CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Somerset Life today CLICK HERE

Treating your dog this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 10:59 12 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:19 12 December 2016

Ralph takes a seat in the bar at the Crown in Wells on Christmas Day

Ralph takes a seat in the bar at the Crown in Wells on Christmas Day

Archant

Christmas is a time to indulge, celebrate and have fun. Ardent dog lover Andrea Cowan looks at ways to include your pooch in the festivities

Toy Santa Sack from Four Legged Fancies. Filled with organic, wheat-free treats and a toy £17Toy Santa Sack from Four Legged Fancies. Filled with organic, wheat-free treats and a toy £17

1.There’s no reason why your dog should miss out on the excitement of a stocking. If there is no time to put it together yourself, look out for a pre-prepared one. Four Legged Fancies, a bespoke dog bakery in Chilcompton, has a fun selection including the Toy Santa Sack which is filled with organic, handmade wheat-free treats and a squeaky, tweed toy (£17).

2.When it comes to presents under the tree, what could be better than a portrait of your pooch? Suzi Allen, an award winner for the second year running in the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) South West Pet Photographer of The Year, could tick the box. Her photographs start at £57 for a 10 inch print or, for an extra special touch, your favourite image from the session can be transformed into a painting by Suzi for £295.

3.As well as concentrating on what’s under the tree, don’t forget the decorations. Four Legged Fancies has little baubles filled with treats - choose from peanut butter, chicken or cheese (£4.50) - to hang on the tree and Doggy Christmas Crackers containing a bag of biscuits, a Christmas collar charm and a hat – and, importantly, no bang (£5.50).

Baubles from Four Legged Fancies filled with edible, organic treats £4.50Baubles from Four Legged Fancies filled with edible, organic treats £4.50

4.For that pre-Christmas dinner trip to the local pub, don’t leave your pet pal behind. Some bars, such as The Crown in Wells, positively encourage dog visitors. Dogs are welcome in its Penn Bar and the front of Anton’s Bistrot and, for the first time in many years, the Bar will be open on Christmas Day. Water bowls and treats are available in the bar and dogs are welcome in the guest bedrooms too.

5. Before you hit the post-Christmas dinner slump on the sofa, how about a bracing walk? If you’re lucky enough to live in close proximity to one of Somerset’s many dog-friendly beaches, nothing can really beat a walk by the sea. Take your pick from soft sand and mud at Berrow Beach or rocky Kilve beach with plenty of rockpools to explore, or the four mile stretch of pebbles and shingle at Porlock and Porlock Weir. Love winter walks in Somerset? You might like our round-up here.

The Elliot stylish coat to keep out any Christmas chill from HoundworthyThe Elliot stylish coat to keep out any Christmas chill from Houndworthy

6.If it’s bitterly cold, your canine companion might appreciate an extra layer – but I’m not talking Christmas jumpers. Instead, how about a stylish coat in seasonal colours such as the Elliot Dog Coat by Billy Wolf from Houndworthy in Weston-super-Mare (£69), which is a plaid wool in dark crimson and black with a warm black Sherpa lining. They also have a range of fun bandanas your dog can wear with pride such as the Canine Superstar Bright Red Dog Bandana (from £12).

7.At the end of a long and fulfilling Christmas day with your four legged friend, make sure that he has a comfortable bed to retire to as well. The handmade Luxury Dog Bed by the family-run Somerset Willow Company is glorious. It is woven in the workshops near Bridgwater using locally grown Somerset willow. The raised bed has a timeless buff willow finish, with an ornately plaited border and comes complete with a black leather mattress, available in small, medium and large sizes (from £195 to £335.).

8.If you love the idea of having a dog in your life but just do not have the time necessary to devote to it, how about Noodle Dog from Myakka? Sitting at a satisfying height of 47cm, hand woven from seagrass with beady button eyes and nose, he will make a most amicable companion by your armchair (£49.95).

Somerset Willow dog bed (from £195) for a really good night sleepSomerset Willow dog bed (from £195) for a really good night sleep

Despite all the festive fun, there are some common Christmas dangers for dogs. Katy Duncan from Watkins & Tasker Veterinary Group in Nailsea, Portishead and Yatton highlights a few:

Chocolate

Most people are aware of the dangers of dogs eating chocolate but it is easy to forget about chocolate decorations or wrapped boxes of chocolates left under the Christmas tree. Make sure all chocolate is kept well out of reach.

Grapes

These are poisonous to dogs and the exact volume needed to cause symptoms is difficult to predict. The ingestion of grapes or raisins can cause kidney damage in some dogs. It is important to remember that raisins are found in many Christmas foods including mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen and Christmas pudding.

Left overs

As we enjoy tucking into our Christmas feast we can sometimes feel guilty leaving our furry friends out of the celebrations and be tempted to offer them some of the bones from our roast. Once cooked, all bones become brittle and splinter easily leading to fragments that can cause obstructions or gut irritation. It is important to be aware that poultry bones are all hollow and splinter easily whether cooked or raw and so must never be fed to your dog. High fat meals can often cause severe stomach troubles and are one of the risk factors leading to pancreatitis.

Macadamia nuts

These nuts can cause dogs to experience weakness, tremors, increased body temperature and vomiting within 12 hours of ingestion.

Decorations

Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are all mildly toxic to dogs and can cause a tummy upset if ingested. Decorations such as baubles or tinsel can cause a serious blockage of the intestine if eaten and should therefore be kept well out of reach.

More from Christmas

Thu, 15:08

Former model and retail director for fashion house Mulberry, and founding director of Kilver Court Designer Village at Shepton Mallet, Monty Saul has spent her career keeping an eye on creative and designer trends. But it’s not all about the latest buys when it comes to Christmas decorating as she explains to Catherine Courtenay

Read more
Mon, 11:00

A bracing winter walk is the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs, and where better to embrace the crisp, chilly air than through the varied, and beautiful, landscape that Somerset has to offer

Read more
Friday, December 7, 2018

Winner of Somerset Life Food and Drink Award for best chef, Josh Eggleton is championing a no waste Christmas discovers Catherine Courtenay

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

As we embrace the festivities, we pick 20 reasons why we love spending the holidays in Somerset

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

Simone Stanbrooke-Byrne gets to the root of the Christmas tree tradition and digs up a selection of festivals taking place across the county

Read more
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

For a leisurely, stress-free Christmas day lunch, why not visit one of these delightful Somerset eateries for a delicious festive dinner?

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Three of the eight cheeses Julius Longman suggests are from Somerset!

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

With Christmas just round the corner, there’s nothing quite like enjoying carols and singing along to your festive favourites. We pick some of the best performances in some of Somerset’s most delightful locations

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Those chilly winter evenings are perfect for huddling in the corner of a pub, catching up with friends and enjoying a few drinks or a hearty homemade dinner. Get yourself out of the cold, we’ve assembled a list of 20 cosy pubs to visit in Somerset

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

‘Tis the season to be jolly! The whole of Somerset will be full of festivities with plenty of charming Christmas markets, late night shopping opportunities and Christmas events. We bring you the festive happenings from all over the county

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Somerset Life