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By most accounts, the history of the industry begins with a man named James Spratt. An electrician from Cincinnati, Spratt had patented a new type of lightning conductor in 1850. Later in the decade, he traveled to England to sell it. According to industry lore, he had a quayside epiphany in London when he saw a group of dogs eating discarded hardtack, the cheap, tough biscuits carried on ships and known to sailors as "molar breakers." The first major chunk of today's pet industry was born.
I love this list! First time making dog treats, didn’t have all the ingredients for one recipe so I used this as inspiration. I used peanut butter, eggs, flour, honey, and vegetable broth to make soft, chewy dog biscuits and used a heart cookie cutter. My pugs & chihuahua, and my boyfriend’s goldens loved em! Even tried one myself heheh – turned out like lightly sweetened peanut butter cookies.
In Spain, "pan de perro" is mentioned as early as 1623 in a play by Lope de Vega. It is used here in the sense of giving someone blows; to "give dog's bread" to someone could mean anything from mistreating them to killing them. The latter meaning refers to a special bread (also called zarazas) made with ground glass, poison and needles and intended to kill dogs.
Dog-biscuit is a hard and well-baked mass of coarse, yet clean and wholesome flour, of an inferior kind to that known as sailors' biscuit; and this latter substance, indeed, would be the best substitute for the former with which we are acquainted. A bag of dog-biscuit of five shillings' value, will be an ample supply for a yard-dog during the year: it should be soaked in water, or " pot liquor," for an hour or two ; and if no meat be at hand, a little dripping or lard may be added to it while softening, which will make a relishing meal at a trifling cost. We have for many years known the utility of the plan thus advocated, and we earnestly recommend all who value the safety of the community and their own (to say nothing of the happiness of the canine race), to make trial of the rational and feasible plan which we have detailed." (1841)
It’s also common to find by-products and fillers (check the labels of any treats you might have in the cupboard) in dog biscuits rather than natural, organic or high-quality ingredients. When you make small batches of your own doggie biscuits, there’s no need for extra additives or preservatives, another great reason to tie on an apron and get creative in the kitchen.