Consequently it can rightly be said to constitute a food of exceeding value, especially for toys that are peculiarly liable to be "heated up" and as a result have "breakings out" of the skin, also for all other breeds when they exhibit like tendencies. And with its other good qualities it is fattening, therefore a useful aliment with all that are under weight.

But while rice is all this, the fact that it is deficient in nutritive principles must not go out of sight, and when used it should be with other foods, as meat and its products and milk, which can compensate for those principles in which it is wanting.

Dogs are sometimes given rye in the bread trimmings from the table. Some breeders, also, have a meal made of equal parts of this grain, oats and corn, and bake the same in cakes; and this combination is said to act well on hardy dogs that are given a very great amount of exercise every day.

Alone, however, it is not a serviceable food except as an occasional change, and small quantities at long intervals should be the rule, otherwise obstinate indigestion would be likely to result. Nor should it be considered a "corrective" - to overcome constipation - for green vegetables are more efficient, besides far more friendly to digestion.

Barley greatly resembles rye in nutritive power and solubility, and a little that has been well boiled is now and then quite right for a change if it is served with meat, boiled tripe or the like, but any considerable quantity and often is not advisable.

The starchy foods that are likely to find their way into the diet of dogs have now been considered, but before leaving them there are still a few pertinent facts to be brought out, and some already given can properly be reverted to for the purpose of emphasis.

Notwithstanding dogs are capable of digesting these foods their powers are not without limit, and beyond the fact that they might starve while yet their stomachs were full, if too much of them is given not only will a large proportion pass out of the body undigested but the bowels will be weakened in their efforts to dispose of them.

During early life the power to digest starchy foods increases with the age - that is, puppies can digest and otherwise properly dispose of a larger proportion comparatively after they are four or five months old than they could in the second and third months.

But throughout puppyhood the evil effects of too much starch in the diet are more pronounced than in mature life, and they are generally manifested by "bloating " and diarrhoea, the results of delay in the process of digestion and consequent fermentation and generation of gas.

All this points to one of the most potent causes of the terrible mortality among young puppies, which will only lessen greatly when breeders learn that these little ones should have in proportion a more generous quantity of animal food - if not milk, then meat - than matured dogs, and that while starchy foods are valuable accessories, only in extremely rare instances are they sufficient for support.

Starch is composed of solid granules which are not digestible until after they have been long cooked and softened down. And it is largely because this process is incomplete that starchy foods so often prove failures in feeding dogs. But let them be cooked thoroughly and used judiciously - always with nutritive foods - and they can but prove useful and wholesome accessories.

Regarding the so-called "dog cakes" or "dog biscuits," since the first edition of this book their manufacture has become such an industry and the competition so great, they are not generally of a quality deserving commendation, as formerly. They are a very good accessory food; but the claim that any brand constitutes or is a near approach to an ideal food is a rank absurdity. They are said to contain beef, and yet the writer has never been able to find even a trace of any during his analyses.

They are practically bread, and possibly have nearly the nutritive value of what is known as "graham bread" of the table. Over that and other breads they possess an advantage, however, the result of their being so long and thoroughly cooked. The starches of which they principally consist are thus put into the best possible state for speedy digestion and absorption; hence it would be scarcely possible for them to prove burdensome even were the digestive organs somewhat lacking in tone and vigor. While in an emergency - for a few days - they could be relied on as the sole food, the rule should be to feed them with other foods.

To dogs with good sound teeth they might be given whole occasionally, but not invariably, nor to very young or old dogs, for their teeth would likely break or be otherwise injured.

It should be the custom to crush them; and if one has not a machine for the purpose, a good method is to put a few into a strong bag and pound them with a mallet or hammer. Thus broken up well, they may be used to thicken milk, broths, or soups, or mixed with meat.