Ever wondered how Fido got his food and the technology and history behind what we call modern dog food today? The dog food industry has progressed over the years to where we are today with organic dog food and more.
I bet very few people have ever wondered how we went from scraps off the table to canned food for dogs and cats and today we have even gone much further. We are now at the level of organic food for your animals. Where did it all really begin?
The dog food industry started in Britain with a man called James Spratt. You could call him the founding father of modern day dog food. James Spratt was an American electrician who noticed one day how the stray dogs had been eating biscuits which had fallen out of a waste bin. This is where the original idea came from for today’s dog biscuits. He made the first dog food biscuits out of wheat, meat and vegetable and called it ‘dog cakes’. All of this in the 1890’s created a new industry and this was absorbed into a company called General Mills in the 1950’s. Today General Mills has become a well-known global conglomerate.
Since then dog food has become a science of cost verses benefits. Your cheap dog food is normally made from by-product animal products such as cow brains and spinal cords with grains being used as a filler. Your more expensive dog food and cat food comes from organic whole sources and hence they are more expensive on the store shelf. These would be from sources which would normally be used for human consumption. It is as yet not law that the cans and bags of food for animal consumption lists its ingredients and sources so you never really know what you are buying for your pets.
There are 3 types of dog food which is made today. The first is ‘wet process’ dog food. This is what you would get in your cans for dog food. They don’t have a long shelf life but have a higher protein and fat content. The second type of ‘dry process’ dog food which has been cooked and air dyed and this is what we call our dry dog biscuit food. The last type is dehydrated dog food which has not taken off as well as the others. These are much like noodle where you have to add water for the food to become edible.
Next time you look at the store shelf for your dog or cats food. Consider the history of the dog food industry and the amount of time and technology that went into making dog food nutritious and shelf stable.