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International Dog Biscuit Day is a bone-a-fide holiday that canines adore! Cookie or treat, a dog biscuit by any other name is still a pleasure to your pet’s palate.
Dog biscuits tend to be made of various flours and grains, flavored with meaty and vegetable goodness, and baked into hard, dry circles, squares or even flat bone shapes. Available in many flavors, colors, shapes and sizes, the world’s largest dog biscuit, baked by Hampshire Pet Products, weighed in at 617 lbs. (279.87 kg), 2,000 times larger than average dog biscuit!
Whether used as training treats, to promote oral health by scraping off plaque and tartar, or just to tell your dog you love him, dog treats are definitely a popular item when it comes to sharing something yummy with your pup!
During the height of the Roman Empire, low quality bread, deemed “unfit for human consumption,” was referred to as “dog bread” and fed to stray and companion dogs. Over the centuries, it transformed into the treats we give our own pooches today.
Of note in this transformation from rotten bread to fine treat, is James Spratt of Cincinnati, who in the mid-19th Century, traveled to England and observed dogs scavenging on hardtack (the cracker-like rations made to sustain soldiers). He quickly came up with a prototype biscuit made of meat, grains, and vegetables that would provide hunting dogs the extra energy they needed for a day in the field. Spratt patented the idea and marketed his “Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes,” and they eventually made their way to the States.
A few years later, an American inventor named Carleton Ellis, was asked by a slaughterhouse to come up with a use for “waster milk,” so he devised the milk-based biscuit we have all heard of and that dog’s love, and put the finishing touch on it by shaping it into a bone. The F.H. Bennett Biscuit Company of New York then began selling the biscuits they called “Malatoid” until the product name was changed to “Milk-Bone.” Nabisco Biscuit Company eventually acquired these bone-shaped treats and dominated the market for the next decade or more until they were purchased by the National Biscuit Company (aka Nabisco).
Later, the focus shifted from making biscuits as a meal or supplement to more of a dessert snack or treat for dogs. Still, the Milk-Bone remained the preeminent dog biscuit until the end of the 1960s when other manufacturers jumped on the dog treat bandwagon producing similar products.
Today, there’s no need to search far for a new and different dog biscuit on the market. Many are considered nutritious with additional benefits such as keeping teeth clean, aiding with arthritis, being lower-fat or for restricted diets.
Regardless, the dog biscuit industry is big business but has come a long way from the stale bread, food scraps, rotten leftovers and hard grains that were once savored by canine companions.
Here are some GRRReat ways to make International Dog Biscuit Day a special celebration for the dog in your life.
Here are a couple of recipes to try your paw, eh, hand at:
APPLE CARROT DOG COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER/COCONUT OIL NO BAKE DOG TREATS
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.