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Bee

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PostSubject: pet food Chametz?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:03 pm

Not sure how to ask this but why do pets have to follow dietary laws? Any suggestions for me who has two indoor cats? I feel bad to do this to my cats but don't know how to comply either. My cats will not eat any other food and especially natural foods.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:13 pm

I don't change my cats diet. Her diet is necessary and prescribed by a vet. I would not change her diet if she wasn't on a special diet.



Bee wrote:
Not sure how to ask this but why do pets have to follow dietary laws? Any suggestions for me who has two indoor cats? I feel bad to do this to my cats but don't know how to comply either. My cats will not eat any other food and especially natural foods.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:48 pm

Bee wrote:
Not sure how to ask this but why do pets have to follow dietary laws? Any suggestions for me who has two indoor cats? I feel bad to do this to my cats but don't know how to comply either. My cats will not eat any other food and especially natural foods.

Because the prohibition is not just against eating chametz but also owning it and having it in the home. You can get chametz free animal food but I guess you are saying they might not eat it. You can also "sell" your animal in the same way people sell chametz. Or, you just feed them their regular food and not worry about it. Honestly, that would be my advice. Let it be one of those things you worry about in the future and let it go for this year. In future years ask your Rabbi what you should do if you don't think they will eat anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:16 am

There are certain things that Jews aren't allowed to benefit from, even if they aren't eating them: one of these being a mixture of milk and meat, and the other being chametz on Pesach. So it is okay to feed your pets pork and shrimp, but not okay to feed them cheeseburgers or chametz.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:07 am

usuario wrote:
There are certain things that Jews aren't allowed to benefit from, even if they aren't eating them: one of these being a mixture of milk and meat, and the other being chametz on Pesach. So it is okay to feed your pets pork and shrimp, but not okay to feed them cheeseburgers or chametz.

Source? Not saying you're wrong, but this seems a strange distinction and I'd be interested in knowing where it came from.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:01 pm

I can't even get kosher-for-Passover matzah where I live, so I have no idea where you would get Passover cat kibble. Only in the biggest cities or online, I suppose.

If you have indoor/outdoor cats, all you have to do is feed them outside for a week (and keep their food in a sealed container outside).

Vets will tell you that you can't suddenly switch a cat's food, because it will cause them stomach problems. So if you haven't already been gradually changing them over to a Passover cat food, it's too late to start.

And I think most rabbis would tell you that your first consideration should be for the health of the animal which depends on you. You are commanded to feed your animals before yourself, so I would think that your pets' well-being would come before your chametz-free house. Living things always take precedence over ritual, which is why you are commanded to aid a floundering donkey on Shabbat or eat on Yom Kippur if you have a health problem (like diabetes) which makes it dangerous for you to fast.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:12 pm

Mychal wrote:
I can't even get kosher-for-Passover matzah where I live, so I have no idea where you would get Passover cat kibble. Only in the biggest cities or online, I suppose.

If you have indoor/outdoor cats, all you have to do is feed them outside for a week (and keep their food in a sealed container outside).

Vets will tell you that you can't suddenly switch a cat's food, because it will cause them stomach problems. So if you haven't already been gradually changing them over to a Passover cat food, it's too late to start.

And I think most rabbis would tell you that your first consideration should be for the health of the animal which depends on you. You are commanded to feed your animals before yourself, so I would think that your pets' well-being would come before your chametz-free house. Living things always take precedence over ritual, which is why you are commanded to aid a floundering donkey on Shabbat or eat on Yom Kippur if you have a health problem (like diabetes) which makes it dangerous for you to fast.

Exactly. My cat has a specific diet and I can't change it. Before we started her diet she had stomach issues and the vet said that changing a cats diet suddenly can cause problems. Because of my cats sensitivity to foods and all the problems we have had getting her on a food that does not make her sick I cannot change her diet for passover. She is an inside cat so I cannot put her food outside. So in order for her to stay well she will have her regular food.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:17 pm

usuario wrote:
There are certain things that Jews aren't allowed to benefit from, even if they aren't eating them: one of these being a mixture of milk and meat, and the other being chametz on Pesach. So it is okay to feed your pets pork and shrimp, but not okay to feed them cheeseburgers or chametz.

How does a Jew benefit from feeding pet food containing a mixture of meat and milk or chametz? Pets need to stay healthy and feeding them a consistent diet does that. How do I benefit from that? The only benefit is a healthy pet. Is that the benefit?

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:56 pm

tamar wrote:
usuario wrote:
There are certain things that Jews aren't allowed to benefit from, even if they aren't eating them: one of these being a mixture of milk and meat, and the other being chametz on Pesach. So it is okay to feed your pets pork and shrimp, but not okay to feed them cheeseburgers or chametz.

How does a Jew benefit from feeding pet food containing a mixture of meat and milk or chametz? Pets need to stay healthy and feeding them a consistent diet does that. How do I benefit from that? The only benefit is a healthy pet. Is that the benefit?


I don't really see how benefit from making my husband chicken with sour cream but it is considered "benefiting" to do as such. That being said, I still do it from time to time. On disposables plates with a plastic fork of course. I don't cook them together, I just put them on a plate together. It contributes to peace in the home.

Feeding a pet chametz is considered deriving benefit. Now is that according to every Rabbi? No. That is why I suggested Bee wait and later ask her Rabbi. However I suspect many Rabbis will agree. But in the future arrangements can be made.

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:17 pm

esf wrote:
usuario wrote:
There are certain things that Jews aren't allowed to benefit from, even if they aren't eating them: one of these being a mixture of milk and meat, and the other being chametz on Pesach. So it is okay to feed your pets pork and shrimp, but not okay to feed them cheeseburgers or chametz.

Source? Not saying you're wrong, but this seems a strange distinction and I'd be interested in knowing where it came from.

It is permissible to derive benefit from non-kosher food. Therefore, non-kosher foods may be fed to animals without hesitation...However, one may not benefit from cooked meat and milk mixtures. One who feeds his pet such mixtures gains benefit, since he need not feed it any other food. - Star K website

During Pesach, there are rules for pets, but they are not as strict as for people. It is impermissible to have any chametz (leavened grain products) in your home, or to derive any benefit from chametz, thus you cannot use chametz to feed your pets. However, you can feed your pets food that contains kitniyot. - jewfaq.org

J The Talmud states that not only is it forbidden for a Jew to eat chametz on Passover, but it is also forbidden to own chametz or to have any benefit from it. Additionally, it is forbidden to have a non-Jew give your pet chametz since we are not to derive any benefit from chametz on Passover ― and feeding your pet is regarded as "deriving benefit." - aish.com

The issue of pets on Pesah is a complicated one. There are several options. The pet is given, for the week of Pesah, to a gentile who can feed it whatever food is available.

2. Since no חמץ (hametz) is allowed in our possession on Pesah, one could feed the pet either כשר לפסח
(kasher l’Pesah) pet food, pet foods with no grain, or food off your own table which is already כשר
לפסח (kasher l’Pesah). Incidentally קטניות (kitniyot) would be permissible.

3. Some authorities allow for the pet to be sold along with the חמץ (hametz) and, since the pet does not belong to the Jewish owner, regular pet food would be fed. Note that the document of sale would have to include the pet as well as חמץ (hametz).
- the Rabbinical Assembly



Last edited by Dena on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:18 pm


My suggestion was #3 on the above list but like I said, asking your own Rabbi is always a good idea.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:20 pm

Some Orthodox friends who live 1.5 blocks from us are usually visiting relatives during Pesach and have often asked us to watch their goldfish. The fish food is treif and chametz. Years ago, I wondered if they thought it was OK for us to have the food in our house since I was not Jewish. But then one year, the husband had to work on Chol Ha-Moed (middle non-Yom Tov days of the holiday) so he took back the fish and the food in the middle of the holiday which showed that they didn't worry about the fish food over Pesach.

When I asked my sponsoring rabbi about what to do about the chametz fish food, he suggested that the fish and the food should just be kept well away from the kitchen and dining room. I have kept the fish in the living room and the food out in the attached garage so that it is literally not inside our house. My rabbi concluded by saying "We do the best we can and God will take care of the rest."

When I have read about pets becoming ill or even dying due to switching their food for Pesach I have always wondered why the owners didn't pay more attention to Torah prohibitions on cruelty to animals. Here is a discussion of all these issues from an Orthodox perspective:
Treatment of Animals
A note at the end of the article is that the pet itself (in addition to its food) can be temporarily "sold to a non-Jew".
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:22 pm

Debbie B. wrote:

When I have read about pets becoming ill or even dying due to switching their food for Pesach I have always wondered why the owners didn't pay more attention to Torah prohibitions on cruelty to animals. Here is a discussion of all these issues from an Orthodox perspective:

They probably had no idea their pet would get sick.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:25 pm

Dena wrote:
tamar wrote:
usuario wrote:
There are certain things that Jews aren't allowed to benefit from, even if they aren't eating them: one of these being a mixture of milk and meat, and the other being chametz on Pesach. So it is okay to feed your pets pork and shrimp, but not okay to feed them cheeseburgers or chametz.

How does a Jew benefit from feeding pet food containing a mixture of meat and milk or chametz? Pets need to stay healthy and feeding them a consistent diet does that. How do I benefit from that? The only benefit is a healthy pet. Is that the benefit?


I don't really see how benefit from making my husband chicken with sour cream but it is considered "benefiting" to do as such. That being said, I still do it from time to time. On disposables plates with a plastic fork of course. I don't cook them together, I just put them on a plate together. It contributes to peace in the home.

Feeding a pet chametz is considered deriving benefit. Now is that according to every Rabbi? No. That is why I suggested Bee wait and later ask her Rabbi. However I suspect many Rabbis will agree. But in the future arrangements can be made.



My pet is not Jewish and is not under Jewish law. I feed my pet so she can survive and live. It is a necessity. She gets the benefit of life. I get a benefit of a healthy cat.

What I see as an issue is putting the law first. I put the health of my cat first. My rabbi would say the health of the pet comes first and to put the law first is not correct.

My rabbi would also say that to cause harm by changing a diet for a week is wrong. If a pet has health issues or even will not eat another food is enough to cause harm.

My vet has stated that some animals are very sensitive to dietary changes and cats especially can have problems with dietary changes.

My concern is that Bee has said her cats won't eat other foods so to force them to eat other foods when in the past they won't has the potential to cause harm. They do not understand about Jewish law. So does the law come first no matter what the harm may be?

So for me it does not matter what any rabbi would say. The health of my cat is what I make a choice over.


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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:37 pm

tamar wrote:


[left]My pet is not Jewish and is not under Jewish law. I feed my pet so she can survive and live. It is a necessity. She gets the benefit of life. I get a benefit of a healthy cat.

Of course your pet is not under Jewish Law. I was merely pointing out the two situations where we are not to derive benefit from non-kosher food which includes in feeding our pets. Some of us still do it, myself included. I'm just passing along the information.

tamar wrote:
What I see as an issue is putting the law first. I put the health of my cat first. My rabbi would say the health of the pet comes first and to put the law first is not correct.

This is where selling the animal along with chametz comes into play. There is also gluten and wheat free pet food on the market these days. I don't know much about it since I haven't done much research into it. Just briefly considered it when we had cats. I don't actually eat chametz (except vinegar) at all and figured my cats didn't need it either.

tamar wrote:
My rabbi would also say that to cause harm by changing a diet for a week is wrong. If a pet has health issues or even will not eat another food is enough to cause harm.

My vet has stated that some animals are very sensitive to dietary changes and cats especially can have problems with dietary changes.

My concern is that Bee has said her cats won't eat other foods so to force them to eat other foods when in the past they won't has the potential to cause harm. They do not understand about Jewish law. So does the law come first no matter what the harm may be?

Yeah, you should never change their diet suddenly. It should be done very gradually. Seems to me it might be easier to just feed them chametz free food all year long. As already mentioned, there are several options for those who have cats who will not eat anything else but who are also worried about chametz in their home.

One doesn't have to choose between the health of their pet and halacha. They can choose both. Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:56 pm

Mychal wrote:
I can't even get kosher-for-Passover matzah where I live, so I have no idea where you would get Passover cat kibble. Only in the biggest cities or online, I suppose.

You can buy regular brands. These are listed as kosher for Passover this year. You may not have all of them locally but I'm sure you have something so long as you have a pet store. I think Blue Wilderness is one I looked into when we had cats and I was considering eliminating wheat from their diet. I know it's sold at our local Petsmart.

Blue Wilderness (dry): Chicken, Duck, Salmon

Friskies (canned): Selects Indoor Herbed Salmon Entrée, Selects Indoor Classic Chicken Entrée, Special Diet Classic Paté Ocean Whitefish Dinner, Special Diet Classic Paté Beef & Chicken Entrée, Special Diet Classic Paté Turkey & Giblets Dinner, Special Diet Classic Paté with Salmon, Special Diet Classic Paté Beef & Liver Entrée, Senior DietClassic Paté Pacific Salmon Dinner in Sauce, Classic Paté Turkey & Giblets Dinner.

Prescription Diet
: a/d, c/d (dry only), d/d (except duck), g/d (dry only), k/d (dry only), m/d, r/d, s/d, t/d, w/d (dry only), zd.

Science Diet (dry): Adult Optimal Care Ocean Fish & Rice Recipe, Adult Optimal Care Original, Adult Indoor, Mature Adult Indoor, Adult Hairball Control, Adult Hairball Control Light, Mature Adult Hairball Control, Adult Oral Care, Adult Sensitive Skin, Mature Adult Active Longevity Original, Kitten Indoor, Kitten Healthy Development Original, Kitten Healthy Development Ocean Fish & Rice.

Wellness Core (dry): Fish & Fowl Recipe
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:02 pm

Dena wrote:
They probably had no idea their pet would get sick.

I've read about Jewish pet owners who have already experienced their pets becoming sick in past years and yet still force diet changes on them again for Pesach. I really think that some of these people like the sacrificial sense of doing something extreme for the sake of (their rabbi's interpretation of) Jewish Law. I think it is how some insecure Jews prove to themselves that they are pious enough. It may also be the "frummer than thou" game.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:03 pm

Debbie B. wrote:
Dena wrote:
They probably had no idea their pet would get sick.

I've read about Jewish pet owners who have already experienced their pets becoming sick in past years and yet still force diet changes on them again for Pesach. I really think that some of these people like the sacrificial sense of doing something extreme for the sake of (their rabbi's interpretation of) Jewish Law. I think it is how some insecure Jews prove to themselves that they are pious enough. It may also be the "frummer than thou" game.

Ah, those people should not own pets. It's ridiculous when there are other ways to go about it anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:00 pm

Dena wrote:
tamar wrote:


[left]My pet is not Jewish and is not under Jewish law. I feed my pet so she can survive and live. It is a necessity. She gets the benefit of life. I get a benefit of a healthy cat.

Of course your pet is not under Jewish Law. I was merely pointing out the two situations where we are not to derive benefit from non-kosher food which includes in feeding our pets. Some of us still do it, myself included. I'm just passing along the information.

tamar wrote:
What I see as an issue is putting the law first. I put the health of my cat first. My rabbi would say the health of the pet comes first and to put the law first is not correct.

This is where selling the animal along with chametz comes into play. There is also gluten and wheat free pet food on the market these days. I don't know much about it since I haven't done much research into it. Just briefly considered it when we had cats. I don't actually eat chametz (except vinegar) at all and figured my cats didn't need it either.

tamar wrote:
My rabbi would also say that to cause harm by changing a diet for a week is wrong. If a pet has health issues or even will not eat another food is enough to cause harm.

My vet has stated that some animals are very sensitive to dietary changes and cats especially can have problems with dietary changes.

My concern is that Bee has said her cats won't eat other foods so to force them to eat other foods when in the past they won't has the potential to cause harm. They do not understand about Jewish law. So does the law come first no matter what the harm may be?

Yeah, you should never change their diet suddenly. It should be done very gradually. Seems to me it might be easier to just feed them chametz free food all year long. As already mentioned, there are several options for those who have cats who will not eat anything else but who are also worried about chametz in their home.

One doesn't have to choose between the health of their pet and halacha. They can choose both. Very Happy




I agree I think what I am reacting to is that the question seems to put the answer only with the Rabbi. The Rabbi of my synagogue gives opinions but he does not want to be followed in all matters. We take what we know and what the halachic ruling is but in the end we make our own choices.

I have had an awful time with my cat and her digestive issues and finally have a food she can eat and keep down. So for me I cannot change her food. That means my house has chametz. But in my circumstance I accept that. If I had a rabbi tell me I could not make this choice I still would, because the reality of my cats issues are what I live with and I have to make the final decision.

I may be a really bad Jew but I really feel that we can get lost in the letter of the law and for me I don't every want to be that way.
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:20 pm

tamar wrote:

I agree I think what I am reacting to is that the question seems to put the answer only with the Rabbi. The Rabbi of my synagogue gives opinions but he does not want to be followed in all matters. We take what we know and what the halachic ruling is but in the end we make our own choices.

If I had a rabbi tell me I could not make this choice I still would, because the reality of my cats issues are what I live with and I have to make the final decision.

I may be a really bad Jew but I really feel that we can get lost in the letter of the law and for me I don't every want to be that way.

The thing is that I've listened to Bee enough to know she's probably not looking for opinions. She wants to know what is the halacha, how can it be interpreted and how can it implemented. Since I am not a Rabbi my first response needs to be "ask a Rabbi" and then to share the information. Now Bee has several resources to take a look at and consider.

Somebody from the Census Bureau knocked on my door and now I have completely lost my train of thought. I had more to say but it's gone now. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:26 pm

Here's the halacha from an Orthodox perspective from multiple rabbinical sources:

Avoid chametz, but kitniyot is fine.

Chametz in dog food is bad for pets year round anyway, so I don't switch dog foods. I feed the simple Trader Joe's Lamb & Rice and according to OU, we're good. OU has a list, which is what I think Dena mined from for her post above.

But you cannot feed your pet milk and meat together year round. When would you do that? Milkbone dog biscuits. I still laugh about how pretty much every kosher market I've been in stocks them, though. I have no idea how that happens.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:09 pm

maculated wrote:

Chametz in dog food is bad for pets year round anyway, so I don't switch dog foods.

That is my thought too (and also for cats).

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:28 pm

You can't feed your dog meat and milk, but you can feed him trayf meats?(In reward for staying silent when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt, and not giving them away to the Egyptians, it was ordained that dogs should be fed whatever meats or parts of meat (i.e. organ fats, liver, etc.) that people can't eat.)

But they can't have a Milkbone?

And is it just me, or does it seem silly to "sell" your cat to someone, while it remains in your house? To me that's false, since everyone knows that it's your cat, and the contract was made temporarily, with the intention that you would get your cat back. Someone hasn't bought anything, because buying implies (to me) permanence. They haven't even borrowed or rented it, since, in most cases, it stays in your house and, at the very least, they derive no benefit from the object they're "buying."

Seems like a rather silly hoop to jump through.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:58 pm

Eh, well selling chametz isn't generally permanent either but it's still done. I agree that it is a little strange but it helps people find a way to be observant when they are having some difficulties coordinating it all. It could also prevent people from making their animals sick so I would say that is a good thing,
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PostSubject: Re: pet food Chametz?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:15 pm

Who's selling cats??
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