For the week ending 25 June 2005 / 18 Sivan 5765

Kosher Keeping Pets

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Question: I recently heard that there is an American company which produces kosher food for dogs and cats. I keep kosher but I cant understand why my pet has to keep kosher. Whats the right thing to do?

Answer: Your pet certainly does not have to keep kosher but you do! This includes not deriving any benefit from those foods which the Torah has prohibited us to eat and to derive benefit from.

In regard to pet food, you must be careful not to feed your pet anything which has a blend of meat and dairy ingredients, something fairly common in commercial pet foods. Since many pet foods have grain in their ingredients and are therefore chametz, you must be careful not to feed them to your pet on Pesach or even to have them in your possession.

In conclusion, keeping kosher is not only what you feed yourself, but what you feed your pet as well.

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