Diatribe: Giving Table Scraps To Dogs Might Be OK …But Dog Treats Aren’t For Kids.
Back in my horse days, I tried my hand at baking home-made horse treats. My horse wasn’t a finicky eater, but he was particular when it came to special treats. He didn’t care for carrots or even slices of apples like other horses in the barn so I found a recipe online and went about the sticky and messy business of baking him special treats. The horse treat recipe that I used included molasses, oats, flour and carrots that I chopped in a food processor. I spent an entire evening preparing the strange little brown balls, baking them, and carefully storing the treats in an airtight container that I planned to keep at the barn.
The next evening when I brought the treats to the barn, excited to present one to my horse and certain that he would throw his head back with excitement and beg for more, there was a terrible thunderstorm in the area. While I was fussing with my horse in his stall, other horses and their owners were scurrying about to be ready for high winds and rain that were quickly approaching. The barn was sealed tight as the storm engulfed the area while everyone gathered in the center of the barn … me with my container of freshly baked horse treats.
“Looks like we might be here a while. At least we’ve got something to eat!” – Someone at the barn.
The group joked about my treats, which looked a bit like thick oatmeal cookies that may have been left in the oven for too long, but a few of them asked if they could give one a try. I shared the treats, explaining the recipe and how I had prepared them, and they nibbled away as they waited for the storm to pass.
Of course, they knew they were eating horse treats and they did so voluntarily.
The same can’t be said about dozens of fourth-grade students at a rural Pennsylvania school who were given pet treats last Thursday and told that they were cookies. Apparently, a part-time teachers’ aid handed out “treats” to as many as seventy-five students.
“The treats may have been misrepresented as cookies or crackers. Our research on the product indicates that the treat ingredients would not be harmful to people, with the exception for those individuals with specific food allergies.” – Richard Faidley, Boyerton Area (PA) School District Superintendent.
It remains unclear what may have motivated the aide to give dog treats to the students but students allege that the female aide joked about passing out dog treats and tricked them into eating them for fun for her own amusement. The recess aide at the Philadelphia-area school has been placed on leave pending the results of an investigation. I wouldn’t think an investigation would be terribly complicated … did she give the kids dog treats or not?
Surprisingly, I was told, the horse treats that I baked weren’t all that bad. By the time the storm passed and we all ventured home, the folks in the barn were desperate for something to drink. I imagine the kids in that Pennsylvania school went home thirsty, too.
My horse wouldn’t eat the treats. I never made them again. His only treats from that day on were mints and sugar cubes.
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