The Good: Our dog likes them, Freshens breath and cleans teeth as the product promises to.
The Bad: Expensive by the single bone, Not wild about the environmental impact of the single bones.
The Basics: The regular Senior Greenies are just as loved by my dog Mitzie as the petite regular Greenies were when we first discovered them!
Some time ago, well before my brief stint working for the pet store, I encountered Greenies dog treats. We bought Greenies for our geriatric cocker spaniel, Mitzie, to help her enjoy living in New York after her big move from Michigan. At that time, Mitzie weighed right around 20 pounds, so we fed her the Petite Greenies. Since then, Mitzie has put on a little (healthy) weight and she is just over twenty-five pounds now. As a result, I switched her to the Regular sized Senior Greenies for dogs who are 25 - 50 lbs. and in the twilight of their lives.
Oddly, the change in size does not seem to be the only change Greenies has made in the intervening time. The Regular Senior Greenies, which are physically larger than the Petite ones, are also much more flexible. Responding to consumer and veterinarian concerns, Greenies appears to have changed their formula. As a result, the Regular Senior Greenies can be almost folded over on itself! When one does that, it does not snap, either, it breaks apart into very manageable, mealy pieces.
The Senior Greenies Smart Treat trades on being a dental health tool for dogs. In addition to tasting delicious to dogs, they are supposed to clean the dog's mouth so the teeth are cleaned and the dog's breath smells better. Mitzie has had these treats sporadically over the last few months, but when she is given a choice, she continues to choose these treats. Whether she understands the dental benefits or not, she seems to exhibit a preference to these over all other bone-like treats we have tried. This leads me to the conclusion that Senior Greenies Smart Treats taste good to dogs.
The Senior Greenies Smart Treat is a treat that does not trade on being flavored like anything dogs usually eat (i.e. this is not a meat-flavored treat). Each Senior Greenies Regular Bone treat comes individually as a wrapped toothbrush-shaped treat four and one-quarter inches long by 1" wide (5/8" thick). This is the least quantity one might buy them in and there are multipacks. For my tastes and budgets, the single Regular Senior Greenies treat seems a bit expensive at about a dollar fifty a treat. The individually-wrapped treat is environmentally and economically not much of a value. There are multipacks of these on the market which are less expensive and use less plastic.
The green (hence the name Greenies) "bone" (more accurately "brush") is designed to help fight plaque and tartar build-up by having a texture to it and being very hard. The brush-shaped treat is smooth until the dog bites into it and fractures it. Then it becomes very mealy and the texture helps remove matter from a dog's mouth. Because the bone is too big to simply be swallowed, the Greenies Senior Smart Treat effectively brushes the dog's teeth and tongue using friction whenever the dog bites into it to split it and swallows it, dragging the bolus across their tongue. This has had great results with Mitzie. Mitzie's breath was not bad to begin with (the result of having a pretty steady parade of dog treats in her diet) but her breath has smelled like dog food in the time between eating and getting her daily treat. With the Senior Greenies, Mitzie's breath is restored to a more neutral scent and that is exactly what the Greenies promises to do.
Senior Greenies does not claim to have any environmental or dietary agenda it is pushing. So while Booda Bones prominently mention on their packaging that they contain no wheat, Senior Greenies has wheat flour, though the new recipe is primarily made of rice flour and glycerin! This is by no means an all-natural product, which is probably why they have no expiration date.
These treats are not bad for dogs and the package recommends that dog owners have clean drinking water available to their dog when they feed them these single bones. This treat is a dietary supplement, not a full meal. Greenies Senior Smart Treats in the regular size have at least 19% crude protein and 4% crude fat and no more than 5% crude fiber and 18% moisture, so those looking out for their dog's specific dietary needs, that might help.
Mitzie loves these treats and she devours them whenever we give them to her or she is given a choice between any other dog treat she has been offered in the last six months. But buyers who find one of these is as preferred by their dog(s) will want to buy them in the multipack if for no other reasons than to save money and have more on hand as a reward for good dogs.
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© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.