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Big Dog Chow — 75 Years Ago

So you think it's difficult feeding a large dog these days? The next time you grumble about loading a couple of 40-pound bags of kibble into the back of your minivan, consider this: 70 years ago there were few, if any, commercial pet foods on the market. To feed your dog, you had to prepare its meals from scratch.

Dr. Little's Dog Book, written in 1924 by George Watson Little, D.V.M., recommended the following general diet for dogs in the 80 to 200 pound weight class:

1.5 to 2.5 pounds of meat per day. Suggested meats were beef, lamb, mutton, beef hearts, dehydrated horse meat, bone meal, sheeps' heads, and bullocks' heads.

The meat was prepared by cooking it in a liberal amount of water. The remaining water could then be used to make soup for the dog.

In addition to the meat, Dr. Little recommended 1 to 3 pints of soup per day mixed with cereals (stale bread, oatmeal porridge, or well-cooked rice) and vegetables, such as turnips, lettuce, beans, spinach, asparagus, boiled cabbage, and beets.

Foods that were to be avoided were boiled liver, lungs, haslets (pig hearts and livers), veal, corned meats, bacon, ham, pork, potatoes, boiled eggs, raw fish, uncooked rice, cakes and sweets.

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