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International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

Updated on November 6, 2014

Your Best Friend Wants You to Know about International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

Of all the obscure celebrations and erzatz holidays on the ever-expanding calendar of wacky events, dog lovers around the world (and our furry friends) will immediately recognize the validity of International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day (February 23rd each year, if you're planning ahead to stock the cookie jar).

After all, without handy baked biscuits (and other convenience foods for canines) we'd all be running around with nasty bits of raw liver and sausage dripping out of our pockets. And I don't know about you, my friends, but the tidy scooby snack in cookie form is something I do appreciate!

Photograph copyright © 123RF Stock Photos, used by permission

Good Dog Stainless Steel Treat Canister
Good Dog Stainless Steel Treat Canister | Source

The Mysterious Origins of International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day - Where did it all begin?

Dogs, of course, have long believed that a tasty biscuit is something to be celebrated (and gobbled down) every day of the year. But when did we slow-witted humans finally catch on, and name a dedicated International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day?

Alas, the origins of this meaty celebration are cloaked in mystery - but I'd be prepared to bet that the marketing department of some pet food manufacturing company might have had a small hand in starting it, wouldn't you?

No matter...

The dog biscuit itself has a long and noble history, and a rather interesting one. According to the Pet Food Institute's brief History of Pet Food, the first commercial cookie for canines was introduced in England about 1860. Oddly enough, that biscuit was invented not by a veterinarian or breeder, but by an American electrician, James Spratt, over in London to sell lightning rods, who had seen dogs on board ship being fed rather nasty leftovers and figured that he could do better. And the rest, as they say, is pet food history.

For what it's worth - and perhaps somewhat surprisingly - the earliest mention of International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day I've been able to track down (although, admittedly, I've not invested more than an hour on the search) was page captured by the Wayback Machine on March 4, 2000.

Best Vegetarian Dog Biscuits - Made in USA

Fruitables dog biscuits come in a whole lot of different taste combinations, but we've found the pumpkin and apple flavors are most popular with the dogs around here.

Fruitables Baked Dog Treats | Pumpkin Treats for Dogs | Healthy Low Calorie Treats | Free of Wheat, Corn and Soy | Pumpkin and Apple | 7 Ounces
Fruitables Baked Dog Treats | Pumpkin Treats for Dogs | Healthy Low Calorie Treats | Free of Wheat, Corn and Soy | Pumpkin and Apple | 7 Ounces
As I've mentioned before, my dogs love Fruitables. I like them too - they're a good size to carry in my pockets on a walk without a mess, and I can share the biscuits with dogs of vegetarian friends because they are totally meat-free. Fruitables don't even have gelatin in them - they're so vegetarian, I think they qualify as vegan. Now, I don't mind giving my dogs meat-based treats personally, and I don't even mind carrying meat-based biscuits in my pockets (cookies, not soft treats), but I totally respect the rights of other dog owners to decide what goodies their pets can have, so it's nice to have a supply of made-in-USA treats all the dogs in our walking club will enjoy - and that their mommies will let them have!

Grain-Free Dog Biscuits - Made in USA

With or without special health concerns, dogs deserve a high quality of food and I like to read over the ingredient list carefully at a minimum when choosing a biscuit or treat for them. Whenever possible, too, I like to check the source of the ingredients and know something about how the products are made and the company that makes them. My pups flip (metaphorically in most cases, literally in the case of my high-energy little female) for any biscuit with sweet potatoes in it, and I find that duck is an easy-to-digest protein source that most dogs love the taste of.

Instinct Grain-Free Dog Biscuits, With Duck Meal And Sweet Potato, By Nature'S Variety, 21-Ounce Package
Instinct Grain-Free Dog Biscuits, With Duck Meal And Sweet Potato, By Nature'S Variety, 21-Ounce Package
If you're like most responsible pet owners, you'll try to steer clear of products made in countries that don't meet the North American health and safety standards, with so many recalls in the news these days. So, you'll probably feel good (as I do) to know that Instinct dog biscuits are made by Nature's Variety, a company located in Lincoln, Nebraska, and all their products are made in the USA.
PetSafe Busy Buddy Biscuit Bouncer Dog Toy / Treat Dispenser
PetSafe Busy Buddy Biscuit Bouncer Dog Toy / Treat Dispenser | Source

Five Reasons to Appreciate Dog Biscuits - (from the Human's perspective)

Of course we know why our DOGS like their biscuits -- nom, nom, nom! -- but what is there about them for the human owner to be so pleased about?

Well, here are just a few of the many reasons why a good dog biscuit is a wonderful thing, more than worthy of getting its own special day, International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day:

  1. Dog biscuits are great rewards to use in training.
  2. You can carry a biscuit in your pocket without everything getting sticky.
  3. A nice treat for Fido can help you to feel less guilty when you don't have time to play with him, but those big sad brown eyes keep on staring at you...
  4. Crunchy snacks help to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy.
  5. Dog biscuits can entertain your pet and help to develop his problem-solving skills, if they're stuffed in an interactive puzzle toy.

Would you eat a dog biscuit?

See results

Good for Fido?

If you look at the ingredient list on a package of quality dog biscuits there's really not a whole lot of difference from what's in a lot of the packaged foods for humans that you might have in your own pantry.

(For more information about dog food nutrition, I recommend consulting the American Veterinarian Medical Association website, with their Animal Health section as a starting point for inquiry.)

Have you ever tried a dog biscuit - you know, just to see what it tastes like?

Human Radio Hosts "Appreciate" Dog Biscuits - Live On Air - (You don't have to try this at home)

I like the way Niel Jackson, who does the pet shop run in the first part of this video, has been careful to select a vegetarian dog treat for himself, as well as a number of meat-based biscuits for his buddy Dicky Dodd, back at the studio. Both of these brave taste-testers were well known presenters on 107.7FM The Wolf in Wolverhampton, UK, at the time - and isn't that nicely in keeping with the International nature of International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day?

Bake Your Own Treats! - An Excellent Cookbook

It's great to know exactly what ingredients are going into those treats, and your pup will appreciate your culinary efforts on his behalf.

You Bake 'em Dog Biscuits Cookbook
You Bake 'em Dog Biscuits Cookbook
Easy-to-follow recipes for 50 different tasty and wholesome dog biscuits, include recipes for dogs with food sensitivities and other special dietary needs. There's a treat here for every dog to appreciate, and most of them call for everyday ingredients you won't have to chase all over town to track down. Best thing? Most of the recipes are simple enough that kids can take an active role in the baking.

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