How to Celebrate Hanukkah With Your Dog

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Hanukkah is just around the corner, which means it's time to figure out how you'll celebrate the Festival of Lights with your dog. There are many different ways they can partake in the festivities. Whether you get them a holiday-themed toy, make some special dog latkes for them, or put them in a cute new collar. 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 even a Star of David rope toy. Of course, you can give your dog a new toy each of the eight nights of the holiday to really make them excited.

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Dress your dog in some Hanukkah accessories

If your dog is up to it, get them a cute Hanukkah collar, bandana, or bowtie to celebrate. You can find a Star of David decorative dog collar for your fabulous dog, a menorah bandana, or a slip-on bowtie that are perfect for the holiday.

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Image Credit: GK Hart/Vikki Hart/Stone/GettyImages

Make some festive, but dog-friendly latkes

Dogs shouldn't eat latkes because they are fried and contain onions which are toxic to dogs. Nor should they eat donuts because they are fried and full of sugar. Of course, chocolate Hanukkah gelt is off-limits as well, since chocolate is poisonous for dogs.

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However, you could always make some dog-friendly food on the side. You can try making them special plain latkes that are baked. Dogs can eat potatoes, but leave out the seasonings and don't add onions.

Invite your dog's friends

If you're having a Hanukkah party, then you could let your guests bring their dogs too. Just 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 dog Hanukkah toys you purchased — and eat some of the dog-friendly latkes!

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How to keep your dog safe on Hanukkah

Keep your dog safe by the lit Menorah

Hanukkah is a time for lighting the Hanukkah menorah. While a lit menorah looks beautiful, it can be hazardous if your dog gets too close.

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Pick a location that you feel comfortable with and that is out of reach of your dog. Every family has a different location where they place the menorah in their home, although the traditional place is near or at your window.

Supervise what your dog eats

Never feed your dog any of the following Hanukkah foods:

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  • fried latkes with seasoning and onions:‌ fried food, seasonings, and onions are toxic for dogs.
  • donuts:‌ they are filled with sugar, jelly, and fried.
  • chocolate gelt:chocolate is poisonous for dogs. Gelt should be watched carefully, as it is often being handled by children who are playing with dreidels on the floor.

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If your dog has eaten some of these foods and they are lethargic, throws up, has diarrhea, or is acting strange in any other way, take them to the veterinarian right away.

Observe your dog's body language around guests

If you're having friends over, your dog might get nervous or anxious. Read your dog's body language to see if they're not feeling comfortable. If your dog is uncomfortable around visitors, they may display the following signs for certain emotional states:

  • stress‌: a dog may display whale eyes or have their eyes might be slightly open.
  • fear‌: they may have a closed mouth with lips pulled back and showing their front teeth.
  • anxiety‌: if your dog's ears are laid flat and close to the back of their neck they may be feeling uncertain.

To help them, you can put them in another room that's quiet and give them their crate, bed, and toys to be around until the party is over. You can also try giving your pup their favorite treat.

The bottom line

Hanukkah is a great time to celebrate with friends, family, and your dog. To make your dog a part of the celebrations, you can give your dog Hanukkah toys, a festive outfit, dog-versions of festive foods, and invite their dog friends. Be sure to keep your dog at a safe distance from the lit menorah. Watch what your dog eats and observe their body language around guests. By following these fun and safety tips, you can ensure your dog will enjoy the holiday — just as much as you do.

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