Hanukkah is just around the corner, which means it's time to figure out how you'll celebrate the Festival of Lights with your pup. Whether you get him a holiday-themed toy, make some special latkes for him, or put him in a cute new collar, there are many different ways he can partake in the festivities. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.
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Get your dog a Hanukkah toy
There are lots of Hanukkah-themed toys available, from tennis balls from Rite Lite to a plush singing dreidel and a Star of David rope toy. Of course, in keeping up with tradition, you can give your pup a new toy each of the eight nights of the holiday to really make him excited.
Dress your dog in some Hanukkah gear
Your dog doesn't love wearing full-body costumes, so why not get him a cute Hanukkah collar, bandana, or bowtie instead? You can find a Star of David decorative dog collar for your fabulous pup, a menorah bandana, or a slip-on bowtie that's perfect for the holiday.
Make some festive, dog-friendly food
Dogs shouldn't eat latkes because they are fried and contain onions, or donuts because they are fried and full of sugar. Of course, chocolate Hanukkah gelt is off limits as well, since pups should never eat chocolate.
However, you could always make some dog-friendly food on the side. For instance, dogs can eat potatoes, so you can bake him some plain latkes instead—just leave out the seasonings and don't add onions, which are toxic to dogs. You could also make him a special batch of apple peanut butter dog donuts, which contain ingredients that are suitable for dogs.
Invite his furry friends
If you're having a Hanukkah party, then you could let your guests bring their pups too, as long as all of them are properly socialized. While they can't play a game of dreidel, they could always play with all the toys you purchased and eat some of the dog-friendly versions of your favorite Hanukkah foods.
Keeping your dog safe on Hanukkah
Hanukkah is a time for lighting the menorah. While a lit-up menorah looks beautiful, it can be hazardous if your dog gets too close to it. Keep it in the traditional place— near your window—and make sure it's out of reach of your pup.
Additionally, don't let your dog eat any latkes, donuts, or chocolate gelt that are not made with dog-friendly ingredients. They could contain harmful ingredients and, at the very least, make your dog feel sick. Gelt especially should be watched carefully, as it is often being handled by children who are playing with dreidels on the floor.
If your dog has eaten some of these foods and he is lethargic, throws up, has diarrhea or is acting strange in any other way, take him to the veterinarian right away.
If you're having friends over, your dog might get nervous or anxious. You can always read your dog's body language to see if he's not feeling comfortable. He may have whale eyes or his eyes might be slightly opened if your dog is stressed or feels like he doesn't have enough personal space. If he's fearful, then he may have a closed mouth with lips pulled back and show his front teeth. If your dog's ears lay flat and close to the back of his neck, he may be worried or feeling uncertain. To help him, you can put him in another room that's quiet and give him his crate, his bed, and toys to play with until the party is over. Giving your pup his favorite treat probably won't hurt, either.
Hanukkah is a great time to celebrate with friends, family, and your dog. By giving your pup the right toys and foods and ensuring he is safe and happy at your celebration, you can ensure he'll enjoy the holiday just as much as you do.