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Who invented dog food?

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In 1860, a salesman called James Spratt was in London, England, trying to sell lightening rods and was accompanied by his dog, Spratt. Spratt was given some discarded ship biscuit with which to feed the dog. James Spratt immediately saw a potential for making money. He devised a ‘dog cake’ that was nutritious and inexpensive. This was the first commercial dog food and Mr Spratt became the first pet food entrepreneur. Today the pet food industry is worth billions of pounds as the giants of the pet food industry increase their sales by aggressive advertising, economic power and by producing a product greatly welcomed by the busy pet owner. Gone are the days when the household dog was fed on scraps and whatever prey he could catch for his supper. The array of commercially prepared dog food is vast with each brand claiming to contain rich wholesome ingredients to keep the dog fit and healthy.

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