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News 353 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Kosher pet food for your dog?

Jewish people don't mix meat and milk products, does not eat grains during Passover and especially does not eat pork. An American dog is also following this diet.

As Jewish families try to respect tradition over the holidays, when rules for eating are especially stringent, they hardly know what to do about their pets. Short of locking their dogs in the garage and feeding them there to avoid bringing impure food into the house, the recent solution on the market appears to be kosher pet food.

"My home is kosher. You want to meet those standards," said the dog's owner, Gayle Ostro of Lincolnwood. "A lot of dogs eat dried pig ears and raw hide, but I don't bring any of that in my house." Then she learned about Holly Cher's company. "Just this year and last year we were able to use food approved for Passover," Ostro said. Cher, owner of Evangers Dog and Cat Food Co. based in Wheeling, recently began producing kosher food for pets. She distributes her products to pet stores worldwide.

Though many Jewish families embrace kosher food for their animals, the Bible may not necessarily call for this measure. Rabbi Sholem Fishbane from the Chicago Rabbinical Council said pets have no obligation to keep kosher although many feel that their four-legged companions should be included in the family's rites and traditions.

He also explained that kosher food for pets is not kosher for people too. Approved pet food producers follow the fundamental rules, but the single ingredients of the product are not kosher. For example the meat could come from impure animals, such as pigs and horses, and is not butchered according to Jewish guidelines.

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