Number One Pet Treat Could Be Bad News

Dogs chew, it’s a fact. And like any good owner specialized dog toys and treats are a mainstay in my home. However, for the past year debate regarding a doggie staple has me concerned and confused.

It’s called a Greenie. Manufactured by S M; NuTec the green treat is shaped like a toothbrush and marketed as a tool for getting rid of bad breath. Dogs go crazy for the stuff and since 1998 more than 730 million have been sold.

However, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses. In fact, in the past year numerous pet owners have sued the maker claiming their product killed their beloved animal. One New York couple is asking for $5 million in damages.

The problem isn’t allegedly with the ingredients of the Greenie but rather the texture which might cause intestinal blockage. Anecdotal reports describe in the best of circumstances sections of the small intestine being removed in order to extract the remaining spongy substance and the worst case scenario being not catching the problem in time.

S M; NuTec has created their own website to combat the allegations. It’s their contention that if given the proper size treat an animal can digest the Greenie without incident placing blame on the owner rather than the product. However, in some Greenie-related deaths the company has offered to pay veterinary medical bills and the cost to buy a new dog.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine is investigating.

So, where does that leave pet owners? If you’re like myself you’re torn; however, the only conclusion to be made is to be safe rather than sorry when your best friend is concerned. And if you feel compelled to give your dog a Greenie, monitor their chewing to ensure they don’t swallow any large pieces.

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