As a pet owner, I decided to look into this myself after Fox 2 News in St. Louis interviewed a lady with a Shih Tzu that had to have a Greenie blockage removed by her Vet, Dr. Hause. This aired on the evening edition of the news on Feb.16, 2006. I am trying to acquire a copy of the report or at least a link to it.
As with all treats pets should be supervised and treats should be used in moderation. There are many pet products available… teeth-cleaning chews, doggie biscuits and chew toys that can potentially injure or sicken dogs under certain conditions and/or circumstances. The treats to be most concerned with are ones where a pet can tear or break off pieces that do not digest and can be caught in the intestinal tract causing blockages such as rawhides.
Greenies are the top selling dental treats and for what they are designed for, they serve their purpose. They are great for helping to control tartar and plaque buildup on your pet's teeth. They also help with the dreaded “doggie breathe”. The problem with them is, when a pet happens to get a piece to large that has not been chewed well, there is the risk it could become lodged in the esophagus or the intestinal tract thus causing a blockage that could prove fatal. A Greenie does not digest and once lodged tends to expand thus eliminating the chances of it passing on through a pet's system.
There are millions of Greenies used regularly without issue but there have been problems associated with this product, so the concern is valid and real. It is important for fellow pet owners to be informed into the possible risks.
The following websites provide in-depth information into the possible issues with Greenies:
Do Greenies pose a threat to your pets? It sounds sort of like an urban myth. Well, this warning did show up on the net in 2005 alerting people to the possible danger associated with Greenies. According to Snopes.com the status of this possible myth was “undetermined”. That article is viewable at:
There was an investigation done by KIROTV.com about greenies and some accounts of people who experienced problems with Greenies and their pets. That investigation is viewable here: http://www.kirotv.com/investigations/5325021/detail.html
Are Greenies safe for dogs? That very question is posed at OptimumChoice.com. Here you find an in-depth article on this very question along with stories of those who have lost beloved pets possibly because of a Greenie and the media news coverage from around the nation. http://www.optimumchoices.com/Greenies.htm#News
On Feb. 14, 2006 CNN did a report on Greenies, found here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/02/14/dangerous.dogtreat/index.html