Have you ever heard of a dog treat called Bully Sticks? They are also known as”Pizzel Stick”. Touted as a natural healthy alternative dog treat that dogs love to chew on and can actually digest. What is in a Bully Stick, and what makes them such a popular treat for dogs.
If you don’t know what they are, you are in for a treat. LOL!
Before I tell you what they really are, I want to warn you that you may be a bit shocked when you find out. I say that, but honestly we give our dogs pigs ears, so how much more shocking could it be. LOL!
What are they
A bully stick is named after it’s place of origin, a bull. Yup, they come from a bull or steer. Bully Sticks are made from the muscle or penis of a bull. Also, called the “Pizzel”.
Made strictly from this one ingredient and similar to beef tendons. Considered to be an animal by-product, or at least in that same family. A high-protein beef muscle that is super strong and this strength is what makes them such a great chew treat for dogs.
Once the Pizzle is removed from the bull, the process begins with proper cleaning and sorting. After cleaning, they are put in the refrigerator to ensure they are kept cool. Then they are hung up vertically on racks and cooked in the oven. The hanging process ensures that all the moisture is removed. This is an important step because the longer that they are dried, the less likely they are to smell.
Not drying them properly could make them very stinky once your dog starts actively chewing on them. Some places offer both the regular bully sticks and odor-free sticks. Obviously with the odor-free version, you are guaranteed to not have an odor issue.
The cooking step is a very important process. If they aren’t cooked long enough, then there is a potential chance that they could be contaminated with bacteria like E. Coli or C. difficle just to name a few. When your dog eats the Bully Stick, they would of course become sick.
Now I know that sounds scary and you are asking yourself why would someone give this to their dog. Honestly though the risk is very low. It is no more risky then feeding your dog a raw food diet. So before getting to nervous about Bully Sticks, keep that in mind.
After the cooking and drying process are done, the sticks are once again sorted for final cutting process.
There is no doubt that dogs have a natural instinct to chew. In order to satisfy this chewing instinct we give our dogs things like a pig’s ear, elk horns and jerky, just to name a few. We have many great options to give to our dog, so what is the reason would we want to give them a Bully Stick.
The main reasons that we would want to give our dog these chewy treats is for all the great benefits they have like:
- Helps keep their teeth clean
- Maintains healthy gums
- Healthy coat
- A natural alternative dog treat
- Brain function
- Keeps them busy and focused
- High in protein 75%-85%
- Low in fat around 10%
I mentioned earlier, that they when your dog consumes the Bully Stick, they are able to digest the stick. Many other dog treat choices, are not as digestible and can cause your dog issues. These breakdown in your dog’s stomach and unlike a rawhide, do not cause swelling in the gut.
Bully Stick comes in many shapes and sizes. Being able to choose from an array of shapes, makes it easy to change it up for your dog. You can pick between a:
- straight one
- twisted or braided
- a round ring
- bar bell one
All of which can last varying times. For example the braided stick is a good choice for an aggressive chewer because it takes much longer to eat. A puppy for instance, would start with a small thinner stick where a adult larger dog could handle a longer and thicker version.
Besides picking the shape, if you opt for just a stick shape, you still have a choice on the thickness you want. This is great for matching the right Bully Stick with your dogs age, size and chewing level.
Are they safe
Just like many things on the market for dogs, there are always varying opinions on different products. There is always one side telling us that something is safe and another side telling us they aren’t.
Whether something is safe to give to our dogs or not, requires us as dog parents to be educated and informed. I never presume to tell any dog parent what they should and shouldn’t do or give to their dog.
The perfect example of this is the differing opinions on rawhide bones. Many believe that their is a risk of the rawhide getting stuck in your dog dogs throat once it has been chewed or sucked on. The rawhide gets soggy and your dog ends up swallowing big pieces all at once.
For this reason, I have never given my dog Fergus a rawhide bone and never gave my past 2 dogs them either. I think that we have many healthier choices like Bully Sticks.
My point in using this example is that raw hides are a huge business and tons of people give them to their dog regularly. Just because I prefer to not give them to my dog, doesn’t change the fact that everyone is entitled to their own choices.
Like absolutely everything I give to my dog, I make 100% sure that I am supervising my dog. This way if anything does happen, I am right there to ensure they are safe.
When it comes to whether or not Bully Sticks are safe to give to your dog or not, the answer is yes they are safe. They are safe for puppies and full-grown dogs. One of the easiest ways to ensure that you can feel safe giving your dog them is to get your sticks from a reputable place. If you know where they come from, then you can check out the companies processes and quality.
Like the concern about bacteria in the Bully Stick I mentioned above. Proper cooking and drying time is an important factor in killing all the bacteria.
For this reason I would buy Bully Sticks from a place that knows all there is to know about Bully Sticks. Buying from a specific place that is dedicated to providing healthy alternatives in the dog treat business is the right and safest way to go.
Do I give my dog Fergus these sticks? Yes I do. Would I grab one from a bulk bin from just any store and give to him? Probably not.
Like anything I give him, I look for the best company that offers that product. It is the same decision I make for myself, so why would this scenario be any different.
Where to buy and what size
We have talked about all the benefits and reasons that giving Bully Sticks to your dog as a treat is a great option. The next question would be how often can I give them to my dog and what size should I give them.
When it comes to picking the proper length and thickness for your dog, I think it is important to start small. Caution and being smart is important to ensure that your dog has a positive reaction to the new treat. You don’t want to jump in and give your dog the biggest Bully Stick you can find. Anytime you introduce any kind of new food or treat, you want to make sure that you can monitor how your dog system reacts to it.
Make sure to watch your dog for diarrhea or upset stomach. Dogs just like humans can react to the introduction of new foods. This is just the responsible thing to do to help ensure your dog stays healthy.
Below is a chart that will allow you to see the recommended size and thickness for different dog sizes and breeds. This can be used as a guide for you to know what Bully Stick is good for your dog and often you can give them to your pup.
Buying a good healthy and safe dog treat, often boils down to buying from the right company. Picking a company that uses top quality ingredients, proper cooking and has a real understanding of what they are offering their customers is super important.
That is why buying Bully Sticks from a company like Best Bully Sticks is the ideal place to buy from. You can tell by their name, that the number one product they sell is Bully Sticks.
There entire business is committed to selling dog parents and their dogs a healthy alternative dog treat. A commitment to proper processing, cooking, packaging and more, makes this company in my mind, the only place that you should be buying your Bully Sticks from.
Yes they do offer other choices like pig, cow and lamb ears. Elk and deer antler horn chews and even different jerky treats for your dog if you are looking for more choices.
Bully aka Pizzel
When it comes to giving our dog treats, it is always the best idea to give in moderation. Even if a treat says it is a healthy option for your dog, you want to be sure to not overdo it. Healthy or not, overeating anything can lead to your dog having excess weight gain.
Think of it in the same way we think of ice cream. We all love ice cream and yes it is not a bad treat to give yourself, but if you had it every day, then of course that wouldn’t be a great idea.
Common sense is always the smart way to approach what we give our dogs to eat while also maintaining the proper supervision at all times.
I hope my post, “What is in a Bully Stick” has helped answer any question you may have had about them.
They are a great choice as a healthy alternative dog treat for your dog, just make sure to buy from a reputable place like Best Bully Sticks. That way when you do buy them for your dog, you will have the peace of mind that you know without a doubt where they came from.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.