Have you ever wondered when it was that humans started realizing that dogs will do what we want, or that we can make dogs happy by simply giving them a small piece of food?
As social beings, we break bread with other humans, in part to bond. Dogs are social creatures also. When you give your dog a dog biscuit you are helping cement that already-tight bond of love and trust between your dog and yourself.
- In France, give your dog a “biscuits pour chiens”
- In German-speaking countries, a “Hundekuchen” is what dogs prefer
- In Mexico or Spain, gather the “galletas para el perro” and spread some dog cheer
- In Italy, dip a biscotti in your own “caffe”, and give a “biscotto per cani” to your dog
Dogs have eaten and enjoyed discarded bread since the Roman Empire. The earliest dog biscuits were actually very old, hard stale bread. Back then bad bread was considered dog's bread. To be honest, dogs of the time were probably quite happy to get them.
By the 19th century hunters would give sporting dogs hard barley meal biscuits for energy on a hunt. Grain-only biscuits were slowly upgraded to include vegetables, meat and bone meal. These were homemade and, of course, did not come in any fun shapes or flavors.
Commercial dog biscuits were first invented in the late 1800s by a man from Cincinnati who saw dogs scavenging on hardtack, a long-lasting sailor’s bread, disposed of at the docks in London. He patented the idea and sold the biscuits as dog food. In the beginning of the 20th century, another brilliant American inventor, whose dog biscuits were not selling well, decided to make the biscuits in the shape of bones, and that’s where we get the familiar treat we give our canine companions today.
Biscuits, though an old-fashioned treat, remain a healthy favorite. Biscuits made with quality ingredients not only taste good, but the scraping action most dogs use to chew them help remove debris from their teeth that could cause dental problems later.
In celebration of International Dog Biscuit Day, here is a recipe for baking your own dog biscuits for your special pet.
- 3 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 Cup of Rolled Oats
- 1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheese
- 1/2 Cup of unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 1 Cup of any of the following: 1 can of salmon or tuna, drained; shredded beef, chicken, turkey or liver; ground meat or ground turkey or chicken
- 3 Eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients together. Roll out the mixture and using a cookie shape or cut out a size suitable for your dog... or you can drop by spoonfuls on a baking sheet. Place biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes and then check the biscuits. You may want a softer biscuit or leave in the oven for another 5-10 minutes for a crispier biscuit.
Cool on a rack.
When cool, put the biscuits in a container and refrigerate some and freeze the rest. You can take them out of the freezer as needed. They are good for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.