Hanukkah is a time to spend with the ones you love, and that most certainly includes the pets you adore.
Whether you’re exchanging presents or gathering around the table with friends and family for a meal, your cat or dog can get in on the joyous celebrations.
While your pet can’t enjoy all of your favorite Hanukkah traditions—sorry, but chocolate gelt and a lit menorah are no-gos for pets—you can find fun alternatives to make your furry family member part of the holiday fun.
Here are eight special ways you can celebrate Hanukkah with your pets:
1. Bake Them a Pet-Safe Hanukkah Treat
Jelly donuts are one of the sweetest Hanukkah traditions, but the delicious dessert isn’t the best choice for your dog. Instead, make a dog-friendly donut recipe of your own so that your pup can take part in the festivities without getting sick. (One of our personal favorites is here.)
2. Give Them Their Own Dreidel
Traditional dreidels, as fun as they are, can be a potential choking hazard for dogs and cats alike. But that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the fun. Plush toy dreidels are available for them to have their very own game.
3. Give Them Homemade Applesauce
Apples are very nutritious for dogs, but applesauce (a Hanukkah favorite) has to be prepared a certain way to avoid sugars that aren’t good for your canine. Find your favorite homemade, dog-friendly applesauce recipe, and when you have your dish ready, you can give your pup their very own.
4. Honor Them With Your Menorah
Cats and dogs should be nowhere near your menorah (or any open flame in the household), but as long you keep yours at a safe distance and height from your pet, it doesn’t mean they can’t be part of this honored tradition. Menorah.com has a plethora of animal-themed menorahs, from cats to dogs to fish to rabbits.
5. Start a New Tradition With Them
Maybe you can gather around to read Latke, the Lucky Dog with the kiddos and the kitties or go for a walk in your dog’s favorite park after a meal. Any activity that suits you and your family (furry and otherwise) can make a special Hanukkah tradition all your own.
6. Keep Them Cozy and Stylish
There are Hanukkah-themed sweaters, collars, and trinkets galore this time of season, so find the one that best suits your pet and his or her personality. Plus, a fashionable Hanukkah sweater will keep them warm during the chilly holiday weather.
7. Have Them Give Eight Presents
The joy of Hanukkah lasts for eight wonderful days and nights with treasured gifts from loved ones. Since your pet is very much a part of your family, one (or a few), of the Hanukkah presents for the special people in your life can come from the cat or dog. They do give the best gifts, after all.
8. Give Them Eight Presents, Of Course!
Whether they desperately need a new leash or you simply want to spoil them with a fun toy, your pets can experience all the magic and wonder of Hanukkah with eight special gifts just for them. Try making your own dog toy for your pup, or bake your kitty a special treat.
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