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17th Apr 2020

Covid 19 Pet Health Update from Head of Nutrition

by Laura Crotch-Harvey MSc BSc (Hons)

It’s been a rollercoaster of a month at Burns Pet Nutrition, as it has been everywhere.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, UK pet owners wanted to stock up on food fast. Many were customers with sensitive dogs where Burns is the only thing they can feed them. Others were new to Burns, coming to us after failing to purchase their usual food.

Our Warehouse and Sales teams have been fantastic and worked hard to ensure no one went without pet food. We had lots of lovely emails from customers thanking the Burns team for their hard work and saying how surprised they were that the food arrived so quickly. Thanks for those everyone!

Now we’re looking towards the next stage of UK Covid-19, to consider, what will happen in the future and how we can be prepared? We are speaking with our ingredient and packaging suppliers and currently can’t see any cause for concern in getting hold of our supplies – although our packaging is taking a bit longer than usual to arrive (which is as expected).

The Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) has been a great help, lobbying for the pet food industry in a variety of ways such as getting pet food classed as a critical industry and therefore allowing us to keep producing and selling pet food. They kept us informed all the way – thanks!

There’s been speculation about whether our dogs and cats may be able to transmit Covid-19 but there’s not enough evidence for us to be concerned about our pets as it stands. The advice from British Veterinary Association is to wash your hands after handling your pets and cats from infected households should be kept indoors if possible.

A recent study suggested a stray dog could have eaten bat meat catching the virus which then mutated into the respiratory tract and spread to humans. However, this study has been disputed by scientists as it was only based on a computer model and they argued that it could have been any animal and not just a dog. There is also no evidence that dogs can carry or pass on the virus to humans.

Preparing for another 3 weeks at home, it is particularly important that we pay extra attention to the health of our pets. Many of our daily routines have changed and this will have an effect on our dogs. Dogs may not be getting as much exercise as they usually do so we need to keep an eye on their weight (you should be able to easily feel their ribs).

Pets are also adapting to being with us all the time and this could lead to problems like separation anxiety when we all suddenly go back to work. I’ve been putting my dog Amber to bed for a few hours in the morning while I work in another room. She is normally glad to have a bit of peace and quiet and hopefully it will mean when she comes back to work with me and goes in her kennel, she will settle back in as she not used to spending every minute of the day with me.

If you do have any concerns about your dog or cat’s diet during this time, please get in touch with our Nutrition Helpline – Live Chat or email (John Burns himself has even been helping us out!).

We understand that this is a worrying time for many people and we always want to do what is best for our pets.

For  more information on Covid-19, our main Covid-19 Updates page.

Stay safe.

Laura x

by Laura Crotch-Harvey MSc BSc (Hons)

I've worked at Burns for over four years and head up a busy, dedicated team of pet nutritionists at our Kidwelly head office. No two days are ever the same. We are often busy going the extra mile for our customers and offer free advice via LiveChat, telephone and email.

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