It's almost time to light the Menorah! Hanukkah is a fun winter holiday filled with food, games, gifts and lots of candles. In order to keep the holiday as fun as possible, we need to keep our pets safe. So here's are some Hanukkah safety tips for you and your pup:
1. Keep the Menorah out of reach
The most iconic part of Hanukkah is lighting the Menorah for eight days. And traditionally, you're supposed to let the candles burn down on their own. This means there are eight days that pose a risk to pets. To make sure your pets are safe, it's best to keep the Menorah out of his or her reach. This will help avoid them becoming injured or burned, as well as decreases the risk of starting a fire in your home.
Pro Tip: If your dog is mischievous and likes to jump on tables, keep them secured in a crate or another room, away from the Menorah.
2. Play with Dreidels in a separate room
Dreidels are four-sided spinning tops and playing with them is often a big part of Hanukkah. But they can pose some risks to pets. While large Dreidels do exist, most are small, making them choking hazards. And if successfully swallowed, they can cause intestinal blockage, which may require surgery. Because of this, it's best to separate your pets when playing Dreidel, especially if they like to chew on anything they can get their paws on.
3. Chocolate coins are a no-no
Chocolate coins, also known as Gelt, are chocolates wrapped in silver or gold foil. These fun candies are an obvious hazard to your dog, given that chocolate is toxic to canines. Because of this, make sure to keep any Gelt out of your dog's reach. In addition, make sure to throw out the wrappers as they can become a choking hazard or cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed.
4. Don't share the Latkes
Latkes (or potato pancakes) and Hanukkah go hand-in-hand. Although this delicious holiday food is tasty for humans, it can be dangerous for dogs. Yes, dogs can eat potatoes in moderation but not prepared like this. Moreover, Latkes contain onion, which is toxic to dogs and can cause damage to red blood cells. It's best to keep these potato pancakes away from your dog.
Pro Tip: Keep your dog in a separate room while cooking Latkes, especially if he or she likes clean up anything that drops on the ground.
5. Do not give doughnuts
Jelly doughnuts, also known as Sufganiyot, are another classic Hanukkah food. They are fried dough filled with red jelly and covered in powdered sugar. While these treats sound great to you, they can be problematic for your pup. If ingested, the fat and sugar can cause gastrointestinal upset in your dog, including diarrhea, vomiting and even pancreatitis.
6. Give gifts to the humans
We all know that eight days of Hanukkah also means eight days of gifts. This is likely the kids' favorite part of the holiday, but it can cause issues for our pets. Wrapping paper, ribbons and small gifts become a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage if swallowed. Make sure to always keep an eye on your pets when opening presents or keep them in a separate room, if need be.
If your dog has swallowed anything he or she shouldn't have, take him to a vet immediately.