• Hahnbee Choi

Holiday Survival Guide

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

With the upcoming holiday season, there are so many things to look forward to. Friends and family, presents, delicious food, and so much more. But there are certain things that we as responsible pet owners have to be cautious of. Therefore, today I'm going over my top holiday dangers (plus a checklist), and how to be proactive so you and your pup can have a good time!

#1: Holiday Themed Treats

While the pumpkin and turkey-shaped dog treats may look like a scrumptious snack for your dog to enjoy, it's better to skip the carbo-load and go for something less processed. Many cute holiday-themed snacks for dogs contain ingredients that we try so hard to avoid in our fresh food diets!

So cute right?! But... is it NUTRITIOUS?

Whole wheat flour, SUGAR, food dye, and more... None of these ingredients listed sound like anything I want to feed my dog. Think twice before reaching for what would cause the holiday weight and make some DIY dehydrated treats instead. Your dog will definitely enjoy a single ingredient treat or chew rather than a snack with no nutritional value.

★ For more on DIY treats & chews click here

#2 Rawhides

Dogs chew. Whether they're puppies or full-grown, they chew. Because when they chew endorphins are released which reduces stress and stimulated the brain. We want all these wonderful benefits right? BUT we need to give them the proper and NUTRITIOUS chew to chomp on.

Rawhides are made from bleached, processed, chemically preserved, and poorly sourced ingredients which undergoes a very extreme chemical process and has many dyes added to it to achieve a desired decorative look. When dogs consume rawhides it is hardly digestible and close to giving glue to your dog, therefore, creating a severe blockage risk. Rodney Habib created a wonderful video showing how awful rawhides are and what goes into them... (click here)

Rather than giving your pet a processed, bleached, preserved "treat" switch it out for a single ingredient chew. Either by making your own (click here) or feeding a more appropriate chew.

Suggested chews:

  • Dehydrated trachea

  • Bully Stick

  • Earth Animal No-Hide

  • Raw Duck Feet

  • Raw Poultry Necks (skin/fat removed)

  • Himalayan Dog Chew

  • Dehydrated Lamb/Cow Ears

  • Really any single ingredients chew!

Cute, but deadly...

#3 Sweets

Trick or Treat!!!

With Halloween having just passed, there are probably loads of candy in every crevice of your house. But be careful of all the chocolate and GUM because gum contains xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs. Unlike chocolate where it can take up to a whole pound to be toxic, xylitol is toxic at 0.1 g/kg. Just 3 pieces of gum could be sent a dog into hypoglycemia, liver failure, seizures, and sometimes even death.

It's better to be safe than sorry after this spooky season and keep all sweets off the ground and away from the dogs. If your dog encounters something toxic that she shouldn't have contacted the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435 and your local emergency vet immediately.

#4 Cooked Bones

The Thanksgiving turkey just came out of the oven and you're enjoying a big serving of it and of course, your 4 legged companion is right by your side with the biggest most adorable puppy eyes in the world. Sharing is caring, so you reach for a little piece of bone to give to your best friend and WAIT!!! STOP DON'T DO IT!

Cooked/Smoked bones are strictly forbidden. They can splinter into shards and be a severe choking hazard. They also can cause serious damage to the mouth, throat, and intestine. Cooked bones are also depleted of many essential nutrients and therefore don't provide your dog with much nutritional value.

It's better to skip the cooked bones and go for a more appropriate chew listed above so you can give your dog that's safe and nutritional!

Smoked bones are a BIG NO! Instead, swap it out for a chew that's safe and nutritious.

#5 Crowds

With the holidays coming around that means visitors, guests, and craziness! If your dog gets nervous with a hectic situation, loud noises, or crowds you may want to reserve a quiet space for your dog to safely resort to while you enjoy the holiday spirit. I personally have an RTK kennel in my room where Stormy stays when we have guests over or it's getting just a bit too crazy. If your dog doesn't kennel, you can dog proof a back room and give them a safe chew or toys to keep them occupied.

I also like to keep some CBD oil on hand to dose when needed. The most important thing about CBD oil is getting a FULL SPECTRUM CBD oil. I LOVE LOVE LOVE CBD Dog Health and their CALM & EASE remedy. Angela is so informative, awesome, and passionate about her company. I had the chance to meet her and her crew at RNDS2019 and was blown away by everything they had to share. CBD is not a band-aid for serious anxiety behaviors and should be handled by a professional and experienced trainer for behavior modification.

TIP: When dosing CBD oil apply it directly on their gums so it goes directly into their bloodstream rather than the digestive tract. Also, make sure to treat after dosing to make it a positive experience!

Now that I've gone over my top Holiday Survival Tips, it's time to share a wonderful holiday recipe that you and your dog can enjoy!

Cranberry Chia Elixir

Cranberries offer a variety of benefits such as vitamins & minerals, antioxidants, bladder health, fighting bacteria, and preventing the big C word (cancer)...

Chia seeds provide fatty acids that contribute to a healthy coat, manganese, copper, and zinc.

With minimal ingredients and so many benefits, this recipe is perfect to bring a little more holiday spirit into your dog's bowl.


  • 1 Cup Fresh Cranberries

  • 4 TBSP Chia Seeds

  • 1/2 Cup Water

  • 1 TSP Manuka Honey (optional)

  • 1 TSP Cinnamon (optional)

1. Wash fresh cranberries and pulse in a blender with water until smoothie consistency.

2. Add cranberry slush into a pot and heat on low.

3. Once boiling, add in chia seeds and mix thoroughly.

4. Add in extras (optional) and stir.

***Manuka honey has the highest antibacterial properties of honey and is also the highest costing honey... if you have it on hand, great! If not, no worries the elixir will still be just as potent.

***Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, raises insulin resistance, and contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.

5. Turn off heat and let the elixir sit for 15 minutes to allow it to cool and chia seeds to soak in excess moisture.

6. Mix mixture once more and add into an airtight container and store in the fridge.

Dosage: Give 1 TSP of Cranberry Chia Elixir per 20 lbs.

SECRET: YOU can enjoy this too! I add some into my yogurt and use it like jam and it's so delicious.

Down below is a Holiday Survival Guide checklist to help you survive these hectic times. As always, thanks so much for stopping by and Always Keep Exploring.

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