Why Instagrammable Dog Treats Are A Problem

Years ago, a British minister accidentally ate the Queen's dog biscuits. It could happen to anyone.

A shop in my neighborhood sells the most gorgeous cookies. They're palm-sized and thick, with a generous layer of pastel-colored frosting. I'm salivating just thinking about them. The only problem: the shop is a pet store, and the cookies are liver-flavored. They're dog cookies, man, and they simply should not look so tantalizing.

Turns out, I'm not the only one subliminally attracted to dog treats. Last week, Newsweek reported that a British government minister accidentally ate the Queen's dog biscuits during a private lunch. The gaffe occurred way back in 2008, when former U.K. health secretary Alan Johnson was invited to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.

Newsweek cites the new biography Queen Of Our Times: The Life Of Elizabeth II, in which author Robert Hardman explains that Johnson was enjoying a cheese course when he mistook a dog biscuit for a people biscuit. Johnson apparently downed the biscuit with gusto, not realizing his mistake until long after the luncheon. Quoted in the book, Johnson said: "We were waiting for our cars and [Welsh secretary Paul Murphy] said, 'What a wonderful meal.' I said, 'I loved it. I loved every minute of it.'" Author Hardman then writes:

"As they discussed the food, Mr Johnson mentioned that he had particularly enjoyed the cheese and the unusual dark biscuits. But Mr Murphy then said: 'No, the dark biscuits were for the corgis!'"

Don't feel bad, Former Secretary Johnson. This could've happened to anyone. With that, I'd like to present my case for pet brands to stop producing dog treats that look like people treats. The temptation simply should not exist! The fact that I'm currently daydreaming about a liver-flavored cookie for dogs is a problem!

Why dog treats should not look like people treats

It's not even a matter of frivolity; I would die for my poorly-behaved beagle and will purchase him whatever kind of treat he prefers. But if dog cookies are disguised as human cookies, we're walking a slippery slope. What if I accidentally ingest a well-decorated dog cookie and end up enjoying the flavor so much that I become permanently fixated on dog food? How will I ever find a husband if that happens?


Even worse, what if I accidentally give my dog a human cookie that looks identical to a dog cookie, ostensibly sold at a bakery that sells both dog and human cookies? What if that cookie contains chocolate or macadamia nuts and he has to spend the night in the dog hospital?

It's all simply too complex. We've veered too far in favor of cutesy, Instagrammable dog treats. Dog cookies should be brown, hard, smelly, and easily distinguishable from human cookies. If a British politician can't tell the difference, there's certainly no hope for me.