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Are Greenies Good For Dogs? (Pros & Cons)

Greenies are a popular dental chew for dogs that were developed to clean their teeth as they eat it. But are Greenies good for dogs?

Dental Treats laid on grass and stacked crisscrossed on top of each other.

As a pet owner, you want what’s best for your furry friend. So when it comes to choosing the right dental chew for your dog, you may be wondering if Greenies are a good option.

At one point, Greenies had to be recalled for reports of dogs not digesting them. But, thankfully, after that the formula was revised, the digestion problems were resolved. Greenies are now a great option for your pup’s dental health!

You will still need to take your dog to the vet for regular routines and dental care, but using Greenies is a great way to keep your dogs teeth clean between vet visits. Keep reading for all the facts about why I use Greenies!

What are Greenies Dental Treats?

Greenies are a treat that is designed to help keep dogs teeth clean and free of tartar. They are made up of mainly wheat flour, glycerin, gelatin, oat fiber, fruit juices, and water. It is worthy noting that the fruit juice adds sugar to these treats which should be given to dogs in moderation.

Greenies come in different flavors, sizes, and nutritional ingredients to meet your dogs needs. Greenies can be somewhat expensive, so I will often buy the smaller size Greenies for Rhubarb to make a bag last longer.

Are Greenies good for puppies?

Greenies should not be given to puppies under 6 months old or dogs that weigh less than 5 pounds.

Are Greenies made with healthy ingredients?

In short, yes and no. Greenies are a treat and contain ingredients that aren’t meant for consuming a bunch of, like wheat flour (which is high in calories and carbohydrates) and glycerin (a sugar alcohol).

Dental Treats laid flat in a row on grass.

What are the ingredients in Greenies?

We’ve broken down every ingredient in Greenies, with a quick explanation of what each is and if it’s good for your dog.

Wheat Flour: Wheat is healthy for dogs who can digest it. If your dog follows a grain-free diet, Greenies would not be suitable.

Wheat Gluten: Gluten is a protein found in flour that is perfectly healthy for those who can digest it. Gluten is probably being used here to “glue” everything together and make Greenies extra chewy!

Glycerin: Glycerin is a sweet-tasting sugar alcohol that is often found in dog treats. While it is FDA approves, there isn’t a ton of research as to its safety for dogs, and it should be fed in moderation.

Gelatin: Good quality gelatin is great for dogs. It contains anti-inflammatory properties important for repairing cartilage and joint health.

Oat Fiber: Dogs can eat oats, which are a healthy source of fiber and nutrients.

Lecithin: Lecithin is a mix of fats, usually from soybeans or eggs. It is used to protect the flavor in foods.

Natural Poultry Flavor: The word “natural” is not regulated in any way in the U.S. (unlike words like “organic” and “fair trade”, which have regulated ways that they can be used), so it’s hard to say what this ingredient means or how it is sourced.

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 Apple Pomace: This is a byproduct of apple cider and juice production. It’s made up of the pulp, peels and unwanted bits of the apple. In Greenies, this is probably being used as roughage to help scrape off tartar.

Choline Chloride: Choline is an important nutrient for your dog, helping to ensure proper brain development and liver health. It should not be given to pets who are allergic to it, or to pets with liver or kidney disease.

Fruit Juice Color: We like to see Greenies using natural colorants!

Vitamins: dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), folic acid

Turmeric Color: Another natural colorant

Dental Treats laid flat in a row on grass.

How Do Greenies Clean Dogs Teeth?

Greenies are designed with grooves and ridges to help “scrub” your dogs teeth. They are also flexible which helps to clean in all the grooves and down to the gum line. The flexible, chewy texture allows teeth to sink into the treats for maximum contact and maximum clean.

The ingredients in Greenies have also been shown to prevent regrowth of tartar. This helps manage bad breath which is a huge win in my book! As I mentioned, these should not replace regular vet dental care, but are wonderful in the interim.

When Should I Give My Dog Dental treats?

Veterinarians recommend dental chews be given once a day. You can obviously give your dog less, but one a day is what has been shown to reduce tartar and bad breath.

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it may be best to give them dental chews less frequently, as too many can make them sick. This is caused by the chews not being digested or being swallowed in large pieces.

These should be given under supervision to ensure they are fully chewed. They are not considered suitable for pups less than 6 months of age.

While there are a variety of different dental chews on the market, not all of them are created equal. Some dental chews are better than others at helping to clean teeth and freshen breath.

Here are three of the top vet-recommended dental chews for dogs:

  1. Greenies Dental Chews
  2. C.E.T. VeggieDent Chews
  3. Nylabone DuraChew Dental Chew Bones

All three of these dental chews are designed to help clean teeth and freshen breath. They’re also safe for most dogs to consume on a regular basis. However, it’s always best to speak with your veterinarian before giving your dog any new type of food or treat.

Dental Chew Alternatives

Greenies and other dental chews can be a a healthy addition, in moderation, to your pups diet. But if you’re not sold on dental chews, there are alternatives your pup may like! These all work by scraping off the tartar as your dog chews:

Or for an easy breath freshener, try our homemade dog breath mints!

Greenie dog treats laying on grass.


Saturday 29th of July 2023

My dog has bladder stones and has had 2 surgeries plus one in 2 weeks. Can she have greenies?

Sarah Bond

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

I'm afraid I can't say, that's a question best saved for your vet!

E Haskins

Thursday 5th of January 2023

I prefer fresh raw spongey bone. One piece of Kangaroo tail for each dog. Otherwise lamb bones, pigs trotters, or for smaller dog chicken feet. Be sure to leave a decent amount of meat ON the bone. Just be sure to never feed cooked bones, or the long bones of mature animals. Not to mention that normal dog biscuit are cheaper, or make your own.

Caroline Reynolds

Wednesday 14th of December 2022

Choline cannot be toxic. it is a reaction product of muscle use. Acetylcholine is made and remade as your muscles contract and relax.

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