How to Celebrate Passover With Your Chewish Dog

Passover is for dogs, too! Here are six ways to make sure your pups aren't left out.

Anna Zeman  |  Apr 6th 2012


Chag Pesach Sameach! Happy Passover to you and all our Chewish friends on Dogster!

Now that you’ve swept out all the chametz (leavened products) from the kitchen and switched your pupsters food to something a little more kosher, you are ready to celebrate love, life and liberation! But wait a second, why should you be the only one partaking in the festivies? Make your dogs their very own seder plate so they can join in the fun!

So first, grab a water bowl (skip the salt, n’est pas bon pour le chien) and circle it with six little plates. Here’s what you’ll need for your Passover seder, Dogster style: 

1) Maror or the bitter herb

During Passover, we eat the bitter herb to remind us of the bitterness and harshness of slavery. However, if you want your dog to still like you at the end of your seder, you should probably refrain from letting him participate in this mitzvah (commandment). Many of you are probably framilar with Bitter Apple, which is great for detering pups from licking or biting hot spots. It has a unpleasent yet harmelss bitter taste and is a cute way to represent the bitter herb on your seder plate. 

2) Charoset or sweet apple and nut paste

Charoset is a delicious nut and fruit paste that we place on the seder plate to represent the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to build in Egypt. This is typically made with apples, walnuts, sweet wine, and cinnamon and is tres délicieux! For the puppy seder plate, charoset can be represented with some chopped up apples. Apples are not only a good source of vitamin A and C, they also have a lot of fiber! Just don’t let them eat the core; apples’ seeds contain cyanide and might make your pup sick.

3) Karpas or the green herb

The other green herb on the doggie seder plate is a festively green treat like Greenies! The other green herb is not bitter, and we dip it in salt water and eat it to represent the tears of the Hebrew slaves. This is followed by the recital of Ma Nishtana “Why is this night different from all other nights?” If your dog is the youngest member in the household, have them bark The Four Questions! 

4) Z’roa or the lamb shank

The z’roa is placed on the seder plate to represent the Korban Pesach or Passover Sacrifice. While no one pratices this ceremony anymore, a lamb shank is used as a symbolic representation. If your pooch is a vegetarian, you can go ahead and use a beet, which is done in many veggie Jewish households! Make sure you supervise le pooch if you give them this special Pesach treat.  

5) Beitzah or hard-boiled egg

Beitzah or eggs are a symbol of mourning. While they’re not used during the seder ceremony, many people dip them in salt water and have them as their first course. The hard-boiled egg represents mourning the destruction of the Temple and no longer being able to preform the Passover sacrifices. This Jolly Egg doubles as a way to entertain your pooch while your seder guests are eating dinner! 

6) Tapuz or orange 

There are several stories that circulate around about why some familes chose to put an orange in on their seder plate. The actual tradition originated in the 1980s and was a gesture of solidarity with Jewish lesbians and gay men, and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community. It’s a beautiful tradition that your dog would love to be on board with! Or you know, rip the stuffing out of and forget about.

 And of course, what Passover would be complete without … MATZAH! 

Happy Passover, everypawdy! What are some of your families’ Passover traditions? How do you celebrate with your Chewish pups? I want to hear all about it in the comment section! 

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