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Dog food


Dog food refers to food specifically intended for consumption by dogs. Like all carnivores, dogs have sharp, pointed teeth, and have short gastrointestinal tracts better suited for the consumption of meat. In spite of this natural carnivorous design, dogs have still managed to adapt over thousands of years to survive on the meat and non-meat scraps and leftovers of human existence and thrive on a variety of foods.

In the United States alone, dog owners spent over $8.6 billion on commercially manufactured dog food in 2007. Some people make their own dog food, feed their dogs meals made from ingredients purchased in grocery or health food stores or give their dogs a raw food diet.

In 37 BCE Virgil talks about the feeding of dogs in his Bucolics:

Nec tibi cura canum fuerit postrema; sed una Veloces Spartae catulos, acremque Molossum, Pasce sero pingui:

"Do not let the care of dogs be last; but the swift Spartan hounds, and fierce Mastiff, Feed the whey"

Around 70 CE, Columella wrote his book On Agriculture in which he addresses the feeding of dogs:

Cibaria fere eadem sunt utrique generi praebenda. Nam si tam laxa rura sunt, ut sustineant pecorum greges, omnis sine discrimine hordeacea farina cum sero commode pascit. Sin autem surculo consitus ager sine pascuo est, farreo vel triticeo pane satiandi sunt, admixto tamen liquore coctae fabae, sed tepido, nam fervens rabiem creat.

"Provisions of victuals are almost the same for both [types of dog]. If the fields are so large as to sustain herds of animals, barley meal mixed with whey is a convenient food. But if it is an orchard without grain, spelt or wheat bread is fed mixed with the liquid from cooked beans, but warm, for boiling creates rabies."

In the Avesta, written from 224 to 651 CE, Azura Mazda advises:

Bring ye unto him milk and fat with meat; this is the right food for the dog.

In France, the word pâtée began to appear in the 18th century and referred to a paste originally given to poultry. In 1756, a dictionary indicates it was made of a mixture of bread crumbs and little pieces of meat given to pets.

In 1781, an encyclopedia mentioned an earlier practice of removing the liver, heart, and blood of a downed stag and mixing it with milk, cheese, and bread; and then giving it to dogs.

In 1844, the French writer, Nicolas Boyard, warned against even giving tallow graves (the dregs of the tallow pot) to dogs, though the English favored them (see below), and suggested a meat-flavored soup:


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Wikipedia

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