The Hounds of Hanukkah - Celebrate the Festival of Lights With Fido

Posted by Billy Francis

Hanukkah takes place on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which falls between late November and late December on the Western calendar. This year, Hanukkah falls on Sunday, December 22. And because no celebration would be complete without our furry friends, here are four inspirational ideas for including your pup in the Festival of Lights!

Light the Menorah, Fido

New York City, NY
“All this celebrating is making me sleepy.” Photo by @conanvegas

At the time of the Maccabean Revolt, the menorah in the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem miraculously stayed lit for eight days on just a single day's supply of oil, which is why the festivities last for eight days. Bring Fido to the World’s Largest Menorah in Manhattan every evening of Hanukkah from Sunday, December 22 through Monday, December 30. Originally constructed to spread the news of the festival, this towering structure reaches a whopping 33 feet into the air. If you’re spending time on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge, you can visit the Largest Menorah in Brooklyn instead, itself an impressive 32 feet tall.

Small dogs can spend the night at the stunning Plaza Hotel, directly across from the ceremony in Manhattan, and enjoy the twinkling lights every night.

Kugel With Your Poodle

“Did you say rabbit?” Photo by @dakotathemagicmaltese

Cooking is a big part of Jewish cultural heritage. Fido would love to lend a helping paw in the kitchen during Hanukkah, but can he be trusted around all that human food? Try your hand at making some traditional and Kosher pet-safe treats with your pooch instead.

Applesauce - Applesauce has become the dip of choice to accompany latkes, a traditional Jewish potato pancake. It’s also great for dogs, as it's low in protein but high in fiber and antioxidants. Prepare your own unsweetened applesauce by combining 3.5 pounds of mixed apples (cored and roughly chopped) with 2 cups of water in a large pot. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for around 15 minutes. Once the apples have started breaking down, add a pinch of salt and blend it into saucy goodness. Like most delicious treats, a little goes a long way for Fido!

Gelt - Another Hanukkah tradition is to hand out gold and silver chocolate coins (gelt) to children. Unfortunately, chocolate is bad for dogs, so regular gelt is off the menu. Instead, melt a cup of carob chips (basically, dog-safe chocolate) with two teaspoons of coconut oil. Once the mixture is nice and runny, pour it out into a coin mold and refrigerate.

Buy Fido a Gift Each Day

“This book also makes a great snack.” Photo by Maeby of K-949 Training for Humans with Dogs

Gift-giving during Hanukkah grew in popularity during the 1950s. Rabbis promoted it as a way of making Jewish kids happy about their heritage, rather than feeling like they were missing out on Christmas. Although some families still give money or gelt instead, gifts have become part of the tradition. Why not treat Fido to a different gift every day of the holiday?

“You’ve got to have faith!”Photo by @bubbieapproved

Day One

To get into the spirit of the occasion, Fido needs to look the part. Buy him his very own Yarmulke “Yap”-maka, handmade in the U.S.A.

Day Two

If the yarmulke isn't enough, this full Hanukkah costume is equipped with a tallit, or prayer shawl.

Day Three

When your mutt sees the family taking turns spinning the dreidel, he’ll want to join in, too. This plush dreidel toy sings and is marked with traditional letters from the Hebrew alphabet on each side.

Buy merch for your mensch. Photo by @theodorebearrogers

Day Four

Avoid mishaps with your actual menorah and let him play with this ”chewish” treat instead.

Day Five

If you observe the prohibition of “Bishul,” or cooking on Shabbat, let somebody else do the job for you. These personalized Hanukkah dog treats are decorated with festive themes and feature your dog’s name.

Day Six

Raising a Jewish dog isn’t always a walk in the park. That’s why the entirely fictional Rabbis of the Boca Raton Theological Seminary have developed a guide. How to Raise a Jewish Dog is full of tongue-in-cheek advice on how to bring up a kosher canine. You can read it to Fido every night.

Day Seven

Splurge on this Up Country Hanukkah holiday dog collar. It’s decorated with Jewish imagery including a dreidel, Star of David and menorahs.

Day Eight

How about a practical and fashionable gift? Fabdog’s "Let's Get Lit” dog hoodie has a cozy faux fur lining and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your Rabbi’s face.

Give Something Back

Meet Dulcinea, aka Queen Vashti. Photo by

As well as being a celebration of family and the resilience of the Jewish faith, Hanukkah is a time for giving back to those less fortunate. The Nice Jewish Dogs 2020 calendar is perfect for any dog-loving household. Every time you flip the month, you’ll enjoy a brand new puppy “punim.” This labor of love by devoted Jewish dog moms donates the proceeds to Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that provides expertly-trained assistance dogs to people in need. Your pooch can even sit-sit in his tzitzit at the Nice Jewish Dogs Calendar Launch Party at Anchor Public Taps in San Diego.

The greatest gift you can give your pooch this festive season is quality time. Happy Hanukkah, Fido!

Are you celebrating Hanukkah with your hound? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by @katiedoch.