Barking Blondes: A furry happy Christmas

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

Christmas pic 300x225 Barking Blondes: A furry happy ChristmasSo the last Sunday before Christmas and have you given a thought for your mutt? It seems so, spending on dogs is on the up this year and again, thus demonstrating the success of the hound pound.

This Christmas one in three women will have spent as much on their dog as they have on their boyfriend. The family pet clearly is sharing the festive spirit.

However beware of the unexpected expense of emergency trips to the vet over the holiday period. Being cooped up for days whilst all around are feasting and celebrating, accidents to the pooch are more prone to happen

Our radio show has been on the receiving end of many dog owners’ alarming scenarios. We also have experienced a canine festive disaster with our own miniature bull terrier, Molly.

She ate the whole of her inedible Christmas present from under the tree. We had left her for only five minutes to attend to the turkey and returned to witness her swallowing the last piece of what was a latex rubber squeaky turkey toy. Panic set in… fortunately after swallowing spoonfuls of oil, just hours later, Molly passed the turkey toy… but by then the abandoned turkey was as unappetizing as Molly’s toy!

There are many situations your pooch should avoid. Dogs can get obsessed with lots of wrapping paper on the floor, easy to grab, and shred. If they swallow sticky tape or ribbons, a call to the vet could be required… the same goes for tinsel. The Christmas tree is also a prime target for attention seeking or over curious behaviour, that can end with cut paws from smashed baubles and additional house work! Some traditional festive fare is lethal for your dog… mince pies contain raisins that cause renal failure and grapes have the same effect.

Keep chocolate well out of reach of your mutt as it can be highly toxic. So don’t hang on the tree. The severity of naughtily eating a box of chocolates depends on the size of the dog in comparison to the chocolates consumed, as well as the type of chocolate. Around 25 grams of dark chocolate can poison a 44 KG dog, so it doesn’t take much. But different chocolate contains different levels of Theobromine. A bar of the finest 70 per cent dark chocolate is a danger, yet white chocolate with no cocoa is okay to give your dog. We’d recommend avoiding giving your dog any rich foods to avoid risking piling on the pounds, but the last thing anyone wants is a case of doggy upset tum that puts you in the stink on Boxing Day, so keep pongy cheeses out of paw’s reach.

The best bet is to feed your dog its normal dinner on Christmas Day, and have a good walk before the festivities begin, so he’s relaxed to take on excitement and energy of the day. Christmas Day can be a stressful with visitors coming and going, noise, high excitement and activity. Be aware of your dog’s mood and make sure he seems calm and relaxed. Any signs that he’s feeling its too much, let him retreat to a quiet place for a bit.

Poinsettias are iconic at Christmas and look stunning as a table centerpiece, but this plant contains a thick white sap that is deadly for dogs and cats. Finally, let’s celebrate spending more time with them!

Woof! Woof!

Barking Blondes’ by Anna Webb & Jo Good, published by Hamlyn, £12.99

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