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National Dog Biscuit Day 2024: What It Is & Ways to Celebrate

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

hand of pet owner giving labrador retriever biscuit

National Dog Biscuit Day 2024: What It Is & Ways to Celebrate

Did you know there’s a whole day of the year devoted just to doggie biscuits? Well, mark your calendars, because every February 23rd, we get excited for National Dog Biscuit Day with our beloved fur babies. The holiday’s roots are somewhat of a mystery, but that’s no reason not to still go all out. Most of our pups get treats daily, but that’s no reason not to make this day extra awesome! Keep reading for some ways to celebrate this annual doggo bash with your bestie.

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What is National Dog Biscuit Day?

Even though we’re not sure where, how, or when it all started, National Dog Biscuit Day is popular, with even respected organizations like the ASPCA giving it a nod. It even goes global as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.1

The original biscuit for dogs was whipped up by James Spratt in the 19th century. Prior to his square-shaped, fully-baked brainchild, dogs would munch on sailor’s hardtack (a basic, long-lasting biscuit from flour, water, and sometimes salt, used by sailors, soldiers, and pioneers when fresh food was scarce) or gnaw on bread or leftovers unfit for humans. Spratt saw potential in making biscuits just for dogs—and he was on to something big. His Spratt’s “Patent Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes” became a hit among posh English gents and gentlewomen who loved pampering their pooches. Fun fact: these early dog biscuits were actually dog meals, not treats. They didn’t become treats until post-WWII when the recipe was tweaked.

The basic, square dog biscuit got seen by entrepreneur and pet-food mastermind Carleton Ellis. An abattoir asked him to find a use for their “waste milk,” and Carleton cooked up a doggie snack recipe using the surplus. Initially, it was a square shape like Spratt’s Dog Cakes. However, Spratt soon switched it up to a bone shape, and suddenly American dogs were all over his new Milk-Bone treats.

labrador retriever dog biscuit with bone shape on his nose
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate National Dog Biscuit Day

It’s easy to honor International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. Just toss your furry friend a tasty treat! Maybe take them on a stroll to a nearby pet bakery for some fresh goodies or whip up your own treats. You could even plan a treat baking session with some fellow dog lovers, swapping recipes and experimenting together. Or what about visiting your local dog park for a snack party? Just make sure to check with other dog parents for the okay before sharing treats.

Feeling inspired? Check out this simple dog biscuit recipe you can whip up in your kitchen. Depending on your cookie cutter size, you’ll get plenty to store, freeze, or share with your friends looking to join the celebration.

giving treat to a dog lying on the pet bed
Image Credit: Tanya Dol, Shutterstock

Treats with Benefits: Health-Boosting Biscuits

Check out these nutritious ingredients you can add to your homemade dog treats, giving your pup a health boost while treating them.

  • Pumpkin: Packed with fiber and vitamins, pumpkin is perfect for your pup’s digestive health. Just make sure you’re using pure pumpkin puree, not the pie-filling kind.
  • Chia Seeds: These tiny seeds are a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your dog’s skin and coat looking sleek and shiny.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Loaded with vitamins and fiber, sweet potatoes are a great addition to dog biscuits. Plus, they’re low in calories, so your fur baby can snack guilt-free.
  • Spinach: Spinach is full of vitamins, iron, and antioxidants, making it a super addition to your pup’s treats.
  • Peanut Butter: What dog doesn’t love peanut butter? It’s a great source of protein and healthy fats. Just be sure to choose a natural, xylitol-free version to keep your pup safe.

Remember, moderation is key when adding these health-boosting ingredients to your dog’s treats. And as always, check with your vet if you’re unsure about introducing new foods to your dog’s diet.

What NOT to Give Your Dog

While we’re all about treating our dogs, some human foods can be seriously harmful to our pets. Here’s a list of no-go foods to keep your pup safe and healthy.

  • Chocolate: It’s a big no-no for dogs, as it contains theobromine, which can cause severe health issues or even be fatal to our four-legged friends.
  • Grapes & Raisins: These tasty little fruits can be toxic to dogs, leading to kidney failure.
  • Onions & Garlic: These flavorful veggies contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Keep your fur baby away from dishes with onions and garlic.
  • Xylitol: This sneaky sweetener is sometimes found in candy and peanut butter, as mentioned above. It can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar and even liver failure in dogs.

Always double-check ingredients when baking treats for your dog, and keep these no-go foods out of their reach.

husky dog waiting for owner to give him the homemade treat
Image Credit: Michael Ebardt, Shutterstock

How Many Biscuits Are Too Many Biscuits?

We know spoiling our dogs is fun and great for bonding, but overall, we need to moderate as overfeeding can lead to weight gain. Obesity in pets can cause a ton of health problems, like diabetes and joint issues. Snacks have to be part of your dog’s overall diet, so take their overall caloric needs into account. When you’re celebrating National Dog Biscuit Day, remember, moderation is key. A treat or two is fine, but don’t go overboard. Keep your dog’s health in check while still showing them some love. And hey, extra belly rubs and playtime never hurt anyone either, right?

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Whether you’re treating your pup to a store-bought snack or baking a batch of homemade biscuits, don’t miss out on National Dog Biscuit Day. On February 23rd, remember that it’s all about celebrating our furry friends, so make it extra special. Share the fun on your social platforms using #NationalDogBiscuitDay and get the word out for next year’s celebrations. Remember to dispense treats judiciously and responsibly.

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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