Barking Blondes: Yuletide doggy treats, pet advent calendars and Christmas hazards

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

barking blondes 225x300 Barking Blondes: Yuletide doggy treats, pet advent calendars and Christmas hazardsOur dogs were sent reindeer antlers in the post this week. As you will see in the picture, Molly (the miniature bull terrier) loves them. She adores to dress up. However, Matilda (the bulldog) doesn’t. She ate hers.

They also each received a yuletide stocking full of doggy treats, including chocolate substitute, novelty, edible festive crackers and beef flavoured snowmen. One of the benefits of doing a designated, canine radio show is that we are inundated with gifts. But Christmas really does seem to have come early for our already over indulged duo.

A top pet shop retailer revealed the following: that at least 75 per cent of pet owners buy gifts for the dogs while some 66 per cent of them spend more on their dog than their partner. The average spent on dogs over Christmas is £38. This pet shop have already sold more than 55,000 pet advent calendars and 3,500 reindeer jumpers for dogs, that’s 12 per cent more than last year!

Despite the recession the pet industry shows a steady growth year on year of 7.5 per cent and is worth over £4 billion in the UK. Dogs are considered a part of the family so they now get bought gifts so they are not left out on Christmas day. The irony is that dogs do not understand it’s Christmas. They love the attention of course but it is commercialism that makes us buy for a dog when they don’t really care it’s Christmas! Could our money be spent helping dogs less fortunate than our own?

Whilst Christmas may be a holy time for some of us, there are good few Christmas hazards for dogs. Think about your Christmas rose – Poinsettia – this is hugely toxic to dogs, as is a mince pie with its raisins, and Christmas cake if ready-made could contain the deadly artificial sweetener called Xylito – this can make a dog’s liver pack up in minutes. Of course Chocolate is another no-no as cocoa contains theobromine which is another deadly substance to dogs when consumed in large quantities. Sometimes even people can get an allergic reaction to it in its purest form.

Christmas decorations made out of raw hide chew must also be treated with care – raw hide can get stuck in the throat causing the dog to choke – so always supervise when your dog is playing with their Christmas chews. Watch out for cheaper Christmas plastic squeaky toys. Christmas day emergency vets are very expensive.

Our friend, the very glamorous chief executive of The Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin conjured up the strap line: ‘A dog is for life not just for Christmas’. Both she and Fay Weldon, with her Go To Work on An Egg campaign are wise women. Those days of buying puppies and shoving their cute bodies into stockings are well over – or are they? Rescue centres will tell you a different story.

We support The Mayhew Animal Home in North London and along with actor Peter Egan, we will be reading a lesson at their Festive Evening tomorrow. All are welcome at St Paul’s Church, Hammersmith from 7pm. Dogs are not welcome apart from Molly and Matilda. So there will be two to pat. If you attend please come and say hello.

Finally, when you are replete and sitting round the fire on the 25th, about to watch the Queen’s speech and a member of the family  jumps up and says “just out to walk the dog”. Don’t believe them. The dog may well be with them but odds are they are having a crafty fag or phoning a loved one. Another reason it’s a damn shame dogs don’t speak.

‘Barking at the Moon’ is on every Thursday from 3pm on BBC London 94.9fm

Tagged in: , , , , ,
  • marcbletchley

    good afternoon anna and jo
    great reading as normal not been one for xmas presents for pets i did see a sneak preveiw of dave(the DJ) cash dogs xmas stocking looks like mr beeseley will be in for a good xmas.
    lets hope mollie and matilda get some new toys.
    woof woof from bletchley towers

  • Peter Egan

    Hi Jo’,Anna, Matilda and Molly, one of the greatest slogans ever, coined by Clarissa Baldwin, “A dog is is for life not just for Christmas”. The new year is on of the busiest times for many shelters so I hope that all those people wishing to make, a cute addition to their family, think really seriously about it. Also think about rescuing one of the thousands of dogs who’s owners didn’t take heed of Clarissa’s advice.

    Looking forward hugely to seeing you both, plus the two M’s, at the Mayhew do at St Paul’s church Hammersmith tomorrow evening.

    Great blog as ever and always a pleasure to read.

    Love and woof’s to all.

    Peter (-:)

  • madgooner1

    I thought Barking At The Moon was on in the afternoon

  • Guest

    Yesterday an special event called ** BOWOWOW’s Canine Christmas Cracker ** was held. This dogtastic party was a fine example of the UK’s public showing creative Christmas cheer and generosity in helping Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

    ** DONATE YOUR WARMTH ** Christmas Campaign was also launched at this Seasonal celebration, it features dog celebs Simba, Mugly, Lucky and Scarlett encouraging dog lovers everywhere to consider those dogs less fortunate than their own, and to have a rummage for any blankets, toys and treats to donate to their local dog shelter. Please visit bowowow dot co dot uk for more information on this campaign.

    In Window ** 5 ** of BOWOWOW’s unique, online dog-centric Advent Calendar, there is also a presentation supporting this article’s view on “A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas.” Please visit this as well as enjoying some other quirky articles like the History of Dogs in Panto, which includes an interview with the legend Bob Carolgees!

    XX Happy Christmas Everyone & All Dogs XX

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    (To Peter Egan – it was lovely to see you earlier today at the Fido Awards!)

  • Ziggydog

    Maybe manufacturers are cashing in on Christmas for dogs, but there’s a lot of fun to be had for the owners seeing their best friends enjoying cracking a doggy cracker! And dogs love the attention. Don’t follow the controversial Morrison’s advert and feed dogs from the table – emergency vets bills will surely put a dampner on the festivities. But its important to think about the dogs in rescue, those that are are dumped shortly after Christmas through no fault of their own. A Dogs is for life!

  • 5brian5

    Hi Ladies; The other day I was in a large department store where they had poinsettias on sale. I really wanted one to spruce up the house. It took me all of about 1 second to decide to keep walking and buy some biscuits instead. In the pet isle, this large store even has dog aspirin. I was always under the impression that aspirin was also toxic to dogs and cats, even in low doses. ??? I guess my sweetie will have to suffer her catnip hangover the old fashion way. In the American version of the pound shops, they sell pet food and rawhide bones with brand names like “Kennel Club”. Sounds suspicious to me. It wouldn’t cross my mind to buy any of it. I have always wondered how a dog can handle swallowing rawhide pieces. Anyone who has ever eaten a fried pork rind (junk food) knows how dangerous they can be. Mainly because of the fat content, but also because I’ve almost choked on them many times, I refrain from eating them. Molly looks really festive and cute! Its a great picture of her. I hope Matilda wasn’t jealous! Your new show on BBC London 94.9 at 3:00pm is a big success, and I try to listen every day, and of course on Thursday for “Barking At The Moon”. I really enjoy reading your blog! Thank-you! Brian (Detroit)

  • matt saxon

    Our old dog was usually a Santa elf for the street Xmas party – until he’d nicked a few sausages from the kids. Our new dog is still in training. One of our Chinese friends as a joke to wind us up, used to say A dog is for Christmas and can make a delicious snack on Boxing Day too.

  • MrReasons2BCheerful

    Bruno doesn’t “do” Christmas…. He was given four socks last year, and that really finished it off for him.

Most viewed



Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter