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Q: Are there any restrictions as to which foods I may feed my pet?
A: Pets are not required to keep kosher (even if they feel like a full fledged member of the family!) and therefore they are permitted to eat non-kosher food. However, there are certain non-kosher foods which we are not only forbidden from eating but we are even enjoined to not have any benefit/pleasure from them. Those foods may not be fed to a pet because when one does so they – the owner – is having a forbidden benefit from the non-kosher food. The lists of foods which have this stricter restriction (known as assur b’hana’ah) include:
Within the first category (milk and meat cooked together) some of the details are that:
Accordingly, when choosing a pet food one must be sure that it does not contain any of the aforementioned items. The cRc assists pet owners with this task by reviewing the formulations of a number of pet foods made by Evanger’s (see their kosher certificate at http://www.crcweb.org/LOC/Evangers.pdf) and approving of their use for Pesach and year round. Many other pet foods are also acceptable for use by anyone who is familiar with food ingredients and has the patience to review the ingredient panel.