In Praise of the Dog Biscuit

Today is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, which, of course, fills me with the desire to engage in some sort of celebratory dance in the pet food aisle of my local supermarket. There’s nothing quite like making a spectacle of oneself in the name of paying homage to a worthy cause like that. At the very least, I ought to purchase something special for my dog today—something that promises to thrill his carnivorous little soul, rendering him delirious with joy in anticipation of receiving said nugget of wonderfulness. Lord knows he needs SOMETHING that effectively motivates him to whiz in the lawn in lieu of the living room.

However, the vast array of choices these days literally makes my head spin. Quite frankly, I hesitate to select a canister of that which boasts a smooth, succulent flavor while an economy-sized bag of smoky, bacon-flavored whateverness lurks nearby. And let us not forget the strips of leathery goodness and the bone-like bits of deliciousness that claim to erase unsightly tartar buildup while taming the beast that is dog breath. Never mind the bite-sized wonders that defy the laws of attrition—failing to crumble into irksome flecks that live within our pockets forevermore. In a word, the possibilities are endless and I am left with difficult decisions to make there in the Land of Canine Cuisine.

So like a fool, I pull said packages off the shelves and smell them—which is completely moronic given that a dog’s sense of smell is roughly a million times more efficient than a human’s. (I Googled it, therefore it must be so). Indeed, aside from tearing open the boxes and actually sampling the morsels within, I don’t have much to go on with regard to choosing what would wow Mister Fuzzypants.

Then again, I suppose I could turn to David Muriello (The Real Deal on Dogs) who conducted perhaps one of the most bizarre taste tests on the planet. In the name of science, the man willingly and publicly appraised an assortment of dog treats, providing an impressively detailed analysis of brand name products via an 11-minute video clip sure to entertain and inform. I urge anyone in desperate need of a laugh to view it. Like me, he apparently harbors a fair amount of curiosity about the subject of dogs and their beloved treats; although I can’t imagine voluntarily subjecting myself to such culinary unpleasantness—unless, of course, some of the stuff was actually palatable.

Personally, I’m not sure that dogs even give a hoot about flavor. To me they qualify as indiscriminate eaters, cruising through the smorgasbord of life devouring pretty much anything and everything they encounter—to include Barbie doll paraphernalia, unsuspecting furniture legs, and ever-so-conspicuous chunks of carpet. Granted, not all dogs possess a penchant for consuming that which is largely inedible. But mine does. Furthermore, I’d daresay the aforementioned muttonhead is incapable of discerning a dollop of peanut butter from the remains of a freshly decapitated bird (or from a hideously decomposed bird for that matter). Indeed, he categorizes both as wholly irresistible; trusting his nose more than anything, methinks.

In light of this, perhaps the ultimate marketing strategy would be to focus on the smells that drive dogs to distraction, and to develop treats based on information gathered from the field. My dog, for one, would certainly volunteer his services in the name of giving rise to an even better dog biscuit—a smellier, more alluring sort of indulgence. That said, the pungent aroma of carnage, old shoes, musty dishcloths and fresh vomit would top his list of favorites. He’d also be impossibly drawn to the bouquet of dung—especially that of cats, rabbits and deer. Needless to say, if it were possible to capture the aforementioned scents and infuse them within bite-sized morsels for dogs, the world would be a different place—one in which an entire week might be devoted to the appreciation of dog biscuits.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (stocking up on tasty treats as we speak).

Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel

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