Hanukkah Pets

Dec 16, 2017

A Menorah with artificial lights is safer for a curious cat.
Credit isfullofcrap (R Crap Mariner) [Flickr]

Traditions are an important part of life, but keeping our best friends safe is a vital part of preparation for any celebration.  You can still enjoy the holidays and observances and make small adjustments to protect the furry members of the family.


Many of us enjoy the Christmas season with its wonderful significance and traditions but for some, this time has a very special meaning. The annual Jewish observance of Hanukkah began this week.

For thousands of years, this Festival of Lights has been celebrated with eight nights of special foods and gift-giving. It is a happy time with family and friends, so you may want to include your pet in the fun. As with other celebrations, it’s important to keep your pet’s health and safety in mind.

Hanukkah food includes some yummy treats like Hanukkah doughnuts, fried dough with a jelly filling and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Hanukkah doughnuts are deliciously rich, with a high fat-and-sugar content, which can cause gastrointestinal problems for pets who eat them.

Latkes are savory instead of sweet, include potato, egg and onion, and are also fried. But it is more than just the carbohydrates and fat in the latkes that poses a risk to pets. Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. Whether raw or cooked, a small amount of onion can poison an animal.

Most folks know that chocolate can be harmful if eaten by pets, so those foil-wrapped chocolate coins are a double threat. The theobromine in the chocolate can harm your pet, as can the shiny foil wrapper if eaten. Candy Gelt should be kept away from your four-footed family members.

The Menorah is the classic symbol of Hanukkah, but lighted candles can pose a danger for pets who are curious or who have wagging tails. You may want to keep your pet out of the room when the Menorah is lit.

Sharing Hanukkah with your furry friend can make it even more special, but remember that some of our traditions are not so good for our animals. Find healthy treats to give your pet while you enjoy the Hanukkah doughnuts, latkes and chocolate Gelt. That will help to keep your best friend safe so that you can both celebrate holidays and special events throughout the year, when you’re speaking of pets.