Ancient Roman writings contain mention of “dog’s bread” – a tough, hard, bread made from bran and generally shunned by humans. Through history, we can find references to dog’s bread. From Wikipedia:
“Dog-biscuit is a hard and well-baked mass of coarse, yet clean and wholesome flour, of an inferior kind to that known as sailors’ biscuit; and this latter substance, indeed, would be the best substitute for the former with which we are acquainted. A bag of dog-biscuit of five shillings’ value, will be an ample supply for a yard-dog during the year: it should be soaked in water, or ” pot liquor,” for an hour or two ; and if no meat be at hand, a little dripping or lard may be added to it while softening, which will make a relishing meal at a trifling cost.”
However, it was a man named James Spratt, an electrician from Cincinnati, who is generally credited with inventing the first modern commercial dog biscuit – while in England.
“By most accounts, the history of the industry begins with a man named James Spratt. An electrician from Cincinnati, Spratt had patented a new type of lightning conductor in 1850. Later in the decade, he traveled to England to sell it. According to industry lore, he had a quayside epiphany in London when he saw a group of dogs eating discarded hardtack, the cheap, tough biscuits carried on ships and known to sailors as “molar breakers.” The first major chunk of today’s pet industry was born.”
Today, dog biscuits range from mass-produced brands you buy at the grocery or pet store to small batch artisanal treats made from a variety of wholesome ingredients at home or by specialty retailers. No matter what you choose, your best buddy will thank you!