To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.
Do you have a champion chewer in your house? Always finding your shoes and other items you leave on the floor mauled when you get home? As dog owners, we know our pups love to chew (some much more than others!) — and they need to keep themselves occupied when they’re not getting attention. It’s hard to find sturdy chew toys for dogs who make it their life’s mission to gnaw on anything they can get their paws on. And yes, there are a lot of chew treats, bones, rawhide products, etc. on the market, but does your dog seem to rip right through them? And what’s really in those products, anyway?
A popular alternative, if you haven’t already heard of them, is bully sticks. Bully sticks for dogs are touted as a safer, more nutritional alternative to a lot of the “junk” on the market. But what exactly are bully sticks, and what are they made of? Are they really safer for dogs? Keep reading to find answers to these common questions and more.
What Are Bully Sticks Made Of?
To put it bluntly, bully sticks are made from bull penises, also called pizzles (from an old-fashioned word for penis). “Pizzles” are 100% beef tendon – all natural and contain nutritional value. The manufacturers dry, drain and flavor pizzles before they place them on the market for your dog’s enjoyment. Many of these sticks are all-natural and last much longer than similar products on the market, like rawhide or manufactured bones.
Are Bully Sticks Safe for Dogs?
There’s conflicting information about the safety of bully sticks for dogs. Most of the buzz on the web from veterinarians and all-natural dog-product websites say these chews are not only safe, but they also provide easily digestible beef protein nutrition, rich in taurine (an amino acid that contributes to your dog’s healthy heart muscles and eyesight). These same sources say bully sticks are low-fat and are good for helping keep your dog’s teeth clean.
From our research, we found one study published in 2013 that found a small sample of bully sticks were packed with calories and an even smaller subsection that were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria. Although this study was conducted by Tufts University researchers, their findings are questionable as to the overall safety of this product. First, the study sample was small, and the bacteria they found on only accounted for 30% of their overall sample.
Editor’s Top Pick
We recommend Best Bully Sticks as our editor’s number one choice if you plan to give this product a try for your dog. Why? Best Bully Sticks sources many of their products from the U.S., and their products are 100% all-natural, made from the finest ingredients, easily digestible and USDA approved. They offer sizes for very small dogs up to giant breeds, and you can get any kind of shape — bully pretzels, spirals, braids, bows and more. Best Bully Sticks also offers odor free sticks and an auto ship option, which saves you 15% off each order.
The following video from Best Bully Sticks gives you more information about their products and why your dog will love them.
A Safe, All-Natural Treat for Your Dog
Consumers rave about bully sticks as a great chew alternative for your dog. And you want to make sure you’re giving your precious family member a safe chew, instead of rawhide and other products that are known to have tons of chemicals and preservatives in them. Are bully sticks good for dogs? We have to agree with all the backers out there and give bully sticks our bark of approval!
If you’ve given your dog bully sticks, have you found them safe?