Have you ever wondered how dog’s best friend – the treat – was brought about? I did while I was feeding my dog his nightly treats and found out that like all good things it was made by accident. Back in the 1800s a London butcher was seeking to expand his business. He decided that he would bake biscuits to sell along with his meats. He baked up a batch of his concoction; however, when he tasted them, he decided they tasted horrible and gave them to his dog. His dog thought otherwise and gobbled up the biscuits eagerly. The butcher watched and being the innovated businessman that he was, continued to make the biscuits designed for dogs.
All went well and good for the butcher until 1908 when an American businessman entered his shop and a deal was made. The American bought the recipe and headed home where the F.H. Bennett Biscuit Company was now established. The name of the new dog biscuit was Malatod. In 1911 the recipe for the original biscuit was patented and in 1915 the name was changed to Milk Bone. That name continued today.
During that time up until the 1960’s Nabisco dominated the pet treat market with the infamous Milk Bone. But come the 1970’s when others started marketing biscuits for the canine crowd. Today, the choices and options for your pet is almost as many as there are candy selections for us.
During the late 1950’s a new treat was introduced for your pet – the rawhide chew. Coming in many different shapes and sizes, it is a market all of its own. Rawhide is nothing more that the hide or skin (typically the inner layer of the hide) of an animal. The hide grows naturally thicker or thinner in different places on the animal, so during the process a machine called a planer splits the hide apart. The tough outer layer goes on to become leather while the inner layer was at one time used for shields and the like (History of Leather), but now is process to become a new dog chew sensation.
Rawhide is tough because of the collagen fibers that are linked together. This is to make the animal’s hide tough and flexible. People have the same make up, but only thinner. The chews benefit dogs in that it helps with their dental health and satisfy their urge and need to gnaw. It also keeps the dog entertained for periods of time. (Source: Dingo Brand Chews)
Now with so many biscuits and rawhides on the market, it can be hard to choose. Each dog is different in their tastes and preferences. Their owners also a concerned about how the items are produced and its ingredients. For rawhide, it can be cleaned and washed until it is time to be formed into various shapes, thus keeping a natural appearance and the benefits of the protein that is within in the product. Still others who produce rawhide use chemicals and additives to preserve the rawhide and change its color, thus losing some of the nutrients available. Most choose rawhide that is multi-colored in that it still has the natural variations of skin tone.
At for biscuits and the different shapes, colors, flavors and textures, there is no one sure way to choose which a dog will prefer, but all contain four primary ingredients in varying degrees. These ingredients include:
Carbohydrates, such as corn, wheat or rice in powder form using the entire kernel.
Proteins, which come from corn gluten or soybean meal. Most use poultry byproduct mean, meat and bone meal and dried liver. Also, milk and eggs are used.
Fats and oils derived from plants as well as fish and animal sources.
Fiber such as wheat or corn bran. It ingredient is important in calorie controlled recipes
People have learned that they too can make treats for the pets from items that are proper for human consumption. The only difference is much less processing and no artificial ingredients for their pets. This can be good for dogs, especially those with health conditions and allergies. Many find recipes can be found on-line or in books dedicated to preparing treats for your beloved pet.
Go ahead, spoil your dog with the knowledge you now possess. If not such if the treat is suitable for your pet, read the label and check with your vet. But, do a little baking with your dog, who knows – you could become the next London butcher with a new treat for our four-legged, tail wagging, and slobbery kissing friend.