If you don’t know what bully sticks are, then yes, they’re bull penis (or steer penis). That’s where they get the “bully” part of their name, and you can guess the “stick” part.
You may doubt me and say “no mate, they’re made of pizzle”, but pizzle is simply the more marketable term. It’s much easier for people to buy “pizzle” than “bull penis”, and you definitely don’t want your dog chewing on bull penis when your friends come over for dinner. Pizzle sounds much better.
Bully sticks happen to be a very beneficial long-lasting natural treat for your dog.
In fact, the benefits can help keep your dog healthy for many years to come.
I urge you to read the benefits of bully sticks below. Even if you’re put off by the penis thing, the information below will be useful – and you have alternatives.
What are the benefits of bully sticks?
If, like most people, you feed your dog dry food, wet food, or a combination of both, there’s something very important you’re missing:
- Bully sticks are great for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and free of plaque, tartar, and the dreaded gingivitis. The reason this is so important is poor dental health is just the first step towards drastically ill health. Raw meaty bones are another good option, but if you don’t want bits of animal on your loungeroom floor then bully sticks are a more pleasant alternative.
The above point alone is a reason to go and buy a bully stick right now.
To elaborate a little further as it’s such an important point, chewing a bully stick not only scrapes off plaque and tartar, it stimulates saliva production, and saliva contains enzymes which break down and neutralise bad bacteria in the mouth.
Chewing on a bully stick will also massage and help improve blood circulation to the gums, and the all round dental health benefits should reduce the dog breath you get blasted with first thing every morning.
If the benefits to dental health haven’t won you over, consider the following:
- Our dogs get bored easily. Can you blame them? A tasty bully stick will keep them happy and occupied for hours. Less anxiety for your dog, and less for you too.
- Bully sticks may cost more than rawhide, but they’re a much better, more natural alternative, and they’re long lasting (unless your dog has the jaws of Godzilla).
- It’s much better to give your dog meat-based treats than other alternatives made from cheaper or nastier ingredients.
- Bully sticks (assuming they’re of a good, honest quality) should be hypoallergenic, single ingredient. They’re very high in protein which is great for your dog, low in fat, and low in completely unnecessary carbohydrates.
When you compare the benefits above to the almost zero benefit of the trash treat rawhide, they simply do not compare. Bully sticks cost more, but they win hands down.
Where can you buy bully sticks in Australia?
Bully sticks are available from many retailers, pet stores, or online. Here’s a few options:
Ok, fill me in, how are bully sticks made?
You probably wouldn’t be interested to know, which is why this section is so far down the page, but bully sticks are made by [gruesome content]cleaning, stretching, and twisting the penis before either baking or smoking it[/gruesome content].
Dogs go wild for that stuff, don’t they?
Are bully sticks safe?
Bully sticks are safer than the other good option of raw meaty bones. Bones splinter, bully sticks don’t.
If you have any concerns whatsoever, take precautions and monitor your dog until you know he/she will chew responsibly. You know your dog more than anyone, and if they’re the kind of dog who destroys anything in sight with their terrible Gruffalo jaws then your dog is most at risk – be careful.
If your dog is like mine, you’ll have the confidence to leave them chewing while you catch up on MAFS.
How can you tell a good bully stick from a bad one?
Firstly, make sure the bully stick you buy is 100% beef pizzle. There is no reason other than cost cutting to add anything else. There should be no artificial additives or preservatives.
If you can find out, your best option is to opt for a bully stick which has undergone minimal processing – this should mean the natural goodness has been retained as much as possible.
In Australia we don’t have much in terms of standards, so it is unlikely a bully stick will be certified in any way. For this reason it is worth buying bully sticks of a reputable brand, from a reputable retailer. If you find a cheaper one on a website you’ve never heard of (or eBay for that matter), then don’t buy it – simple.
Already feed your dog bully sticks? Add your experiences to the comments section below!