AS part of our campaign backing local businesses we are finding out how firms coped with the challenges of the past few months. 

Here Nicholas and Giovanna from Thameswood Vets explain how it's been for them and why people should support local businesses.


Q: Why do you think our readers should support local business?

We all have the power to positively influence our local community by choosing where we spend our money wisely. You probably already spend yours with local, independent Swindon businesses and that’s how you can help keep our local economy healthy, while supporting the people who work hard to give the town such a unique identity.


Q: What are enjoying most about being back open?

It will be great to be able to see owners come into the practice with their pets again. Over the past few months we’ve had to introduce strict processes to reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19 while still providing essential animal care, and part of that has meant owners haven’t been able to accompany their pets into the practice. We’re looking forward to being able to return to (fairly) normal consults in all our clinics.



Q: What has been the toughest challenge for your business over the past 4-5 months?

The toughest challenge by far has been every pet that has been euthanased in our arms rather than their owner’s. It’s absolutely heart-breaking being unable to be with loved ones in their final moments and our pets are included in that. Not being able to accommodate our clients wishes through such an emotional time and trying to offer as much comfort as possible to their pets in their absence has been really tough. Thankfully now they are able to sit quietly in our peaceful garden with their loved pet.


Optional Q: What are you most looking forward to in future?

Getting back into the swing of our youth clubs and puppy sessions will be fantastic, it’s a great opportunity for people who want to give their puppy the best possible start in life, especially that all important early socialisation. And of course, we’ve missed being able to see you bring your beautiful pups into the clinic! Belly Busters will be great to get going again too – while there might have been more walks during lockdown, being at home has meant more treats for your pet, and we’ve certainly seen dogs with growing waistlines in the last 6 months.