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First there was kosher water and then there was kosher dog food

I can’t remember the first time I had heard that some brands of bottled water had kosher symbols on them, but I can remember how crazy I thought that to be, probably just as crazy as folks who grew up and never thought people would actually pay for water in a bottle, let alone need it to be kosher, but alas all things will eventually be made kosher. Heck, our aluminum foil has an OU, I have seen OU on dozens of inedible things that have nothing to do with food – yet the madness continues. Now you can get kosher pet food, which seems like an oxymoron to me – since pets, especially dogs are seen as treife by many frum folks out there.

Not only is Evangers Pet Food kosher, it’s also kosher for pesach and according to some of the Pesach guides I have read – it’s the only kosher for pesach dog food. Now I wonder if their pet food is gebrokts, contains kitnyos or fit for human consumption – dog food looks like charoses after all. Since it is the only kosher for passover pet food, do pets have to have kosher for pesach pet food? I have heard from a dog owning friend of mine that she was told to sell her dogs to a goy for the holiday so she could feed them chometz and not get benefit out of it.

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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Telz Angel April 12, 2011, 11:19 PM

    hmmm… Dog food and kitniyos — can you claim that your dog is a Sefardi even if you are not?

    What if your dog attended one of those Aish Discovery programs, or he feels the need to go to Ohr Sameach next year, and he no longer trusts your kashrus at home. What should you do? are there special doggie-hotels for the frumiest pooches? non ge’barks, of course.

    Also, do you cover the dog-dish with layers of aluminum foil?

    And the biggest issue, the biblical one: how to you make sure your dog does not break a bone when eating the korban pesach? …hmmmm

  • Tali April 13, 2011, 12:04 AM

    Non ge’barks
    Telz Angel that is comic gold!

    • Adam April 13, 2011, 1:11 AM

      Indeed! Can we have a ‘like’ button please?

  • David April 13, 2011, 12:57 AM

    It’s a mitzvah to feed your dog treif meat:

    “People of holiness shall you be to Me; you shall not eat flesh of an animal that was torn in the field; to the dog shall you throw it” (Exodus, 22:30-31)

    • Itche April 13, 2011, 6:06 PM

      But forbidden to feed them chametz. Thankfully the rabbis forgot about dogs when they were deciding on kitniyos.

  • dorot April 13, 2011, 4:29 AM

    Dogs only need to be kosher for pesach after their bark mitzvah.

    It might seem strange to you, but this practice of kashering dog food for Canines has been in place since Rambam determined the mitzvah prescribing that “no inhabitants of the cities of six Caninite nations were to be left alive.” Of course, this mitzvah is treated as chukim by Canines and Israelites alike, and many maskilic thinkers such as Moses Mendelssohn in Germany moved to reform this practice. Dogs were so grateful for this that during the haskalah in Europe, many Caninites converted to Judaism.

  • Geoff April 13, 2011, 6:01 AM

    I thought there was some qualification regarding chametz that it had to go if it was roi l’achilas kelev, and I certainly hope dog food qualifies. Is there pesachdik cat food, though?

  • ZPrince April 13, 2011, 7:35 AM


    There are many standard pet foods that contain neither chometz nor basar v’chalav (meet and milk cooked together, another thing you can’t eat or get benefit from), so it does seem a bit silly to make a “kosher” pet food; however, it would save the effort of having to consult a list every time you’re heading to the store.

  • Woodrow/Conservadox April 13, 2011, 9:11 AM

    This sort of thing makes me glad that I mostly had vegetarian pets (and for all you guinea pig owners, timothy hay needs no hecksher!)

  • x April 13, 2011, 9:14 AM

    “some brands of bottled water had kosher symbols on them”
    I guess that means that the chemicals that leach out of the plastic and into the water are kosher…? Lol.

    I have seen kosher toilet paper rolls. I asked an orthodox rabbi about what made a toilet paper roll kosher or treif, and even he was stumped…

  • A. Nuran April 13, 2011, 9:34 AM

    For crying out loud, is there anything they won’t take their cut on?

    • Geoff April 13, 2011, 9:41 AM

      “For crying out loud, is there anything they wont take their cut on?”

      Nope. It’s getting hard to think of new areas to expand into at this point, when they’ve already done pet food, water, toilet paper, ziploc bags, parchment paper, dish detergent, laundry detergent, and toilet bowl cleaner, to name a few.

      At this point, anything I could add to this list would be subject to Poe’s Law.

      • Heshy Fried April 13, 2011, 10:29 AM

        I just read that badatz in Israel will certify bleach now – wondering when the gases used in biological warfare by the Israelis will have to be certified – luckily the charedim already boycott the army so we don’t have to worry.

        • Aliza T. April 15, 2011, 7:24 AM

          thats cuz the bleach they throw at u if ur not dressed tznius enough has to be kosher but if ur just using it for clothes its ok

  • A. Nuran April 13, 2011, 9:50 AM

    My favorite dog food is a cheap chicken quarter from Winco with maybe some veggies, organ meats or table scraps thrown in. The chicken almost certainly isn’t kosher, but as long as Fido doesn’t have to lay tefillin I’m not going to worry.

    • Geoff April 13, 2011, 9:56 AM

      I recently discovered that one Rabbi I know has a cat and feeds it turkey and cheese cat food. My understanding of halacha was that there’s nothing wrong with that if you don’t plan to eat it yourself (but that goat meat and cheese might be different).

    • Itche April 13, 2011, 6:32 PM

      The problems with dog food are the things we are forbidden to use not eat. Chametz is one. Feeding a dog treif chicken is probably a mitzvah.

      • A. Nuran April 13, 2011, 6:39 PM

        The dog certainly thinks so

    • Itche April 13, 2011, 6:32 PM

      The problems with dog food are the things we are forbidden to use, not eat. Chametz is one. Feeding a dog treif chicken is probably a mitzvah.

  • Tevy April 13, 2011, 12:11 PM

    Interesting… And I thought frummies hated pets. Except for birds… But they’re more like ornaments, like seforim 😉

    • Yankel April 13, 2011, 6:48 PM

      Actually, birds are a no-no for real frummies. R’ Yehuda Hachosid writes in his tzavaa that one should not keep a bird in a cage.

  • Ilana April 13, 2011, 4:28 PM

    Dog food is allowed to contain kitniyot on pesach. But there are certain ingredients like wheat, gluten, barley, oats, yeast, germs and starch (there are more). These stuff aren’t allowed obviously because we can’t own chametz. As for kosher dog food for the rest of the year, that’s just ridiculous.

  • Ilana April 13, 2011, 4:35 PM

    oh ya and dog food is allowed to have milk and meat mixed together

  • Conservative Scifi April 13, 2011, 6:17 PM

    A long time ago, my parents had a dog. Each year we’d go to my grandmother’s house far away for Pesach. Each year my mother would kosher one oven for Pesach, so she could cook kosher for pesach meat for the dog, so that our orthodox neighbors would have food for the dog. (Of course, in years where we didn’t stay the whole holiday, we’d have to get the whole house ready). I didn’t know then that she could have made a business out of it.

  • Off the OJ April 13, 2011, 6:39 PM

    Unlike the drive to kasher water and detergent which is bullshit, this does have value because if you want to get super machmir, you cannot derive benefit from chametz and basar v’chalav. So even if the dog food contains a non-halachic basar type meat, I’m sure there are authorities that are afraid that maybe milk and a d’oraita basar got mixed in.

  • HM January 15, 2013, 7:55 PM

    I find the comments here interesting.
    I can only assume that no one here keeps kosher.
    I do and as such try to do the is right thing,
    having said that; some do put hechshers
    in places that are totally not needed.

  • Yossi Shomron January 31, 2013, 6:39 AM

    Living in Israel in a religious/zionist community – I know dozens of families with pet dogs (not true that pet dogs are “treif” to “Orthodox” Jews). Water, bleach, aluminum foil with hechshers are extreme positions. Regarding dog food, only two commandments apply: 1) not permitted to possess dog food on passover with one of the 5 prohibited grains 2) not permitted to possess dog food that contain meat and dairy together at any time of the year. Both commandments have nothing to do with the dog per se. They’re easy to keep. Very few dry dog foods have dairy products. Today, many major brands of dry dog food carry grain free lines that can be used on Passover.

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