By Adam Lee-Smith
Published: 11/22/2022, edited: 11/28/2023
Hanukkah is a celebration of a miracle, and it's “impawtant” to involve the whole family, including your fur-babies. If you want to get your furry friend involved in the Festival of Lights, you're in luck — we've rounded up some ways you can celebrate the holidays with your canine or feline. Here's how to plan a pet-friendly Hanukkah!
Planning some festive fun for Hanukkah? Check out these pet-friendly activities to get your pet excited for the Festival of Lights.
Dress up if you have a pet for Hanukkah if they don't mind donning a costume. You can find several Hanukkah-themed pet products, from full-fledged costumes to cute accessories like menorah bandanas.
You can also find plenty of Hanukkah-themed sweaters and hoodies for pets with hilarious and adorable Hanukkah-themed slogans, like "I love you a latke" and "Momma's little matzo ball."
If your pet isn't a fan of playing dress-up, you can buy them a Hanukkah-themed bandana or collar instead to get them in the holiday spirit.
Gift-giving is an important part of Hanukkah, so make sure you treat your pet to a few presents. You'll find plenty of Hanukkah-themed presents for pets on the market, from dreidel catnip toys to kosher dog treats.
Now, your pet won't feel left out when the kids are unwrapping gifts! Read our guide on Hanukkah gifts for dogs for more inspiration.
Spin the dreidel is a classic game during Hanukkah. A cute activity for Hanukkah is to include your canine or feline in a game of spin the dreidel. All you'll need to do is spin for your pet and see if they win anything from the pot.
You might also get a kick from watching your pet play with a spinning dreidel. Make sure you buy a large dreidel that's too big for your dog to swallow, as small dreidels are a choking hazard.
Take your pet for a festive drive past some holiday lights if you feel like doing something a bit different this Hanukkah. While they're not as common as Christmas lights, Hanukkah lights can be found in neighborhoods across the US.
If you're in or around Houston, check out the famed Hanukkah House, one of the country's most elaborate individual displays. You're also sure to find Hanukkah displays in metropolitan areas like NYC, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
It's traditional for many families to sing some Hanukkah songs after lighting the menorah. Start with “Ma'oz Tzur” during the candle lighting, and then sing along to favorites like "Ode to Latkes" and "Oh Chanukah."
With the whole family singing, you might be able to encourage your festive fur-baby to join in with a few howls or yowls!
With fried food and open flames, Hanukkah is potentially dangerous to your pets. Here are a few ways you can keep Scooby safe during the Festival of Lights.
By the end of Hanukkah, you'll have 8 or 9 open flames in your house. There's a chance your fur-baby might knock over your menorah, whether they’re jumping up in excitement or they’re just clumsy.
Keep your menorah out of your dog's reach and away from flammable materials like curtains and upholstery. Consider fixing your menorah to a surface or wall to prevent it from getting knocked over by your pet.
Many people wrap their Hanukkah gifts for an added surprise, but wrapping paper can be dangerous for pets, especially dogs. If you plan to use wrapping paper, always clean up thoroughly and keep it away from your pup.
Many Hanukkah treats are tasty to people but toxic to pets. A good example is latkes containing fried potatoes that will upset your pet's stomach. Plus, many latkes are seasoned with onions and garlic, both of which are toxic to cats and dogs.
Brisket might be too rich for your pet, while sufganiyots are too sickly due to their high sugar content and sometimes contain chocolate. Keep your Hanukkah treats out of reach of curious snouts and paws.
Traditional fried foods are one of the best parts of Hanukkah, but your fur-baby shouldn't chow down on kugel, latkes, or gelt. So how can you treat your pet to a festive feast during the Festival of Lights?
Some Hanukkah snacks are okay for fur-babies, while you can always prepare some special treats for your pet to enjoy. As with any special treat, double-check the ingredients are safe for your pet and talk to your vet if you're unsure.
Traditional plaited Challah is safe for dogs and cats to eat in small amounts. It doesn't contain anything toxic, but it does contain sugar, eggs, and salt, which might upset your pet's stomach. But feeding your fur-baby a small piece of Challah, as long as they don't have allergies, won't do any harm.
While fried latkes aren't suitable to feed your pet, they're usually paired with applesauce, which is safe. Apples and cinnamon are both safe for dogs, so all-natural applesauce makes a tasty Hanukkah treat. Cinnamon is toxic to cats in high doses, so consider leaving out cinnamon if you’re making your feline some applesauce.
Just make sure you check the ingredients of your applesauce carefully and avoid toxic sweeteners like xylitol. If in doubt, make some applesauce from scratch, so you know exactly what your pet is eating.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, so your pet won't be able to enjoy a gelt coin while spinning the dreidel. That said, you can use carob, a chocolate alternative, to make some gelt treats for your fur-baby.
Carob doesn't contain theobromine, the main toxin in chocolate that's dangerous to pets. Either just feed your pet the odd carob chip or go the extra mile and melt the carob into gelt molds.
Bake your furry friend some Hanukkah treats if you're baking some goodies for the festive season. Or, buy some Hanukkah cookies for pets online if you're not much of a baker.
Etsy is a great place to find Hanukkah treats, many of which are decorated in traditional blue and white and shaped like dreidels and stars.
How are you celebrating Hanukkah with your pets? Share with us in the comments or on Instagram @wag!
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