Summertime means baseball, barbecues and kosher dogs. Not the pups you throw on the grill, the ones you take for a walk. That's right -- man's best friend is eating man's best food. KosherPets, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based pet food company, offers up "kosher-style" pet chow for your Jewish cats and dogs.
When did Fido turn frum? Martine Lacombe and Marc Michaels began cooking for their Dalmatian, Lola, in 1998, when traditional veterinary medicine failed to cure her skin ailment. "We lived in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood and always bought kosher meat," Michaels said. "So we made Lola's meals from Empire Chicken, rice, carrots and garlic, and followed kashrut rules while cooking it," added the proud pet owner.
Lola healed quickly and shared her beauty secret with her dog park pals. The other dogs' owners, who wintered in Florida and summered in New York, brought the "pet grub like bubbie used to make" to the left coast and caused a KosherPets Diaspora. "Our heads were spinning," Michaels said. "The food took off and suddenly, we were shipping mason jars filled with kosher dog stew across the country," he added.
Though neither Lacombe nor Michaels is Jewish, they are happy to serve the community and have immersed themselves in kosher culture. "We attend Kosherfest (the country's largest kosher trade show), have met with rabbis from multiple certification agencies, and had our facility inspected by Rabbi Sholem Fishbane of the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC)," Michaels said.
KosherPets' products never come in contact with dairy or dairy derivatives, are made chametz-free for Pesach (they received a CRC Passover-use endorsement), and are always prepared with meat from kosher species. (It is not necessary to have the meat certified by a mashgiach because it's not for human consumption.)
Though they currently only sell beef-based patties, KosherPets is developing chicken-, turkey- and salmon-based recipes. And the chefs will soon be cooking for more than cats and canines. "We've received e-mails from so many different pet owners, that we'll soon sell kosher bird, hamster, rabbit and even guinea pig food." Michaels said.
If only KosherPets had been around to help out Noah on his ark. For more information on KosherPets, visit www.Kosherpets.com .