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Home > Dogs > International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Yorkshire Terrier dog eats a treat

Dogs have a ton of lesser-known holidays that you’ve probably never given a second thought, but maybe you should start! For example, every February 23rd is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. This lighthearted holiday celebrates all the dog biscuits and treats out there, from simple bone-shaped biscuits used for training to dental treats that promote good oral hygiene.

In fact, this holiday goes back a lot farther than you might think—the 1800s, to be exact. Let’s delve into the history of your dog’s favorite treats and food and check out some ways you can celebrate International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day this year with your best four-legged friend.


History of Dog Food & Treats

Dog food wasn’t always meticulously formulated with high-quality ingredients. In fact, dog kibble and dog treats are only a couple hundred years old. Before that, there was evidence from Rome that dogs were known to eat meat, bones, and grains like barley.1 However, it was typically only dogs owned by the upper crust of society that had the luxury of eating so well. Dogs owned by lower economic classes ate whatever their owners could spare, like bread crusts, bones, milk, undesirable veggies, or barley soaked in water.

In the 1800s, American businessman James Spratt saw English dogs in Liverpool eating rotten ship biscuits and realized there must be something better we could give them. Spratt made the first commercial dog biscuits in the mid-19th century from wheat, beetroot, and beef blood.2

The target audience for these treats were upper-class sporting gentlemen who kept hunting dogs, but other companies capitalized on the idea by creating their own dry dog food formulas. The first canned dog food, Ken-L Ration, was horse meat, which was obviously phased out later.

As veterinary science and animal nutrition became more prominent in the early 1900s, a profusion of products emerged. At first, only for the discerning dog owner who could afford these upscale products, but around the 60s, the first puppy food for “family dogs” came out, solidifying them as a valuable part of any family. In the 80s, nutritional requirements finally reached a consensus, and the foundation of most modern dog food was firmly set.

The exact origin of International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is unknown to this day, but in a way, it traces all the way back to James Sprat making that first leap that enabled others to follow up with high-quality dog food and treats. On every February 23rd, take a moment to thank him.

bernese mountain dog getting a treat
Image Credit: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

This worldwide holiday has a million different meanings depending on who you ask, and you can celebrate in just about any positive, fun way that highlights the importance of tasty dog biscuits in your pet’s life.

A Few Fun Ways to Celebrate:
  • Indulge your dog and buy their favorite dog treats, even if it’s not necessarily biscuits.
  • Play puzzle-feeding games with your dog to make treats a more stimulating experience.
  • Take some selfies with your dog and their favorite dog biscuits and post them on social media to spread awareness about the holiday.
  • Share some tidbits about the history of dog food with friends or family.
  • If you’ve been buying the same old dog food forever, consider taking the time to visit the vet and find a healthier kibble and higher-quality treats for your pup to enjoy.

Tips for a More Balanced Canine Diet

It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying the same dog food you’re used to since changes in diet can be stressful for your pup. That doesn’t mean you can’t, just that you have to proceed with care. If you’re lost on how to create a more balanced diet for your dog, let us help

Dog Diet Tips for a Healthier Pooch:
  • If your dog has a habit of overeating, try feeding smaller portions at more frequent mealtimes. Try four smaller meals to start and increase to as many as 6 per day if necessary.
  • Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh, clean water, as hydration is just as important as a balanced diet for your dog’s health.
  • Consider substituting your dog’s kibble with a mix of brown rice, shredded chicken, and some healthy veggies, like green beans or sweet potatoes.
  • You can mix ingredients like green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, peanut butter (xylitol-free), and more with your dog’s food or as infrequent treats to motivate training or for other reasons.
  • Ensure your dog gets enough exercise. Some dogs are lazier than others, but regular exercise is critical for balancing your dog’s diet and shedding excess calories.

labrador retriever dog holding feeding bowl in his mouth
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is celebrated every February 23rd, so make sure you mark your calendar! Take the time on this unofficial holiday to reward your dog, appreciate how far dog treats have come, and just have a ball. It’s all about fun, bonding with your dog, and appreciating good food. What’s better than that?

Featured Image Credit: Valerie Nik, Shutterstock

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