The holiday season is full of potential hazards for our pets. During Hanukkah, dogs and cats can be safe by following a few pet safety tips. Here’s our list of pet safety tips for a seamless and memorable Hanukkah celebration.
Keeping the Kitchen Off-Limits
There are many foods that families serve during the eight nights of Hanukkah, ranging from latkes and sufganiyots to the customary chocolate coins. When celebrating Hanukkah, keep dogs and cats away from these treats, as they can quite dangerous to their health.
Latkes are traditionally made with onions, among other ingredients, and they can give your animal Heinz body anemia—a condition that causes a lower red blood cell count. Onions should be considered as toxic as chocolate to your fur baby and should be out of their reach.
Sufganiyots, Jewish jelly-filled doughnuts, are doughy and sweet treats for people. But when a pet consumes them, it can cause your fur baby an upset stomach and indigestion. Kelly Arbogast, AS, BA, CPDT-KA, AKC CGC Evaluator, APDT, CAP1, OSCT, Animal Behavior Consultant and owner of Doggonit Training in New Hampshire says, “Keep all the food, especially chocolate, up high. I always suggest dog interactive toys which, promote independence to play with during the holidays when guests are over. A frozen Kong filled with peanut butter saved for when guests are having a meal is a great idea to keep them safe and away from the dangers.”
Make sure that the silver and gold coins are out of your pet’s reach. These typically contain chocolate, which is toxic to both cats and dogs. As children often receive these during the holiday, ensure that these delicacies don’t end up on the floor or in places that are accessible to pets.
What to Feed Your Pet Instead
To include your pet in the food festivities of Hanukkah, cats and dogs can be served their own kosher feasts. For dogs, you can try Evanger’s Classic Recipes Beef with Chicken & Liver Grain-Free Canned Dog Food. For your cat, you can surprise them with Evanger’s Grain-Free Wild Salmon Canned Cat Food.
Dogs and Dreidels
Hanukkah would not be the same without the spinning of the dreidel. Unfortunately, dreidels pose a threat to household pets. Like any small object, they can become a pet safety hazard. But as long as the dreidels are put away after use, your family can still enjoy the age-old tradition. Nevertheless, Hanukkah dogs and cats should be able to join in on the fun. Try the dreidel dog toy as a safer alternative for your four-legged friends. This is a great way to include your pet in your Hanukkah traditions while keeping pet safety in mind.
Lighting of the Menorah
The menorah is one of the most important traditions of Hanukkah. However, flame-lit candles can be dangerous for both humans and their pets. As an alternative, we suggest battery-operated candles. They can come in many shapes, colors and sizes, thus offering an easy and authentic alternative. If you prefer flame-lit candles for your celebration, it is important to place the menorah at unreachable heights or in a room that is pet-free.
While preparing the celebration’s sweet treats and traditional Hanukkah candle lights, it is important to keep pet safety in mind. During Hanukkah, cats and dogs want to be able to join in on the fun, and switching out pet safety risks for safer alternatives can allow you include them. Hanukkah can be still celebrated with a few minor changes to ensure an accident-free holiday.
Leah McCormack is a New England native and dog lover. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with her bachelor’s degree and started her animal care business, Winni Pups. Her published articles and features can be found in The Boston Globe, The EveryGirl, The Improper Bostonian, Mane Addicts, WGSN and Chewy!