Chanukkah Gifts for Jewish (Er, Chewish) Dogs and Their People

The Jewish Festival of Lights starts early this year. Don't forget to include the dog in the festivities.


For the first time in 100 years, on Nov. 28, 2013, the first day of the Jewish Festival of Lights will fall on Thanksgiving Day. This means that Jewish people everywhere have already frantically started shopping for the holidays. It’s not enough that we were slaves in Egypt? Now we have to find, shop, and wrap gifts, all while preparing the Tofurkey (in my home), pumpkin pie, and the cranberry sauce. Oy!

But there’s no need to kvetch! With everyone going a little meshuggina getting ready for two holidays, here are some suggestions to help you find the perfect gift for the Jewish dogs in your life and for the people who love them. And all of these gifts are available online, so there’s no need to schlep from store to store this year.

1. The Cuddle Clone

I’ve already made it emphatically clear to my husband that this year for Chanukkah, I want one of these. A Cuddle Clone is a custom stuffed animal made to look just like your pet. You send in pictures of your dog or cat, answer a few questions, and in about 7 weeks you will receive a one-of-a-kind plush replica of your furry friend. The stuffed animals are hand sewn and the staff will sort through literally hundreds of synthetic fabrics to find the one that will look most like your best friend.

As soon as I heard about this I have wanted a Cuddle Clone. (Truth be told, I’ve been whining to my husband about how much I want one.) My dogs are mixed breed shelter rescues, (Jake is part pit bull and black Lab and Max is part Plott Hound and black Lab) so just like the child who was given an unusual name and can never find one of those cool souvenir key chains or tiny license plate with his or her name, I’ve never been able to find a stuffed animal that truly looks like either one of my dogs.

Each Cuddle Clone is $199 and the company donates a portion of each purchase to a variety of pet-related causes and animal charities, so you can feel really good about giving this gift. (If you can’t get photos of the dog or cat, you can just give an e-gift card.) This is a unique and special gift and one any dog lover will be thrilled to receive. Some women want jewelry or a new purse for Chanukkah. I just want a Cuddle Clone. Or two. (You’ve been warned, Brian Cohen. Now go fetch!)

2. Nose-print pendant

Another one-of-a-kind gift that allows you to keep your pet close to you. You’ll receive a kit with materials and instructions on how to make an impression of your dog’s nose. (I’ve been assured that this takes just seconds and is easy to do. I was also told the material used for the impression is safe and non-toxic.)

Pendants are available in 14 karat gold, white gold, sterling silver or solid chrome. This is such a personal gift and one that will be cherished forever by sentimental dog moms like me.

3. Cocktail shaker

Chances are, you’ll be invited to a Chanukkah party this year. (Or maybe a Thanksgivukkah dinner.) A fabulous hostess gift for the dog lover is a silver Bulldog Cocktail Shaker. Available at Pottery Barn, this limited edition shaker was created especially for the holidays. You can even personalize it with a monogram on the dog’s tag. So cute I’m plotzing!

(And be a mensch and bring a bottle of Char-dog-nay by Yappy Hour Vineyards for the dog.)

4. Gift basket

For that really special chewish dog in your life, you can’t go wrong with the Oy Vey! Chanukkah Dog Gift Basket. This cornucopia of canine confections includes a singing Dreidel plush dog toy and gourmet Chanukkah dog cookies among many other toys and treats.

5. The gift that keeps on giving: Bark Box

Or, for the gift that keeps on giving (for all eight nights of Chanukkah and long after the last candle on the Menorah has burned out), there’s Bark Box. For $19 per month, the lucky dog in your life will receive a monthly delivery with four to six all natural treats, various toys, innovative new gadgets, and dog hygiene products that have been paw-selected and approved by head product tester and company top dog Scout, a Schnauzer and Poodle mix. There are boxes for small, medium, and large canine recipients and a minimum order of three months is required.

Bark Box donates 10 percent of purchases to rescue groups to help less fortunate dogs, and I love buying gifts that support shelter animals.

6. A big photo book of rescue dogs

Another gift I would love to receive (hint hint, Brian!) is Compawssion: Portraits Of Rescued Dogs by Frank Bruynbroek.

This collection of black and white portraits of rescued dogs is truly beautiful. Photographer Frank Bruynbroek interviewed celebrities who share their life with a rescued dog. They talk about what it means to save and care for a dog. This 60-page hard cover book contains more than 100 photographs and three chapters of stories. Celebrity contributors include Brigitte Bardot, Kim Basinger, Jackie Chan, Josh Duhamel, Diane Keaton and Gene Simmons. (Such a nice Jewish boy, that Gene Simmons.)

A percentage of the proceeds from each book will benefit organizations that rescue, rehabilitate and rehome abused and abandoned dogs. Previously featured on Ellen, this timeless book is a must-have for all of the dog lovers in your life.

7. Couture pet carrier

For the tiniest JAP (Jewish American Puppy) who is always on the go with his or her fashionable mom, a couture pet carrier from Lucy’s Luxuries is just the thing for woman’s best friend.

Created by a Yorkie-toting, jet-setting businesswoman who found it uncomfortable to manage both her pet carrier and her handbag, she created fashionable, yet safe and functional, pet carriers. These bags were designed for added comfort, security and proper ventilation for precious puppies. Each bag includes an extra thick cushion and the cushion cover is removable for easy washing. This carrier makes a great gift for all of the stylish little bitches in your life.

8. Rope bones from Harry Barker

For the preppy pups, these recycled cotton rope bones are just adorable. They come in the prettiest cotton candy colors. (I love the pink and purple ones!) The bones are machine washable, 100 percent azo-free and help keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean as they chew on the threads.

These were featured in O The Oprah Magazine and if Oprah’s pampered pooches like them then yours probably will too!

9. Kiss Me, I’m Chewish!

Fashionable Jewish dogs will be able to flaunt their personal dogma with this “Kiss Me, I’m Chewish” T-shirt.

Available at Temple of the Dog, these faith-based fashions for Fido do not discriminate and offer options for Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Mormon dog disciplines.

10. Pillowcases that confess your love

She or he who lies down with dogs will inevitably get dog hair in the bed. That’s why these “Sleeps with Dogs” pillowcases are the perfect gift for anyone who has a canine bedfellow.

Available in queen and king, these pillowcases and are made of 100 percent soft cotton. They are 300-thread count so your dogs will be sure to have sweet dreams when they rest their heads on them.

11. Various items that add to dogged decor

I just love Muttel the Dog Chanukah Menorah. Made of hand painted metal, this makes a great gift for your fun and funky arty Jewish friend or for a child who loves dogs.

Another very special gift suitable for a child’s bedroom is the dog Mezuzah. It was designed by Lev Shneiderman, a master craftsman living and working in the Israeli Negev. It’s a perfect Chanukkah gift for anyone who lives in a house with dogs.

For that special puppy, the gelt plush toy is just a perfect Chanukkah gift. Available at, this squeaky toy is available in three sizes and is embroidered with “In Dogs We Trust”. Such a bargain at only $10. And so cute I’m kvelling!

12. Paw-print necklace

Finally, for a truly pawsome gift, there’s a diamond paw print disc necklace available at

The delicate rose gold disc dangles from a rose gold chain. This is also available in white gold and yellow gold.

And don’t forget that a shelter near you would love to receive donations of food and toys for the dogs who are still waiting for their forever home.

I hope that helps you with your holiday shopping for your pup and your dog loving friends. Now put on your yarmulke and go celebrate Chanukkah!

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