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International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day 2023: When It Is & How to Celebrate

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By Nicole Cosgrove

bone-shaped dog biscuits

Dogs might not keep track of or celebrate holidays like we do, but if they did, International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day would probably be their favorite! Held annually on February 23, International Dog Biscuit Appreciation is also called National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. It’s one of many dog-oriented holidays that owners love to celebrate.

Like dogs themselves, dog biscuits come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can clean teeth or are simply perfect treats for good behavior. The range of flavors suits all canine tastebuds. Dog biscuits tend to be a big staple in a dog’s life, so here’s more about the holiday dedicated to them.

Click below to jump ahead:

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What Is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day?

It’s difficult to say when International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day first came about, but it is safe to say that it was in honor of dogs. They love treats of all kinds, and there are so many dog biscuits to choose from that having a day dedicated to them is perfectly understandable.

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to experiment with a new flavor, make your own biscuits, or stock up on your dwindling supply.

Yorkshire Terrier dog eats a treat
Image Credit: Valerie Nik, Shutterstock

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How to Celebrate International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

Celebrating with our dogs is always the perfect way to acknowledge a holiday, especially one like International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. You can also celebrate without a dog of your own. Here are a few ways to take part.

1. Donate Treats to a Shelter

Whether you have a dog of your own or not, donating treats to your local dog shelter is a great way to celebrate International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. Donate your dog’s favorite treats or an assortment of different types and flavors to suit a variety of preferences, or make some yourself (include a list of the ingredients).

Donating biscuits goes beyond treating dogs that don’t have someone special to spoil them. It also helps non-profit shelters take care of all the animals in the facility, especially when the budget is too tight to give everyone something tasty.

If you don’t have a dog of your own but have been planning to welcome one home, why not spend time with the dogs too? You might find a puppy that you simply can’t leave behind. The dogs will get a tasty treat, and you’ll get a new friend. It’s a win-win!

stray dogs in a shelter
Image Credit: Anton Gvozdikov, Shutterstock

2. Give a Biscuit to Your Dog

There’s no better way to celebrate International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day than by eating biscuits. While this might not be something that you want to take part in yourself, your dog will adore every treat that you toss their way.

Don’t let your dog eat too many biscuits, though. Giving them extra treats for the day won’t hurt, but you shouldn’t make a habit of overfeeding them. Too many dog biscuits will interfere with their diet and could result in nutrient imbalances and other health issues like obesity, poor skin and coat health, pancreatitis, lowered immunity, and diabetes.

3. Make Homemade Dog Biscuits

Homemade dog food is steadily becoming more popular, and you can make special treats in your kitchen too. You can find all sorts of dog biscuit recipes online; try out your favorites to see which ones your dog likes best.

That said, always do your research to make sure the recipes are safe for dogs. If you’re not sure, ask your veterinarian for advice. They might even have a recipe or two of their own to share with you.

homemade dog treat biscuits
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

4. Share a Dog Biscuit Recipe

If you make dog biscuits frequently or have found the perfect recipe that you just have to share, spreading the word is a great way to celebrate. Share the link to the dog biscuit recipe on your favorite social media site, or make a post with your recipe—as long as you’re certain that it’s completely dog friendly!

Use the hashtag #InternationalDogBiscuitDay to share with your friends and other dog owners. Remember that the day is also known as National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, so you can use #NationalDogBiscuitDay too.

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Interesting Facts About Dog Biscuits

If you have a dog, biscuits are a big part of your daily routine. Whether you have a box of commercially made treats or prefer to make your own, dog biscuits are always close at hand. Even so, they have a few interesting secrets.

Their Origin Is Unknown

Dogs have always been beloved companions, but the history of their treats is less certain. No one knows for sure when the first dog biscuit came about. Some say that it was the result of a butcher accidentally ruining a batch of regular biscuits during the early 1800s. Others think it was called “dog bread,” which was considered unfit for human consumption and given to canines instead.

The first official dog biscuits were developed in the 1860s and were known as “Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes.” Made by an American expat in London called James Spratt, these original dog biscuits contained wheat, vegetables, meat, and blood.

It might not sound appetizing to us, but dogs loved them! Since then, dog biscuits of all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors have been reliable treats for our canine friends.

animal biscuit kibbles
Image credit: Biscuit Kibbles by freddie10, Pixabay

The Largest Dog Biscuit Weighed 617 Pounds

Dog biscuits are made so often that there are all sorts of sizes and flavors to choose from. The largest dog biscuit was recorded in Missouri in 2011. Made by Hampshire Pet Products to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the biscuit weighed 617 pounds and was 19 feet long.

Once the biscuit was finished and recorded, it was broken into smaller pieces and given to the shelter dogs at the Humane Society in Joplin.

The Bone Shape Was Introduced in 1908

Dog biscuits haven’t always been shaped like bones. The first bone-shaped dog biscuit appeared in 1908.

Originally, dog biscuits were square shaped to mimic the hardtack that the sailors gave to dogs in shipyards. The bone shape was introduced by Carleton Ellis, who was requested to find a use for the local slaughterhouse’s waste milk. One of his solutions was to make dog biscuits.

His original design was the same rounded, square shape as other dog biscuits, but the dogs that he gave them to weren’t interested. Instead of changing the recipe, though, Ellis changed the shape of the biscuits to mimic the leftover bones that families gave to their dogs. When he gave the dogs the same recipe but in a bone shape, they devoured them.

After his success, Ellis transferred the patent to the F. H. Bennett Biscuit Company, and his dog biscuits became Milk-Bones. While it might not be the shape that truly encourages a dog to eat the biscuit—Ellis himself questioned his dog’s interest—the Milk-Bone is still one of the most well-recognized bone-shaped dog biscuits today.

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February is the perfect month for showering your loved ones with affection. While Valentine’s Day is dedicated to your two-legged significant other, International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day on the 23rd is dedicated to our beloved canines.

Your dog might not know what day it is, but they’re bound to adore the extra biscuits and love from their favorite people. You can also celebrate by donating biscuits to a shelter to help dogs that are less well-off.

Featured Image Credit: gvictoria, Shutterstock

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