Blue Cross launches a new podcast series for animal enthusiasts


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19 March 2020
First-of-its-kind podcast sees leading pet charity and Strictly star explore some of the common myths and facts surrounding our favourite four-legged friends.

Radio presenter, TV actress, former Strictly Come Dancing contestant and dog owner, Gemma Atkinson, has teamed up with leading UK pet charity, Blue Cross, to produce a fur-st of its kind podcast series for animal lovers – The Petcast.

The six-part podcast series will hear Gemma - along with celebrity guests, expert vets, animal behaviourists, and real life pet owners - discussing a wide variety of topics related to pet welfare and how to live your best life with your pet, including; Integrating Pets into the Home, Dealing with Pet Bereavement, Keeping Your Pet Healthy, Different Pets for Different Lifestyles, Wellbeing and Pets, and Pet Heroes.

Throughout The Petcast, Gemma will be joined by celebrity guests Gemma Merna (Integrating Pets into Your Home), Laura Tott (Dealing with Pet Bereavement) and Karen Hauer (Wellbeing and Pets) - delving into the their personal experiences of being pet owners and sharing personal stories.

Animals enrich our lives in so many ways, yet sadly like people, some pet pairings don’t work out as planned – leading to many pets being given up for rehoming or abandoned each year. Touching upon dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, horses and more, The Petcast aims to empower pet owners with the information, tips and advice they need in order for everyone on two legs and four to live their best lives together!

Gemma Atkinson comments: “I have grown up with animals and now have two dogs myself - Ollie and Norman - so I know that being a pet owner comes with a ton of fun but is not without its challenges and responsibilities.

Becoming a mother very recently, I’ve also experienced what it’s like to introduce a baby into a home with pets – something that was very new to me, and also daunting because it was so important that all my family members, including the furry ones, get along.

I’m so excited to be hosting The Petcast alongside Blue Cross, with the help of some amazing guests. I’m sure people will enjoy how much we delve into the fascinating, emotional and sometimes bizarre world of living with pets. It’s the perfect one-stop-shop for all your advice, covering a real variety of topics, animals and breeds!”

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The Petcast Episodes

Integrating Pets into Your Home

Gemma and her guests - Ryan Neile, Senior Animal Behaviourist at Blue Cross, and Gemma Merna, former Hollyoaks actress who shares her life with 3 dogs - talk about the challenges and rewards of integrating pets into your home. From getting the house ready for a new pet arrival, to introducing your pet to young children, Gemma, Ryan and Gemma’s insight will leave you feeling prepped and ready to properly take care of your furry friend. Gemma Merna also shares just how she got over her fear of big dogs – by welcoming a 10 stone St Bernand into her life!

Dealing with Pet Bereavement

Gemma delves into the topic of pet bereavement – investigating the different types of loss that pet owners (and also pets) can experience, and how this emotional impact can be managed. Guests include First Dates waitress, Laura Tott, who gives a heart wrenchingaccount of the death of her beloved dog Lucy, and Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Officer Diane James, who offers advice on how to cope with loss and the guilt surrounding euthanasia.

Keeping Your Pet Healthy

Gemma and senior Blue Cross vet, Alison Brennan, are on a mission to make sure that every pet owner is prepped to keep their pets feeling happy and healthy - by busting some common myths relating to diet, exercise and hygiene, including why do dogs eat poo!

Different Pets for Different Lifestyles

Looking for your paw-fect pet match? Gemma and Blue Cross rehoming manager, Kayleigh Hill, discuss the rewards and realities that come with owning different types of pets – helping you to decide what type animal or breed is the best companion for you.  Listen and learn how to live your best pet life!

Wellbeing and Pets

In this episode, Gemma and guests - Strictly Come Dancing Professional Karen Hauer, and Blue Cross Head of Education Tracey Genever - have an open discussion about the positive impact that pets can have on our mental and physical, and how they help to combat loneliness. Karen shares just how her three dogs have changed her life and even saved her.

Pet Heroes

Gemma speaks to the proud owners of two pet heroes - Dillon the therapy pony and Romeo the blood donating Staffie – who are helping to save the lives of others. They are also joined by Blue Cross Education Manager, Kerry Taylor, who shares incredible pet stories from up and down the country.

The Petcast will debut on Tuesday 10th March on Apple Podcast and all other podcast platforms. Find out more here: