Greenies are one of the most popular dental treats available on the market today. They’re advertised as snacks capable of cleaning teeth all the way down to the gum line. But as all commercial products, the question of effectiveness lingers: do Greenies really work on dogs when it comes to treating dental problems?
So, do Greenies really work? Yes. Greenies have been scientifically proven as effective as teeth cleaning under anesthesia. “Putting your dog under” (anesthesia) can be very risky (especially in older dogs) so many dog owners opt to provide chewy dental treats instead.
Greenies don’t have the same level of effectiveness with every dog (like any product), but they are effective and are generally safer than a medical procedure. So it’s been established that Greenies do work, but should you keep feeding them to your dog? Is there a limit as to how many Greenies you should feed? Are there any conditions that you must be aware of as the owner of your dog before letting it chew incessantly on its treat? Keep reading… 😉
- Contains one (1) 36 oz. 36-count pack of GREENIES Original Regular Size Natural Dental Dog Treats; Natural Dog Treats Plus Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients
Do Greenies Work for Dogs? (3+ Functions of Greenies)
First, we need to look at what Greenies were made for…
1. Chewy Toothbrush For Your Dog
To put it in simpler terms, Greenies are consumable toothbrushes for your dog.
It’s meant to clean out your dog’s teeth to make sure that no harmful bacteria are able to colonize on them, preventing your companion from cavities or other dental problems!
Made out of chewy, consumable materials, it differentiates itself from other dental products in the market by how soft it is while other products tend to be brittle. This allows for Greenies to be a more digestible alternative to traditional dental treats that you would usually give your dog.
2. How do Greenies Work?
The chewy texture of Greenies allows for the teeth dog to sink deep into the treat, ultimately scraping off any residues or plaques sitting on your dog’s teeth.
Moreover, it’s very difficult to rip apart, forcing your dog to chew on the treat for longer than other products. The more time your dog spends chewing on the product, the cleaner its teeth will get!
For this reason, it’s important that you choose the right size and types for your dog:
- If your dog is too big, we recommend that you stay away from the smaller Greenies as they would take too short of a time to be effective.
- On the other end of the spectrum, if your dog is too small, you don’t want it to chew on an oversized Greenie as it won’t do much to help your dog’s dental health. Instead, it might lead to unnecessary fatigue and exhaustion.
Be careful with rationing your dental treats!
3. Health Benefits
There are many health benefits that come with using Greenies. A few include:
- Plaque and tartar removal
- Metabolic health
- Improvements in the immune system and the skin
The most obvious one is the plaque and tartar removal because, well, the product is meant to clean your dog’s teeth. What is less obvious is why it’s so important to maintain a clean set of teeth for your dogs.
Dogs usually don’t spend that much time chewing the food in their mouth. Rather, they spend most of their time eating by ripping apart the meat before they proceed to enjoy their dishes. If the mouth isn’t well-maintained, your dog might experience achings in its teeth. It makes eating difficult for your dog, thus throwing off the nutritional balance that you, as a dog owner, should always strive to achieve.
The metabolic health benefit is a somewhat unexpected result of using Greenies to treat your dog’s dental health.
According to the company itself, all Greenies Treats use chelated minerals. The chewy treat is very high in iron and zinc which are both minerals essential for dogs in terms of metabolism, digestion, and the cardiovascular system. Not enough of these minerals might turn your dog into a zombie: after all, it can’t produce enough energy to sustain its active lifestyle if it doesn’t have the minerals that it can acquire from Greenies!
Finally, giving Greenies as your good boy/good girl’s treat helps it improve other systems like the immune system and the skin.
Greenies treats tend to be very high in concentration for fish oil and antioxidants such as vitamins and taurine. It might be a great idea to provide your dog with some Greenies as a snack if it’s been lacking in the oil/vitamin department!
As such, there are so many health benefits that come with the Greenies product line: dental health, metabolism, immune system, and skin. However, as all things go, it has its cons.
2 Dangers of Greenies
1. Intestinal Blockage
Though Greenies is relatively safe, there is a risk of causing intestinal blockage. This occurs when a large dog accidentally pulls too large of a chunk from the treat because the treat wasn’t large/chewy enough for it and immediately swallows it.
This can also happen when a small dog gets its paws on treats that are way too large for its own good. These are easily preventable problems, so we won’t tell you to stop using this product. Instead, we recommend that this product is used under supervision. You as the owner should make sure that your dog isn’t eating too much of its treat!
2. Nutritional Imbalance
Eating too much Greenies is never good for your dog. Besides the intestinal blockage problem, it can also throw off the nutritional balance for your dog.
Eating too much of the dental treat would be the equivalent of your dog eating too much fat which can cause other health problems related to excessive fat in the system like extreme cholesterol levels.
As such, though this isn’t a real danger of the product, it’s still important for you to keep in mind that too much of Greenies has negative consequences!
If we had to choose, we’d have to go with Greenies over regular dog dental treatment snacks or the anesthesia operation to maintain your dog’s dental health. All things considered, Greenies is safer and as, if not more, effective as the other methods listed above.
Traditional dental health treats tend to be very hard and difficult to chew on. They still serve the function of scraping plaques off of the teeth, but unlike Greenies, the process tends to be very rough on the gum. Because of how hard the surface of the traditional treats are, it may cause bleeding, especially if your dog is old and has more fragile gums.
The other option, anesthesia, is always prone to risks as it’s very difficult to know what might go wrong for a dog. Potential issues include low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and, in the case of an injury, slow recovery.
We’re never 100% certain of the effects of anesthesia, so we recommend that you don’t take the risk altogether!
The official company recommends eating around one Greenies treat per day.
Yes. We recommend that you always provide water after giving your dog chewy dental treatments. This will help with digestion.