February 23 is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. Have you ever wondered when it was that humans started giving dogs treats?
By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger
Just as we break bread with other humans to bond, humans have been improving their bond of trust with dogs in the same manner since about 27 BCE. During the Roman Empire dogs ate and enjoyed discarded dog bread as they were known then. Then in the 1800s, a man from Cincinnati by the name of James Spratt, watched dogs scavenging on hardtack which the sailors disposed of on the docks in Great Britain. He came up with the idea of creating dog biscuits made of grain, meat and vegetables to give to hunting dogs for extra energy. He patented his idea and sold his “Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes” in London.
Bone shaped treats
By the beginning of the 20th century, F. H. Bennett Biscuit Co. of New York, whose dog biscuits were not selling well, decided to make the biscuits comprised of various minerals, cow’s milk and meat products in the shape of bones, and that’s when Milk-Bone was born.
Today, there are hundreds of types of dog biscuits.
The scraping action as the dog chews the treat can help clean dogs’ teeth but watch the ingredients. Some dog treats have loads of sugar which can counteract the benefit of the chew. Be sure to check the calorie count of the treats you are giving your dog so you don’t unintentionally cause your dog to add a few pounds.
Although they taste good to dogs , even the best of dog treats shouldn’t constitute more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet.
As far as who created or why this day was started, we may never know. Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. And why it is called “International” is your guess. In the United States we did learn it is also known as Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day or National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.
So “break bread” with your dog on this special day. If you’d like some great dog treat recipes, check out the recipes below.
Dog treat recipes
- 3-4 lg eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 cup milk
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 3-6 cups cooking oats, depending on texture
Mix together by hand eggs, oil, honey, molasses, milk and bananas. Add flour and oats, mix until it has the consistency of cake mix. Spread the batter in a greased 10×15 pan. Let the dogs like the bowl and spoon. Bake 1 hour @325, turn oven off and let treats sit until oven cools. Cut into desired shape with knife or pizza cutter. Cover and refrigerate or freeze if they won’t be used with in a week to 10 days.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup cooking oats
Combine wet and dry ingredients separately. Then mix all together well. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead until thoroughly mixed together. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick, cut out with bone shaped cookie cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Cool on rack.
Cover and refrigerate or freeze what won’t be used within 7-10 days.
Makes 4 dozen Ready in approx 1 hr give or take.
- 1C Rolled oats
- 1/3 cup Margarine
- 1C boiling water
- 3/4C cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
- 1/2C milk
- 1C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 cups Whole wheat flour
You can substitute Chicken Bouillon for the Beef as well as changing the flavor of cheese. You can also use the low fat milk/cheese margarine for those that are trying to watch your doggies figure or for those that have health issues.
Preheat your oven to 325F degrees (165 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, margarine and boiling water. Let stand 10 min and grease your cookie sheets.
Thoroughly stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, mike, cheese, and egg. Mix in flour 1cup at a time, until a stiff dough has formed.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, mixing in additional flour as needed until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Roll or pat out dough to 1/2″ thickness. Cut with Cookie Cutter and place 1-inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake 35-45 Min in the oven, until golden brown. Cool before serving or packaging. Store them loosely in a covered container.
DOG TREATS #2
- 10lbs hamburger(ground cheap stuff)
- 1 large box of total cereal (or other cheap brand that is like total)
- 1 large box oatmeal
- 1 jar wheat germ
- 1 1/4 cups veg oil (or any oil you prefer…I use Flaxseed)
- 1 1/4 cups of unsulfured molasses
- 10 raw eggs shell and all
- 10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin (can used flavor if you like..depends on you)
Mix all ingredients together, much like you would a meatloaf divide into 10-quart freezer bags and freeze.
Thaw as needed and feed raw.
NOTE: Some people even choose to feed this as one of their main sources of a raw diet and others prefer to just use it for very active dogs or sick dogs that need to gain weight back….If you are using it for treats put it in smaller bags so that way you don’t have to unfreeze a lot and then freeze it all over again. Get the tiny bags and fill that 1/2 way full..depending on how many dogs you have and how often you want to feed it.