What about Greenies?

In our last post, we talked about some of our favorite dental treats for pets, but one of the most popular brands – Greenies – was left off our list. We used to carry them, but we take great pride in offering the healthiest, highest quality products, and those were the one product in our store that we just couldn’t get behind, so we stopped carrying them. Here’s why we we don’t feel comfortable recommending Greenies for your pets.

First, a minor issue – until they were reformulated a few years ago, the dog chews were actually pretty tough and required lots of chewing, which is ideal for helping to scrape away plaque. The new formula made the chew much softer, which means most dogs can chomp through it in a matter of seconds, thus making the idea of chewing to clean plaque practically non-existent.

Now onto the real issue we have with them – their ingredient quality. Let’s look at the list of ingredients in Greenies Dog Chews:

Gelatin, wheat protein isolate, glycerin, soy protein isolate, sodium caseinate, natural poultry flavor, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, lecithin, vegetable oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), minerals (magnesium amino acid chelate, calcium carbonate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, potassium iodide), vitamins (dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), folic acid), dehydrated tomato, apple pomace, ground flaxseed, dehydrated sweet potato, cranberry fiber, potassium sorbate (to preserve freshness), choline chloride, taurine, carotene, chlorophyll.

There are a whole lot of ingredients for one little snack, and I, for one, can’t recognize what most of those ingredients are. A few of the ones I do recognize are natural, but they don’t make up for all of the other questionable ingredients in there  – animal by-products (unnamed sources of gelatin and glycerin), and what the heck is hydrogenated starch hydrolysate?! Seriously, I had to Google it – it’s basically a sugar substitute, partially derived from corn .

Compare the above ingredients to those in Terrabones:

Organic Brown Rice Powder, Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Chicken Flavor, Organic Pea Powder, Carrageenan (natural seaweed extract), Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Parsley Powder, Peppermint Oil, Citric acid, Rosemary oil, Mixed Tocopherols (natural source of Vitamin E)

Or Zuke’s Z Ridges (Carrot Flavor):

Potato Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Carrot Flakes, Cellulose Fiber, Alfalfa Concentrate (a source of Chlorophyll), Beta Carotene, Natural Flavor, Lecithin, Whey, Vanilla Extract, Clove Powder, Parsley Powder, Nutmeg Powder and Fennel Seed Powder.

Both of those have a much smaller number of ingredients, and we actually can decipher what they are!

The same can be said about Greenies cat treats as compared to other crunchy cat treats (which is really where the ‘cleaning’ action comes from).


Chicken Meal, Ground Brewers Rice, Ground Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Sprayed Dried Hydrolyzed Chicken Protein Concentrate, Oat Fiber, Natural Chicken Flavor, Vegetable Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Poultry and Fish Flavor, Sodium Gluconate, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Glucono-delta-lactone, Citric Acid, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins: [Vitamin A Supplement, D-Activated Animal Sterol (Source of Vitamin D3 Supplement), dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement], Minerals: [Zinc Proteinate; Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Iron Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide], Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, DL Methionine, Chlorophyll.

Bell Rock Growers Pet Greens Crunchy Cat Treats:

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potato Flour, Pea Flour, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Wheat Grass Powder, Organic Apples, Organic Carrots, Salt, Rosemary Extract

No corn, no questionable animal fat content,  no menadione sodium bisulfite complex (which is a controversial synthetic vitamin K supplement).  Feeding an alternative to  Greenies allows you to feel  confident in the quality of ingredients in your pet’s dental treats.  We know we sure feel a lot better about carrying and recommending these products for your pet.

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