There are many ways of doing this, and all of them irritate me. There’s a surprise, eh?

Kissing animals as if they’re children. That’s just plain naff, and pretty unhygienic, though I admit being too hygienic is a bad thing. Kissing animals is just wrong.

Dressing animals up is BAD. Don’t do it. The interwebs are clogged with pictures of cats wearing hats (no, not Dr Seuss), dogs in tutus, you name it somebody has put socks on it.


The only garb suitable for an animal is a good thick blanket for a horse that feels the cold a bit, or a coat for a diminutive dog that loses heat fast in the winter. By the way, last week some pointyheads reported that they’d been able to train horses to indicate when they wanted a blanket putting on.

Referring to Tiddles or Rover as your ‘baby.’ Hateful. Let’s be clear. They aren’t your babies, they’re animals, and entitled to a bit more respect.

Now we get to the nub of things. There was a report, also last week, about the rise in the sales of premium pet foods. It’s big money too. Last year the UK shelled out 2.5 billion quid on petfood.

Muffins for dogs are available; they’re called, predictably, ‘Woofins.’ Gawdelpus. You can buy ‘Calm and Relaxed’ dog treats containing camomile, marketed as ‘natural, ethical, low calorie, hand baked mini-bones.’ Clearly they aren’t bones, because dogs bury those in the garden. Or maybe not any more, given some wacko was advising in the same week that dogs shouldn’t be given bones at all.

Let’s get back to the ethical idea. Just because you’re a bearded hipster, and only eat organic quinoa and alfalfa sprouts, that doesn’t mean your dog has to go vegan too. You’ll kill it. Dogs are carnivores and need meat to survive. You might be able to justify a palaeo diet for Fido, but that’s where it ends.

Some years ago a friend of mine was a vegan, and she insisted on feeding her dog vegan dog food; yes, you can buy it. I pointed out that there were some amino acids that pooches need that can only be found in meat.

‘Aaah, but you see the food has been reinforced with those amino acids to get round that.’

‘I see. So adding something brewed up in a laboratory is healthy is it?’

The most expensive dognosh I can find is a ‘whole prey’ diet, whatever that might be, that comes in at a ludicrous 30 quid for two kilos. I don’t spend that on myself, let alone a mutt.

Whatever happened to the concept of some scraps from the butcher and some Winalot?