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Can I feed my pet non-kosher food?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Passover » Chametz | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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It is permissible to feed non-Kosher food to your pet. In fact the Torah says (Exodus 22:30): "you shall not eat flesh of an animal that was torn in the field, to the dog you shall throw it" (see Rashi's comment on this verse, explaining why the Torah singles out the dog from all the animals).



There are two exceptions to this rule:
1. Any product that contains beef and dairy which were cooked together; because we are forbidden to gain any benefit whatsoever from such a mixture.



2. Chametz on Passover. For on Passover it is forbidden not only to eat, but even to own or gain any benefit from chametz.
There are many places where you can obtain kosher pet food. While searching the net I found the following (remember to double check the information listed is current): http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-passover-petfood.htm.


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Kosher for passover pet food

Posted by: Evlyne, Weston, Fl on May 25, 2005

I recently became aware of this law just prior to passover and since I had not prepared properly, I ran out about an hour before shabbos (passover the next day so couldn't wait any longer) Running through the parking lot of the supermarket and through the aisles (I'm sure people thought me strange). I was surprised to find out that ALL those canned pet foods (dog & cat) have wheat flour. Trying to come up with a quick solution I ran to the meat section a grabbed a bunch of packages of chicken, chopmeat and then some canned tuna in water. My dog was not a problem she will eat almost anything.

My cats were another story...they were practically melting away in front of my very eyes. The would not touch the tuna, chicken or beef. I tried raw, cooked even adding spices. Next year the plan is at least a month in advance finding appropriate food and adding it into thier diet very slowly so that by the time pesach comes they will be used to it.

This was a lesson I learned the hard way.

answer: kosher pet food

Posted by: Yael, Tel Aviv, Israel on Jul 19, 2005

This was just too funny. Sorry for your cats - you don't have to make them eat tuna all year round until they get used to it - there's kosher for passover cat food (and dog food) that you can buy on-line if it's not available in your area. I am sure it will be more expensive. Just google it.



Yael

Kosher Pet Food and Passover

Posted by: Anonymous on Apr 12, 2006

So you can feed your pet non-kosher food, but you can't feed it kosher chametz on Passover...

I interpret this to mean that kashruth is less important than avoiding chametz on Passover. Is this correct?

This reminds me of a restaurant I once saw in Tel Aviv that had a big "Kosher for Passover" sign, but when I asked the manager for a kashruth certificate, he told me that the food was not actully kosher -- just no chametz!

I wonder who is more righteous of the following: a person who eats kosher but has chametz around during Passover, or a person who does not keep kosher but avoids chametz on Passover. (The business with the pet food REALLY confused me!)

Editor's Comment

Regarding chametz the Torah says: "On the day [prior to Passover] you shall nullify the leaven from your homes" (Exodus 12:15); "Matzot shall be eaten through the seven-day period; no chametz may be seen in your possession, nor may leaven be seen in your possession in all your borders" (ibid. 13:7). The Torah makes no such statements with regard to non-Kosher foods. The reason for this extra stringency? Different answers have been suggested (some you can find in other articles on this site), but ultimately -- only the One who commanded these mitzvot knows the answer.

Can i feed my pets non-kosher food

Posted by: Anonymous, los angeles, CA on Nov 07, 2006

You are able to feed your pet whatever it needs to survive. You may feel as if you are obligated push your religon on your pet, and you may do that , but you must keep in mind that it is important to remember their health.

RELATED CATEGORIES

Miscellaneous » Animals/Pets
Mitzvot » Kosher » About

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Chametz
Any leavened product which is produced from wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats. This includes bread, cake, cereals, crackers, biscuits, yeast, pasta and whisky. It is forbidden for a Jew to possess or consume Chametz throughout Passover.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Rashi
Acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105). Legendary French scholar who authored the fundemental and widely accepted "Rashi commentary" on the entire Bible and Talmud.
Exodus
1. The miraculous departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage in 1312 BCE. 2. The second of the Five Books of Moses. This book describes the aforementioned Exodus, the giving of the Torah, and the erection of the Tabernacle.