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Rosy and Fleur 

Spoiled rotten? My dogs? Perish the thought! Surely every dog starts the day with a lovingly, freshly prepared smoothie of fruit and vegetables?

My girls do, but that's because they are on the BARF diet, which stands for Bones and Raw Food. It's controversial, so I don't intend to go into too much detail here, apart from an aside. I've noticed that some of its biggest critics are often the vets who sell the high-priced, high mark-up 'scientifically balanced' foods they want you to buy instead.

So my girls get raw chicken carcasses, big marrow bones, and lots of fresh fruit and veg, raw, for roughage. Hence the smoothies

Check before feeding

The other day, I was adding carrot tops from my kitchen garden to their smoothie and also had some parsnip tops, so I thought I better just check if they were safe to add. Just as well I did – it turns out they're poisonous! If I ever did know that, I had forgotten.

Fleur

Fabulous Fleur

We're now steamrollering towards the festive season once more, so I thought it might be helpful to do a quick round-up of some of the perils which await our pets if we're not wary.

Rosy Tots

Delightful Rosalie

I think by now most people know that chocolate is dangerous to dogs and cats. Sadly, many a family pet falls seriously ill or even dies as a result of raiding the chocolate advent calendar. But not everyone knows of other things which are a serious hazard to pets, especially over the festivities.

Festive dangers

Grapes and raisins, for instance. Highly toxic to dogs. And yes, like you, I can remember a time when dogs I've had would happily munch their way through pounds of them with no ill effect. It's probably because grapes themselves have changed over the years. They've had to, because of the catastrophic crop losses from various viral infections.

So no matter how much your dog begs, to be safe, no Christmas pud or mince pies for them!

Here's a list of things which are harmful to dogs. Some are also toxic to cats but I'm not a real cat expert so haven't gone into that too much.

I will just mention here lily pollen and poinsettia, which are both poisonous to cats and dogs.

chocolate

caffeine

Xylitol

grapes

raisins

alcohol

avocados

macadamia nut,

onions

garlic

chives

mushrooms

Please note, this is information I have found in the course of research I did before starting my girls on the BARF diet. It is intended as guidance only.

You should always check with your vet over anything you are unsure of.

Meet The Author...
Tottie Limejuice
Who Am I?

Lesley Krier Tither writes travel memoirs under the name Tottie Limejuice and crime novels as L M Krier. She is also the author of a self-help guide to getting free publicity through the media for any type of project.

A former journalist and freelance copywriter/copy editor, she has also worked for the Crown Prosecution Service as a case tracker. Lesley's latest book and début crime novel, Baby's Got Blue Eyes, was published in February 2015.

Now retired, Lesley writes full time and lives in central France with her two rescued border collies. She enjoys walking, camping and organic gardening.

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