By Diane Jessup
For The Sentinel 

Companion Animal: How dog food companies made us guilty


February 12, 2020

Diane Jessup

MY LEG ISN'T DOG FOOD: A pair of pooches at play. Dog food companies have had a field day pitching high-end but highly questionable products.

In 1860, James Spratt, an American who had traveled to London to sell lightning rods, noticed dogs hanging around the shipyards eating discarded hardtack, the dry biscuits which sustained sailors on long journeys. Knowing how the English loved dogs, it occurred to him that there was a need for a commercial, easy to use dog food. His first dog ration was made up of wheat meal, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood. The name? Spratt's Patent Meal Fibrine Dog Cakes.

The product took hold and Spratt stayed in London, so it wasn't until 1890 that America saw its first commercial dry dog ration. How were dogs fed before the convenience of kibble? Pets in homes ate scraps, and kennels fed mushes...

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