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Many new and experienced dog owners are curious about the ever-popular bully stick. If you’re not familiar with this tantalizing dog treat, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about your dog’s new favorite treat.
Even if your dogs have been enjoying the benefits of bully sticks for years, you may be surprised by some of the information contained in this guide. The more you know about what you feed your dog, the better decisions you’ll be able to make for your furry friends.
Read on to learn more about bully sticks and why you should give them to your canine companions.
If you’re interested in a particular topic, feel free to jump ahead:
- What Are Bully Sticks?
- How Are Bully Sticks Made?
- The Benefits of Bully Sticks
- Bully Sticks and Dental Care
- Bully Stick Nutrition
- How Long Do Bully Sticks Last?
- Are Bully Sticks Safe?
- Why Do Bully Sticks Smell?
- Are There Bacteria in Bully Sticks?
- Bully Sticks for Puppies and Seniors
- Why Choose Bully Sticks Over Rawhide?
- What Size Bully Stick Is Best?
What Are Bully Sticks?
This is one of the top questions asked about bully sticks. Sure, dogs find them irresistible, but what exactly are they?
Many dog owners have been buying bully sticks for their dogs without being fully aware of what it is they’re feeding their dogs. Those that do know may prefer that they didn’t, as they are made from a part of the bull that most people would rather not talk about.
So, what are bully sticks made of? Bully sticks are single ingredient dog treats made from the penis of a bull or steer. They are also sometimes referred to as the pizzle, which some consider to be a nicer way to phrase it.
Bully sticks are a long-lasting chew that is ideal for keeping dogs occupied and out of trouble. Depending on how heavy of a chewer your dog is, it can keep him or her busy for several hours or even days.
Despite their origins, bully sticks are a popular treat for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds. Most dogs find them to be incredibly palatable and they are suitable for a wide range of dogs on a variety of diets.
Due to their minimal processing and all-natural composition, most dogs find bully sticks to be absolutely irresistible. Even picky eaters and dogs who aren’t typically food-motivated go wild for these beefy chews.
How Are Bully Sticks Made?
Understanding where your dog’s treats come from and how they’re made are crucial in making informed decisions regarding your dog’s diet. Once you understand how bully sticks are made and how minimal the processing is, you’ll be able to give your dog his favorite chew and be confident knowing you’re giving him a healthy and natural treat.
Let's go over how bully sticks are made:
1. Gather Raw Materials
The process begins when the raw pizzles are transferred from the meat processing facility to the bully stick manufacturing facility. This part of the bull is typically only used by pet treat manufacturers, so they are collected as a by-product of the beef industry.
The raw product is transferred in refrigerated trucks to keep them fresh until they arrive at their destination. The fresher the product, the more delicious the dog treat.
Since many other types of treats are made with the parts of the cow not preferred for human consumption, the pizzles are often transported alongside other common pet treat ingredients like ears, hooves, and tails.
2. Wash & Clean
Once the pizzles arrive at the bully stick manufacturing facility, they are cleaned. Any excess fat is trimmed off and any residue or fluids present are rinsed off before the pizzles are ready to be cooked.
If the bully sticks are to be made into braided chews, braiding is done prior to cooking when the pizzles are still soft and malleable. One cooked, they’ll be too dry and firm to form into the various shapes you see in your local pet store.
The bully sticks are hung vertically and suspended using hooks at both ends to help them maintain their shape during the cooking process. Without this tension, the bully sticks may shrivel into shapes that are difficult to cut down to size.
3. Oven Dry
They are then slow cooked for several days at a temperature around 165F to 195F degrees. Manufacturers differ on the exact temperature and amount of time, but their commitment to fully cooking the bully sticks remains the same.
The process of cooking the pizzles at a low temperature for a long period of time removes the moisture and ensures a long-lasting chew that will be shelf stable for a long time.
If bully sticks are not cooked until fully dry, they are at risk of becoming contaminated with bacteria. They may also begin to decay or will go bad after just a short time.
4. Cut To Size
After cooking, the bully sticks must be trimmed and shaped as they are typically between 24 and 36 inches long at this stage. You may be able to find full-length bully sticks if you prefer this size, but most are trimmed to more manageable lengths.
A bandsaw is used to safely trim the bully sticks to the standardized sizes you are familiar with.
After the bully sticks have been trimmed to size, they can then be sorted according to thickness. Most manufacturers have standard weights to be used in categorizing their bully sticks.
This is to make sure you always receive the product you are expecting and don’t end up with bully sticks that are too thick or thin for your dog’s needs.
Bully sticks that have been cooked properly with all moisture removed are considered to have an average shelf life of at least 1.5 years.
Of course, your dog probably won’t want to wait that long to enjoy his favorite treat!
To increase shelf life and maintain the quality of your bully sticks, most manufacturers recommend storing them in airtight containers or ziplock bags. The less moisture your bully sticks encounter, the longer they’re going to last.
Tip: If you do need to store your dog’s bully sticks for longer periods of time, storing them in an airtight container in a freezer is best. Bully sticks can safely be frozen for long periods of time if necessary.
Simply thaw them out when your dog is ready to enjoy them, making them a great summer treat.
The Benefits of Bully Sticks
We may think a bully stick is just another dog treat, but keeps fido occupied for an hour while you get some reading done, but there's a few benefits to this treat dogs love.
1. Single Ingredient
One of the greatest benefits of bully sticks is that they are made from a single ingredient. This means that there are no artificial flavors, colors, additives, or preservatives. They are ideal for dogs with delicate stomachs or food sensitivities or allergies.
If your dog can tolerate beef in his diet, he can easily digest an appropriately sized bully stick with no digestive upset.
2. Fits Most Diets
Since bully sticks are a natural product, they’re also suitable for dogs on nearly any type of diet. They are a biologically appropriate treat that closely mimics a dog’s ancestral diet. Since many owners would not choose to feed their dogs a raw pizzle, bully sticks are a less messy alternative.
Bully sticks are a suitable chew that can be given to dogs that are fed kibble, raw, or homemade diets. As long as the dog doesn’t have any sensitivities to beef, a bully stick can be a beneficial addition to their treat rotation.
For owners who choose to feed their dogs raw or limited ingredient diets, bully sticks can be a great way to keep dogs busy without compromising their diet.
3. Highly Digestible
Unlike many other types of long-lasting treats, bully sticks are also highly digestible. They break down quickly and easily in the dog’s stomach without the risk of digestive complications or blockages.
Though the single ingredient of bully sticks may seem less than savory to most humans, most dogs find them to be quite delicious. This palatable chew is often preferred by even the pickiest canines.
Another amazing benefit of feeding your dog bully sticks is that they are a sustainable treat. The manufacturing of bully sticks does not require any impact on the environment beyond what is already being done to raise cattle for meat.
Since cattle can leave behind a fairly significant carbon footprint, it’s crucial to make as much use as possible from them. By drying the pizzles into bully sticks, manufacturers are using an often overlooked part of the cow that may otherwise go to waste.
Outside of the pet treat industry, that part of the bull isn’t used for much. Since they need minimal processing to be used as dog chews, the resulting product is an all-natural chew with little to no additional impact on the environment beyond the existing impact of the beef industry.
5. Mental Stimulation
For all but the most tenacious chewers, bully sticks are a long-lasting chew that can provide hours of mental stimulation. In addition to adequate physical exercise, it’s a great way to prevent the destructive behaviors caused by boredom.
Bully sticks also satisfy dogs’ instinctual desire to chew. By giving your dog a bully stick, you’re allowing him to satisfy a craving he might otherwise express by chewing on your shoes or furniture. This is especially true for puppies who are teething.
6. Dental Health
Additionally, bully sticks can be a great addition to your dog’s weekly dental care routine as they help keep his teeth clean and healthy.
Bully Sticks and Dental Care
According to VCA Animal Hospital experts, approximately 80% of dogs over the age of three have signs of active dental disease. Common symptoms of dental disease include bad breath, difficulty eating, tooth discoloration, inflamed or bleeding gums, and loose or missing teeth.
Left untreated, the bacteria from all that tartar can make its way into your dog’s bloodstream and cause lasting damage to the internal organs. Advanced periodontal disease can also weaken the jawbone which can result in a fractured jaw if pressure is applied.
Thankfully, dental disease and periodontal disease is completely preventable using a combination of professional veterinary care and at-home maintenance.
Removes Plaque & Tartar
If you’re looking for an easy way to help maintain your pup’s dental health, consider adding bully sticks to his or her regular dental care routine.
Bully sticks can help maintain healthy teeth and gums by removing excess plaque and tartar. The mechanical chewing action not only satisfies your dog’s primal needs, but it helps to scrape buildup from his teeth.
Mechanical action of chewing scrapes teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar that can build up over time. This will help keep your dog’s teeth cleaner and healthier, which means he’ll be able to go longer periods of time between professional dental cleanings.
Bully sticks are an ideal chew for maintaining dental health as they are long-lasting, so your dog will spend more time chewing and cleaning his teeth than he would with other types of treats.
Bully sticks are firm enough to last through long chewing sessions but aren’t hard enough to break or damage dogs’ teeth. The same cannot be said for other popular chews like marrow bones, which are responsible for many a broken tooth.
Bully sticks also do not fracture, so your dog is not at risk of swallowing or ingesting dangerous splinters. Remember, bully sticks are not made from any type of bone, so they do not carry the same risk of breakage or splintering as bone chews.
Even dogs who have had dental problems in their past, or those who may be missing a few teeth, can enjoy the occasional bully stick. Though they may seem firm at first touch, they become soft and malleable with enough chewing.
Though bully sticks are a long-lasting chew for many dogs, they may last an especially long time for dogs with missing teeth or limited chewing capabilities.
... at-home care, such as teeth brushing and bully sticks, are not substitutes for professional veterinary care. No matter how well you take care of your dog’s teeth at home, he or she will still need to see his vet for regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Bully Stick Nutrition
As a general rule, dogs thrive best when fed a protein-based diet. Protein contributes to your dog’s healthy skin and coat, proper muscle development, and repairing connective tissues.
It also provides your dog’s body with a source of energy, strengthens their immune system, and helps with production of essential hormones and enzymes within the body.
Without getting too deep into canine nutrition, the basic concept is that proteins are made up of about 22 different amino acids. Your dog’s body is able to produce about half of these amino acids on its own, while the other half must be absorbed through his daily diet.
The proteins in your dog’s diet are absorbed and broken down into individual amino acids, which can then be recombined into different proteins to be used by the body.
The amino acids that must be included in the diet are known as essential amino acids because if a dog’s diet is deficient in certain amino acids, over time he or she can develop serious health complications.
High Protein, Low Fat
Since bully sticks have such a high protein content, they’re a great source of essential amino acids. As an added bonus, bully sticks are also low in fat, which is great for dogs of all sizes and weights.
On average, bully sticks contain about 10%, depending on the brand and individual stick. This is far less than many other types of single ingredient chews. Pig ears, for example, contain around 30% fat.
It’s worth noting that many dog owners are opting for diets that don’t use any animal by-products. Technically, bully sticks are a by-product of the beef industry, but this doesn’t make them unhealthy or undesirable.
In fact, many other animal by-products are used as popular dog treats such as ears, tails, and hooves. Rather than avoiding by-products all together, it’s best to be informed about the ingredients in your dog’s diet and the role they play in his or her nutrition.
Whether your dog is an active canine athlete or needs to lose a few pounds, bully sticks can be a great way to provide him with a healthy treat that won’t expand his waistline.
In a 2013 joint study done by Tufts University and the University of Guelph, researchers discovered that the average bully stick contains between 9 and 22 calories per inch. They estimated that on average, a 6-inch bully stick contains about 88 calories.
As long as the right size bully stick is given, they can be an excellent chew option for dogs trying to lose weight. As a long-lasting chew, they will not only keep a dog’s mind off their restricted diet but will also satisfy their desire to chew, which can lead to more successful weight loss.
How Long Do Bully Sticks Last?
Well... It depends.
Your dog’s size and the size of the bully stick are the main factors that will affect how long the chew lasts.
Some breeds are more tenacious chewers than others, so for these types of dogs bully sticks may not last as long. For more casual chewers, bully sticks may last up to a few hours or even several different chew sessions.
Dogs that are highly food motivated may be willing to finish of their bully stick in one sitting, whereas dogs less interested in food may choose to consume their bully sticks over a period of several days.
The shape of the bully stick will also affect how long it lasts. Yes, that’s right, bully sticks come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Though most bully sticks are a straight stick, some have been braided or shaped into circles or even pretzels.
The straight stick you’re most familiar with can last for several hours with many dogs, but for heavy chewers you might consider a bully stick that has been braided or shaped. By combining several pizzles into one chew, shaped and braided bully sticks tend to be more durable and long-lasting.
Bully sticks are also available in various thicknesses. Obviously, thicker bully sticks are more suitable for tenacious chewers. Thinner bully sticks are ideal for casual chewers, as well as puppies, seniors, and particularly small dogs.
Since bully sticks tend to last longer than many other types of treats, it’s important to note that they aren’t great for training. Instead, they’re best used to keep your dog busy or distracted.
Remember, the longer a bully stick lasts, the more mental stimulation your dog receives. With proper physical exercise, this means your dog is less likely to develop destructive bad habits brought on by boredom.
Following these 5 tips for longer lasting bully sticks may help you get the most out of your money.
Are Bully Sticks Safe?
In general, bully sticks are incredibly safe, especially when compared to other popular types of chews like rawhide. Bully sticks are easily digestible and do not break apart or splinter into dangerous shards.
However, some dogs may attempt to swallow them whole, especially once they’ve been chewed down to a small size. Not all dogs will try to gulp small pieces, however, as most dogs would prefer to chew it down to a more consumable size.
As with any chew or treat, if a large piece is swallowed, it could be a choking hazard, but due to bully sticks’ high digestibility, it’s unlikely to cause any type of blockage once in the digestive track.
Practice Safe Chewing
If you’re worried about your dog swallowing small pieces of bully sticks, precautions can be taken to ensure that your dog enjoys a safe and satisfactory chew session.
Supervise Your Dog
Proper supervision is essential until you know if your dog is at risk of gulping small pieces. Once you know your dog can be trusted, you can begin leaving him unsupervised with his chews.
However, if you believe that your dog may try to swallow his bully stick, you’ll need to supervise him and take it away once it’s been chewed down to a certain size.
Get a Bully Stick Holder
There are also a variety of toys on the market designed to hold bully sticks and prevent dogs from swallowing small pieces whole. Investing in one of these bully stick holders can be a great way to ensure your dog’s safety without sacrificing his enjoyment.
Get The Right Size
Ensure you have the right bully stick size for your dog. A 100lb dog should not be chewing on a 4" bully stick.
Why Do Bully Sticks Smell?
When discussing the unique odor of bully sticks, it’s important to remember where bully sticks come from. The part of the bull from which bully sticks are derived isn’t the most pleasant-smelling part of a bull’s anatomy.
The reason many bully sticks have a stronger odor than others lies in the manufacturing process. If the pizzles were not cleaned well enough prior to cooking, they can retain some odor.
However, the main cause for bully stick odor is that the sticks were not cooked long enough to remove all of the moisture. The longer bully sticks are cooked, the drier they will be and the less odor they’ll have.
If you’re particularly offended by the smell of bully sticks and would prefer not to have the scent wafting through your home, consider buying your dog odor free bully sticks.
Odor free bully sticks are the same as regular bully sticks, but they’ve been cooked for longer to help reduce the smell.
It’s important to note that even bully sticks labeled as odor free may not be 100% odor free, especially once your dog begins chewing and moisture is reintroduced. However, the smell will be much more tolerable.
Though humans might find the smell of bully sticks unappealing, the scent is part of why dogs love them, so whether you choose regular or odor free bully sticks, you can be sure that your dog will enjoy himself.
Are There Bacteria in Bully Sticks?
Many pet owners have heard stories of bully sticks being contaminated with various bacteria that may pose a threat to the health or their dogs as well as the humans in their household.
You want to keep your pets and family as safe as possible, so it’s crucial to be well informed about the risks of giving your dogs bully sticks.
In 2018, a study was performed by researchers at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University to test bully sticks for common bacteria. Out of the 26 bully sticks they tested, one tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, one was positive for Clostridium-difficile, and one was positive for E. coli.
While this may seem like alarming information, it’s not exactly a representation of every bully stick on the market.
The bully sticks used in the study were from different brands, but they were made by the same manufacturers. Unfortunately, the study made no mention of the brands used or those that were found to contain bacteria.
Most bully stick manufacturers claim that when properly cooked with all moisture removed, bully sticks are unlikely to harbor harmful bacteria.
While there is no definitive evidence that the bully sticks tested by researchers were properly cooked, the study does stress the importance of buying bully sticks from reputable manufacturers as well as maintaining proper hygiene in your home and around your pet.
As with any other aspect of a raw meat diet, you should always wash your hands after handling your dog’s bully stick. If you or anyone in your household is immunocompromised, cleanliness is especially important and contact with raw meat should be avoided if possible.
It should also be noted that healthy adult dogs are not as sensitive to bacteria in their food as we humans are. A dog’s digestive tract is designed to handle the inordinate amount of bacteria our canine friends ingest on a daily basis.
Owners with dogs who have a tendency to eat mysterious items found on walks will understand that the digestive system of dogs is much different from ours.
Immunocompromised dogs may be at a higher risk of gut bacteria overgrowth that those with healthy immune systems, but in most cases properly cooked bully sticks pose little to no risk for most dogs or humans.
Bully Sticks for Puppies and Seniors
Since bully sticks are available in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes, they are appropriate for dogs of any age and breed. Whether your dog is a large breed puppy or a teacup senior, you’ll be able to find the right type of bully stick to suit his chewing needs.
As previously mentioned, puppies and seniors may do best with thinner or smaller sticks, especially if they are experiencing any dental issues.
Since there are so many different types of bully stick, you can always change the shape or size to adjust to the changing needs of your puppy or senior dog.
Bully sticks can be a life saver for any puppy owner dealing with teething. Puppies begin to lose their baby teeth to make room for adult teeth between four and six months of age.
During this time, puppies will seek things to chew on to help relieve the discomfort of their aching teeth and gums. This is often when owners will discover that their puppy has chewed up their favorite pair of shoes or piece of furniture. Bully sticks for puppies can be a life safer.
To prevent the destruction of your household and personal belongings, it’s important to provide your puppy with appropriate options for chewing, such as bully sticks.
As your pup grows, you may want to size up or switch to thicker or braided bully sticks as their adult teeth come in.
For seniors, you can always size down or choose thinner bully sticks as your aging companion’s chewing capabilities decrease.
With senior dogs, it’s not uncommon for them to experience a decline in physical strength and health long before age begins to affect their mind. Since they’re no longer able to receive the mental stimulation provided by long walks and vigorous play sessions, it’s important to provide your senior dog with low-impact entertainment.
Bully sticks are a great way to keep your older dog busy and entertained without putting excess stress on his aging joints. He’ll be able to lay comfortably on his favorite bed and enjoy the mental stimulation of his favorite beef chew.
As an altrnative to bully sticks, you may also choose consider chews such as tripe (great for joints), bladder sticks (thinner chew compared to bully sticks) or even gullet sticks.
Why Choose Bully Sticks Over Rawhide?
Unlike bully sticks, rawhide is not a by-product of the beef industry but rather a by-product of the leather industry. This is an important distinction to make when discussing the safety of these chews.
The main difference in the safety of these products comes from the manufacturing process for some brands of rawhide, especially those that are produced overseas.
Rawhide Is Made With Chemicals
Rawhide is typically processed alongside leather products simply because it’s convenient for a manufacturer to make both products out of cattle hides.
Often, cattle hides are treated with various chemicals to aid in separating the layers. The outer layers are used for leather goods like apparel, car seats, and accessories. The inner layer is used for rawhide as well as different types of gelatin, cosmetics, and even glue.
Hides are often treated with chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide to help whiten them so that they look like the rawhide bones you’re most familiar with. Further whitening can be accomplished with a coating of titanium oxide or they may be “basted” with artificial dyes or flavoring.
Finally, the rawhide must be preserved, sometimes with a chemical such as sodium benzoate, but other dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, mercury, and arsenic have also been found in rawhide.
Glue can also found in rawhide, especially bones that have been produced abroad and have several layers of rawhide pressed together.
In addition to the chemicals used in processing, rawhide also poses a risk of choking or blockages in the digestive tract. Dogs who tend to swallow thing whole or gulp their food are at a higher risk for choking and intestinal blockages.
This is not to say that this process is true of every rawhide manufacturer, but it’s important to do your research to make sure the rawhide you’re feeding your dog is safe and free from dangerous toxins.
Unlike bully sticks, rawhide is not easily digestible and can remain in the digestive tract for long periods of time without breaking down. If a blockage does occur, the only treatment is surgical removal from the stomach or intestines.
Can Cause Bloating
Additionally, some types of rawhides are prone to swelling in the stomach once moisture is introduced. This swelling can increase the risk of blockages, which can be fatal if treatment is not sought as soon as possible.
While many may think rawhide may be an <a href="/blog/12-alternatives-bully-sticks">alternative to bully sticks</a>, we do not recommend feeding it to your dog.
If you want to feed your dogs rawhide, be sure to avoid rawhide treats produced overseas and look for chews that have been processed as minimally as possible.
Remember, bully sticks are single ingredient and are made through a simple cooking and drying process without the introduction of unnecessary chemicals and preservatives.
They are highly digestible, and the risk of choking and blockages is minimal as long as the correct size is given, and supervision is provided when necessary.
If you’re looking for a healthy and all-natural chew for your dog, bully sticks are an excellent choice.
What Size Bully Stick Is Best?
Choosing the right size bully stick is important for several reasons. First, you want to make sure that you aren’t throwing off the balance of your dog’s diet.
Commercial dog food is produced using a specific nutrient profile to ensure that your dog is receiving the right amount of vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy life no matter his or her age.
Though bully sticks are a healthy treat, they are not a balanced diet by themselves. Providing your dog with too many of his daily calories in the form of treats may mean that he’s not absorbing the appropriate ratios of nutrients in his diet.
Most canine nutritionists recommend giving your dog no more than 10% of his daily calories in the form of treats. This is to ensure that he or she is eating a balanced diet and consuming the appropriate nutrients to maintain a fit and healthy body.
If you’ll recall from the section on Bully Stick Nutrition, bully sticks were found to have 9-22 calories per inch. You may also recall that the average 6-inch bully stick contains about 88 calories.
For a 50-pound dog, a 6-inch bully stick will contain an appropriate number of calories for his daily allotment of treats as it averages out to about 9 percent of his daily calories. However, for a 10-pound dog, that same bully stick will equal almost a third of his daily calories, which is far above the recommended 10 percent.
Of course, the precise number of calories your dog requires in a day will depend on several factors. Larger dogs and growing puppies will require more calories than smaller breeds. The same is true for dogs who are active, pregnant, or lactating.
Some dogs may also have different caloric requirements based on the season, especially if they’re kept outdoors or are more active during different seasons. Dogs who have not been spayed or neutered will also have higher caloric needs that those who have been altered.
Since most pet owners don’t know the precise number of calories their dogs need in a day, it’s best to estimate and balance calories over a period of several days or a week.
For example, if your 10-pound dog consumes an entire bully stick in one day, it will count for 30 percent of his calories for that day. However, if you keep treats to a minimum during the days before or after the day he eats the bully stick, you’re unlikely to see any major disruption in his diet or change in his waistline.
Here are some safe estimates on how much bully stick is safe for your dog to consume each day without accounting for other treats or balancing his diet over time:
- Dogs under 10 lbs – 1-1.5 inches of bully stick per day
- Dogs 10-20 lbs – up to 2.5 inches per day
- Dogs 20-40 lbs – up to 4 inches per day
- Dogs 40-60 lbs – up to 6 inches per day
- Dogs 60-90 lbs – up to 9 inches per day
- Dogs 90+ lbs – up 12 inches per day
These estimates are made based on an average caloric content and thickness for bully sticks. If your dog needs or prefers bully sticks that are thinner or thicker than average, be sure to adjust your calculations accordingly.
Remember, you can balance your dog’s calories over a period of several days, so it’s not necessary to stress about giving your small dog a bigger bully stick than his daily recommendation.
The other important reason for giving your dog the right size bully stick for his size is to prevent him from attempting to swallow it whole and potentially choking on it.
If you’re worried about your dog trying to gulp his bully stick down in one go, don’t be afraid to give him one larger than his recommended daily amount to deter him from swallowing it whole.
You might also consider giving him a bully stick that has been formed into a more difficult to swallow shape, such as a ring or pretzel. Many dogs will find it more challenging to gulp down an odd shaped object so it may deter them until it’s been chewed down further.
As previously mentioned, it may also be helpful to invest in a toy to help hold the smaller sections of bully stick and prevent him from swallowing it. These toys are ideal in keeping even the most tenacious chewers safe and sound while they enjoy their favorite treat.
If you do have any concerns about your dog swallowing his chews whole, supervision is necessary. Accidents can happen quickly, so it’s important to be able to respond quickly in an emergency, so unless you know you can trust your dog to safely chew his bully sticks or other chew treats, you need to be present any time he is chewing on one.
Bully sticks can be a great addition to any dog’s treat rotation, but it’s important to make informed and responsible decisions regarding your dog’s diet.
Choosing the right size bully stick and supervising your dog when necessary will help keep him safe. Don’t forget to factor those calories into his daily calorie allotment!
If you’re looking for a long-lasting and all-natural chew that will keep your canine companion entertained and out of trouble, look no further than the bully stick.
Freeman, Lisa M et al. “Nutritional and microbial analysis of bully sticks and survey of opinions about pet treats.” The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne vol. 54,1 (2013): 50-4.
Hiscox DVM FAVD Dip. AVDC; Jan Bellows. (n.d.). Dental Disease in Dogs. VCA Animal Hospital. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dental-disease-in-dogs
What questions do you have about bully sticks?