If you’re a dog or cat owner or are lucky enough to own both, you’ve likely heard of Greenies! Greenies were developed to help prevent plaque and tartar build up when used in conjunction with a dental hygiene routine. But, as we know, dogs seem to want every treat that isn’t theirs, so is it okay for dogs to eat cat greenies?
Luckily, there is no real reason your dog can’t enjoy a cat Greenie every so often. However, they won’t provide the same dental benefit as a dog Greenie. So, while it’s best to stick to treats formulated for dogs, an occasional cat Greenie won’t do them any harm.
In this article we will discuss the difference between cat and dog Greenies, and the risks to consider when giving your dog any cat treats.
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Table of Contents
What Is A Cat Greenie?
Cats aren’t prone to chewing on treats like dogs, so the Greenie’s formulated for cats are much smaller. They have a crunchy consistency similar to dry cat food. When they are used two times a day along with a dental hygiene routine and regular dental check-ups, they can help reduce plaque and tartar build-up on your cat’s teeth.
The ingredient that is the key to the “scrubbing” simulation these treats have is oat fiber. The oat fiber is a texture that can mimic the action of a scrubbing toothbrush when it is being chewed up.
The ingredients in a chicken flavored cat Greenie include:
- Meat and meat meal from chicken, rice, maize gluten, wheat, chicken liver digest, natural chicken digest, lamb tallow, beef tallow, meat and meat meal,sunflower oil salt, gelling agent, vitamins, ferrous sulfate monohydrate, potassium Iodide, antioxidant natural, sodium caseinate, flavors, BHT, BHA,and Citric acid.
The ingredients in a fish flavored cat Greenie include:
- Meat and meat meal from chicken, rice, maize gluten, wheat, chicken liver digest, natural chicken digest, lamb tallow, beef tallow, meat and meat meal from fish, sunflower oil salt, gelling agent (potassium, sodium tripolyphosphate), vitamins, ferrous sulfate monohydrate, potassium Iodide, antioxidant natural, sodium caseinate, flavors, BHT, BHA, and citric acid.
What Is A Dog Greenie?
A dog greenie performs a similar function to the cat Greenie in that it is designed to be used in conjunction with a regular dental hygiene routine to help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar on dog’s teeth.
However, dog greenies are shaped and textured a little differently. The dog Greenies are also shaped like an actual toothbrush, and the chewy texture helps the chew wrap around the dog’s teeth to scrub as they chew.
The ingredients of the original dog Greenies include:
- Wheat Flour, Glycerin, Wheat Gluten, Gelatin, Water, Powdered Cellulose, Lecithin, Minerals, Natural Poultry Flavor, Choline Chloride, Fruit Juice Color, Vitamins, Turmeric Color.
As you can see these have much less ingredients than the cat Greenies, however this doesn’t mean that the cat Greenies are toxic to dogs.
What Are The Biggest Differences Between Cat and Dog Greenies?
The first difference besides the ingredients in the cat and dog Greenies would be the shape. The cat Greenies are designed to be slightly larger than a typical piece of dry cat food and crunchy. This is to suit the strength and size of the cat’s mouths.
The dog Greenie on the other hand comes in a larger size and is designed to be much chewier. A cat couldn’t really be able to break this down, their jaw isn’t strong enough.
However, a dog would be able to gobble up a cat Greenie pretty quickly if given the chance.
Is It Safe To Give My Dog A Cat Greenie?
There aren’t any ingredients in the cat Greenie that are toxic to dogs, so it is safe to give these to your dog. However, they won’t provide your dog the same dental benefit, which defeats the purpose of these multi-functional treats.
Dog treats will often contain more calories for each treat, but don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the treat is low calorie it is healthy to add to your dog’s diet.
Since these treats won’t really benefit your dog it doesn’t make a lot of sense to give them a cat Greenie, but don’t worry about any adverse health effects.
Will Cat Greenies Make My Dog Gain Weight?
Cat Greenies, just like any other treat, must be accounted for in your dog’s diet. Before deciding if your dog should get to sample the cat’s Greenie container, take a minute to calculate what their calorie intake is already.
Veterinarians recommend that treats of any kind only make up 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. So, you need to determine how much of their daily calorie intake is already going towards their food and daily treats/table scraps.
If they have any additional wiggle room for a few more calories, then you could consider adding in a cat Greenie every so often without any worry for weight gain.
But, just don’t be fooled into thinking that the small treat won’t have any effect on your dog’s weight if it is given frequently without consideration to the rest of their daily intake.
Final Thoughts: Dogs Can Eat Cat Greenies, But Should They?
Cat Greenies pose no threat to your dog’s health, and can theoretically be given to your pet occasionally without any adverse health effects. However, the better question to ask would be why you need to give your dog a cat Greenie?
Cat Greenies won’t help your dog’s dental hygiene and they would be much better off with a canine Greenie formulated for them. So, it might be best to invest in two separate treats for your companions so that each one can reap the benefits of Greenies.
But, if your dog is an insistent beggar and tries to convince you they need a cat Greenie whenever the jar comes out, don’t feel bad if you give them one here and there. As long as you don’t notice any digestion issues afterwards it is likely they are having no real effect on your dog.
If you have specific dietary or allergy concerns about giving your dog a cat Greenie then it is best to consult with your veterinarian.