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Greenies Dog Food Review

Reviews August 24, 2020

Greenies Dog Food Review

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For many dogs just the mention of the word “Greenies” is enough to make them go berserk. Greenies treats come in a variety of forms today, including dental treats, breath busters, and pill pockets. They are tremendously popular in all forms.

To find out more about Greenies treats and to see if they would be a good choice for your dog, read our unbiased review.

Brand Score

Greenies Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Made with natural ingredients https://www.greenies.com/why-greenies plus vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
  • Chewy texture cleans teeth and maintains healthy gums
  • Easy to digest
  • Freshens breath
Cons
  • Pricey – more expensive than most treats
  • Quite addictive; most dogs want more and more of them
  • Problems with the brand many years ago may make some owners wary
Pros
  • Made with natural ingredients https://www.greenies.com/why-greenies plus vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
  • Chewy texture cleans teeth and maintains healthy gums
  • Easy to digest
  • Freshens breath
Cons
  • Pricey – more expensive than most treats
  • Quite addictive; most dogs want more and more of them
  • Problems with the brand many years ago may make some owners wary
Ingredients
Overall Quality
Customer Experience
Recall History
Formulation
Nutritional Standards
Research
Price

Our reviews are based on extensive research and years of professional knowledge of dog food brands. In order to remain objective, we do not accept gifts of free products or write sponsored posts on this site.

We’ve examined Greenies closely and graded the brand according to the PupJunkies.com standard. Our criteria include ingredients, quality, customer experience, recall history, working with veterinary nutritionists to formulate the food, nutritional standards, research, and price.

About Greenies

Greenies treats and dental chews use a mechanical action or abrasion to scrape your dog’s teeth and remove plaque and tartar. They are made with natural ingredients (as described by AAFCO) and are easy for dogs to digest. They also freshen breath and keep your dog’s gums healthy.

Greenies are made in a special shape and texture for maximum dental efficacy. They have a chewy texture. Independent studies have shown that dogs that have one Greenies Dental Chew per day have 60 percent less tartar buildup and 33 percent less plaque buildup after 28 days compared to dogs that eat dry dog food alone. Dogs also had 80 percent healthier gums and 45 percent improvement in oral malodor (halitosis).

Greenies are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. The Veterinary Oral Health Council is an international organization of Board Certified Veterinary Dentists formed by the American Veterinary Dental College. The council has established testing protocols with pre-set standards that a manufacturer must meet to receive their Seal of Acceptance.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Greenies were originally developed by Joe and Judy Roetheli in Kansas City in 1996. They operated under the company name S&M NuTec. The treats were intended to be a nutritious way to freshen a dog’s breath and keep teeth cleaner.

The dental treats proved to be extremely popular from the start. Unfortunately, there were some consumer complaints  and a CNN investigation that found 40 cases over a three-year period that showed the chews had become lodged in a dog’s esophagus or intestine. According to reports, 13 of the dogs died despite veterinary treatment.

After a lawsuit that was settled out of court, the brand disappeared for a time while it was reformulated to make the chews safer, more soluble, and more digestible. Greenies was acquired by Nutro Products, Inc. in 2007. Nutro, in turn, was bought by Mars, Inc. Today Greenies are widely available wherever pet foods and treats are sold.

According to the Greenies web site, Greenies are still made in Kansas City, where they started, though the formula was changed after 2006. Nutro and Mars have headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, but we no longer see the Nutro label on Greenies packaging.

Greenies does say all of the ingredients used to make their products are sourced from the U.S. except for some globally sourced vitamins and minerals.

Recall History

Greenies was certainly recalled or removed from shelves in 2006. However, U.S. Food & Drug Administration recalls are only reliably listed going back to about 2009. We didn’t find any recent recalls for Greenies products online.

What Kinds Of Treats Does Greenies Offer?

Today Greenies are available in many different forms including dental chews, pill pockets, breath busters bites, and grain free versions. They also come in four different sizes (Teenie, Petite, Regular and Large) so dogs of all sizes can enjoy them.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) does not have the same nutritional adequacy requirements for treats and snacks that it has for dog foods. This means that Greenies (and other treats) can’t be fed to your dog as a complete and balanced meal.

When giving your dog treats you should deduct the calories from your dog’s daily calories so he doesn’t put on extra weight. Calories from treats shouldn’t make up more than about 10 percent of your dog’s daily calories.

Greenies Dog Food – Top 5 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypeProtein

(as fed)

Kcal per treat
Greenies Regular Dental Dog TreatsDental treats30%91 kcal/treat
Greenies Pill Pockets Canine Chicken Flavor Dog TreatsPill pockets11%23 kcal/treat
Greenies Bursting Blueberry Teenie Dental Dog TreatsDental treats30%26 kcal/treat
Greenies Grain-Free Petite Dental Dog TreatsDental treats30%53 kcal/treat
 Greenies Aging Care Large Dental Dog TreatsDental treats32%146 kcal/treat

Here’s a look at some of the bestselling Greenies treats on Chewy.com to give you an idea of what’s popular and what other dog lovers are choosing for their dogs.

Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 30% Min
  • Fat – 5.5% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture – 15% Max

Ingredients:

Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats is the bestselling Greenies product on Chewy.com. This regular-sized treat is available in many different box sizes, including the value pack. These treats are made for dogs that weigh between 25 and 50 pounds.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Wheat Flour, Glycerin, Wheat Gluten, Gelatin, Water, Powdered Cellulose, Lecithin, Minerals (Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium, Potassium Iodide), Natural Poultry Flavor, Choline Chloride, Fruit Juice Color, Vitamins ( Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source Of Vitamin E], Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate [Vitamin B5], Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Folic Acid), Turmeric Color.

If you are concerned about glycerin, this is a USP grade glycerin that is safe for food use. It is vegetable-based, derived from palm oil that is RSPO certified.

This is a specialized treat. It has some ingredients that we wouldn’t necessarily recommend in a dog food but considering its purpose (to help clean teeth, keep gums healthy, and freshen breath), we’re not going to single them out here. If your dog is sensitive to wheat, poultry or any other ingredients listed here, you should avoid this treat.

The dry matter basis (DMB) figures for this food are: 35.3 percent protein, 9.4 percent fat, 7.1 percent fiber, and (approx.) 40 percent carbohydrates. It has 91 kcal/treat.

Our rating for this food is 4 out of 5 stars.

Greenies Pill Pockets Canine Chicken Flavor Dog Treats

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 11% Min
  • Fat – 10% Min
  • Fiber – 1% Max
  • Moisture – 31% Max

Ingredients:

Greenies Pill Pockets Canine Chicken Flavor Dog Treats is a great way to hide those pills that your dog doesn’t want to take. This is one of the top-selling Greenies products on Chewy.com. It’s available in a version to hide capsules and one to hide tablets. Easy to use. Comes in various package sizes.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Chicken, Glycerin, Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Wheat Gluten, Dried Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Dried Chicken, Dried Cultured Skim Milk, Sodium Bisulfate, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Rosemary Extract.

These pill pockets are made with real chicken and help hide the smell and taste of most pills that your dog might have to take. This treat also comes in peanut butter, hickory smoke, cheese and grain-free duck.

This treat has 16 percent protein and 15 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 1.5 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates is 44 percent. It has 23 kcal/treat.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Greenies Bursting Blueberry Teenie Dental Dog Treats

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 30% Min
  • Fat – 5% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture – 15% Max

Ingredients:

Greenies Bursting Blueberry Teenie Dental Dog Treats is super popular for little dogs that weigh between 5 and 15 pounds. If you have a small dog you probably know that many of these little guys can have more than their share of dental problems. A good dental treat, along with brushing and vet care, is important to keep their teeth in good shape.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Wheat Flour, Glycerin, Wheat Gluten, Gelatin, Water, Powdered Cellulose, Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Minerals (Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium, Potassium Iodide), Dried Blueberries, Choline Chloride, Fruit Juice Color, Vitamins ( Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source Of Vitamin E], Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate [Vitamin B5], Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Folic Acid), Turmeric Color.

Along with being a good antioxidant, many dogs love the taste of blueberries! The natural flavor in this treat comes from chicken.

Recommended by veterinarians to help prevent gum disease, freshen breath and reduce the frequency of professional dental cleanings.

This formula has 35.3 percent protein and 9.4 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 7.1 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates is approximately 40 percent. It has 26 kcal/treat.

Our rating for this food is 4 out of 5 stars.

Greenies Grain-Free Petite Dental Dog Treats

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 30% Min
  • Fat – 5.5% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture – 15% Max

Ingredients:

Greenies Grain-Free Petite Dental Dog Treats is a good choice if you are looking for a grain-free dental treat for your dog. These treats are made for dogs that weigh between 15 and 25 pounds. Available in multiple package sizes.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Pea flour, gelatin, glycerin, dried potato, water, lecithin, powdered cellulose, natural poultry flavor, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), dried yam, carrageenan, choline chloride, fruit juice color, vitamins ( dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate [vitamin B5], niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement [vitamin B2], vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], folic acid), turmeric color.

Once again, there might be some ingredients we would find objectionable if this were a dog food but we won’t single them out considering this is a treat for dental health. Greenies recommends feeding one treat per day.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 35.3 percent protein, 9.4 percent fat, and 7.1 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food came out to 40 percent. These are approximately the same figures as most of the Greenies grain-inclusive treats. This treat contains 53 kcal/treat.

Our rating for this food is 4 out of 5 stars.

Greenies Aging Care Large Dental Dog Treats

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 32% Min
  • Fat – 6% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture – 15% Max

Ingredients:

Greenies Aging Care Large Dental Dog Treats is made specifically for older dogs, especially large dogs. If you have an older dog then you know that dental health is a frequent concern. This product is made for dogs that weigh between 50 and 100 pounds which are over 7 years of age. These chews are 50 percent softer than Original Greenies so your older dog can still enjoy them.

Greenies Aging Care Large Dental Dog Treats also contains New Zealand green mussels and chicken cartilage that provide natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Wheat Gluten, Glycerin, Wheat Flour, Gelatin, Water, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Lecithin, Dried Chicken Cartilage, Minerals, (Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium, Potassium Iodide), Dried New Zealand Green Mussel, Natural Poultry Flavor, Taurine, Vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source Of Vitamin E], Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate [Vitamin B5], Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Folic Acid), DL Methionine, Choline Chloride, Fruit Juice Color, Decafffeinated Green Tea Extract, Turmeric Color.

This is a good dental chew and source of supplements for older dogs.

This formula has 37.6 percent protein and 11.8 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 6.7 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food came out to 35.3 percent DMB. It contains 146 kcal/treat.

Our rating for this food is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

How Much Does Greenies Cost?

In most cases Greenies are more expensive than other dental chews. They do offer a wider variety of treats/chews than most of their competitors. They are also approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council which makes them stand out from many other brands.

What Do Customers Think Of Greenies?

Greenies gets very high ratings for most of their products. In many cases, 95-100 percent of customers would recommend their products to others. Most products receive 4 and 5-star ratings.

Overall, Is Greenies A Good Choice?

Yes, we think that Greenies are a very good choice for your dog’s dental health.We do recommend that you always monitor your dog when you give him any kind of chew, including a dental chew.

Any dog can choke on something, even when you are being careful. When selecting a chew for your dog, including a dental chew, be sure to choose one that is appropriate for your dog’s age and size.

Remember that dental treats are only part of good dental care for dogs. Brushing and having your vet check your dog’s teeth regularly are also essential.

Like other treats, some Greenies can be high in calories. Greenies recommends giving your dog one Greenies treat per day for good dental health.

Where Is Greenies Sold?

You can find Greenies dental chews and treats at Chewy.com and other online retailers. You can also buy them at many places where pet foods are sold, depending on where you live.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
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