Date Published: April 9, 2017, Updated: February 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm, Author: Alice
New dog owners are probably wondering why bully sticks are fast becoming the most preferred dog treats, overtaking conventional dog chews made from rawhide and manufactured bone. But before that, they are also wondering what are bully sticks made of, or basically what is in a bully stick.
The long and short of it is that bully sticks, which are also referred to as bull pizzles, are made from a bull penis. They are most commonly reddish-brown in color, and are either curly, straight, or braided. Different manufacturers offer different sizes, but the most common ones range from 3 to 24 inches long, and are mostly an inch in diameter.
To better help define these treats, they are basically similar to beef jerky. The manufacturing process is similar. How bully sticks are made – is through meat being dried in order to prolong their life and make them less susceptible to rotting. The process also has the benefit of making the meat retain a lot of nutrients, which are normally lost in other food products due to cooking and using of artificial preservatives. Since bully sticks are all natural and do not use artificial flavoring or preservatives, they become the de facto choice if you want safe, nutritious snacks for your pets.
Bull pizzles are high in protein, which is good for dogs provided that you don’t go overboard (to be fair, anything that’s been fed too much to a dog will have adverse effects.) But many pet owners are concerned that there’s too much calories in a single piece. Being calorie-conscious for pets is not weird, because a 2009 national survey of veterinarians by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity outline that there may be a problem with pet obesity rates. According to the survey, around 45 percent of dogs and were overweight or obese. The survey also shows a 2 percent increase in dog obesity from the year before, so there is an upward trend.
As for how many calories in a bully stick, the Canadian Veterinary Journal examined a sample size of 26 pizzles from different brands and manufacturers in the United States and Canada, and found that on average, a single piece contains 9 to 22 calories per inch.
What this boils down to is that a 6 inch bully stick amounts to 9 percent of a 50 pound dog’s recommended calorie count. For a smaller dog, particularly puppies, a 6 inch item could amount to more than 30 percent of its daily calorie requirements which is significant, though it helps to keep in mind that bully sticks are dog treats and not food replacements, so as long as you’re not overfeeding your pet with those, there is no cause for concern.
Aside from the high protein count, a bully stick also has the benefit of encouraging dental health among dogs. The mere act of chewing is already conducive to good teeth health, but the texture and relative toughness also help scrape off plaque and tartar buildup in a dog’s teeth.
Bully sticks are rapidly replacing conventional dog treats such as rawhide and manufactured bone, by virtue of them being easier to handle because they’re just all-natural beef products that are easy to digest, whereas the ingredients of rawhide and other chew toys may contain stuff that could be harmful to pets in the long term.
Additionally, there’s simply the matter of dogs preferring bully sticks because they like the natural taste of meat better than manufactured bone or overly processed rawhide. In the end, pizzles are the best treats because they’re not harmful to pets, provide a modicum of benefits, and dogs really enjoy them.