Phyllis Entis

Award-winning mystery writer and food safety microbiologist


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Reconstructing history

I am researching a book on the pet food industry.

This project is a true labor of love, allowing me to indulge in two of my passions at once: my love of animals, and my love of mysteries. For this is what research amounts to. Solving a series of mysteries.

I thought I’d share a few fun facts today on the history of pet food.

1876_ad_for_Spratts_Patent_Meat_Fibrine_Dog_Cakes-600x558James Spratt introduced the Spratt Patent Meat Fibrine Dog Cake in 1860. An electrician and inventor (of a lightning rod design), he got the idea for the dog cake when he observed sailors tossing leftover hardtack to packs of dogs on the Liverpool docks in England.

Ken-L-Ration, introduced in 1923, was the first canned dog food. It was soon followed by Ken-L Biskit, a dry dog food.

Maltoid_milk-boneThe first bone-shaped dog biscuit was introduced in the United States by the F.H. Bennett Biscuit Company in 1907. The Maltoid-Milk Bone, as it was then called, dominated the market for some fifteen years. The company was taken over by Nabisco in 1931.

The US pet food market was expected to hit $27 billion in 2018.

Approximately 68% of US households own at least one pet (as of 2017/2018), up from 56% ten years ago.

Finally, our household is among the 68%, and here’s the proof!