Are Bully Sticks Good for Dogs?

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington

Great to chew on, bully sticks are a wonderful way to keep your dog busy. But are bully sticks good for dogs?

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs and some dogs will chew on just about anything. To keep your dog from chewing on your favorite pair of shoes, you should consider buying him chew toys and treats to satisfy his urge without emptying your closet. Bully sticks are one of the most popular types of dog chews out there, but are they safe for dogs? Keep reading to find out.

Related: How To Load a Kong Like A Pro

What Are Bully Sticks?

When it comes to hard chews for dogs, rawhide is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Rawhide chews are typically made from the inner layer of cow or horse hides and compressed into chewable treats for dogs. The benefit of rawhide is that it satisfies your dog’s urge to chew, but there is some risk for contamination with toxic chemicals and some dogs experience digestive irritation after eating large quantities of rawhide. There is also some risk for choking if your dog swallows a large piece.

Bully sticks are a safer and healthier alternative to rawhide. They are typically made from 100% beef tendon, making them a single-ingredient treat. Though some dogs are sensitive or allergic to beef, single-ingredient treats are highly digestible for dogs. You still need to make sure that the bully sticks you buy are free from artificial additives, but generally speaking they are safe.

Related: Homemade Dehydrated Dog Jerky Recipe

The primary benefit of bully sticks for dogs is that they give your dog something safe to chew on. Giving your puppy a bully stick could keep him busy for an hour or more – you can also use them to distract your dog when you leave the house if he suffers from separation anxiety.

Here are some of the other benefits of bully sticks for dogs:

  • They are less likely to trigger food allergies and sensitivities than rawhides and other chews.
  • Bully sticks are rich in protein and other essential nutrients like taurine.
  • They are rich in natural flavor which negates the need for artificial additives.
  • Bully sticks help clean your dog’s teeth naturally through the act of chewing and gnawing.
  • They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes for all dogs.
  • Bully sticks provide your dog with mental stimulation and extra exercise.

Though bully sticks are generally safer and healthier than rawhides, you should remember that they are fairly high in calories. Like all treats, bully sticks should be fed occasionally and should not be a substitute for a complete and balanced diet. When shopping for bully sticks, make sure to purchase from a reputable manufacturer and double-check the ingredients to make sure you’re buying a product that is all-natural and good for your dog.

If you’re looking for a chew to keep your dog busy (and away from your shoes), bully sticks are a great option. These single-ingredient treats are safer and healthier than rawhide and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to appeal to dogs of all breeds and ages.

While no one can deny the benefits of natural, high-quality bully sticks, that doesn’t mean that you can pick up any type of these treats and be done with it. Unfortunately, not all brands and manufacturers of bully sticks meet the necessary standards for healthy and well-made bully sticks: those that import or source their materials from dubious places can actually make your pooch sick. To be sure that you’re giving the best to your pet, you have to make sure that the treat was made from safe and natural ingredients. We’ve rounded up the best bully sticks for dogs to make your job easier – all of the treats from our list are high-quality, natural, and healthy for your pet.

Natural Farm Bully Sticks

Made from farm-raised, grass-fed beef that’s been sourced from a single supplier in Brazil, these bully sticks are created with your pet’s well being in mind. They are manufactured under strict USDA and FDA guidelines in the USA and you don’t have to worry about dubious processing methods that could endanger your pet. Measuring 7 inches, they are a good treat for dogs of all sizes.

Pawstruck Straight Bully Sticks for Dogs

While these bully sticks are standard size (7 inches) they are extra thick (more than an inch) and ideally suited for pooches who need more of a chewing challenge. These are made from free-range, grass-fed cattle sourced from Paraguay and slow-roasted in facilities that are up to FDA, and USDA standards. Completely natural and extra chewy, these beef pizzles will keep your pooch occupied for a while.

Nature Gnaws Small Bully Sticks

With a single ingredient- premium grass-fed hormone-free beef from Argentina- these healthy treats for dogs offer great flavor and superior texture both. The premium quality of these treats and their affordable price are what makes them very popular with pet parents. Available in different sizes, these can range from 2 to 3 inches and 5 and 6 inches in size – making them ideal for small to medium-size dogs.

Sancho & Lola’s Bully Sticks for Dogs

Made from North American and South American free-range, grass-fed cattle and processed, inspected, and packed in FDA registered facilities in the US, these high-quality bully sticks meet the highest standards there are. To boot, they come in a variety of thicknesses and sizes- from extra thin to short and thick and everything in between, you’ll easily find a match for your pooch.

Best For My Pets XL Bully Sticks

If you have a big dog, you know how hard it is to find durable chew treats for him. Luckily these extra large bully sticks for big dogs are made specifically for our gentle giants: they are 12 inches in size. Long-lasting and yummy, these are made from grass-fed Mexican cattle and processed in the US in a USDA facility.

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

More by Kate Barrington