Are there any pet food recipes from yesteryear that can be applied to today’s pets? I think it’ll be a good thought exercise if nothing else.

2 Answers 2


As far as I know there was no pet food "in the yesteryears".

  • All herbivores (poultry, ungulates) were supposed to feed themselves and additionally got hay, unprocessed grains or leftover bread.
  • Pigs were fed any and all leftovers or spoiled food, acorns and chestnuts.
  • Cats were supposed to kill rodents and vermin, so they weren't fed much at all. The tradition of feeding milk or cream to cats stems from old times, but now we know it's not good for them.
  • Dog's food depended on their jobs and their owners. A farm dog got leftover food and any part of an animal humans deem inedible. A police dog (in Germany in the 1950's and probably earlier) got raw meat 6 days a week and no food at all once a week.

There were exceptions for the pets of the rich and noble. They probably got real cooked meals like humans, which (as we know now) are not healthy for them.

Interesting read: History of pet food


I think a large portion of dogs were fed table scraps. Litterally, scraps off the dinner plates that the kids didn't eat. I should also add that Vets had different philosophies as well. Other than that, I remember feeding my dog Hills Science Diet back in the early 80's.

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