What Are Bully Sticks Made Of? Find Out The Truth!

Filed in Dog Products on March 6, 2021

what are bully sticks made of

If you’re a dog owner, you may have heard of bully sticks or even given one to your pup. But have you asked the question: What are bully sticks made of?

The short answer is that bully sticks are made of one single ingredient: bull penis.

This popular chew treat for dogs goes by other names as well such as beef pizzle, bully bones, bully chews, and pizzle sticks.

In this blog post, I discuss what bully sticks are made of and other related information.

So What Are Bully Sticks Made Of?

bully sticks

The ingredient list for pizzle sticks is pretty simple: bull penis. Yep, you read that right; your pup is chewing on an actual bull penis.

Now, before you get grossed out, I promise that your dog won’t think twice about it. In fact, your canine pal will be happy to chow down on this high-protein snack.

But, what exactly is in a bully stick?

Whether baked, smoked, or dried through the dehydration process, bully sticks feature high-protein beef. The majority of this dog favorite is protein (approximately 80-90%), with low fat and cholesterol content.

Bully sticks are also rich in amino acids, which have many benefits for your pup. They help support your pal’s muscles, skin, brain, and coat.

It is also free from preservatives and artificial flavors, chemicals, and other additives.

However, something else that’s in bully sticks is a lot of calories! Depending on the size of the stick, your pup could eat between 90 and 180 calories.

That’s a lot of calories from something that’s supposed to be a treat. A 6-inch stick has about 90 calories, and the bigger they get, the more calories your dog consumes.

Keeping this in mind, you should avoid giving bully sticks as a daily treat since it takes up such a chunk of your dog’s daily food percentage. Instead, think of it as more of a once-in-a-while goody.

Avoid giving other treats to your dog on bully stick days, and you might not want to put as much food in his bowl.

Uses and Benefits

Besides being a fun snack for your pooch, bully sticks do have some other advantages. For one thing, they encourage healthy teeth and gums. When your dog chews on a tough bully stick, it helps scrape away plaque and other harmful build-up on their teeth.

Plus, chewing a bully stick can help keep your dog occupied and engaged. It encourages chewing and licking, which helps calm your pup.

Therefore, providing your dog with a long-lasting chew can help alleviate some of their stress and anxiety (not to mention keep out of mischief).

How Are Bully Sticks Made?

Bully sticks

Although each company has its own manufacturing methods, typically, companies mass-produce bully sticks. They get frozen pizzles from slaughterhouses, thaw them, wash them, then remove any remaining connective tissue and fat.

Then, the sticks are often placed in an oven to bake and dry. Throughout the heating process, the sticks are usually stretched and straightened. Keep in mind, some are only cooked briefly to kill bacteria, while others are cooked longer. I’ve even read about raw bully sticks.

After the bully sticks are dry, they are cut to size and ready for shipping. When deciding on a bully stick for your pup, ensure you purchase them from a reliable source.

Also, try to find sticks individually wrapped or packaged, so you don’t have to worry as much about cross-contamination.

Where Are Bully Sticks Made?

Many different companies produce bully sticks. These companies typically have processing and manufacturing facilities in which they prep and dry out the sticks in large ovens.

You can find many bully sticks that are 100% sourced and made in the USA. However, where each company sources their beef depends, so do your research when choosing a bully stick.

For example, many manufacturers pride themselves on using beef from grass-fed, high-quality cattle in North and South America.

Available Forms

Although a bully stick’s standard image is, well, a stick, you can actually find the chew in various forms. For example, while most sticks are dried, some are raw, while others are cooked.

Plus, you can find the sticks in various sizes and thicknesses, so you can choose one that works well with your dog’s size.

Braided sticks feature three pieces intertwined and are an excellent option for aggressive chewers since they’re usually thicker.

If your dog needs a challenge, try a bully ring, which provides a fun shape for your dog to sink his teeth into (and try to grip with his paws).

Can Bully Sticks Go Bad?Dog with bully stick

It doesn’t necessarily have an expiration date, and your pup will likely chew it long before it has a chance to deteriorate. However, most sticks maintain their quality for up to two years or more.

Of course, if your pup takes a really long time to work his way through a stick, you might not want them around that long. Bully sticks can get pretty smelly.

Is it Good or Bad for Dogs?

I’ve mentioned some of the positives of bully sticks, like cleaning your pup’s teeth and helping ease his stress. Plus, dogs love to chew them, and they offer several health benefits in the form of quality protein and beneficial amino acids.

However, before you toss a bully stick to your canine companion, you should also know some negatives.

In addition to being high in calories, which can contribute to obesity, it may contain harmful bacteria. Keep in mind, for the less than cooked forms; you’re essentially handling raw meat (or close to it).

For example, a recent large recall was due to the discovery of Salmonella.

Therefore, before giving your dog a stick, check for any potential recalls. Also, it can cause stomach upset and diarrhea in some pups, so always observe your dog to see how he reacts.

Do Dogs Digest it Easily?

Yes, these single-ingredient chews are easy for pups to digest. However, if a large chunk breaks off, it could still pose a choking hazard or blockage risk.

Therefore, it’s always advisable to supervise your pup, especially if he’s a super-aggressive chewer.

Conclusion

Well, I hope I answered your main question of “What are bully sticks made of?” The answer is bull penis.

These popular treats can help engage your pup, keep them from getting bored, and even promote good oral hygiene.

But, like most things, bully sticks have some pros and cons, so it’s critical to know where the bully stick comes from and ensure you trust its source.

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