Are Bully Sticks Good For Dogs? (The Tough Truth)

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Bully Sticks: Are Bully Sticks Good for Dogs?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 “tough” (no pun intended) 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 gobble them up fast? 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 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 from? Are they truly 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 come 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. However these Tufts University research findings make us question the overall safety of bully sticks. Not only becuase the study sample was small, but also because the bacteria they found on only accounted for 30% of their overall sample.

Best Bully Sticks Review

Best Bully Sticks bagVisit Best Bully Sticks

We recommend Best Bully Sticks as our editor’s number one choice if you plan to give this product a try for your dog. We didn’t do a full bully sticks review comparing various products simply because we love this brand so much over the competition, paws down. Why?

  • Best Bully Sticks sources many of their products from the U.S.
  • 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
  • Come in multiple shapes — bully pretzels, spirals, braids, bows and more
  • Offers odor free sticks
  • Auto ship option

Pricing & Promo Code

Best Bully Sticks logoOur readers can save 15% off site wide at BestBullySticks with promo code BBSJOURNAL, just use this link to get started.

A Safe, All-Natural Treat For Your Dog

Watch this quick video from Best Bully Sticks to see why they make the bully sticks for dogs.

Consumers rave about bully sticks as a long-lasting, healthy chew alternative for your dog. Make to give your precious family member a safe chew, instead of rawhide and other products known to have chemicals and preservatives in them.

The final verdict on are bully sticks good for dogs? We have to agree with all the backers out there and give bully sticks our bark of approval!

Learn more about rawhide bones, alternatives to rawhide, dog toys your pup can chew up, or make your own organic dog treats.

If you’ve given your dog bully sticks, have you found them safe?

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets). Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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August 5, 2020 6:34 pm

How many calories are in Best Bully Sticks?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
August 5, 2020 9:49 pm
Reply to  Cac

According to Best Bully Sticks company website, a 6-inch standard Best Bully stick has 74 calories. Their site has the calories under the nutrition section on each product. Hope this helps!

Margaret Groger
February 29, 2020 8:56 pm

My puggle loves them! Have given them to friends dogs and all of the dogs approve!!

December 4, 2019 2:00 pm

Best Bully Sticks is the only brand I will buy.
I appreciate the different thicknesses available as well.
They are great for any day, but especially nice when our weather is carpy…and we are stuck in the house.
Also, a MUST HAVE for puppies!

Mary Chase
May 18, 2019 1:18 pm

Yes! My 9 mo old puppy LOVES Bully Sticks! She doesn’t gain weight from eating them I give her 1 12”stick & it keeps her busy for 24 hours of “down-time”, when we are not exercising, resting, running errands, etc. Her poop is not affected & she NEVER looks for other things to chew anymore, even when there is no bully stick around! She just plays with her sturdier toys! Loves heavy corduroy squeaky toys. They are good for chewing on & tearing at and they don’t rip apart.

April 19, 2019 8:59 am

My havanese is now 2 years old and he’s been chewing on bully sticks since the beginning. He loves them. we’ve never had an issue and “best bully sticks” is usually where I buy them. He won’t let us brush his teeth so I’m glad they are good for his teeth. For us they’ve been a real shoe saver.

January 10, 2019 10:06 pm

Be careful that the “Bully sticks” you buy are really tendons or bull penises. We bought our 12 week old BernieDoodle (8 lb) what was touted and labeled as “Bully sticks” but she ate two of them completely within 5 minutes. The real Bully Sticks can take her hours to chew. The fake must have been raw hide.

August 5, 2020 6:32 pm
Reply to  Burt

My girls just tried 6″ bully sticks for the first time. My 75-lb AmStaff mix chewed hers up in less than 5 minutes. My 50-lb pit took about 10 minutes to finish hers. I thought they would last longer. I wonder if they were real.

Apiffany Gaither Billings
August 5, 2020 9:53 pm
Reply to  Cac

I’m sorry to hear they didn’t last long for your pups. We have three pit bull mixes in our home and two of them demolish any chews quickly. Here is an article with other options that may last longer. Our dogs love antlers and they seem to last much longer in our household.

Peg tin
July 3, 2020 5:10 pm
Reply to  Burt

Or, as my dog does, a lab that weighs 107, can eat one 6 inch in about 4 minutes.

Amber Fox-Weed
December 26, 2018 9:06 pm

My dogs ate bully sticks and all got bad dihareah. Anyone else have this issue?

Lori Outzen
September 19, 2020 8:12 am
Reply to  Amber Fox-Weed

Yes. My 9 lb two-year-old Yorkie has enjoyed them for some time, but yesterday I saw that he had thrown up a small chunk of one (3/4 inch) and he‘s had diarrhea for a couple of days now. Maybe he swallowed too much unchewed?

July 19, 2019 6:53 pm
Reply to  Amber Fox-Weed

My pup 16mo old Cavalier- just tried one today and I let her chew it for about 15 minutes and then she got sick to her stomach four times – not just a little bit I don’t know where it all came from 🙁

July 22, 2018 3:37 pm

My dog pulls the bully strips into long shreds (like string) then I get nervous and take it away from him. Should I be worried?

June 5, 2018 1:20 am

I bought my dog a bully stick ONE time! OMG….the smell about knocked me down! He loved it, but I almost threw up from the foul odor. Never again.

Peg tin
July 3, 2020 5:12 pm
Reply to  Priscilla

It’s not for you, it’s for your dog. Best Bully Sticks carries the odor-free.

January 10, 2017 1:02 pm

The bully stick video was very informative and helpful! Especially the fact of now knowing that Brazilian bullies are probably the best and safest on earth. I have been told many times by the vets that have treated all of my animals for 20+ years, DO NOT give your pet ANYTHING manufactured outside of the U.S.! PERIOD! I of course agreed on the obvious countries (China, etc.) but have wondered about Brazil, as to the safety/quality of their pet products. Thanks for the great info!

May 2, 2019 7:33 am
Reply to  Tina

What happened to made in the US?

May 23, 2020 9:43 am
Reply to  Sues

It isn’t as easy as that. Face it sometimes China or another country can make it better and quicker and yes cheaper. You have to have a manufacturer willing to add something like this and at a reasonable price. By the time you pay union wages, it will cost triple what it does. Do you want to pay triple? Not me. Face it we are a spoiled nation and want to work less for more money. That is why companies have to go outside the USA.

Peg tin
July 3, 2020 5:14 pm
Reply to  Janie

You can also buy a hydrator and make chicken jerky using chicken tenderloins. My dog loves them. Get a hydrator on Amazon.

August 5, 2020 6:26 pm
Reply to  Peg tin

Would that be a de-hydrator?

Dale Peterson
June 20, 2020 4:28 pm
Reply to  Janie

Of course, I would pay more to have it made in the USA. I wouldn’t buy anything made in China for me or my family – and that includes my pets.

Peg tin
July 3, 2020 5:15 pm
Reply to  Dale Peterson

Then buy from Best Bully Sticks. Made in the USA.