Two dogs sitting with their owner before lunch.

What is a Healthy Dog Food and Treat?

What is a Healthy Dog Food and Treat?

To understand dog food in 2022, we need to look at where dog food and treats started as products, in 1860. 

James Spratt took a trip from his hometown in Ohio to visit England. He watched sailors toss left over lunches of bread and scraps of fish to their own shipyard dogs. He returned to Ohio and created the first dog biscuit he called a dog cake. Bread meals, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood. It was a hit.

In 1920 canned dog food made the market using horsemeat. Horsemeat because the military no longer needed their Calvary. By 1941 canned dog food made up a majority of the dog food market. Then World War II engaged. The government confiscated the aluminum market to build war time machines. This left a new need. Dog food had to be recreated for packaging. And so began dry dog food in bags. Ingredients and guidelines bumped, dropped, jostled and changed until the early 1950s when the extruder was invented for breakfast cereals.

Dog food was following the human food production sciences. Consistency, shelf life, and base nutrition being met as quickly and profitably as possible. The extruder created a way and means for delivering any ingredient properly prefabricated into a defined size and shape. Delicious! Or not.

Bowl of extruded dog food.

The brand-named dog foods of yesteryear, still here today, use slaughterhouse discards to emulsify and shoot through their extruding machines. Meat By Products. The leftovers not fit for humans. Dead, dying, disabled, diseased. No point in going into the dark corners here. Suffice it to say, profit margins come before health and animal. Health and animal cruelty come into play at this point.

Dog food needs to be approached as we do our own food.

  • Know the origin story of the ingredients.
  • Keep the ingredients list short and recognizable.
  • The minute you need a PhD to read an ingredient's list, is the minute you look elsewhere.
  • Check for sugars and glazes.
  • Corn is sugar.

The short list of the bad ingredient list.

  • Corn
  • Commodity grains (field corn, soy, wheat)
  • Dyes
  • Preservatives
  • Synthetic flavors, vitamins, colors.
  • Meat by-products

These can create itchy skin, illness, organ illness, eye and ear infections. These are profit generating ingredients. Not health generating ingredients.

What you put in your dog's bowls, will affect every part of their life. Just as what you put on your plate, affects every part of yours. A leader in the idea of dog foods that create healthy dogs is Solid Gold. America's first holistic dog food. Since 1974.  We feed Leaping Waters. A real solution for skin and stomach issues.

And yes, we all have to face the fact that dogs eat weird things when we aren't looking. Or, sadly, when we are.

Pug puppy eating a healthy dog treat.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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