There is a halachic principle which states that food that would not be consumed by a dog is not halachically food. Since chocolate is toxic to dogs, do we actually need to worry about its hashgacha?

  • 7
    I've heard plenty of stories of dogs happily gobbling up chocolate, even though it's bad for them.
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 18:48
  • 2
    @Daniel I've heard plenty of stories of humans gobbling up different things, even though it's bad for them!
    – MTL
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 20:11
  • It's not the chocolate that's bad for them. It's the caffeine that is harmful. Which means coffees and teas are also toxic to dogs
    – Aaron
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 4:22

2 Answers 2


The halacha you're citing is not a leniency that whatever is harmful to dogs is not food. It's a stringency that, even though chametz is no longer fitting for human consumption, as long as it remains a suitable feed for animals such as dogs, the prohibition applies. Anything which is considered food for humans doesn't even enter the discussion.

  • I thought as much. It just seems a rather odd meter for what is and isn't food. Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 17:15
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    @NoachmiFrankfurt Seems reasonable to me. Dogs even now as pets are known to eat leftovers scraps that humans don't.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 17:42

Inasmuch as I believe @loewian's answer is the correct answer, I would add that according to one approach (this is the approach taken by Levushei Mordechai siman 86 and Divrei Malkiel 4:22:6, and accepted as Halacha by R' Blumenkrantz (of the publication "The Laws of Pesach")), the halacha of "would not be consumed by a dog" is only applicable to a food which once was fit for such consumption and degraded to a point of inedibility. A food which was, by its nature, never edible by a dog (which would describe chocolate according to your argument) would not be included in this category.

Additionally, the Rosh (Pesachim 2:1) rules that even if something is degraded to the point of not being edible by a dog and therefore does not require to be gotten rid of on Pesach, still one is not allowed to eat it, because by eating it he has shown that he validates it as being edible and its status is reinstated. So this would not even potentially help for eating non-Kosher chocolate.

  • 2
    Achshevei! [15]
    – MTL
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 19:39
  • @Shokhet Yes! Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 19:54

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