This section is from the book "Kennel Secrets: How To Breed, Exhibit And Manage Dogs", by Ashmont. Also available from Amazon: Kennel Secrets: How to Breed, Exhibit and Manage Dogs.
Bread trimmings are quite extensively used in kennels, they being obtainable in cities of dealers who contract for them with keepers of hotels, restaurants, etc., and sell them for much less than the cost of their ingredients. And such being the case, something can properly be said here as to the methods of keeping them.
As soon as they are received these trimmings should be carefully examined, one by one, and all that are in the slightest degree mouldy should be thrown away as worse than valueless. At the same time the loaves or parts of loaves of "Boston brown bread" should be cut into pieces not larger than the hand, that they may speedily dry. This done, the remnants should be spread out in a dry and well-ventilated room, it being borne in mind that in the presence of dampness they mould quickly, also that when this change has occurred they are absolutely poisonous.
In this country doubtless more maize or Indian corn is used in feeding dogs than any other starchy food, and notwithstanding the very bitter prejudice of some breeders against it, it really affords a good, serviceable accessory food, provided it is rightly prepared and fed out, for it contains a fairly good proportion of flesh-forming materials and is rich in fat. Yet except when deprived of its hull and in the form of grits or hominy it is not as digestible as wheat, oatmeal or rice; moreover its peculiar taste must generally be disguised or dogs will turn from it unless very hungry.
It is absolutely necessary to cook this meal for at least three hours, otherwise it will be highly indigestible and much of it will journey through the intestinal canal and pass out unchanged in the discharges, and possibly cause diarrhoea. And here appears one reason for the disrepute into which it has fallen with breeders, they failing to meet this requirement and using it when practically raw; while another pronounced reason is, that for weeks and months it is generally made the staple food and rarely varied from.
But while it is not suited to toys, because like all such meals it is somewhat "heating," because, also, this and other coarse meals are not relished by them, when given to other varieties no unpleasant results need be apprehended if care and judgment are exhibited.
The proper way to use it is for admixture with other starches as well as meat. For instance, without considering the vegetables or soup, let one feeding be made up of one-half boiled corn meal, one-fourth bread and one-fourth meat; the next time substitute rice for the bread; and so on - always softening the starches with the broth from the meat.
Corn meal has also been blamed for skin diseases, and notably eczema, and here again many of the complainants must have been at fault in keeping it until its oily constituents had become rancid, in which condition it is deleterious alike to man and animals, and in both has a special tendency to excite cutaneous affections, some of which are even more serious than eczema.
Excepting it is done in a suitable apparatus and by steam, the work of cooking this meal by boiling is difficult and laborious, for unless it is stirred constantly it is quite sure to burn; and in the absence of as careful watching as the meal demands, but few to whom the duty is intrusted are likely to stand over a hot fire the number of hours required in the process. Therefore, if without a steam cooker or boiler, all who must trust to hired help not above suspicion should insist that after the puddings have been made they be transferred from the kettles to shallow baking pans, put into hot ovens, and kept there for several hours at least, - and convenience suggests over night - by which means they will be converted into dry and crisp corn cakes, which are easily digested, whereas a mass of half-cooked pasty pudding is like lead to the stomach.
Cakes made of this meal alone are serviceable merely for admixture with meat and vegetables; but were meat, either cooked or raw, "beef-flour" or cracklings, added to them in goodly quantities before baking they might with propriety occasionally constitute an evening meal.
Oatmeal compares favorably with wheat and corn as far as relates to flesh-producing matter, and when it has been rightly boiled some dogs digest it well, but with others it very evidently disagrees; while if improperly cooked it is extremely indigestible and irritating to the lining of the alimentary canal. And at best it is decidedly "heating."
Invariably, at least three hours of constant boiling are required in its preparation, and this faithfully done, it may be used to thicken broths or milk, but the quantity must be small - much smaller than that of corn meal - and only occasional use will be allowable, it being regarded merely as a means of varying the diet not as a means of nourishment.
As for serving it to dogs as man sometimes eats it, as beef brose - made by stirring the oatmeal into hot broth or as porridge or gruel, in which it is seldom if ever cooked, it would be a mean imposition upon the digestive organs, which would more than likely be attended by gastric and intestinal disturbance.
Rice is extremely poor in tissue-building and energy-producing matters, being very nearly pure starch, yet it is by no means to be despised, and as a matter of fact it is one of the most serviceable of the starchy accessories, while for toys like Yorkshire terriers it is really the staple food.
When properly cooked it is digested with the greatest ease, hence is well borne even where the digestive organs are disordered. Furthermore, it is neither laxative nor constipating. Again, it is a food which can without impropriety be termed " cooling," for it is absolutely wanting in stimulating properties, and can safely be given in febrile states without fear of intensifying the existing trouble and fever; while in conditions of the system in which there is a tendency to inflammation or a "heating up " of the blood, it never, in the slightest degree, aggravates such tendency.