What were hounds fed in the early days? Up to the middle of the 19th century a great many dogs, including hound packs were fed on bread or biscuit, usually soaked with milk or water, and very few had meat, or only occasionally. It was around the middle of the 19th century that commercial food manufacturers started up. For example, Wright & Co. of Liverpool was established in 1840, making dog biscuits. Spratts started a bit later, making meat-fibrine dog cakes to begin with (whatever meat-fibrine was!). In the Spratts advertisements these were claimed to be "the backbone of the Canine Race - are the staple food for all adult dogs. They establish and maintain health and stamina - ensure the splendid condition that, in the show ring, merits first awards!"
Spillers was another early manufacturer. Apart from plain dog biscuits, hound and terrier meal, and wheatmeal biscuits, they had Plasmon biscuits ("Contain the full protein of milk, which together with the organic salts and phosphates, increases their food value enormously"), Sippets ("The handy little biscuit, appetising and palatable. Sippets are full of nourishment and are relished by all breeds.") and the Victoria range, which included "cereal and meat substances" and were perhaps the earliest complete foods. This range included Malt Extract biscuits designed "for delicate feeders and dogs suffering or recovering from Distemper, Mange, Eczema, etc. Rich in bone forming properties and specially suited to puppies of large breeds and to all breeds after weaning."
I don't know when Sherley's started up but their first Dog Book was published in 1907 under the title of Hints to Dog Owners, later simply called Sherley's Dog Book. I have a copy of the 13th edition published in 1930. Sherley's made tonic and condition powders, which were said to "clear the blood of all impurities, improve the appetite and completely tone up the system. They are safe, tasteless and certain." They also made Lactol biscuits. In 1930 the new discovery, Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin", had been added to Lactol biscuits to encourage the assimilation of the calcium content of the food and so promote the formation of sound bone.
In the early days of the breed's recovery there were major problems with twisted limbs, bowing of bones, weak hocks and pasterns, etc. so the diet was obviously poor. Most breeders at the time blamed the Gt. Dane in the crosses they were using for this problem, but it was much more likely to be diet-related. They were trying to produce heavier boned and bigger animals without the nutrients to make this possible in any healthy way. Isaac Everett, in an article in the Irish Wolfhound Club Year Book, mentions being asked to look at a litter out of Ch. Sportella (born 1897), which at the age of six months were so crippled by rickets that he could only advise putting them all down.
I have the 4th Edition of Stonehenge on the Dog, published in 1887.
The advice given there on feeding is: "The feeding of puppies is
all important, and unless they have plenty of food sufficiently nourishing to
allow of a proper growth, it is impossible that they should become what they
might be if fed with the best materials for the purpose. From the time of
weaning to the end of the third month, when a decision must be arrived at as to
their subsequent management, very little deviation is required from [the page
on feeding before weaning]; that is, the puppies should be fed every four hours
upon the thickened broth made from sheep's head and thickened milk alternately.
After that time, however, their food must be given them rather stronger and of
a somewhat different nature, as we shall find in its proper place. This food
will be required for any kind of dog, but a single puppy may very well be
reared upon thickened milk, with the scraps of the house in addition, including
bones, which it will greedily pick, and any odds and ends which are left on the
"Regularity of feeding in puppies, as in adult animals, is of the utmost importance; and it will always be found that if two puppies are equally well reared in other respects, and one fed at regular hours, while the other is only supplied at the caprice of servants, the former will greatly excel the latter in size and health, as well as in the symmetrical devlopment of the body. It is also very necessary to avoid leaving any part of one meal in the pans or feeding-troughs until the next, as nothing disgusts the dog more than seeing food left in this way. The moment the puppies fill themselves, take away the surplus; and, indeed, it is better still to anticipate them by stopping them before they have quite done. All this requires considerable tact and experience, and there are very few servants who are able and willing to carry out these directions fully."
"THE FOOD OF PUPPIES AT HOME OR "AT WALK", AND ITS PROPER PREPARATION
"Whether at home or out, puppies require the same kind of food, and the more regularly this is given as to quantity and quality, as well as the times of feeding, the more healthy the puppy will be, and the faster he will grow. Many people consider milk to be by far the best article of food for growing puppies, and undoubtedly it is a good one; but it is not superior to a mixed diet of meal and animal food in proper proportions, and occasionally varied by the addition of green vegetables. Indeed, after three months, or at most four, puppies may be fed like grown dogs as to the quality of their food, requiring it, however, to be given them more frequently the younger they are. Up to six months they require it three times a day, at equal intervals, and after that age twice; for although there is a difference of opinion as to the propriety of feeding the adult once or twice a day, there is none about the puppy demanding a supply morning and evening. In all cases they should be encouraged to empty themselves (by allowing a run, if they are confined to kennel) just before feeding, and for an hour or two afterwards they are best at rest. If milk is given, it may be thickened by boiling in it oatmeal or wheat-flour, or both together, or biscuits may be scalded and added to it; but no flesh is needed in addition, bones only being required to amuse the dog and to clean his teeth by gnawing them. With these any dog may be very well reared, but the plan is an expensive one, if the milk has anything like the ordinary value attached to it, and if it has to be purchased the cost is generally quite prohibitory of its employment.
"Besides milk, the following articles are employed in feeding dogs, each of which will be separately considered, as to price and value. Of these Indian meal is by far the best in proportion to its price (being quite equal to anything but the very best wheat-flour, which is perhaps slightly more nourishing), and, being so much cheaper is, on that account, to be preferred. It requires to be mixed with oatmeal, in about equal proportions, or less of the latter if the bowels are at all relaxed. The usual price of Indian meal is about £10 or £12 per ton, half that of wheat and the same as that of barley, to which it is greatly to be preferred, being far less heating, and producing muscle in larger proportion. Oatmeal is considerably dearer, though the grain itself is cheaper; but the quantity of meal obtained, owing to the amount of chaff, is so small, that when this is got rid of the meal is necessarily sold at a higher price, being from £12 to £18 per ton, according to the season. But a much larger bulk of thick stuff, commonly called "puddings", is produced by oatmeal than can be obtained from any other meal in proportion to weight, the absorption of water being greater, and also varying in different qualities of oatmeal itself; so that, after all, this meal is not so expensive as it looks to be, when comparing an equal weight of it with barley or Indian meal. The real coarse Scotch oatmeal yields the greatest bulk of puddings, and is to be preferred on that account; besides which, it appears to agree best with dogs, and altogether is a very superior article; but in any case it ought to be nearly a year old. It may, therefore, be considered that Indian meal or Scotch oatmeal, both of which may always be procured from the corn-dealers, will be the best meal, unless the price of wheat-flour can be afforded, when the best red wheat should be coarsely ground and not dressed, and in this state made into biscuits or dumplings or used to thicken the broth.
"If Indian meal is employed, it must be mixed with water or broth while cold, and then boiled for at least an hour, stirring it occasionally to prevent burning. If it is intended to mix oatmeal with the Indian meal, the former may be first mixed with cold water to a paste, and then stirred in after boiling the latter for three quarters of an hour; then boil another quarter, reckoning from the time that the contents of the copper came to the boiling- point a second time.
"Wheat-flour should be boiled from fifteen to twenty minutes, and may be mixed with the oatmeal in the same way as the Indian meal.
Oatmeal pudding and porridge or stirabout are made as follows: the first name being given to it when so thick as to bear the weight of the body after it is cold, and the last two to a somewhat thinner composition. In any case the meal is stirred up with cold water to a thick paste, and, when quite smooth, some of the broth should be ladled out and added to it, still stirring it steadily. Then return the whole to the copper and stir till it thickens, ladle out into coolers, and let it "set", when it will cut with a spade and is quite solid. The directions as to length of time for the boiling of oatmeal vary a good deal, some preferring at least half an hour's boil, while others are content with ten or fifteen minutes; but for most purposes from a quarter to half an hour is the proper time, remembering that this is to be reckoned from the moment that the water boils.
"The animal food used should be carefully selected to avoid infectious diseases, and the flesh of those creatures which have been loaded with drugs should also be avoided. Horseflesh, if death has been caused by accident, is as good as anything, and in many cases of rapid disease the flesh is little the worse; but though in foxhound kennels there is little choice, yet for greyhounds those horses which have been much drugged for lingering diseases, and those also which are much emaciated, are likely to do more harm than good. Slipped calves and lambs, as well as beef and mutton, the result of death by natural causes, make an excellent change, but are seldom better than bad horseflesh. Still, as variety is essential to success in rearing they should not be rejected. Flesh may be kept for a long time, even in summer, by brushing it over with a quicklime wash, or dusting it with the powder, and then hanging it up in trees with thick foliage, carefully watching the attacks of the flies, which will not blow in the lime. In this way I have kept the shank ends of legs and shoulders good for six weeks in the height of summer, and in winter for three months. Whatever this kind of food is composed of should be boiled, with the exception of paunches, which may be given raw; but even they are better boiled, and I think an occasional meal of well-kept horseflesh is rather a good change. The flesh with the bones should be boiled for hours, until the meat is thoroughly done; then take it out and let it hang till cold, cut or strip it from the bones and mix with the puddings or stirabout according to the quantity required. The broth should always be used, as there are important elements of nutrition dissolved in it which are absent in the boiled flesh. It is, therefore, necessary to make the puddings or stirabout with it or to soak in it the biscuit, when this is the food selected. The bones should be given for the dogs to gnaw, together with any others from the house which can be obtained, but taking care to remove all fragments small enough for them to swallow whole. Bones should be given on grass or clean flags."
Proportions given are two third puddings or biscuit to one third cooked meat, but the amount of meat should be reduced for growing dogs which have not much exercise. "Most people prefer a much smaller proportion of meat, especially for hounds, pointers, setters, and spaniels, which depend on their nose, this organ being supposed to be rendered less delicate by high feeding." It is also suggested that dogs which are fed two thirds pudding to one third meat require a great deal of green vegetables, which should be given once or twice a week during the summer to prevent their becoming overheated and getting skin eruptions. "Green cabbage, turnip-tops, turnips, nettle-tops, or carrots, as well as potatoes, may all be given with advantage boiled and mixed with the meal and broth, in which way they are much relished."
The New Book of the Dog by Robert Leighton, published in 1907, has this to say on feeding: "this requires to be studied in relation to the particular breed. One good meal a day, served by preference in the evening,is sufficient for the adult if a dry dog-cake or a handful of rodnim be given for breakfast, and perhaps a large bone to gnaw at. Clean cold water must always be at hand in all weathers, and a drink of milk coloured with tea is nourishing. Goat's milk is particularly suitable for the dog: many owners keep goats on their premises to give a constant supply. It is a mistake to suppose, as many persons do, that meat diet provokes eczema and other skin troubles; the contrary is the case. The dog is by nature a carnivorous animal, and wholesome flesh, either cooked or raw, should be his staple food. Horseflesh, which is frequently used in large establishments, is not so fully to be relied upon as ordinary butcher meat. The horse is never specially bred for yielding food, and unless it has been killed by an accident or slaughtered because of physical injury, it either dies of disease or of old age. It is necessary, therefore, to be certain where the flesh comes from before it is distributed in the kennels, and it ought always to be promptly and well boiled. There is no serious objection to bullocks' heads, sheeps' heads, bullocks' tripes and paunches, and a little liver given occasionally is an aperient food which most dogs enjoy. But when it can be afforded, wholesome butcher meat is without question the proper food. Oatmeal porridge, rice, barley, linseed meal, and bone meal ought only to be regarded as occasional additions to the usual meat diet, and are not necessary when dog cakes are regularly supplied. Well-boiled green vegetables, such as cabbage, turnip-tops, and nettle-tops, are good mixed with the meat; potatoes are questionable. Of the various advertised dog foods, many of which are excellent, the choice may be left to those who are fond of experiment or who seek for convenient substitutes for the old-fashioned and wholesome diet of the household. Sickly dogs require invalid's treatment; but the best course is usually the simplest, and, given a sound constitution to begin with, any dog ought to thrive if he is only properly housed, carefully fed, and gets abundant exercise."
The Kennel Gazette of May, 1925 carried an article by Capt. Hugh Mears:-
THE THEORY OF CORRECT FEEDING
"Feeding, whether it be in connection with dogs or human beings, is so
much a matter of habit that its relative importance to life and health is apt
to be lost sight of. The food specialist along with the dog specialist are
almost in the same category, as far as a practical appreciation of food values
is concerned; although, perhaps, among the last named there are many who feed
their dogs or puppies, as the case may be, on orthodox lines, simply because it
happens to 'the thing', without a very intimate knowledge as to the raison
"What is food? Food is the material used to build up and repair the body, and it is the fuel which supplies the body with necessary energy, muscular force and warmth. If a dog, therefore, is to keep normal, healthy and vigorous, it must be regularly supplied with suitable organic foodstuffs to compensate for the constant waste that is naturally taking place. In the case of puppies, additional material is required to make for new growth and development.
"The first question which arises, therefore, is as to the nature of the constituents of foods which are of direct use to a dog. To be brief, it should be remembered that those required for building purposes are the nitrogen compounds and small quantities of mineral matters, whilst heat and energy are supplied by the carbonaceous elements such as fat and carbohydrates. No new growth can take place without nitrogen; it not only builds up a dog's framework, but is also the basis of muscular tissue, bones, brain, nerves and all the working parts and fluids of the body. The collective term used descriptive of the nitrogenous compounds in vegetables and animal foods is "protein". Protein occurs most generously in lean meat and is also present in considerable quantities in cereals.
"Mineral is present in nearly all foods, the most familiar and necessary being phosphate of lime, essential for proper growth and nutrition. It gives hardness and solidity to the bones, and is required for the formation of teeth and such secretions as blood, milk and the digestive fluids. A puppy fed on foods lacking a full ratio of digestive mineral matter has weak bones and a framework which is not strong enough for the perfect development of its body.
"Now as to the carbonaceous elements which consist for the most part of carbohydrates and fat. They cannot sustain life alone because they do not contain protein. The functions of carbohydrates and fat are practically similar, but of the two, fat is the more concentrated form of body fuel. For instance, it is a proved fact that a pound of fat consumed in the body yields as much energy as 2¼ pounds of carbohydrates.
"Without delving more deeply into technicalities it will be seen that it is harmful to give foods deficient in carbohydrates and protein, and that it is equally unwise to let either element predominate.
"For practical purposes dog foods fall into two groups, namely, protein suppliers, such as meat, bones and milk, and carbonaceious or fuel foods, in which are included vegetable products like flour, meals, biscuits and rice. Although animal and vegetable foods differ so widely in appearance and food value, the chemical compounds entering into their composition are either alike or very similar. Within limits, therefore, the two classes of food products are interchangeable and foods of either group are able to sustain life for a considerable time. Generally speaking, animal foods are the more complete and digestible.
"There is no doubt that dogs were, once upon a time, carnivorous, and it is equally true that centuries of association with man has made the canine race almost entirely omnivorous. It would be wrong, however, to claim that meat is no longer necessary for perfect development and health. The digestive system of a dog is still essentially that of the carnivorous type of animal and, therefore, adapted for the reception of concentrated meat rations rather than bulky foods. Moreover, the dentition of dogs is not suited for a farinaceous diet. Here again, a dog in company with man is able to accommodate himself with varying conditions of diet, but that does not mean to say that physically or mentally the highest pinnacle of perfection will be reached thereby. As far as dogs are concerned, they cannot be healthful and attain the ideal state of physical development unless they are fed in accordance with the natural requirements of their digestive system.
"To deal intimately with each class of food is not possible in the course of a brief article such as this, but some information as to the most practical of foods will doubtless be instructive. The ideal dog food should contain carbonaceous nutrients - fat and carbohydrates - and protein; the element of hardness should be present, avoiding always foods of too bulky a character. Hard food, such as good quality meat dog cakes, is almost a necessity, keeping as they do the teeth free from tartar, and stimulating at the same time the secretion of saliva. The continuous use of soft, pappy foods is a grave source of decay of the teeth and of gum troubles. Bulky foods - those containing a large proportion of water - should be fed sparinly because the dog having small digestive organs is unable to eat enough to obtain ample nourishment.
"It is not sufficient to give dogs food they will eat. It must always be remembered that life is sustained by what dogs assimilate and not by what they eat! Palatability is of importance, too. As a general all-round diet, for either puppies or dogs, it would be difficult to better good quality meat dog or puppy cakes, and one or the other of the puppy or dog biscuit mals such as hound or terrier meal. Dog biscuit is the outcome of many years of research in the forming of a food necessary for a dog's general welfare. Their hardness is most beneficial to jaws and teeth. They are palatable and therefore appetising. Containing as they do just the right proportion of meat, they provide maximum nourishment with a minimum of bulk. Biscuit meals provide an excellent change of diet. Prepared with gravy or soup and fed crumbly moist - not sloppy - it owuld be a queer sort of animal which would not clear up every scrap!
"Dogs should be allowed all the fresh pure water they wish to drink. Dogs having a plentiful supply available at all times have a better appetite and eat their food with greater relish than those watered only once or twice a day.
"The correct number of meals per diem is a much disputed matter. Regularity is essential as it tends to produce a regular habit of appetite. One good feed, or at the most, two a day are sufficient for the adult dog, whilst puppies, making greater use of their food, require feeding more frequently. A warm biscuit feed at night for adult dogs, followed in the morning with a lighter meal of meat dog cake is sound procedure.
"Perfect doggy development depends on the quantity of nutrients well digested and assimilated, not upon the largeness of the amount of food actually eaten. This is one of the reasons why meat dog cakes or biscuit meals of good quality are so excellent as a staple diet."
Some of the earlier breeders, such as Everett, had always fed meat and biscuit. During the 1914-18 war, the Felixstowe hounds were fed ox tripe, blood from the slaughterhouse, and biscuit. It was after the war that more commercially prepared foods became available. Spillers produced SaVAL, which was described in their advertisements thus: "It is vitally important that big framed dogs such as Irish Wolfhounds should be exceptionally well nourished from birth onwards. 'SaVAL' is rich in vitamines and possesses those essential properties which develop strong bone, well knit frame and firm flesh. 'SaVAL' is complete in itself, needing only the addition of milk or water to make it ready for immediate use. If you would have your Wolfhounds always in first class condition give them a real good start on SaVAL." It was available as No. 1 for puppies from weaning, and No. 2 for puppies 3 months and upwards but also invaluable for brood and in-whelp bitches. Spratts produced "Weetmeet" No. 1 - "from the time of weaning, builds up the puppy's frame, muscle and digestive power. There is no other puppy food to compare with it for rearing prize-winners. Puppies love it - it contains pure Cod Liver Oil!"
Isaac Everett wrote several articles on care and feeding of the Irish wolfhound which presumably reflected how his Felixstowe hounds were kept and fed. The rearing of puppies was dealt with in 1926:
"In giving a few of my past experiences on rearing Irish Wolfhounds I
would point out that in my opinion it is of the greatest importance to make
sure that the parents of the future litter are in the very best of health and
fitness before mating - both parents having previously been thoroughly cleansed
from internal parasites, also that the parents to be shall have plenty of
liberty and exercise before and right up to mating time. After mating, the
bitch should be kept away from all other dogs and bitches, large and small, for
at least a fortnight and should have her walking exercise entirely by herself.
During this fortnight the exercise should consist of not less than 4 miles a
day and not more than 6 or 7. During the last three weeks of
"carrying" the exercise should be given in two or even three parts
and even this must be adjusted according to the condition of the animal.
"Here let me mention that road exercise should be given by the attendant on foot and not with a cycle as the latter is most detrimental to the right formation and development of the hounds, and I have known big mistakes to have been made, which could never be put right, through this kind of exercise. Therefore, I would specially point out and try to impress upon all those who have the best interests of Irish wolfhounds at heart never to allow their animals to be exercised, under any conditions whatever, behind a cycle.
"The bitch, during the first three weeks after mating, should live on an ordinary diet and after that period a diet consisting of at least 75% raw, sound flesh should very gradually be introduced - this being used for the night feed. The morning feed should consist of 2 ½ to 3 ozs. of raw ox marrow broken up, about the size of small nuts, with about 1 pint of dry Victoria Terrier Meal. Some two hours before she has her breakfast beat up one raw egg which should be given to her neat. As the bitch gets to half time a midday meal should be introduced - this at first should consist of an extra egg, beaten up as before, and during her last month of carrying she should be given about ½ to ¾ lb. of raw beef as well. Of course, one must be somewhat guided by the individual hound as they, like other animals, and human beings for that matter, vary.
"The bitch needs to sleep in her whelping kennel a week before she is due, so that she is perfectly used to it. There should be no steps or benches for her to get on or over. If she is a long time whelping, 6 hours or more, an egg beaten up and ¼ pint of milk added is very helpful to her, but on no account try to persuade her to take any solids at such a time; in fact, she will be just as well without any for 24 hours after whelping, but during that period she may have from 3 to 5 eggs and about 3 pints of new milk, if she takes it readily, but do not try to persuade her.
"If possible let her whelp in straw on which she has been lying for 2 or 3 days before whelping time - she will then have made it a bit softer for the pups and more comfortable. Be most careful that they always have an abundance of dry, clean bedding, wheat straw for preference. While they need to lie fairly warm on no account should they get their kennel all stuffy, fresh air is good but draughts are dangerous; they need boarded floors, not bricks or concrete. When the pups begin to arrive, so long as the bitch appears normal, leave her alone and let her have quietness - do not mislead yourself into believing that you can help her; take it from me that you will be much more likely to hinder and upset her than do her any good. Nature teaches and helps them better than either you or I can, provided she is normal, and this state can largely be brought about by the way she has been treated during pregnancy.
"A few hours after she has whelped look the pups over and take off any hind claws they may happen to have. Take them off with a pair of curved surgical scissors, having a little Benzoin and a feather at hand just to touch each with immediately after taking off the claws. Do not attempt to bandage the leg as she will be sure to worry the leg trying to remove the bandage in order that she may lick the leg.
"When this is done the pups will not need any more handling or worrying until about 18 days old - or perhaps a day or two older, when they are generally ready to have a little additional nourishment. For this start by using Plasmon powder, cane sugar and new milk - goats milk should be used for preference but if this is unobtainable cows could be used instead. Probably the pups will only take about one feed the first day and that of about 4 teaspoonsful or even less. During the next 3 or 4 days they will have 3 meals a day and during the next week 4 meals a day. After they have been feeding about a week very gradually introduce a little oatmeal made from oat flour - not oatmeal as this is too coarse for them at this stage. "When the pups are 5 days old the straw needs renewing every other day, and when they are 12 days old make provision for them to move about so that when they crawl they find they have plenty of room; gradually increase the space for them so that they get on their legs as soon as nature dictates to them to do so.
"By the time the pups are a month old gradually introduce raw eggs into their oatflour, plasmon, sugar and milk. In using eggs one would be quite sufficient for 6 pups to start with and after they have been on eggs a few days knock off the sugar. When the pups are 5 weeks old they can take an egg each every day and about 1/8 oz. of raw ox marrow. Dose with "Ruby" for worms when 6 weeks and 7 weeks old, and very seldom again. They can safely leave the dam at 7 weeks old if necessary by which time they can be having 2 eggs each per day, 1/3 ounce of ox marrow and 4 ounces of very finely minced raw beef, fairly lean. The first feed should be given about 7 a.m. consisting of egg, milk and plasmon - 9.30 a.m. finely minced beef and No. 1 Saval, the latter scalded with just a very little water or new milk and given at about milk heat - not hotter. 12.30 p.m., Saval marrow and milk, not too sloppy but just made so that the milk shows in the bottom of the bowl; 4.30 p.m., the same as at 9.30 a.m., and then at 8.30 p.m. finely minced beef, Saval marrow and milk.
"From this age onwards the rations will have to be increased at least weekly, but never let the pups get a "blown-out" appearance, for, in other words, it is a form of indigestion and naturally when this is present the pups are not making progress. To correct this you would have to adjust the feeding.
"If all is going well the pups at 4 months should be needing about 1 ½ to 2 lbs. of beef and tehe marrow increased to 1 ½ ozs., as well as 2 eggs every day. By the time they are six months old they should be eating 3 lbs. beef, 2 eggs, 2 ozs. marrow and enough No. 2 Saval as is necessary. Always let them have large uncooked bones fresh every other day to gnaw.
"Pups about 5 or 6 months old very often get a bit particular in their feeding, and at this age I have found it very beneficial to change the diet, from beef to mutton and when this does not act try cooked meat in place of the raw. It needs cooking very lightly and I have never found a case where the pup would not take immediately to the new diet, unless the pups were sickening for some illness. It is a very bad habit to tempt pups to take their food; if suitable food and quantities are offered and the pups do not eat it with a relish the better plan is to either dose them for worms or give them a mild dose of castor oil and feed them a little less liberally for a day or two. This treatment nearly always brings their appetite back quickly. It is most important that pups should eat their food with great relish as the food naturally does them so much more good under these conditions.
"Pups up to 3 months in summer need their food about milk heat, after which gradually reduce it to ordinary temperature.
" I have never had much success with pups, nor have I ever seen any really good specimens, when they have been given the various "fancy preparations" in place of the good, plain foods during their growing period. If a pup has been able to stand up to these as well as his ordinary food then he has not lost any headway. I firmly believe a pup does better if a little under fed rather than over fed. To get the best growing results out of a young dog his liver must be kept clean and active, and this can only be when the pup is dieted and otherwise treated correctly.
"A lady 'phoned me a few weeks ago apparently in great trouble. Her Irish wolfhound pup would not eat all the food I had prescribed for him, although he appeared healthy. Upon hearing the facts I learned that he was having in addition to his ordinary food, cod-liver oil, malt extract and chemical food - I wonder the poor fellow was not dead from jaundice.
"While the pups are growing their coats they need constant attention in order to prevent them becoming verminous - a good preparation is 2 parts paraffin and 1 part raw linseed oil brushed well into their coats.
"Do not expect a 2 months' puppy to take the same exercise as a 4 months' should have. Never make sudden noises or pick them up suddenly so as to frighten them as these foolish habits very often make shy hounds. In introducing them to fresh sights do not force the pups up to them but gradually show them whatever it is and so the little animals will get confidence in place of an attack of nerves.
"Lastly, remember a dog is a dog all the time, and do not try to think it is a human being and treat it as such, for if this way is persisted in it frequently makes a dog, instead of a good pal, a beastly nuisance."
In the 1927 Year Book, the rearing article was continued with the puppies
having reached six months of age. "The feed should now be very little
altered from that given in my last year's article where speaking of five to six
months old pups. I should, however, recommend the addition of two eggs to the
quantities before mentioned. Thus they would now be getting one egg and about a
quarter pint of milk about 7 a.m., breakfast at about 8.30 a.m. consisting of
about one pound of beef (which can now be cut into thin slices, not square
chunks) and about half a Victoria (made by Spillers) biscuit or some other
equally good. At 12.30 p.m. some Saval, two ounces Ox Marrow, and four
tablespoonsfuls of raw Ox Blood, with egg and milk after. At 6 p.m. two pounds
of Beef and a dry biscuit, or if he prefers it a small quantity of Saval
scalded and to which is added four tablespoonfuls of raw Ox Blood, I should
naturally prefer the latter food in place of the biscuit, and then the egg and
milk. At 9 p.m. his fourth egg and milk. This completes his daily feed with the
exception of the inevitable raw bone.
"The foregoing diet applies to pups up to the age of twelve months, when they should be gradually got on to three feeds a day consisting of something like the following: 7 a.m., egg and milk; 8.30 a.m. about half a pound raw coarsely minced Beef and a very little scalded Victoria Terrier Meal, and two ounces of raw Ox Marrow; 12.30 p.m., half a pound sliced Beef and about half a Victoria dog biscuit dry; 6 p.m., one and a half pounds of Beef in slices and a Victoria biscuit after; 9 p.m. egg and milk. This can be continued for six months longer, when it can be brought down to his egg and milk before breakfast; a dry biscuit and three ounces of raw Ox Marrow for his breakfast; two pounds of Beef and two biscuits about 6 p.m.; and this should keep a normal Irish Wolfhound adult in nice condition.
"I should now be expecting some enthusiast to say, "Well, and what would you suggest if he won't get through this lot in a day?" My answer would be that I should be looking around for the cause, and should very possibly find that he was getting insufficient liberty and exercise. After gradually increasing his walk on the lead, or loose if possible up to six miles a day, and having given him a week to get used to it without the increase in appetite, I should look for a sluggish liver. This can partly be detected by the white part of his eye looking a bit "muddy", i.e. not clean. A nice corrective for this is to give on an empty stomach and two hours before first feed one half-grain Podophylin pill. This combination is composed of Henbane, Taraxicum, Cammomile and the Podophylin. This can be given every other morning for three times, with his ordinary feeding during the day, except that his appetite for the time may be a bit less keen.
"I should then give him a fortnight dosing with Ruby No. 1 pill according to directions, after which I don't think there will be much to complain of in his appetite.
"I have but very rarely had a young dog at the age of six or seven months go right off his appetite and could find nothing to account for it either in temperature or something else.
"The following I have received very great benefit from: first give them a dessertspoonful of Epsom Salts and put them on to a raw diet of a part of a bullock's digestive system called a "jot", or in some counties a "bible". Invariably a dog is very fond of them and if fed entirely on them with about half pint of raw Ox Blood per day, in a very short time they will come back on to their ordinary diet with great relish."
Some other canine medicines at the time were Benbow's Dog Mixture, established 1835 and said to be "the Reliable Tonic and Original Medicine for the Cure of Distemper, Jaundice, destroying Worms, etc. Infallible for producing First-Rate condition in dogs for Exhibition." Lintox, made by the Badminton Distemper Cure Co. Ltd., was said to be "A Sure Cure for Distemper, Coughs, Colds, etc. in Dogs" and "A wonderful Canine Tonic even where sickness does not exist." McGuffie & Co. of Liverpool produced vermifuges and Stomach and Liver Capsules "the greatest known remedy for correcting the stomach. They gently stimulate the action of the liver, which means healthy digestion; they regulate the action of the bowels in a natural way."
In the July, 1925 issue of the Kennel Gazette, there appeared
on "Our Veterinary Page" this article by 'L.S.':-
STIMULANTS AND MEDICINAL FOODS IN DISTEMPER
"The first among these that must be mentioned is brandy, as it is of untold value in certain cases, particularly when the dog is low; however, if given, it must be of the best quality. Where it is so useful is when the patient is showing signs of collapse and taking no interest in life. There is, however, a precaution to take with regard to the use of it, namely, never give it before it is necessary. So long as a dog is taking food moderately well it should not be given, for if it is given before the necessity arises, a great deal of its value is lost when it is really wanted. Sometimes brandy is not available at the right moment, and then whisky can be substituted, or port wine. Some people swear by the latter as a check for diarrhoea, but if there is any gastric trouble at the same time, there is always the liability of it not being retained. Brandy can be given by way of the mouth, when the dose is from 15 drops for the smallest breeds up to half an ounce for the bigger dogs, and in either case it should be diluted about four times its bulk with water; if given too concentrated dogs are liable to fight against it, although some are extremely fond of it. It can also be given in the form of hypodermic injection; it is then usually given with some such stimulant as strychnine or digitalin, and the dose then is from ten drops to two drachms. It is very useful also administered in normal saline solution, when it is given hypodermically, the strength being normal saline solution 85 per cent and brandy 15 per cent; from five to twenty cubic centimetres of this may be given and repeated in four hours if necessary. These injections, however, are only indicated when there is a tendency to collapse. When giving port wine this may be mixed with milk and egg, but it must be remembered that it is likely to cause sickness, as previously mentioned.
"Referring again to normal saline solution, it is very often given per the rectum, but the effect is not nearly so satisfactory as when given hypodermically with brandy, and is much more of a business to administer, as it has to be done with a glass syringe, and the dog held in position; in fact, it means pulling the dog about a lot, and the majority of dogs object to this more than having a hypodermic needle put under their skin.
"Another very highly efficient stimulant to be used is caffein, and this is most frequently met with in coffee, of which it is the acting principle, and it is given to dogs in the form of black coffee. The chief use of caffein in distemper is as a heart stimulant, to counteract the depressing effect of such drugs and phenacetin and antipyrin which often have to be given to reduce the temperature: the usual dose is from a quarter to two grains. The most convenient form in which it is obtained for this purpose is mixed with the drugs in question, and the two are given together.
"Among the medicinal foods must be taken arrowroot, rice, and cornflour. Arrowroot is of particular value in the early stages of the disease if there is a lot of diarrhoea present which it is hard to check; it can be mixed with such things as Benger's Food and milk or can be given alone, but in the latter case it should not be made too thick, and may be sweetened with a little sugar as it is then more acceptable to the patient. Cornflour can be used in much the same way. Rice is used more in the latter stages when the dog is coming on to solid food; it is mixed with the food, and this has an astringent action, also it must always be thoroughly cooked, otherwise it is very indigestible; it is best when boiled to a pulp.
"In this section we must mention the nutritive suppositories, particularly beef. The value of these is much discussed, but personally I do not think they are much good, as they cannot be inserted into the bowel far enought to be assimilated. The chief time when they are indicated is when the dog cannot retain anything in its stomach owing to sickness; however, when given they should be inserted as far as possible with the finger or a blunt instrument.
"Blood juice is an excellent stimulant, and is best obtained by putting a pound of steak through a meat squeezing machine. One half teaspoonful to one tablespoonful can be given every hour or two, according to age and breed of dog."
In the Kennel Gazette of November, 1927 the following appeared,
the article and letter having first appeared in a Meat Purveyors' Trade
"DOGS AND THEIR FOOD - Is meat a necessity?
During the past few months it has been a matter of more than passing interest to note the way in which meat has been deprecated as an item of food for dogs. Generally speaking, perhaps, the purveyor of meat may not consider that meat as a foodstuff for members of the canine race comes within his province. That may or may not be so, but the fact remains that any disparagement of a foodstuff in which a particular sect of the commercial community is particularly interested, calls - or should call - for some form of practical protest.
"Output is the one basis on which all trades come down to a common level. If output decreases, then it can usually be traced to a decreased demand on the part of the user or consumer of the product, as the case may be. If output increases, then, normally speaking, a satisfactory raison d'être can be found. In any case, 'output' is one of the primary fundamentals to the drawing up of a satisfactory balance at the end of a twelve months' trading and it behoves, therefore, every far-seeing trader - no matter which trade - to explore every possible channel whereby he can increase the demand for the product in which he is specially interested.
"Before the war, dogs were just dogs. Since 1918, dogs and the many things connected with them have developed to such an extent that they have now become a commercial undertaking of no mean importance. A few figures will illustrate this point far more instructively than theoretical argument. There are just on 4,000,000 dogs in the United Kingdom - a figure which can be verified on reference to the number of licenses taken out in 1926, the number of registrations effected at the Kennel Club, and a rough estimation of the dogs which are 'licence free', such as packs of hounds, sheepdogs and so on.
"In other words, there is approximately one dog for every twelve individuals of the 48,000,000 inhabitants of the United Kingdom - and the number of dogs kept, either by the breeder or the 'one dog' owner is rapidly on the increase.
"It may be that many readers of this journal do not appreciate the true significance of these figures. Dogs are by nature consumers of meat, therefore, it is a natural necessity to their general physical well-being. From the dog biscuit manufacturer's point of view this is an argument not altogether in his favour. His object is to sell dog biscuits - not meat. It would not be in his interests, therefore, to contradict any comments to the effect that meat was an undesirable food item for dogs!
"Dog biscuits doubtless have their merits, but meat is, without a doubt, a vital foodstuff in the diet of any animal whose digestive organs are of carnivorous design.
"Are purveryors of meat making the most of the opportunity which lies at their door? Have any steps been taken to educate dog owners to the advantage of including fresh meat as an item of diet in their dog's daily menu?
"The available market is not to be ignored, although the suggestion will doubtless have its critics. Four million dogs! Let us assume that each would consume, at a minimum, 2 ozs. of fresh meat per diem. Eight million ounces equals 500,000 pounds! It can be left to the intelligence of the purveyor of meat to calculate whether a share of 500,000 pounds of fresh meat is a business proposition or not.
"The point is this: if dog owners are being educated to the fact that dog biscuits constitute the best food for dogs, it stands to reason that the feelings of dog owners towards meat will shortly become more distant than ever. On the other hand, if a potential extra output of 500,000 pounds of meat is of any account, then it is not unreasonable to suggest that it is time something was done.
"To the Editor.
"I was more than usually interested in the article which appeared in a recent issue of your journal, inasmuch that the virtues of a biscuit diet for dogs were to a certain extent deprecated in favour of meat. For the greater part of my life I have been au fait with almost every breed of dog, and know, perhaps, more than the average individual about their requirements. I do not make that statement from an egotistical point of view. It will be accepted, almost without argument, that the great majority of dogs are in the hands of 'one dog' owners - the individual who possesses a dog for the sake of companionship. On the other hand, we have the breeder and the exhibitor, a fast growing section of the public who 'takes up' dogs as a commercial proposition.
"There is a vast difference between these two classes of dog owners, as far as their knowledge of dog lore is concerned. In the one case, the dog, generally speaking, leads a 'happy-go-lucky' sort of existence. It gets fed on all kinds of things that it shouldn't, and consumes a great deal more food than is either necessary or good for him. True, the dog 'gets along' all right - or seems to - but that is rather the result of luck than judgement.
"The breeder adopts quite a different procedure. He or she, as the case may be, brings commonsense and long experience to bear on the matter of diet, and when the question of the desirability or otherwise of feeding biscuit or meat, or both arises, I think that the opinion of the expert is worthy of consideration.
"In the first place, we have to realize that the dog is a carnivorous animal, that is to say, meat or a concentrated food is necessary to his well-being. As Mr. Llewellyn in his article rightly says: 'the dog in his wild state chased and killed his meat and ate it fresh.' But surely Mr. Llewellyn has overlooked the fact that the dog as we have him to-day is no longer wild, neither does he live in wild surroundings. He is no longer compelled to seek his food - he is a civilized being, more or less, and to keep him civilized must be fed on the food which civilization dictates. The dog at heart and instincts is very much the same now as he was a thousand years ago, and it would never do to cultivate those instincts or we should hear of a far greater number of 'biting' incidents than we do at the present moment.
"Meat is all very well, and as I have said befoe, a real necessity, as long as it is fed judiciously. The average 'one dog' owner, unfortunately, for himself and the dog, does not have the knowledge or the inclination to find out just how much meat is best suited to his particular breed of dog. Therein lies the danger. Too much fresh meat will do more harm to a dog than none at all. Even two ounces per diem, as quoted by Mr. Hutchinson, is no true figure on which to base calculations. In some dogs it would be insufficient and others too much.
"Nevertheless, I never give my dogs fresh meat, although I am willing to admit that it is a necessity. As a matter of fact, dogs do not require fresh meat at all! That may sound somewhat of a paradox, but it is nevertheless true, as many a breeder and exhibitor will confirm. Once start a dog on meat and his taste for it develops and can seldom be quenched. It does not follow, however, that the civilized dog, the dog that has been associated with mankind for hundreds of years, is any the better for having that taste pandered to! The object of the breeder (and it should be the object of every dog owner, for the matter of that) is to give a dog what is good for him in present-day conditions, and not what he wants.
"What he wants and what he should have are two totally different things. He may want meat - a concentrated food. He must have a concentrated food, because a dog's digestive organs are small and unable to cope with bulky foodstuffs, hence the origin of a dog biscuit. Mr. Hutchinson lays special stress on the teeth and digestive organs of a dog, pointing out that they are a sure sign of a carnivorous origin. He is right, but the carnivorous appetite can be appeased by means other than the giving of fresh meat.
"For many years now, dog biscuits in one form or another have come to be considered the staple diet of a dog. There is good reason for the acceptance of this theory - or shall I say 'this truth'. Firstly, whether meat is a necessity or not, the most ardent advocate of meat will not deny that meat alone, no matter how much a dog likes it, would sooner or later become nauseating to the dog himself. A cereal food must accompany meat so as to provide the dog with a balanced ration, i.e. a ration complete with its complement of carbohydrates and protein, without which life itself cannot function on normal lines. That point, then is our starting point. A dog cannot hunt its meat and neither can he seek the wild herbs and cereal plants in the way in which Nature instructed him - instinct - centuries before man came on the scene.
"Once again - hence the evolution of a dog biscuit - a dog biscuit is to a dog what bread and meat are to man - only more so! The cereal part of a biscuit includes most, if not all, of the wheat berry and other nourishing cereals. Added to these is an adequate quantity of sterilized meat. To feed a dog on biscuit, therefore, is to give a concentrated 'cereal-meat' diet, in easily digestible form. It does more. The hardness of a biscuit compels mastication and so ensures the dog using his teeth and jaws, and incidentally,the act of mastication releases saliva and other vital digestive juices, so facilitating thereby the process of digestion and assimilation. Meat is just meat - beef, mutton, or 'what not' are all more or less the same to a dog. Variety is lacking, and once again, this is where a biscuit holds the advantage.
"There are numerous varieties of biscuit foods. Some are for puppies and young dogs only; others are specially made for the adult dog. Some contain meat, others are plain. There are the square or round biscuits, and there are the broken kinds, commonly known as hound or terrier meal. From among the assortment available, there is no difficulty whatsoever in catering for any and every breed of dog and puppy.
"If meat must be fed, then see to it that a goodly percentage of the daily feed includes biscuit. I hold no brief for this or that biscuit, and the only reason I have for writing at length on a dog's food is to warn dog owners against the use of too much meat. There is meat in dog biscuits, and it is sufficient.
"Among the purveyors of meat there are without doubt thousands of dog owners - I know several! They know the truth of my claims, although it may be to the disadvantage of the trade in which they are engaged. The present and the future of dogdom in in the hands of dog owners, and it behoves each of them, therefore, not to undertake the responsibility of a dog lightly. Easy enough to own a dog, but quite another matter to keep him and feed him properly."
Sherley's Dog Book suggested feeding regime was "As a rule a dog is
more hungry and enjoys his food better at about one o'clock in the day and as
this is a convenient time to feed house dogs the principal meal should then be
given, and may consist of meat, bread and vegetables in equal parts. When the
dog is fat it should be given dry, that is, without any soup or gravy being
added. The second meal should be given about seven or eight o'clock in the
evening, and should consist of dog biscuits given whole or broken up. If the
dog is delicate or a bad doer he may have a second meal of the same kind as
that given middle day but all dogs are better for having something hard to eat
as it assists digestion and helps to keep teeth in order. When a dog refuses
the hard biscuit, a bone should be given two or three times a week. Kennel
dogs, for convenience sake, should be trained to eat a small meal of dry dog
biscuits or hound meal in the morning and to have their principal meal in the
evening. The advantage of this is that it assists in keeping them quiet during
the night and hounds and other sporting dogs are usually so sparingly fed that
they will eat at any time they get the chance. Watch-dogs and others used for
night work must have their food in the middle of the day. When a large number
of dogs is kept the cost of food is a serious item, and it is important to use
a food which is not only good, sound and nourishing, but also cheap, such as
may be made with crushed ship's biscuits soaked in soup; the meat from which
the soup has been made should be cut up small and mixed with the biscuits.
Sheeps' heads, bullocks' heads, paunches, shin of beef, bullocks throttles, and
other odds and ends make most excellent and cheap soup for dogs.
"A bullock's head may be bought for four shillings, and will make sufficient good soup for forty or fifty hounds, or other dogs of the same size. Horseflesh, of course, is cheaper, but make sure that it comes from a horse that has not died of disease. Oatmeal is a food much favoured by some huntsmen but is very heating and dogs fed on it are much inclined to skin trouble.
"Lactol Biscuits, which contain a large proportion of Lactol, together with cereal and other ingredients of guaranteed purity and of suitable quality for human consumption, form one of the best staple foods for all dogs and puppies. They are so easily digested, and, in addition, dogs are very fond of them. They may be given whole to gnaw or just broken up and mixed with a little milk or gravy, with meat and vegetables added where necessary..................
"All dogs require some meat, but should not be fed entirely on this food. Biscuits should also form part of the daily diet of every dog, and there are no better biscuits than Lactol Biscuits. They contain a high degree of nourishment and if given regularly will also help to keep the teeth clean and sound, the breath sweet and, in addition, assist digestion.
"We do not recommend mixing meat in biscuits, as when baking the biscuits the meat is reduced to almost a hard cinder, which very indigestible and often causes bad diarrhoea. We prefer to give a little fresh meat with the biscuit. Of course, this is a little more trouble, but it is worth it for the sake of the dog's health.
"As for the quantity of food to be given, this is a difficult matter to decide. Some dogs require more than others of the same size. A small dog weighing four or five pounds requires about one ounce and a half of food, twice a day, and one weighing seven or eight pounds half as much again, and so in proportion, the weight mentioned including gravy. We have many times in different kennels weighed the food given to dogs looking in good condition and have found the principal meal supplied to St. Barnards and other dogs of about the same size to weigh about 7 lbs.
To Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, &c., 6 lbs.
Retrievers, Collies, Greyhounds, Deerhounds, &c., 3 lbs.
Airedales, Spaniels, &c., 2 lbs.
Fox Terriers, Irish Terriers, Dandies, Skye Terriers, &c., 12 ozs.
Pugs and other dogs weighing about twelve to fifteen pounds, 8 ozs.
"As a general rule a dog requires, to keep him in condition, half to three-quarters of an ounce of food per day for every pound he weighs. This is exclusive of gravy, which he is better without. When a concentrated food is given, such as meat only, a shade less is sufficient, and the quantity must also depend to a certain extent onthe condition of the dog and the amount of exercise he gets.
"For instance, a Pug that in good condition should weigh, say fourteen pounds, may, through the indulgence of an over-kind mistress, weigh twenty pounds. In such cases the amount of food to be given must depend on what the dog ought to weigh rather than on what he does weigh, and this also applies to dogs that have become thin through some illness.
"Again, an active dog like a Great Dane requires more in proportion to his weight than a slow-going heavy St. Bernard, and of dogs of the same breed the one that gets most exercise should be given the most food.
"In any case, if the quantity supplied is found to be making the dog too fat it should be lessened, and, on the other hand, if it is not keeping the dog in condition it must be increased provided it is certain he is not suffering from worms or disease.
"It is a good plan to keep a large bone, such as a shin bone, from which for a house-dog all the meat has been removed by boiling and the marrow extracted after sawing the ends off. Let the dog have this to gnaw after every meal, as this promotes a flow of saliva and aids the digestion of his food.
"For dogs in kennels the meat need not be removed fromthe bone, but the same bone can be used time after time if removed each time after half an hour or so."
In the Irish Wolfhound Club Year Book for 1928-29, Isaac Everett wrote about
"the general feeding, etc. of Stallion Hounds and Brood Bitches."
"From past experience I feel persuaded that many sires are used when very far from being in their fittest condition. Naturally, plenty of liberty is needed, the walking exercise must not be neglected, one must be sure he is internally clean and his feeding must be of a kind which keeps him tuned up to the very highest pitch. Raw beef, ox marrow, eggs and a little good quality biscuit food are sufficient. Quite possibly it is unnecessary for me to give quantities and times of feeding, but there may be someone who would appreciate a few hints.
"The Sire's day may begin with a raw egg about 7 a.m.; at 9 a.m. one or one-and-a-half biscuits, with three ounces of raw ox marrow; 5 p.m. two or three biscuits and two pounds of raw beef cut into thin slices, or, if he can be fed on the grassland, then the beef can be in a lump for him to tear to pieces; at 10 p.m. a raw egg - this must not be forced on the hound but lapped voluntarily, as naturally, it is much more nutritious when taken in this manner, as the digestive fluid blends so much more readily with the food already taken.
"If the feeding is followed on the lines given above, together with a fair amount of liberty and road work, the sire will be kept in ideal condition for stud work.
"Another rather important point is the position of living quarters - a stallion hound cannot be kept at his best unless he rests himself within his kennel, and to this end it is necessary that this should be away from the bitch kennels so that he is not being continually excited and worried by either seeing, hearing or scenting them.
"If all these points are attended to he should sire some very sound, healthy stock, provided the brood bitch is in similar condition.
"The brood bitch should live a life of moderate liberty under happy, comfortable surroundings - the kennel should be situated if possible, south, and with plenty of light and air, and well away from the kennels of the dog hounds. She, also, must be kept clean internally and fed on a similar ration to the sire except that at midday she should have a teaspoonful of calcium phosphate or a heaped dessertspoonful of sterilized bone flour added to the scalded Terrier meal or similar food. As time goes on, after mating - say about half time - one pound of beef could be added to the midday meal, but do not under any circumstances reduce the beef, and if the animal does not appear to need so much food, then reduce the biscuit food, but certainly not the flesh. During the "carrying" period let her exercise be regulated according to her seeming capability of walking without tiring. If toward the end of the period she seems to get tired quickly, then reduce the distance each time, but give her an extra walk or two during the day. Whatever happens, the bitch must not be allowed to overtire herself. During the last weeks before whelping no bones should be given her to gnaw, and she should not be allowed to get in a constipated condition, this can be avoided by dieting rather than by physic.
"If treated along these lines, and by the use of rational care during the whelping period, a litter of very strong, well-developed pups should be the result, with a minimum of shock or undue labour to the bitch."
Ralph Montagu Scott's Ifold hounds were fed mainly on horse meat, between one to three pounds each per day, in this way consuming about one horse per week. Every part of the carcass was used except the hide and the hoofs. The larger bones were split and sub-divided for the growing stock, the fresh marrow in them being considered of great value as an item in their diet. All meat was fed raw to the hounds whenever possible, but one boiler or cauldron supplied boiling water for scalding utensils. This was sometimes used to cook meat which had been kept too long, but was only used for this purpose occasionally.
The other part of the staple diet was broken biscuits or hound meal, of which the average ration was half a pound to one pound per day. This was moistened with boiling water, the chopped raw meat, in pieces of not more than two inches square, was thrown in and a ration of cod liver oil, about one dessertspoonful per head, was also added, also a solution of lime, and the whole thoroughly mixed giving a diet which the hounds usually relished.
A cooking pot was also used for cereals where the special diet was cooked for puppies, bitches in whelp, and suckling mothers. This was made of infant's food; milk, with extra sugar of milk and dry milk powder added; and sometimes malt extract. This varied in strength according to the puppies' age.
Diet was the same in winter and summer. The stud dogs were fed with higher meat rations and sometimes entirely on raw meat, certain portions of the carcass being found most suitable for them.
The hounds varied very much in their individual requirements. The raw meat was invariably picked out first, before the soaked biscuit was eaten. There were between four and eight hounds at every trough (which stood two feet off the ground so the hounds did not need to stoop to feed) feeding together, and the best doers were made to stand back from the trough by the kennel man at the commencement of a meal to allow the others a slightly better ration. Every run had a master or top dog, and care had to be taken to see that he stood back at the commencement of the meal.
All the hounds were keen on the liver and on certain other parts of the animal. They ate usually horses, but occasionally bullocks and cows. As far as possible these tit-bits were reserved for the more timid and delicate feeders.
The dogs, in most instances, were fed twice a day, at 8 a.m. and at sunset. But there usually were some that did better on one meal a day, and these had the evening meal only. Every dog got a fresh bone per day about noontime.
For a fascinating look at the history of canine feeding (and the way dogs were viewed by their owners and commercial enterprises) see http://www.beard-redfern.com/bernerboris/can_nut.html