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12 Alternatives to Bully Sticks

12 Alternatives to Bully Sticks

Bully sticks are a favorite chew for many dogs, but there are many great alternatives out there.

Whether your dog simply needs more variety or you’re looking for a more budget friendly chew, here are 12 of the best alternatives to bully sticks.


For Moderate to Aggressive Chewers

Collagen Sticks

Collagen Sticks

Collagen sticks are long lasting chews made from the inner layer of skin called the corium. Not to be confused with rawhide, collagen sticks are nutrient dense and digestible.

Like bully sticks, collagen sticks are a single ingredient chew and contain no grains or artificial ingredients. They are typically made from beef hide.

These popular chews contain plenty of collagen to contribute to a healthy coat and skin. They are also a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint health.

Collagen sticks come in a range of sizes to suit dogs of every breed and chewing preference.


Backstraps or Tendons

Another great single ingredient chew, backstrap and tendon chews are great for dogs with a more aggressive chewing style.

Both backstraps and tendons undergo a natural process so they do not contain any harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients. They are also highly digestible.

Tendons are high in protein, low in fat, and are a natural source of collagen. 

Most tendon chews are made from bison or beef. However, turkey and lamb are also popular choices.

Tendon chews come in a range of sizes and are often a cheaper alternative to bully sticks. For more aggressive chewers, look for thicker chews such as backstraps.


Yak Chews

Yak Chews

Also known as Himalayan yak chews or yak cheese, these all-natural chews are made from yak and cow’s milk. They have a cheese-like flavor that dogs find irresistible.

Himalayan chews do not contain any chemicals or preservatives. Although milk is the main ingredient, some chews also contain small amounts of lime and/or salt for added flavor.

Yak chews are also highly digestible, reducing the risk of digestive problems and intestinal blockages. They are also high in protein and low in fat.

Small pieces of Himalayan chews can also be placed in the microwave for a few seconds to create a puffy and crunchy new treat. Be sure to let them cool before giving them to your dog.


For Light to Casual Chewers

If your dog enjoys bully sticks, but isn’t an overly aggressive chewer, these softer alternatives may be a good option.

Bladder Sticks

Bladder Sticks

Another great single ingredient chew, bladder sticks are typically made from beef bladders. They contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients and have a unique scent that dogs love.

Bladder sticks will last a casual chewer a long time, but may not hold up to a more aggressive chewing style.

Like bully sticks, these highly digestible chews are low fat and high in protein. They are also great for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.

Bladder sticks are a single ingredient chew that does not splinter. This means they are a safe choice for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Shop 6" Bladder Sticks | 12" Bladder Sticks


Esophagus Sticks or Strips

If you’re looking for a tasty alternative to bully sticks, take a look at esophagus sticks. These glucosamine and chondroitin rich chews are great for keeping casual chewers busy.

If you’re looking for a longer lasting version of this chew, look for braided esophagus sticks. Just be aware that they are typically more expensive than non-braided chews.

Esophagus sticks are most commonly made from beef esophaguses. As with bully sticks, they are a single ingredient chew, so you won’t need to worry about preservatives or grains.

Esophagus chews are available in a range of sizes to suit dogs of different breeds.


Pig or Cow Ears

Cow and pig ears are highly digestible, single ingredient chews that are popular with dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Since ears are made mostly of cartilage, these chews are ideal for light chewers such as puppies and seniors. However, they will not last long with more aggressive chewers.

Cow Ears are high in protein and relatively low in both calories and fat. This makes them an ideal choice for dogs who need to watch their weights. They also contain plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Pig Ears are higher in fat and should be fed in moderation.

If you’re trying to treat your pup on a budget, ears are a great option as they are one of the more inexpensive bully stick alternatives.


For Older Dogs

Chewing is one of the best activities for senior dogs. It helps to keep their mind and body active, even if their mobility is limited.

The best chews for older dogs are those that are low in fat and high in joint healthy compounds such as glucosamine and chondroitin.


Natural Cow Ears

As previously mentioned, cow ears are one of the best options for senior dogs. They are low in fat and high in protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

Additionally, cow ears have a naturally appealing texture that is tough enough to last, but not enough to cause discomfort in jaw muscles and teeth.

For senior dogs suffering from gastrointestinal issues, these single ingredient chews tend to be easy on the stomach. They contain no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.

Again, they are also one of the most budget friendly bully stick alternatives.


Cow Tails

Like bully sticks, cow tails are a single ingredient chew made from beef. They are highly digestible and do not contain any preservatives, hormones, or additives. 

Cow tails are an ideal choice for older dogs with sensitive stomachs. They also help keep teeth clean and healthy.

These all natural chews are the perfect combination of crunchy and chewy. They keep your senior pup busy, but can easily be consumed in a single chew session. 

At six inches, cow tails are the perfect size chew for dogs of nearly all shapes and sizes.


Beef Trachea

Trachea Chew

One of the best chews for older dogs is the beef trachea. As the name suggests, these grain-free and gluten-free chews are made from a single ingredient: beef tracheas.

Tracheas are packed with joint healthy glucosamine and chondroitin, so you can treat your senior without worry.

They are naturally low in fat and high in protein as well.

Like bully sticks, beef tracheas do not splinter and are highly digestible so they are safe for dogs of all sizes.

Beef tracheas are also available in a variety of lengths to suit dogs of different sizes and chewing capabilities.


Tripe Twists

Tripe twists are an all natural, single ingredient chew made from beef tripe. They undergo a natural process, so they are free from harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients.

The crunchy texture of tripe twists are easy for older dogs to chew, but still give enough resistance to help scrape plaque and tartar off teeth.

Tripe has a naturally appealing odor, so even the pickiest of senior pooches will be interested.

When compared to bully sticks, tripe twists are also more budget friendly, so your dog can enjoy his favorite chew without breaking the bank.

Chicken Feet

Chicken feet are a wonderful treat for any older dog. They’re the perfect size to entertain smaller breeds, but are still a satisfying snack for larger dogs.

These small but powerful chews are sometimes called “natural toothbrushes” because they scrape the teeth clean as your dog chews.

Although chicken feet contain a few small bones, they are mostly made from skin, cartilage, and connective tissue. That means they are naturally high in glucosamine and chondroitin.

It’s estimated that each chicken foot contains about 450mg of glucosamine.

Chicken feet are naturally free from grains, preservatives, and additives. They are highly digestible and unlikely to cause digestive upset in most dogs.


Freeze Dried Chicken Necks

Chicken Necks

Freeze dried chickens are a great option for older dogs, especially those on a raw diet. They are jam packed with nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals.

Chicken necks are naturally high in protein and low in fat, so they’re perfect for older dogs needing to limit their calorie intake.

Their crunchy texture helps to clean teeth, without requiring a lot of effort from your senior.

Freeze dried chicken necks do not contain chemicals, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. They are a single ingredient treat, so they’re perfect for dogs with food sensitivities.

When compared to bully sticks, chicken necks are also an inexpensive alternative.

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