Hanukkah brings to mind the beautiful, soft glow of the menorah, delicious food, and games and gifts. Gathering together with our loved ones is also one of the best ways to observe the holiday. Of course, we want to share the season with our pets, but some of these traditions could pose a safety hazard for them.

The team at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital has compiled these pet safety tips for Hanukkah to ensure your holiday is safe, fun, and relaxing for your whole family, including your pets.

Light the Menorah

The bright candlelight of the menorah is the quintessential Hanukkah tradition. Unfortunately, these glowing candles can be an attraction for a dog or a cat. Since it is custom to let the candles burn themselves out, place the menorah in a separate room from your pets, or out of your pet’s reach.

Hanukkah Holiday Food

Delicious, rich holiday foods are certainly welcome at the table, and it’s easy to give in to the desire to share with our pets. However, some of our traditional foods that we love to indulge in are not necessarily good for them. Here are a few Hanukkah foods that are a holiday hazard for our pets.

Donuts – Donuts, known as sufganiyot, can be tempting for humans and pets alike. Pets who consume Hanukkah donuts may develop gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis, a painful and dangerous inflammation of the pancreas.

Latkes – These savory Hanukkah treats pose several risks for pets. The fresh grated onion in them could cause blood imbalances, such as anemia, and the high fat content is likely to cause stomach upset.

Chocolate coins – Children look forward to receiving these brightly wrapped chocolate coins during the season. But chocolate and the foil they are wrapped in are dangerous for pets. Chocolate contains two ingredients, caffeine and theobromine, that are both toxic to pets. Chocolate toxicity can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and, if left untreated, seizures and even death, and the wrapping can cause an obstruction.

Brisket – It’s natural to want to share a bite or two (or three!) of the traditional Hanukkah main course with our pets. Just remember that rich, fatty foods, or any abrupt change in diet, can cause one of the most common problems we see at holiday time, pancreatitis.

Toys, Games, and Gifts

Dreidel games are fun and entertaining for the whole family, and pets are no exception! The spinning top can be very enticing to pets, especially cats. Make sure game pieces are safely away from pets and kept out of reach when not in use. Additionally, remember that crinkly wrapping paper and gift packaging can pose a risk if pets ingest it, and could result in an unwanted pet emergency.

Pet Safety Tips for Hanukkah

With some planning and attention to these pet safety tips for Hanukkah, your festivities can be bright, warm, and wonderful, and keep your pets safe as well. If you need help or have any questions, contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Of course, if your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t have, call us right away for assistance.