Dogs love to chew, but often toys can become unsafe. Or worse, they might turn their focus on things that you don’t want them to chew, like those new shoes. Bully sticks are a great healthy way to satisfy your dog’s natural urge to chew. While these chews are a great option, there are some risks you need to know about to keep your dog safe.
So when do you need to take a bully stick away from your dog?
WHAT IS A BULLY STICK?
Bully sticks are made from a single specific dried beef muscle sometimes referred to as pizzle. These natural treats are considered to be a safe chew for dogs and an alternative to rawhide chews.
They come in various shapes and sizes, and styles despite being made from a single part of the bull. While the manufacturing process may differ between companies, bully sticks are drained, baked, and then air-dried.
You might also hear these natural dog treats called a few other names. Such as:
- Bull sticks
- Pizzle sticks
- Bull pizzles
- Steer sticks
No matter what you call them, dogs think they are delicious all the same.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MY DOG HAVING A BULLY STICK?
Bully sticks are an excellent treat that you can give your dog to chew on for many different reasons. Just like nylon bones or those made from potato starch, these are overall considered to be a safe chew for your dog. Because they are made from only meat, there are fewer health risks, and they offer your dog health benefits.
- Bully sticks are easily digested and don’t contain harmful toxins.
- They’re dried, so there are no added chemicals or pesticides.
- The protein-packed chew helps to support a healthy coat.
- Bully sticks are not made from bone and are not known to splinter, unlike bones.
- These natural chews promote a healthy mouth. The hard surface of bully sticks helps to scrape the plaque from your dog’s teeth.
- The beef muscle that is used in these chews is high in protein and essential amino acids rather than just empty calories.
- Amino acids help support healthy brain function for your dog.
- Bully sticks are perfect for power chewers.
- Because dogs naturally chew, bully sticks help promote positive chewing habits rather than destructive ones.
- Natural beef smell entices your dog to chew, providing cleaner teeth and healthy jaw muscle development.
- They come in many different sizes, so all dogs can benefit from this natural chew.
HOW LONG SHOULD I ALLOW MY DOG TO CHEW ON A BULLY STICK?
While giving your dog a bully stick can help to relieve the symptoms of separation anxiety and other destructive behaviors. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t watch them, especially since bully sticks are safe for puppies.
But how long should you let your puppy chew on a bully stick? Puppies are natural trouble makers, so while you should always have one eye on them, they should be monitored when they are playing with a bully stick.
Because any more than ten minutes at a time can lead to a risk of upset stomach or damage to their teeth and gums from excessive chewing. Adult dogs can have a few more minutes with their toy, but it is still recommended that you observe them.
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE AWAY MY DOG’S BULLY STICK?
Even though bully sticks are digestible, your dog can become seriously hurt if they swallow a large chunk of the chew. Your dog can choke or suffer from a gastrointestinal emergency if they ingest a large piece or the entire chew.
HOW LONG SHOULD A BULLY STICK BE FOR MY DOG?
Making sure that your dog has the right-sized chew can reduce the risk of choking. When in doubt, go a size bigger. Worse case is, the chew will last a bit longer.
CAN MY DOG HAVE A BULLY STICK EVERY DAY?
Dogs love these natural chews so it’s very easy for them to overdo it with a bully stick. Much like a child with sweets, everything should be in moderation. We recommend your dog play only once per day with their bully stick. This also helps to monitor the wear on the chew toy easily and keep them safe.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY DOG SWALLOWS A BULLY STICK?
Even under the most watchful eyes, an accident can still happen. If your dog ate their bully stick, most likely, they would be fine. However, large chunks can cause problems, so be aware of the signs and be ready to take your dog to the vet. First, call your vet, then look out for these symptoms:
- Increases, rapid or heavy breathing.
- Disinterest in food.
- Vomiting-like behaviors.
- Excessive hacking.
If your dog did swallow a bully stick, you should always call your vet. Treatment for swallowing a bully stick can range from IV fluids, and an overnight watch, or your dog may need emergency life-saving surgery.
ARE BULLY STICKS SAFE FOR PUPPIES?
Unlike other types of chews like rawhides, bully sticks are safe for puppies to chew on. Just try and limit their chew time to about ten minutes or less so that they don’t cause damage to their teeth or gums.
Dog’s love bully sticks, but there are some cases where you will need to take them away from your dog. You should take a bully stick away when it is small and becomes a choking hazard. Also, limit your dog to only one chew session with it per day. This gives your pup a chance to clean their teeth while enjoying a fun treat.