Dogs love bully sticks! It is one of their favorite chews. That’s why there is no surprise you can find these treats almost everywhere. Sometimes they’re named differently – beef or pizzle sticks, for example – but ultimately they’re sold in pretty much every shop.
But after everyone found out how dangerous is rawhide, dog owners became more careful choosing chews. And you should know what do you give to your pet. Therefore, let’s find out everything about bully sticks.
What Are Bully Sticks?
If you ask a seller in your local pet store what bully stick is, they most likely will try to be gentle and say that it’s dried muscle. But actually, it’s nothing other than a dried bull penis. While it may sound disgusting, it is a good treat for your dog.
First of all, because of the hard consistency dogs can chew on it. If you choose the right size of the bully stick, it will be a lasting fun for your pet. Also, it is high on nutrients, but we will talk about it in details later.
The only downside of this treat is the smell. It can be truly horrible – some describe it as the stench of a dead animal, some tell it smells like urine. But here is a tip. The more dried such beef stick is, the less it smells. So the best bully sticks are the ones that are extremely dry and hard. However, you’d still want to open the windows while the dog eats this treat.
What is a bully stick made of?
As we have already said, it is made of a bull penis. Bully sticks can be dried, smoked, cooked in some other way, or even raw. The most popular type is a dried beef stick since it doesn’t smell as much.
The main advantage of bull sticks over most pet treats is that the preparation process requires few to none additional ingredients. So basically, the manufacturer simply dries the bull penis and packages it. Then threats appear on shelves in pet stores. Therefore, you can be sure you know what your dog eats.
We have mentioned another popular chew – rawhide. The manufacturing of this treatment requires aggressive chemicals like bleach and glue to whiten the product and shape it. See, a bull penis doesn’t sound that disgusting now. At least, it is much better than feeding bleach to your pet.
Are Bully Sticks Nutritious?
The beef stick is a source of taurine and protein – nutrients that help the dog’s muscles and intestines function correctly. But here is a thing you should remember. These treats are high in calories. That’s why they should be used as an occasional reward, not as an everyday chew. Also, you might want to give your dog less food that day. Otherwise, it can gain weight.
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Are Bully Sticks Safe for Dogs?
These treats don’t contain any harmful chemicals or ingredients. Therefore, they’re completely safe for your dog. There are almost no chances your pet will feel sick after eating a beef stick. However, if the dog has any allergies, you should ask your vet if you should give it this treat.
Also, remember to control the amount of the stick the dog consumes. If your pet is small, and the treatment is rather big, take it away after the dog consumed the needed amount of it. Overeating will lead to issues with the digestive system, apart from weight gain.
Additionally, you need to teach your dog how to eat such treats. Especially, if you have a puppy that tends to swallow whole pieces of food, you give it. While older dogs can be more reasonable and calm eating such treats, pups often get overexcited. Thus, they can choke on the bully stick.
The risk of choking is the reason you need to choose the right size of the beef stick. The labrador has to get a much bigger stick than the chihuahua. Otherwise, the bigger dog might try to swallow it whole and choke or get an injury.
How to Give Your Dog a Bully Stick?
If your dog has never tried such treats, you need to teach it how to eat these sticks properly. Again, especially, if your dog is still a puppy. Grab the stick and hold it firmly so that the dog doesn’t take it away. Eventually, the dog will stop trying to make it and start attempting to chew the piece of the treat off. Now you should praise the pet for the right way of eating the stick.
After the dog has figured how to eat the beef stick, you can give it to the pet. But keep controlling the process and take the treat away if needed. Also, you should provide a reward for your pet for giving away the bully stick – a small piece of meat will be okay. It will prevent the possibility of that your pet will develop food-related aggression. No one likes when someone takes away their food.
You have to be highly attentive with a puppy. And you should always give it a rewarding treat if you take the beef stick away. During the first year and a half, you shape the behavior of your dog. So it’s better to build the right patterns now than fixing the wrong ones later.
Also, remember about calories – one bull stick contains from 9 to 22 calories in one inch of a treat. Don’t let your dog overeat. You should know the number of calories your pet needs in a day and follow it. So always give the dog less regular food in days when you give it a bully stick.
Bully sticks are great treats for dogs of all ages. They don’t contain any aggressive chemicals or harmful ingredients. It is an entirely natural and safe product you can give your dog without any doubt.
But you should be attentive in terms of the number of calories cause they’re very nutritional. Also, during first several times, your dog eats a beef stick you have to supervise the process to prevent any incidents. And once you’re sure the pet understands how to feed the treat, you can let your dog enjoy it alone.