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Bone Up. It's National Dog Treat Day.

DD-Dog-Treat-DayThere's probably not a Hallmark card for it, but then again, we haven’t looked. But if dogs could read, we guarantee they'd have today circled on the calendars. History’s a little sketch on the origin of this one, but National Dog Biscuit Day - not to be confused with National Banana Bread Day - comes around every year on February 23rd. Yep, there’s a day for everything. So if you’re looking for a reason to pass out the treats, here you go!

Nowadays, dog treats come in gabillions of sizes, shapes and flavors, but the history of dog biscuit itself is as unassuming as humble pie. SprattsAs the story goes, the market went unchallenged for decades, essentially owned by an electrician-turned-dog-treat-baker named Spratt who brought his product to market before the Civil War under the banner Spratt’s Patent Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes. Yum! It wasn't until the turn of the century when a struggling brand known as Maltoid from the Bennet Biscuit Company made a scene when it formed its biscuits in the shape of, you guessed it, a bone. The milk, mineral and meat-product biscuit eventually became known as Milk-Bone. We’d have to guess they had some much better folks in the marketing department.

Today, there’s plenty of competition for your dog’s fancy and taste buds. ASNS-Tahitian-4Flavored treats hit the scene when Wally and the Beaver were in Prime Time, now there’s likely no flavor or texture that hasn’t been tried. We always thought “dead bird” and “litter box” would be no-brainers as far as the dogs were concerned, but dogs don’t have wallets. Couldn’t be any tougher than marketing Spratt’s biscuits, though. And when it comes to the claim that this treat or that is “better tasting”… we asked a pal who works at a big food company and he says the test dogs don't fill out a survey, but they have their way of selecting what they like best. (Doggie dream job!)

If the news of National Dog Treat Day caught you by surprise - and treatless, no worries. Here are some homemade dog treat recipes from the good folks at The Honest Kitchen. Get your Martha Stewart on and whip up a batch of homemade treats and celebrate! And if you’re a day late, don’t sweat it. Remember: dogs don’t have calendars.

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