How To Choose The Right Bully Sticks For Your Dogs
Our pets feed off of our energy, and that of the world around them. That’s why many dogs, much like humans, can develop stress, anxiety and an intense fear of separation from their owners.
So, while you do your own self-care practices like warm baths, meditation, and online shopping, don’t forget to do pet care practices on your furry friend. There are a number of ways to help alleviate anxiety in pets, from giving them tug-of-war toys to regularly exercising them. One great method is with chewy, long-lasting treats.
Bully sticks are a popular example of these. Not only are they soothing for pets with stress or anxiety, but they’re also thought to be helpful in quelling destructive behavior such as digging and ripping up furniture.
This article will discuss how to choose the right bully sticks for your dog. But first…
What Are Bully Sticks?
Bully sticks are a natural and safe alternative to regular rawhide chews. You also may have heard them called: bull sticks, pizzle sticks, bull pizzles, or steer sticks. They’re fun for your pet to chew because they taste great and they won’t splinter like some other dog treats. You may like to give your pup one bully stick to see if it’s the right choice for them. Even though bully sticks don’t have preservatives, some brands are safe for up to three years.
Remember, bully sticks aren’t a one-size-fits-all treat, so here are a few things to consider when choosing the right ones for your dog.
Size And Length
The most important thing to consider when choosing the right bully sticks for your pet is the size of the stick itself. It’s important you think about the size and strength of your dog when choosing the size of bully stick for them. For instance, if you have a large or giant dog breed, you’ll want to select a bigger and thicker bully stick that’ll be more difficult for your pet to chew through. That will allow your pup more play time with the treat!
If your pet is small or older, try choosing a smaller bully stick that they’ll have no issues getting their jaw at least partially around. If you choose the right size for your dog, your bully stick could last from several hours to a few days.
Shape And Thickness
Bully sticks, like all dog chews, come in a variety of shapes, and while you may think there isn’t any nutritional difference to the shape you choose, it can actually affect how quickly your dog gets through it. Most bully sticks come in thin, regular, and thick widths. For dogs with stronger jaws, try a bully stick that’s braided, curled, or thick. This will make the treat a bit harder for your dog to get their mouth around so it’ll last longer. Further, they may also lower your dog’s risk of choking by chewing on a treat that’s too small, and could get lodged in their throat. If you have a dog with a small or weak jaw, choose a classic thin style.
Ingredients are critical when choosing any treat or food that your pet will consume. Think about the last time you indulged in some super greasy junk food. You probably felt slow, heavy, and lethargic afterwards. Perhaps you felt some digestion problems. Yet, when you eat a clean, nutrient-dense meal full of protein and natural ingredients, you may have felt energized, full but not weighed down, and ready to take on the day. It’s the same for your pet! Making sure their treats have healthy natural ingredients and no dangerous chemicals will benefit their health.
The general rule of thumb when choosing a treat for your pet is: the less ingredients, the better. Typically, dog treats with less ingredients will be lower in calories and higher in protein, making them a nutritious option for your pet to maintain or lose weight. They’re also often very high in nutrients and antioxidants.
Some common ingredients in the best bully sticks include:
- Bull Meat: Many bully sticks have one ingredient: beef. That’s right! They’re not packed with preservatives, artificial flavors, or dangerous chemicals that can harm your pet. Bull meat is full of protein and very low in carbohydrates. This, in combination with the scrubbing effect on the teeth, make them great for your dog’s oral health. Plus, your pet will love the taste, too! One downside to bull meat is the pungent scent. There are some options with more mild scents, but they typically go through more processing, making them a less natural option.
- Bison Meat: Bison is a nice alternative to bull meat for dogs that have allergies or sensitives. It’s high in protein, low in fat, and has tons of vitamins. Bison meat is also high in selenium—an anti-oxidant that’s great for reducing inflammation. Like the bull-meat sticks, bison bully sticks may have a pungent smell as well. Additionally, bison meat is often subject to supply shortages, making them more difficult to find and bit higher in price.
- Vegetarian: If you refrain from animal products yourself, you may also choose to do so for your pets. Some owners believe that pups with plant-based diets will have more energy and less health issues. Vegetarian dog treats often use sweet potatoes, carrots, nuts, lentils, and sometimes even fruit as their base. They’re full of nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. One benefit to vegetarian bully sticks is that they have a much less harsh smell than bull or bison options, however, they may be more processed.
Sometimes, man’s best friend can get just as anxious as you can. Along with adequate exercise, and lots of love and attention, giving your pup right bully stick you can help keep them happy, calm, and of course, occupied. When choosing the perfect bully stick for your pet, it’s important to consider size, shape, and ingredients. Always refer to your pet’s veterinarian for health and diet advice before feeding them something new.