St Lubbock’s Day looms… we now know it as bank holiday but prior to 1834 we were awash with holiday dates, around 33 saint’s days were recognised but only the wealthy could enjoy them. The first Lord Avebury, John Luddock, was a banker, scientist and social reformer and took it upon himself to ease the workload of the common people by pushing forward legislature to have just a few bank holidays a year but days that all could enjoy, the 1871 Bank Holidays Act finally gave us most of the timings we have now. The late August bank holiday actually didn’t come into being until 1971 and along with the other bank holidays it has to be decided each year by royal proclamation to ensure it falls on a Monday.

  Traditionally we sit on a motorway for hours, or we may decide to have a staycation and enjoy the simple pleasures of squabbling with our family or even celebrating our DIY skills and finishing the day in fine form at the local A&E. Barbecues have become very popular and our canine companions drift around us like circling piranha waiting for the sausage to fall into their maw. Copious amounts of alcohol are de rigueur in many households and the accident rate echoes the effects of the desire to drink and be merry at all costs. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that giving your dog beer or wine is a bad thing and yet people still do!

  YouTube is littered with drunken dogs accompanied by howls of laughter from the audience, don’t they realise how toxic alcohol is to canines? Even a small amount can harm a dog and certainly if you have a small dog or one who already has breathing problems I would consider if some of the mouth sprays produced as a dental cleaner is the best choice for your companion as some of them contain ethanol, check the ingredients. Dogs can also ingest alcohol from other sources, not just scavenging among the glasses left unattended at a party. Household products contain alcohol, it can be absorbed through the skin too so just tipping over cleaner from a cupboard and paddling in the spillage could have an effect. Fermented items like apples left in a bin or even bread dough are a source of ethanol too, my dogs always gather when I make bread and so I have to prove the dough in a locked cupboard, just in case!

  Most at risk are probably those dogs with diabetes as the blood sugar is instantly affected but all dogs are at risk so please make an effort to enjoy the bank holiday by not spending it at the emergency vets!