick!’

Co-founder of Joii, Paul Hallett, is calling the service the equivalent of ‘NHS 111’ for pets.

‘We understand it is a difficult time for everyone right now and we want to do whatever we can to support people through it,’ said Paul Hallett, co-founder of Joii.

‘People and their pets have always been the key driving force behind our business, and we are now here for them 24/7.’

Do you have a self-isolation pet story to share?

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