Are Bully Sticks Safe For Dogs?

Filed in Dog Products on January 14, 2020

Do you have a chewer in your house? You know, one of those dogs that can find your designer pair of shoes and turn them into a chew stick.

Text stating 'Are Bully Sticks Safe For Dogs?' with dog chewing on bully stickWell, as horrible as that is, it’s in a dog’s nature to chew. The trick is to redirect your dog’s attention away from your Gucci loafers and towards something else.

But to what? What about bully sticks? Are bully sticks safe for dogs?

Let’s Find Out: Are Bully Sticks Safe For Dogs?

What Are Bully Sticks Made Of?

First things first. So that there are no surprises, it’s important to know what bully sticks are actually made from. As hinted by in their name, yes, they are from bulls.

But to be blunt, bully sticks are made from bull pizzle, an old English word for penis. Pizzles, and thus bully sticks, are 100% beef tendon, all-natural, and have nutritional value.

How Are Bully Sticks Made?

Bully stick manufacturers prepare the tendon by cleaning, stretching, and twisting it into a variety of shapes.

Most bully sticks are sun or oven-dried, and some manufacturers prefer to smoke them before packaging.

Some manufacturers specialize in making bully sticks in a variety of sizes and thicknesses to cater to the different chewing preferences of dogs.

Are Bully Sticks Healthy?

Chew treats, in general, can satisfy a dog’s chewing instincts. But bully sticks are among the best available chewing options because they offer numerous health benefits. Here are a few:

  • Single-ingredient treats 
  • Made from high-protein beef
  • No artificial chemicals, additives, or preservatives
  • Good source of amino acids 
  • Easily digestible 

F.Y.I. Amino acids are compounds needed for vital processes like the building of proteins and synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters and support a dog’s brain, body, and coat.

bully sticksAdditional Benefits of Bully Sticks

In addition to their ability to keep a dog chewing for a long, long time, and on top of their quality nutrition, bully sticks have other benefits.

Bully sticks have a long shelf life, up to three years if they are kept in a cool, air-tight package. So your dog will be able to chew for years to come… And, your shoes will be safe. 

Tip: A partially eaten bully stick can be safely stored in your freezer, where it will re-harden for your dog to chew at a later date.

Another benefit is that they have been shown to help with teeth cleaning.

When a dog spends time chewing on a tough bully stick, they are gnawing repeatedly and in a variety of directions. This helps to scrape away plaque and buildup from their teeth before it can become tartar.

Note: Never stop brushing your dog’s teeth, but just know that bully sticks are a great way to add to their dental health.

Why Bully Sticks And Not Other Chews?

There is an overwhelming amount of reports of dangerous and even deadly outcomes with other treats. Many owners are not aware where their dog’s treats are made, and unknowingly give their dog a chew sold in the US, but made in China.

Pet parents should be aware that pet chew manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.

How About Rawhide?

First, there is little to no nutritional benefit to rawhides. They are literally the inner layer of cow or horse hides.

These types of chews can pose choking hazards and create blockage risks. Also, they can and often do create digestive irritation for dogs.

Because the fun is in the chewing of a rawhide, versus the tasting, dogs often swallow larger pieces. These bigger bits can get stuck in the esophagus and other areas of the digestive tract.

What To Look For In A Bully Stick For Your Dog

As mentioned earlier, bully sticks come in multiple shapes and sizes, offering options for all sizes, breeds, and preferences of dogs.

For small, delicate chewers, you can get thinner bully sticks, while braided bully sticks are best for heavy chewers.

If your dog is good with their paws and can hold things while they chew, try the bully stick rings – these are a perfect challenging chew. 

Look For Bully Sticks that are:

  • 100% natural US beef
  • From free-range, grass-fed bulls
  • Approved by USDA/FDA
  • Free of additives and hormones
  • No artificial preservatives

The only thing to note about bully sticks is that they have a particular odor – some people don’t mind it, while others notice it quite a bit. If your nose is sensitive look for odor-free bully sticks.


Are bully sticks safe for dogs? Yes. Not only safe, but they are also great for your dogs to chew, highly digestible, nutritious, healthy, and dogs love them.

Oh, and if your dog is a big time champion-level chewer, we have more help for you here.

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