Commercial Dog Treats History

dog treats on baking sheet

Have you ever wondered about the history of dog treats? Our market today is inundated with many different varieties of dog treats, catering to every dog's taste and dietary concerns.

However, this was not always the case, with dog treats not actually hitting the market until the early 1900s. Prior to that, dog owners, although they could bake their own dog biscuits at home(and many probably did), they could not go to a store and find them on the shelves.

It seems that someone always steps in to fill an industry niche with great success when there is a great need, and the same concept applies to the history of dog treats.

In the 1890s, A London butcher tried expanding his business by producing biscuits for sale, along with his meat. After tasting his first batch of biscuits, he decided that they tasted terrible and gave them to his dog instead. The dog eagerly ate them and the butcher knew he had something good on his hands, so he continued to make these biscuits for dogs.

Milk Bones box

In 1908, an enterprising American named Bennett entered his shop and struck a deal for the man's recipe. From there, the F. H. Bennett Biscuit Company was established and started mass-producing these biscuits which he named Milk Bones (they originally went by the name Maltoids). Milk Bones continue to be a popular brand of dog treats today.

In 1931, Bennett's bakery was acquired by The National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco) and they pretty much dominated the dog treats industry until the 1970s, when other companies started getting into the dog treats business.

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