Why do dogs love bully sticks so much? If you are a dog owner, you most likely have provided bully sticks to your dog before. You have also probably noticed that the chew treats easily become your dog’s favorite treat. So exactly what makes bully sticks so attractive for dogs?
So, why do dogs love bully sticks? Bully sticks are made out of bull pizzle (penis), meaning they taste like meat. Bully sticks also have psychological benefits that allow for your dog to calm down.
So what kind of psychological benefits do bully sticks provide? Also, even if your dog loves bully sticks so much, is it safe for you to provide them with their favorite treats? What other dog treats do dogs like?
Psychological Benefits of Bully Sticks for Dogs
Chewing, for dogs, is like babies sucking on their thumbs. It is a way for dogs to relieve anxiety and stress, thereby maintaining a healthy psychological status.
For this reason, some dogs might find bully sticks to be a method through which they can achieve mental peace! As such, your dog might be relying on chew toys or treats like bully sticks or other means to relieve stress.
Are Bully Sticks Safe/Healthy?
In general, bully sticks are on the safer end of the spectrum when it comes to chew treats. However, as all things go, they do have their dangers.
Even though this applies to all treats and objects that are edible, bully sticks can be a choking hazard if they are not consumed carefully.
In addition to it being very hard, it can easily get stuck on your dog’s throat if it swallows it too quickly. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you monitor your dog as it chews on the chew treat: it is supposed to be chewing on them for around five to ten minutes at a time.
If you find that your dog is eating it up too quickly, please make the effort to take the treat away for a while until it learns how to chew on them slowly.
If your dog does end up choking, however, call for professional help immediately.
While you are waiting for them to arrive, you should start performing the Heimlich maneuver:
- Put one fist over your dog’s stomach and wrap your hand over the other.
- As you push your fist into your dog’s stomach, you should make sure to see if the lodged object has left your dog’s system.
- If this works and you find the piece of bully stick, still proceed to take your companion to the veterinarian. The fact that it choked on bully sticks most likely means that the debris was sharp, which means there is a possibility that there are cuts in your dog’s throat.
Choking is not really something that can be avoided for dog food, toys, or treats, if they are meant to be chewed on. All you can do is to continue monitoring your dog so that you can stop it from swallowing objects that shouldn’t be swallowed.
2. Dental Problems
If your dog continues to chew on bully sticks for too long, it can be terrible for your dog’s dental health. This holds especially true for puppies that are still in their developing stages.
The more your puppy or dog chews on hard objects like bully sticks, the more likely it is going to suffer from symptoms like toothaches.
At first glance, this doesn’t seem like too big of a deal, but when the symptoms grow to be more severe, You might find that your dog is not eating as much as it used to. This is because your dog can no longer chew or rip apart food properly due to the toothaches derived from chewing on bully sticks for too long.
In this case, your companion might suffer from malnourishment, which further weakens your dog’s immune systems, which means it becomes more susceptible to illnesses. Indeed, toothaches are definitely not something that can be avoided as you raise a dog.
This negative impact is another impact that is often overlooked as being “minor.” Unfortunately, these cuts can be life-threatening, especially if your dog is young.
The younger your dog is, the more susceptible to viruses they are due to their weak immune system. If these dogs experience a cut in their mouths, the wound will likely be infected by the bacteria in your dog’s mouth.
The worst part about cuts is that you can not really do anything about it at home: you must take your pet to the vet in order to get it treated.
Unfortunately, because of how frequently people tend to overlook cuts as only a minor health problem, many owners assume that it is going to get better over time.
Take your dog to the vet whenever you spot a cut, especially if it is in its mouth. Bacterial infections if unlucky, can be very deadly.
So Why Bully Sticks?
After looking at all of the potential risks, you might be wondering to yourself:
Why should I buy bully sticks for my dogs when I know all of these health problems can happen to my dog?– You, probably
The dangers listed above are only risks of this product: this means that this won’t necessarily happen, and there are many ways to prevent these accidents from actually happening.
There are so many positive benefits that, we believe, most dogs can experience themselves.
1. 100% Digestible
The chew treat in bully sticks are completely digestible, which means they are very unlikely to cause problems due to intestinal blockages.
This is the first unique selling point for chew treats. Compared to other products that, at times, do not follow the legal guidelines mentioned regarding nutritional levels and health concerns, bully sticks are very, very healthy.
2. Dental Improvements
Though it was mentioned earlier in the article that there can be dental harm done by bully sticks, that is only when your dog chews on them for too long.
If you follow the guidelines provided regarding how long it should take for your dog to chew on bully sticks, they can really help your dog’s teeth by scraping off plaques and residues that might cause cavities for your companion.
For this reason, we recommend bully sticks not only as a treat or a toy, but also as a medical procedure that can help you with your dog’s health.
3. Sky High in Protein
The main reason as to why these treats are so good and healthy for dogs is because they help your dog’s protein levels as long as they are not consumed in excess.
If they are consumed in control amounts, the high protein snack can really help your puppy develop into a more athletic dog that is very fit.
Unfortunately, too much protein does exist: this means that your dog shouldn’t be eating too much of these bully sticks because they contain too much protein and your dog might catch its body out of surprise.
Any Bully Stick Alternatives?
Yes, there are plenty of alternatives, but we doubt that any of them are as good as bully sticks.
First, we have Greenies, which is the chew treat that we recommend the most right after bully sticks. This one also has positive dental effects as well as a nice taste, but it might not be your dog’s favorite as it doesn’t have the meaty taste of most bully sticks.
Second, we have Rawhide treats, which is a chew treat that we do not really recommend. These are much more brittle and hard on your dog’s teeth, which means it can lead to toothaches.
Pig ears are definitely the least recommended treat as of now; in fact, there has been some controversy surrounding this treat as there has been a massive salmonella out break related to pig ears that are sold for dogs.
Yes, but no more than one per day. More than that can cause digestive problems in your dog, and you definitely do not want that! Because these sticks are very high in protein, your dog, if it isn’t used to that much protein per day, might need some time to adjust.
Overall, they are a very nutritious snack because of how much protein it contains. Protein can be very useful for young dogs that are still in their developing stages because it is used for muscle building.
Yes! As mentioned throughout the article, there are so many health benefits (both physical and psychological) that bully sticks bring to the table. Although there are risks that come with the treat, even those are minimal compared to other chew treats. Therefore, there are many vets that recommend bully sticks.
Around 6 months old is the general consensus when it comes to the age at which your puppy can have a bully stick. Before that is a bit too dangerous because there are immune system and dental health risks that it would be taking because its body isn’t completely developed.