Can Bully Sticks Cause Diarrhea in Dogs

Updated: February 23, 2019 at 3:27 pm, Author: Alice

A very common question for dog owners who are intrigued at the popularity of bully sticks among other owners is a simple one: can bully sticks cause diarrhea in dogs? This is a valid concern, and one only needs to do a simple Google search and they’ll see a number of anecdotes about bully sticks and diarrhea. Of course, this does not necessarily prove that bull pizzles will cause problems when eaten by your loved one. No one can say with certainty that the anecdotes are false much in the same way no one can prove that they are accurate, because the truth is somewhere in the middle: can bully sticks make dogs sick? Under certain conditions, yes.

can bully sticks make dogs sick

If you think bull pizzles would make great treats for your dog but you’re paranoid about a connection between bully sticks diarrhea and your loved one, read on to get to the truth:


Different Dogs Can Be Sensitive to Different Things


The most important fact to remember is that each dog is different. They will react to different things in different ways, and there are those who are sensitive to specific food. So if you are not completely sure if beef pizzles cause diarrhea for your pet, keep a close watch on its behavior and reaction the first time you give him one. And only give him one until you’re sure that it doesn’t cause any adverse reaction. There are dogs that are allergic to protein, which is what a bull pizzle is rich in. Simply getting rid of beef pizzles from your pet’s diet will not address the underlying problem in this case. If your pet starts behaving differently, even if it’s not diarrhea, pay the vet a visit and you’ll get to the bottom of things.


Bull Pizzles Are Treats, Not Substitute for Food


Your pet loves bully sticks and will most likely not refuse if you give it one, but do not make the mistake of thinking that it’s a substitute for food. They are treats, and like doggie biscuits, they are not capable of providing the proper nutrition on their own. If you treat the pizzles as food replacement, chances are your pet is going to get sick. It’s not a problem with the beef pizzle itself, because any other treat when abused will lead to health problems for your pet.


Loose Stools Can Be a Sign of a Different Problem


We also can’t discount bad timing. There is a chance that you gave your dog a bully stick at the right time that they started exhibiting symptoms for a completely unrelated disease. If you immediately blame bully stick just because it’s the last treat you fed him, you could miss out on a more serious problem. Again, if your furry loved one is showing signs of not being okay, it is enough for you to recognize that there may be a problem. Drive him to the vet immediately. You don’t want to play vet as you could risk the health (and even the life) of your precious pet.


Like Any Food Product, Bully Sticks Will Cause Diarrhea if Contaminated by Bacteria


This again, is not a slight on bull pizzles but a cautionary tale for any dog owner involving any kind of treat or food product – like any consumable item, a bully stick that is not stored or prepared properly can be contaminated by bacteria. Can bully sticks cause diarrhea? Yes, if they are contaminated by bacteria. These could include clostridium difficile, escherchia coli, and even the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (which most people will more readily recognize as “MRSA.”) These bacterias have the potential to cause diseases in both humans and dogs, but they have nothing to do with the bully sticks or any other food product, but indicative of poor preparation and storage. In these cases, it helps if you buy your bully sticks from trusted and credible shops like Bully Shoppe.


So at the end of the day, bull pizzles are perfectly safe for your furry loved one under the right conditions. They can cause diarrhea, but much like any other product meant for consumption, it will depend on a variety of factors that have nothing to do with the bully stick itself. In order for your pet to be safe, you might want to take note of the following best practices:


  1. If your dog is new to beef pizzles, monitor its behavior after giving it one – this is just to be sure that your furry friend is not particularly sensitive to the treat or is not allergic to protein (if your pet is known to have an allergic reaction to high protein content, then you may want to avoid bully sticks or at least talk to a vet first.)
  2. Don’t overfeed your dog with the treat – overfeeding your pet with anything is bad, and is almost a surefire way to develop health problems. Bull pizzles in particular need to be consumed in moderation due to their high protein content. If you make the mistake of overfeeding, then you’re more likely to give your pet diarrhea but it’s going to be the least of your concerns. This is a particularly important lesson because many new pet owners have a tendency to overfeed their dogs, just because they enjoy seeing their pets feed happily and look cute while munching and chewing on treats.
  3. Observe safe food handling and preparation practices before feeding your dog – wash your hands before handling the sticks, so that you won’t accidentally contaminate the treat. Read the labels on the products just so you know how to properly store and serve them to your dog. No matter how safe a food product is, if you are neglecting basic food safety preparation then you’re bound to contaminate the food sooner or later, and your dog will most likely be the first to suffer.


All of the above information should be enough to give you a clear idea as to the connection between bully sticks and diarrhea, and what you need to do to help your pet enjoy the tasty treats without getting into any trouble with diarrhea.

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