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Home > Dogs > Are Bully Sticks Safe for Puppies?

Are Bully Sticks Safe for Puppies?

beagle puppy chewing bully stick

We all love to give our pets treats, and there is plenty of options out there. Unfortunately, not all bands put the health of our animals above making a quick dollar, so we must be vigilant about watching ingredients and other factors to make sure the treats are healthy. One question a lot of people are asking us is if Bully Sticks are safe for their pets. The short answer is yes, they are but keep reading while we take a closer look to see what the ingredients are and how often we can provide them to help you stay better informed.divider-dog

What are Bully Sticks?

Bully treats are a modern snack that many owners hold in high praise. It’s healthier than rawhide and bone, which can be a choking hazard. Besides the choking danger that rawhide presents, it can also clog up your pet’s intestines over time if it continues to chew off big pieces that get lodged.

Bully sticks are a meat tendon sourced from steer penises. The steer is a male bovine used for meat, so farmers usually castrate the animal early and slaughter it at about 18 months old. The steer penis is a meat byproduct because it’s not suitable for human consumption, but it might find its way into some pet foods labeled with this description.

Bully stick

How Are Bully Sticks Made?

The Bully Stick can be raw, cooked, or dried. We recommend cooked brands because there is a better chance there are no bacteria that can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, and other health problems. Raw Bully Sticks are rare, but there is a push towards raw food, so it’s not unlikely you will see them. The drying process partially cooks dried sticks, but there is still a chance that some bacteria are present in the meat.

Bully Sticks Come in Many Varieties

You can purchase Bully Stick in many varieties. There are several sizes available to suit any size dog, and while they are all beef, you can even get them in different flavors like chicken, hickory smoke, bacon, and more. However, flavoring is an extra ingredient that might cause a reaction in your pet. Since there are so many varieties, it’s easy to find one perfect for your pet with a little experimentation, but we recommend sticking to American-made brands as other countries don’t have the same standards for pet food, especially concerning meat byproducts which is why we usually avoid it in pet food.

Are Bully Sticks Good for My Pet?

Bully Sticks make a great treat as they are usually single-ingredient and don’t contain the high-calorie corn ingredients found in many other treats. The Bully Sticks are tough, so they make a great substitute for rawhide and provide the same benefits, like cleaner teeth, while getting additional benefits like a protein boost.

Bully sticks are hard, so they may not be suitable for dogs with sensitive teeth or other problems, and since they are large pieces of meat, they can become contaminated, but most manufacturers are quite cautious with the rise of social media alerting the public to potential problems. We also recommend avoiding brands that claim to have no odor because these are smelly treats, and if they don’t have an odor, there is a good chance they use a chemical to remove the smell. Low odor brands are better because these usually use a modified cooking process to reduce odor. Another downside to these treats is that they are high in calories due to the density of the meat.

Bully Stick
Image Credit: Dmitriev Mikhail, Shutterstock

Are Bully Sticks Good for My Puppy?

Yes. The Bully Stick is a great treat to give to your puppy because there are no harmful ingredients. The meat is completely digestible, so it will not cause problems like rawhide, and the additional protein will help provide energy and the building blocks for strong muscle.divider-dog

Which Bully Sticks Are the Best? (Top 3)

Since there are so many different brands of Bully Sticks available, we thought we would point out some of our favorites to help you get started with these healthy treats.

1. Nature Gnaws Extra Thin Bully Sticks

Nature Gnaws Extra Thin

The Nature Gnaws Extra Thin Bully Sticks are fantastic small treats that are perfect for puppies. These Bully Sticks are extra thin and are well suited for smaller dogs. There are no additional ingredients, and each treat is hand-selected so your pet will have the best experience.

2. Jack & Pup Thick Bully Stick

Jack & Pup Thick Bully Stick

The Jack & Pup Thick Bully Stick is a premium Bully Stick that many dogs will enjoy. It’s a little larger than the last brand at six inches, and it’s perfectly suited to larger puppies and smaller dogs.

3. Pawstruck Junior Beef Gullet Bully Sticks Dog Treats

Pawstruck Junior Beef Gullet

The Pawstruck Junior Beef Gullet Bully Sticks Dog Treats are five inches long, and you get quite a few in each package. It’s a brand of free-range beef esophagus instead of the penis, so it has much less odor while still providing all of the same features. These are a bit thinner than many normal Bully Sticks, but most dogs seem to enjoy them.


Summary: Can Puppies Eat Bully Sticks?

Bully sticks might not be something we’d eat as humans, but they make a great treat for your puppy, especially when compared to rawhide or treats loaded with corn or other carbs. These treats have plenty of protein that will help provide the energy that your pet needs, and it also helps them stay full longer, so they are less likely to come looking for food. These treats also help promote cleaner teeth, and they can keep your pet busy for quite a while. The only downside is that they can smell bad, and they are also high in calories.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide and found the answers you need. If we have convinced you to get these treats for your pet, please share our look into if Bully Sticks are safe for puppies on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: Iryna Imago, Shutterstock

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