It seems, Greenies dog treats have my number…my phone number. And it seems my number has been flagged by the dog treat manufacturer (who knows, maybe all Mars Petcare products too). A recent call to Greenies regarding a confusing claim they make on their website ended up with the customer service representative refusing to answer my questions.
The Greenies website states:
“GREENIES® Dental Chews are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dog maintenance.”
This statement is confusing. Greenies are a treat, meant for supplemental feeding and thus are not required to meet any nutritional level established by AAFCO. Since I was confused at why a dog treat would make such a statement on their website (the treat manufacturer would know a treat is not required to meet “nutrient profiles for adult dog maintenance”), I made a phone call to Greenies.
The conversation went something like this…
Shannon (customer service representative from Greenies): Thank you for calling Greenies, what can I help you with.
Note – she did not ask my name.
Me: Yes, I have a question about something on your website. On the Greenies Original treat page it states that the treats are formulated to meet nutritional levels established by AAFCO. What does this mean?
Shannon: It means the treats are AAFCO certified to meet the nutritional requirements of an adult dog.
Me: uh..um…uh…I’m confused. Can you explain that to me again?
Shannon: Hold on one moment please.
About a minutes later…
Shannon: I can no longer help you.
Me: What do you mean you can no longer help me? What changed while you put me on hold? You answered my question before? Why not now?
Shannon: I see that you are Truth about Pet Food.
Note: My phone number is not under Truth about Pet Food – it is registered to Susan Thixton.
Shannon: I don’t want you to twist what I say on your blog. You’ll have to speak to our media relations department.
Me: Ok, can you have them call me?
Shannon: What is your number?
Me: Are you kidding? You have my number. You obviously have caller ID.
Shannon: Yes, um, ok. You wish for them to return the call to this number?
Me: Yes, thank you Shannon.
Back to my question that Greenies never answered…why would a small dog treat – a chew – meet the “nutrient profiles for adult dog maintenance”.
The same questions arise for cat treats as the Greenies website states “FELINE GREENIES® Dental Treats are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance.”
This nutritional statement on a pet food would mean that when you follow the suggested serving of the cat food or dog food (example 1 cup per 30 lb dog per day or 3/4 cup per 15 lb cat per day) the consumer is providing all the nutrition that pet requires each day.
For Greenies Original Dental Dog Chews the Feeding Guidelines states “Feed one GREENIES® Dental Chew per day.” Does this mean that one Greenies Dental Chew provides all the nutrition that a adult dog needs for a day? Would no food be required? Just give your dog one Greenie a day and they are receiving all the nutrition they require?
For Greenies Original Dental Cat Treats the Feeding Guidelines states “Feed as a snack or treat in conjunction with your cat’s regular diet.” A 15 lb. cat can eat “24 treats per day”. Would 24 treats provide all the nutrition an adult cat needs for a day?
I remain confused. And by the way, no one from Greenies/Nutro/Mars Petcare ever returned my call. I guess from now on I’ll need to block my phone number when I call and ask questions in the future (Secret Shoppers take note).
Questions were sent to FDA regarding the regulations of a treat making claims of a pet food. This appears to be misleading to consumers and I asked for clarification. When/if FDA responds, it will be posted.
By the way, Shannon, Greenies, Nutro, Mars Petcare and everyone else…I don’t “twist what you say”. I’m just trying to provide pet food consumers the truth. They deserve the truth.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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