Last week, my friend asked me if I knew anything about bully sticks for puppies.
She’s planning on bringing home a new dog soon and wants to make sure she has everything he needs before she welcomes him home.
Her older dog went through a terribly aggressive chewing phase, nearly leaving her barefoot!
Why do puppies love shoes so much?
It’s just one of life’s great mysteries!
Anyway, she wasn’t sure if bully sticks were safe for puppies, if there were certain types that she should get and so on.
She knows my dogs go nuts for bully sticks and figured I’d have the answer.
She’s sort of right. I do know more about bully sticks for puppies than the average person, I suppose.
Now, let’s talk about bully sticks for puppies!
Bully sticks vs rawhide? Which is better for your dog?
Your Guide to Bully Sticks for Puppies
As a writer, I research the living daylights out of anything before I put I publish it.
Still, I want to note that I am not a vet, so while I spend hours upon hours fact-checking what I write, I want you to double-check this info with your puppy’s vet too.
What are bully sticks?
I’m not going to go into enormous detail here, because we’ve already covered this in our post about why bully sticks are one of the best treats with detailed Bully Sticks Reviews.
Short story: they are bull penises. Yes, I still snicker a little like my 10-year-old son when I say that out loud. I am THAT mature.
Depending on where you get them, they’re either sun-dried to dehydrate them, smoked in a traditional smoker, or hung to dry in a refrigerator then baked in an oven.
Related: How old for bully sticks and other chews?
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Are bully sticks ok for puppies?
Bully sticks for puppies are safe as long as you supervise their chewing.
This goes for just about anything that you give your pup to chew though.
- Since bully sticks are completely digestible, they’re safer overall than rawhide and other chews that aren’t meant to be eaten.
- While it is safe for your pup to chew and eat the bully stick, you need to know when to take bully stick away.
- You’ll want to remove it when it gets whittled down to a piece small enough to pose a choking hazard.
- Little pups aren’t known for their patience and may try to swallow that last little bit whole.
- To increase the safeness of pizzle sticks for puppies, I’d recommend going with a larger size, rather than a small one.
- I know it seems like you’d give a small stick to a small pup, but larger, thicker sticks are harder to break down into choking-hazard-sized pieces.
- Obviously, you’ll want something small enough that he can still grip between his paws and get into his little puppy mouth!
Let me reiterate what I said in the first paragraph under this heading: you MUST supervise your chewing puppy. MUST.
You can’t just say “here’s a bully stick, see you in a few hours.”
Related: Dog Training Tips to Train Your Puppy Not to Chew
Are bully sticks good for puppies
There’s a difference between being okay and being good. Are bully sticks safe for puppies? Yes.
Now, let’s talk about if they’re good for puppies! Short answer: yes, for the most part, they are good for puppies.
Like everything, moderation is key. If you give your pup a dozen bully sticks a day, then of course that is unhealthy.
However, compared to many chews on the market, bully sticks actually do have some health benefits, including:
- They’re made from one single ingredient: high-protein beef.
- That beef is also a complete source of all the important amino acids.
- Those amino acids help with everything from brain development to skin & coat health.
How often to give puppy bully sticks
Again, moderation, moderation, moderation. A good rule of thumb: give your puppy a bully stick no more than once a day.
Bully sticks shouldn’t be your dog’s sole source of nutrition. They aren’t a substitute for high-quality dog food.
Honestly, bully sticks aren’t cheap, so I always followed the “once a day” rule, and only daily for about a week.
Once the sticks ran out, I’d wait a couple of weeks (until I found a good sale, basically) before buying them again.
Also, it’s important to note that not all bully sticks are created equally. Let’s learn a bit about what to look for when choosing the best bully sticks for puppies.
Related: What are your favorite crate safe chews to leave with your puppy?
What types of Bully Sticks are best for puppies?
You’d think something as simple as bull “pizzles” (the more “polite” name for them) wouldn’t come in very many varieties.
I mean, how many ways can you possibly turn that into a dog chew?
Apparently, quite a few ways!
As mentioned above, different manufacturers use different methods for crafting their bully sticks.
Then you have the whole odor versus low-odor versus odorless, thick versus thin, free-range bulls versus “fed a bunch of stuff you can’t even pronounce bulls” and so on.
So yep, there are actually a lot of different options when it comes to bully sticks for puppies!
Let me tell you what I look for when buying them.
Related: Organic bully sticks. A great choice for hardcore chewers
1. Free-range fed bulls
When I’m looking for bully sticks for puppies (or any age dog), I check for terms like “free-range” that let me know the bulls were allowed to roam happily and eat what comes naturally to them.
Of course, free range doesn’t always mean they were fed the best diet.
Pesticides and other junk can make its way onto the grass they eat too. Still, to me, free-range has more positive associations than the alternative.
2. Reputable sellers
A reputable seller is a must when it comes to anything I buy for my pets. While Amazon is a great source for things like toys and gear, I’m very leery of buying food there unless it’s sold by Amazon directly or it’s from a company I know that is selling through Amazon to supplement their own business. For example, Best Bully Sticks.
They’re one of my absolute favorite sources for bully sticks. They have their own online store, but I often prefer to buy through their Amazon shop because I have Prime.
When I order from them on Amazon, I know I’m getting their quality.
Only Natural Pet is also an amazing source for bully sticks for puppies.
Not only do they always have great sales going on, but ONP is 100% dedicated to making sure everything they sell meets the highest standards.
They have a good assortment of bully sticks that are perfect for puppies, including bully rings pictured above.
3. Low-Odor Bully Sticks
The odor factor is totally a personal thing. I prefer low-odor because, to be totally honest, bully sticks stink.
Like really, really stink!
When you have a puppy who tends to be messier than an older dog, if you go with the regular odorific ones, you’ll most likely end up with a pooch that stinks from head to toe by the time he’s done chewing.
Only Natural Pet has great low-odor bully sticks. Best Bully Sticks has a ton of low-odor or odorless versions too.
Related: can puppies have rawhide chew sticks?
If you don’t care about the odor, you can get the regular stinky kind.
Like I said, this factor is totally a matter of personal preference. Nothing about the odor is dangerous.
If you order from a reputable source, nothing about the removal of the odor is dangerous either.
I think that about covers bully sticks for puppies! If you feel like I missed anything that you wanted to know more about, feel free to let me know in the comments! If you have any thoughts or disagree with anything I said, weigh in on that too. We love hearing from you.