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Make “Greenies” for your dogs

February 21, 2012

“Greenies” are dog treats. If you are a dog owner you know this- and probably have very definite feelings about them. Dogs love them.  There was some issues with “Greenies” a few years back about their digestibility and whether or not they are “bad” for dogs.  I know MY dogs LOVE them. Like dog crack- they gobble them up. I stopped giving them to my dogs a few years back because they are pretty pricy and they never really do digest. I think you know how I know.  The benefits of GREENIES were supposed to be- improved breath and dental cleaning. They were even shaped like a toothbrush!  I always doubted the dental cleaning part- Greenies always seemed to stick to the dog’s teeth… like gummy bears. I have wanted  to make my own greenies for a while now. I knew there was no way that I would get the texture- I didn’t want to have plastic in the treat!  I knew I could get the color but also the benefits plus more benefits- and go all natural! With a real “get teeth clean” crunch I felt confident!

Franks GREEN Breath Brushes

Since I’ve been cooking so much lately, and since dog treats are my very favorite thing to bake, I went online to look for possible recipe ideas. There was one recipe floating around that made sense. It needed a few extra things so I added those. Also I wanted the treats to be something that I could roll out and shape with a cookie cutter, the other treats that I found that were breath freshening all were spoon/ or dropped treats including this one. So I added more flour to the recipe to make it roll out easily. These Breath Brushes came out pretty good!  The dogs love them and they are CUTE!  Today I give to you my version of greenies. Please give them a try! Recipe follows.

Dough and cute toothbrush cookie cutter

Geo “thinks” it might be good

Frank’s Breath Brushes

3 1/2 brown rice flour plus 2 cups more (rice flour for crunch)

1 tablespoon of activated charcoal (I opened 12 capsules for 1 tblspn.)

4Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 egg

1/2 cup packed fresh mint

1/2 cup packed fresh italian parsley

1 cup chicken broth

Liquid chlorophyll (whole foods/health food store)

Preheat over to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
Combine charcoal with 3 1/2 cups brown rice flour set aside.

Put parsley, mint, oil and 1/4 cup of broth or water into food processor. Process until very chopped, like pesto. Add 3-4 droppers full of chlorophyll. Pulse a few times to mix. Add this green paste to flour mixture and mix well. Beat egg lightly and mix in. Knead adding remainder of water/broth. By this time you should have a very sticky dough ball. Heavily flour the work surface and knead dough until an even green color. Divide dough into workable portions and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick, or whatever thickness  you prefer. Add flour to work surface and dough surface as needed to take away stickiness as you work. Cut out with your favorite shapes, and dock with a fork to keep puffiness down.Bake for 25 or 20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I used a toothbrush shaped cutter from my favorite cookie cutter supplier Copper Gifts.   Aren’t these presh??!!

Here is another green recipe for pups, gluten free and tasty! Green Hearts- made with minty peas!

You know they LOVE it when they go away to eat the treat! He’s moving fast!

87 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2012 3:30 pm

    These look great, I will have to try them out sometime. I have never been happy with Greenies as my dogs all throw up after eating them, so I am delighted to find a natural alternative

  2. Sarah permalink
    February 21, 2012 8:24 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I’m always looking for natural things for the doggies. Terrific post Darla!

    • February 28, 2012 9:05 am


      • December 4, 2014 4:09 pm

        Thank you for this recipe, this is a great idea because I’m sure Greenies are full of toxic ingredients and many dogs have choked on them (my ex used to give them to my dog and they really are like crack for dogs). I’m going to try these, but I’m going to try to think of a sub for the rice flour because I’m trying to cut all grains out of my dog’s diet. I’ll probably use coconut flour.

        I was wondering since you’ve probably been giving your dog these for two years now if you have found they keep his teeth clean? Has anyone found they clean teeth with already built up tarter as well? Thank you in advance!

      • December 4, 2014 4:11 pm

        Thank you for this great recipe. I think Greenies are full of toxic ingredients and many dogs have choked to death on them. I’m going to try making these with coconut flour.

        I was wondering, since it has been two years, have you noticed if they have kept your dog’s teeth clean? Has anyone noticed if these biscuits reduce already built up tartar?

      • December 15, 2014 4:19 pm

        i think they are good for scraping tartar since they are so crunchy, but I have not actually “studied” their effects. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  3. kat permalink
    February 22, 2012 12:30 pm

    can’t wait to try this recipe.. can you clarify the about of Brown Rice Flour needed.. is it 3 and half cups plus 2 cups…. 5 1/2 cups total?

    it reads 3 1/2 brown rice flour plus 2 cups more (rice flour for crunch)

    thank you!

    • February 22, 2012 2:05 pm

      hi, i started with the 3 1/2 cups and added the remaining 2 cups as needed to make the dough workable for rolling out. you might use all 5 1/2 cups. or you might not. have fun!

  4. Eric Murtaugh permalink
    February 23, 2012 4:03 pm

    My dog loves you for this.

  5. February 28, 2012 11:41 am

    This is awesome. LOVE the toothbrush cutter! Makes them look even better than the Greenie counterpart! 😉
    P.S. Give Geo & Frank a big hug from me!

  6. ringfingertanline permalink
    March 5, 2012 12:25 pm

    My dogs are so obsessed with Greenies! I will have to try these out!

    • March 5, 2012 12:44 pm

      let me know what you think! and what your dog thinks!

  7. March 5, 2012 1:43 pm

    Hey there Darla! I am a dog trainer and new to WordPress… I am loving your doggie recipes!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am a firm believer of natural diets and since I’m not as creative as you in the kitchen, I’ll definitely be ‘stealing’ some recipes!
    If you need any training advice in return, you know how to find me =)

    • March 5, 2012 1:46 pm

      fantastic!! please make them, use them, enjoy them!! and thanks for visiting!

  8. March 5, 2012 5:37 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is genius! I’m so glad I came across this because my dog has terrible dog breath and greenies are a bit too pricey. Thank you for posting this!

    We love your blog and are going to follow you.
    Check us out at and We love to use materials like natural stones in our jewelry, so you might be into it!

  9. March 5, 2012 6:23 pm

    These are awesome! I have a puppy with a sensitive stomach. Maybe I’ll make these for her instead.

  10. March 6, 2012 1:37 pm


    This post left us drooling. We love greenies and having fresh breath. We are showing our humans the recipe. Thanks for this and for following our blog!
    Bella and DiDi

    • March 6, 2012 1:40 pm

      thanks girls! tell your humans if you are not wheat intolerant- half whole wheat flour and half rice flour will be easier to handle when rolling out the dough. all rice flour is pretty grainy when wet- but super crunchy when dry. thanks for stopping by!

  11. All Paws permalink
    May 3, 2012 12:47 am

    I was wondering what the purpose of the activated charcoal is? I read about its medicinal properties, but it also absorbs nutrients, and in excess can cause diarrhea, constipation, nausea and related upset. I have a 9 lb chihuahua mix (rescue) with a delicate system and wheat allergies, and I cook for him and am very careful with what I feed him [and would never give him Greenies… he gets Zuke dental bones]. I am looking to make dental treats but I might leave out the charcoal unless it’s necessary for cleaning his teeth? Or I might cut the amount in half… anyway…. does it help clean the teeth or is it added for the health benefits? Thanks so much!!

    • May 3, 2012 6:15 am

      hi! definitely do what you are most comfortable with. all doggies are different just like people are! do it your way and they will love them- no doubt!! 😉

  12. Leia permalink
    June 18, 2012 1:31 pm

    I really want to try this out! My little dog doesnt have much problems with Greenies(yet) but now he wont eat any other treat andd they are quite pricy 😦 This will be fun and he eats these one treats that make his breath stink so I need to hurry up and make these! 🙂 Thankyou so much for the idea/recipe!

  13. Vicki Howell permalink
    July 11, 2012 12:03 am

    Hi Darla: I made these tonight. The dough was not sticky but very dry. I wonder how you got wet dough? I was also unsure about the cholorophyl. The list of ingredients says 1 small bottle, but in the recipe it says 3 droppers full. I used the entire small bottle and it was so pungent, I went in and took 3 droppers full out of it and started over. I am very curious about this and hope you see this message.
    The greenies turned out crunchy and fine, but they don’t taste very minty. I ate one before I gave one to Jackpot. It’s a great recipe. Thank you for posting it for us.

    • July 11, 2012 6:13 pm

      hi vicki! thanks for your comments! i would maybe throw those away and try again with only 3 droppers full of the chlorophyl.
      the dough is grainy but not dry. try again, and as always read the entire recipe completely thru to the end at least once before you start working. i usually read it 2 or 3 times before it sinks in! 😉 good luck.

      • Vicki Howell permalink
        July 11, 2012 6:28 pm

        Hi Darla: Thanks for the reply. I DID throw that away and use 3 droppers full of the Cholorophyl. The dough was still pretty dry. I am an amateur chef and have won many video contests with my videos. I only tell you that so that you will know that I was very interested in how the ingredients came together and how the dough felt, etc. It is a good recipe. My dog likes these very much. I did find that the thicker I made them, the better he liked them. I experimented. I cut some in toothbrush shapes, as you did and others in small bones shape since he is a small dog. He loved the small bones!
        The rice flour is perfect for these. It’s brilliant!

      • July 11, 2012 6:32 pm

        rice flour has an odd feel to it, in my opinion. my dogs liked these too. i really appreciate your commentary and appreciate taking the time to give me feedback. i’d love to see your photos!

      • Vicki Howell permalink
        July 11, 2012 6:46 pm

        Hi Darla: I just posted a Tweet about the greenies recipe with a hashtag of #greenies. I also listed as the source. Here is the picture:
        I would like to comment that the Cholorophyll and the Charcoal capsules can both be purchased at Whole Foods. The rice flour is available in the health section of most grocers. I got mine in Krogers. The Cholorophyll was mint flavored. The mint listed in your recipe is needed to get it a good minty flavor. Or, at least that is what I found out. The mint in the bottled cholorophyll is not enough to carry the recipe. It’s a great recipe!

      • July 12, 2012 1:50 pm

        thank you so much Vicki!

  14. Erika permalink
    November 3, 2012 9:04 am

    Could you use powdered chlorophyll instead of liquid?

    • November 3, 2012 9:08 am

      i would think so, if it’s food grade. you may need more liquid for the recipe overall, but not much. let me know!!

  15. yvonne permalink
    January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

    First off, charcoal is a black powder! It flies everywhere. I suggest wearing an apron and rubber gloves and cutting the capsules in the sink. If you get it all over you and the kitchen, baking soda seems to clean it up nicely.

    I set out for my favorite 2nd hand store this morning, looking for a cookie cutter, and there it was…the toothbrush…50 cents!

    I did have trouble keeping the shape so I ended up just cutting bars…practice will help.

    Next time I’ll add more mint, but they taste pretty good…a bit bland for a human, but a touch of salt and I’d eat them.

    The dogs GOBBLED them up!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • yvonne permalink
      January 11, 2013 6:09 am

      Day 2: My six toy poodles have completely forgotten their teenie daily Nutra Dent…they LOVE these. Other than my black fingers, these are a godsend! Thanks!

      • January 21, 2013 7:51 pm

        sorry about your fingers Yvonne. wearing gloves is a good idea! and i am pleased your poodles like the greenies.

  16. Marta permalink
    January 21, 2013 3:23 pm

    Sounds like a great recipe! Did you work out the coat to make these? And how many did the dough make?

    • January 21, 2013 7:50 pm

      hi Marta,

      i dont remember how many it made. SEVERAL dozen as i recall.

  17. Courtney permalink
    April 15, 2013 9:42 am

    The chlorophyll I got doesn’t have a dropper. How much would you say 3-4 droppers-ful is?

  18. Diane permalink
    April 20, 2013 4:50 pm

    Darla, All Paws asked the purpose of the Activated Charcoal and you answered for her to make the treats according to the needs of the dogs. However, you didn’t actually answer the original question of the purpose of the Activated Charcoal. Would you clarify that for me please? I have 2 Greyhounds, notoriously known for having bad teeth, and I could save a boatload of money by making treats instead of buying them. Thank you! bsyldydiane

  19. April 21, 2013 10:18 am

    How many greenies does this recipe make roughly?

    • April 21, 2013 12:21 pm

      maybe 50? i rolled them out pretty thin because i wanted them to be crunchy. thicker and chewy sounds like a good idea too though!

  20. Monika permalink
    May 30, 2013 6:47 pm

    Charcoal? I never heard of that. Isn’t it toxic to dogs? Do I have to put it in???

    • May 31, 2013 5:35 am

      Activated charcoal is very different than the charcoal you use to BBQ. It can be beneficial to humans too. Take a look at a few google searches and then decide if you want to use it or not. Have fun!

  21. Rita permalink
    August 4, 2013 10:46 pm

    Hello Darla…Thank you for sharing…I would like to make these but have a few questions. What is the chlorophyll for? what is it? is it nutritious for the dog? and where do you buy it? and the charcoal. Is it in the supplement isle in the store? oh and since it makes so many…do they go bad fast? Should I keep them in the freezer? I’m asking because the only other time I made treats they went moldy after a few days. Thanks so much…Rita

    • August 5, 2013 9:09 am

      Hi Rita, Thanks for stopping by. All the ingredients I suggest are safe for dogs, but every dog is different, just as all people are. So, it is always best if you research these ingredients with our dog’s history and needs in mind. These were purchased at whole foods. Also- you can freeze the extras and give them as you see fit! Have fun!!

      • August 7, 2013 1:23 pm

        Hi Darla….made these today and used a tall shot glass to cut out the treats. Once I pricked them with a fork they reminded me of Ritz Crackers for dogs lol. At first my little guy wasn’t interested in them and I thought. Oh great! I spent all this money on charcoal and choro …whatever that stuff is called at the health food store and you don’t like them…..but once I broke one and left it near him, he grabbed it and took it elsewhere…He loves them!! I gave him three of them and he ate them all (they aren’t that big) and is looking for more but I think three is enough for now. Thank you for sharing. do you think these WOULD go bad if I didn’t keep them in the freezer?

      • August 9, 2013 5:28 am

        unless you REALLY dried them out in the oven or in a dehydrator- yes, they will.there are no stabilizers to help. so getting as much moisture out as possible is the deal. or freeze them and lay a few out each night for the next day. i’s LOVE to see your Greenie Crackers! send us a pic!

      • August 9, 2013 5:30 am

        p.s. i am also THRILLED you baby likes them.i think they are a little surprised when we first give them home made treats. maybe overwhelmed by our love?

  22. August 29, 2013 7:59 am

    Hi Darla…..I have a question…How many of these greenies can my dog have during a day? He gets them about three times a day and although they are small, so is he. His poop is black from them…wondering if all that charcoal will harm him if he gets to much????. Do you have any other recipes for dog treats? Thank you and have a Great Day!

    • September 12, 2013 1:54 pm

      if his poop gets runny it’s too much. just one or 2 a day.
      all dogs are different so you’ll know… 😉

  23. February 17, 2014 6:25 pm

    Darla do you have a doggie cookbook? I’m going to make these for my golden girl holly who is 9 and my Westie boy scamp who is 10. I have been buying ready made shop ones but I need to keep Holly’s weight down due to a knee operation. They need daily dental chew and also a healthy treat biscuit. Just wondered if you had any other doggie treats I could try and make thanks

    • February 23, 2014 12:50 am

      you are so kind!! i do not have a cook book but i have several doggy recipes here. just search the site for “dogs” AND i just published a new post for doggy treats! check it out!

  24. terri permalink
    March 17, 2014 1:55 pm

    just so you know.. “In rare cases, activated charcoal can cause dehydration or a dangerous surge in blood sodium levels.”

  25. Analu permalink
    May 24, 2014 12:57 pm

    I really want to try this for my dogs! But when does the activated charcoal come in?

  26. Mychal permalink
    September 16, 2014 7:38 pm

    I was so happy to find this recipe! I tried it tonight and here are a few of my notes:
    – My chlorophyll didn’t have a dropper. With a bit of research I figured that a dropper might equal a tablespoon? So I did 3 tablespoons.
    – My dough was dry and wouldn’t form a ball – so I added another tablespoon oil and 1/4 cup water
    – I would use extra mint or mint-flavoured chlorophyll in addition to the 1/2 cup fresh mint. Mine didn’t turn out very minty.
    – I did mine as little circles (about the size of ritz crackers) and they needed about 22 minutes.
    – One batch made about 130.
    – For those of you asking about activated charcoal – I know it can be used as a cleanse for humans so I felt comfortable giving it to my dogs.
    – Most importantly: my dogs LOVED them 🙂

  27. Amanda permalink
    November 8, 2014 10:58 pm

    Sounds like a great recipe, but is activated charcoal safe? I know you’ve only used a small amount, but I’ve heard it can upset the balance of good bacteria in the stomach. Have you heard anything like this?

    • December 15, 2014 4:21 pm

      Hi Amanda,
      I have never heard that, and I have fed this recipe to my dogs with no ill effects. please feel free to alter the recipe as you see fit for your fur baby!

  28. Trich permalink
    December 17, 2014 12:01 pm

    My dog LOVES Greenies! My dog is smaller and does tend to take her time chewing so I don’t have a problem with the price or her digestion – and with her sensitive constitution I do have to be careful what I give her or it’s poop soup :-p

    I will definitely give this recipe a try some time cause I like the crunchy aspect, just wondering if these freeze well and how long they’re good in the fridge? I can always cut back the recipe but it would last pretty long for my mini-mutt. Do you suppose it would be OK for cats too? My cat doesn’t mind the cat Greenies but maybe home made will tempt her pallet a bit more.

    • January 12, 2015 11:00 am

      hi, I think you could freeze them with no problems. Fridge for a few weeks, freeze for months. Or you could make a half of the recipe batch and see how they go over. I dont know about cats. You might ask for a quick look at the ingredients list the next time you are at your vet. he/she knows your kitty’s history and allergies best!

  29. Marilyn D. permalink
    December 22, 2014 2:08 pm

    Hi Darla,
    I tried to make the greenies, and whatever I made my greyhounds loved them, even the burnt ones! I was baffled by the original 3 1/2 cu. brown rice flour, the additional 2 cu. rice flour…didn’t see the 2 cu. mentioned again so tried to add some of this later to the dough ball, which was making it difficult to knead, etc. Or was this flour for the table?? Pls. advise…note, I’m not a baker! 🙂

    • January 12, 2015 10:56 am

      Hi Marilyn,
      I M so thrilled your doggies think the greenies are delicious. My dogs love them too! And yes, the extra flour is to work the dough out- and to have what you need to form a nice ball. I find the gluten free flours to be texturally unfamiliar. I always try to write my recipes with enough to cover both “the bench” and “the ball.” Some days the doughs are very wet and I seem to need a TON of working flour. Sorry for the confusion. did you make them green? how did you shape them?

      • Marilyn D. permalink
        January 12, 2015 11:59 am

        Thanks for responding..I made them into a bell shape, as that was the only cookie cutter I had..trying to figure how to make them into a really nubby shape beyond the copper toothbrush form, so it would help “brush” their teeth like the Natural Balance dental chews!

      • February 17, 2015 9:28 am

        you could make little fork “ridges” over the surface, I think.

  30. January 7, 2015 5:35 am

    Reblogged this on irish says….

  31. Rose permalink
    February 6, 2015 4:03 pm

    Wonderful recipe, my dogs love them! I used coconut oil and a little extra mint. Thank you so much!

  32. Teri permalink
    August 14, 2015 8:06 pm

    Is there a substitute that could be used for the chicken broth? One of my dogs is not supposed to have any chicken products.
    Thanks in advance

    • August 21, 2015 9:02 am

      sure! use water, or veg broth, or parm cheese broth!

  33. Lucia Cowan permalink
    January 11, 2016 11:36 am

    Hi there, these sound awesome! Would powder chlorophyll also work, I cant find the liquid in South Africa?

    • January 12, 2016 8:50 am

      HI! It seems if it is human grade it would…. BUT call your vet for a quick double check! Good Luck!

  34. September 4, 2016 2:36 pm

    I made these for my gawdpup but the dough was very charcoal colored rather than green and I found it to not be very sticky after the initial knead. It rolled out and cut nicely. Will see tonight if he likes them

  35. Donna permalink
    February 18, 2018 6:42 pm

    I made these today according to the listed recipe. They are VERY dark almost black. Did I do something wrong?

    • February 19, 2018 8:23 am

      no, the charcoal does that.

      • Donna permalink
        February 19, 2018 8:50 am

        I figured that but the ones pictured are not as dark so I thought I did something wrong. My dogs dont care. They love these treats. Just wish I could make them chewy & not crunchy.

      • February 19, 2018 9:00 am

        it’s the rice flour. if your dog typically has flour with no allergies you could try wheat flour and see if they are softer. (also make them thicker and check them while cooking for the texture you want.)

      • Donna permalink
        February 19, 2018 9:36 am

        Ty. I forgot that I used oatmeal flour. I had a bunch of quick cooking oats that I was never gonna use so I proccesed it into flour.

  36. Panagiota Andros permalink
    May 26, 2018 4:28 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe! What a great way to use mint and parsley from my garden too! I do two things differently though, which hopefully might help someone else save some time: 1) I add 1/8-1/4 cup more liquid to make the dough a bit more moist and 2) instead of using a cookie cutter, I use a small cookie scoop (the 1 tablespoon size) to scoop the dough right out of the bowl. Then I shape each little ball into a flat “log” about 2″ long. Once on my baking stone, I squeeze the center of each log, to make them look like little bones, before I prick them with a fork. This recipe makes exactly 48 cookies…..which my son’s Yorkie absolutely loves!

  37. Shelley Crivello permalink
    February 4, 2021 10:39 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe. We have purchased greenies from Costco for years and our pups look forward to their treat every morning. Costco is no longer selling them so, I am looking forward to trying your recipe out on them.

  38. June 16, 2021 12:55 pm

    I know this is an old post but I hope you will answer. In the recipe you called for vegetable oil, but in the instructions you say to put mint oil in the food processor. I know you use fresh mint, but do you use mint oil or vegetable oil?

    • June 17, 2021 8:54 am

      Hi GretasGranny,
      Ah, the power of punctuation! That’s mint oil….
      Thanks for helping me clear that up. I’d love to hear how your pup likes them!

  39. March 6, 2012 4:27 pm

    thanks for the re-blog!

  40. March 28, 2015 10:13 am

    where to purchase charcoal?.using coconut oil instead of what????


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