Sometimes known as National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, this holiday is meant to embrace the history of doggy treats–and they used to be quite a bit different than they are today. Consider that even human food has grown to be quite a bit more scrumptious in the last half of a century, and then extrapolate. Doggy treats were terrible. Once upon a time, typical doggy treats included rotting leftovers, moldy cheese, and rock-hard, stale bread. Certainly nothing we could even fathom giving poor old Fido today.

An American man named James Pratt changed the way we view doggy treats after a visit to England, during which he viewed stray dogs fighting over scraps in back alleys. He created a new, healthy treat for dogs. It was a cake-like biscuit full of necessary nutrients, including grains, meat, and vegetables. They were called “Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes” and they were a hit. That was in the mid-1800s. It wasn’t until 1908 that the formula was finally changed due to competition. F.H. Bennett Biscuit Co. of New York began churning out what we know of today as Milk Bones. They were made of minerals, cow’s milk, and meat products, and shaped as the name would suggest.

These new treats were created out of a love for man’s best friend, and have certainly made our furry pals happier and healthier. Today, we have mountains of choices when we contemplate dog food and doggy treats, and skilled veterinarians to help us make choices regarding pet nutrition. Many retailers use National Dog Biscuit Day to promote sales on various doggy products, and many websites, volunteer groups, and pet clinics around the country use the day to promote information-sharing with owners around the country. And it is one of the most productive days of the year to make sure pet owner awareness is devoted to keeping pets healthy.

There are so many great products to make both our lives and the lives of our pets just a little bit easier. It could be time to go out a take a look at new collars in order to keep an eye on our animal friends. There are easy-to-use accessories out there that help keep them clean. So this National Dog Biscuit Day, perhaps we should all take a moment to appreciate man’s best friend! Take him to a dog park, give him a quick bath, toss him a few treats, teach him a few new tricks…Just spending time is the best way!