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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dog Chews | Bully Sticks (part 2)

This is a supplemental post to "Bully Sticks | Dog Chews". In my follow up research, I found out something that must be mentioned: Unfortunately, dog chews and bully sticks can both be affected by salmonella, as stated by the FDA. I'm not saying there won't be any chewing on the most favorite dog chews, I'm just saying that it is good to be aware and a bit on the cautious side. All responsible dog owners have to be aware that there is no treat, chew, or toy that is 100% safe. 

Bully Sticks, also known as pizzle, beef pizzles, pizzle sticks, beef sticks, and steer six, are made of bull penises. That is the only ingredient in them. The bull's (approximately 23" long) penis is, um, removed, cleaned, and hung to drain and dry, hopefully getting rid of the stinky smells during that process. Next, the bully sticks are stretched, braided, and/or twisted and eventually dried. Sometimes they are smoked to add flavor and make them more interesting for your dogs. The end result is a thirty to forty inch long dog chew that is hard to chew and that can be cut to any size you desire. In order to save money, we usually buy the largest size we can find and then use a Dremel tool or a hand saw to chop it down and divide between the three dogs. The cats have really no interest in this particular dog treat. I wish I could say the same for our chicken strips. but we have to fight over those.  

To recap:
Dog treats and more specifically dog chews are not to be given freely. Rawhide is one of the most potentially dangerous treats. While the ingredient is the skin of the cow, the dangers can be deadly. Your dog may choke, have his throat and esophagus scraped, and may get a physical obstruction in his intestinal track that can be surgically removed, if caught on time. If your dog loves rawhide and you don't want to deprive him, you're probably better off finding some compressed rawhide which is created under extreme pressure out of layers of beef hide. This type also lasts 2-5 times longer than regular rawhide treats. Cow Hooves, one of our favorites, are not problem-free either. They can break your dog's teeth, and small sharp bits can tear the bowel's wall, something that in most cases causes infection and death. Pig Ears, another favorite of ours, can also cause blockages and may contain salmonella. Some people prefer Nylabone chews thinking they are safer. That's not the case either. They may not splinter of break but there is a danger that your dog will not be able to properly digest the small particles that sometimes are not passed through the digestive system. Just a few short weeks ago we purchased Udders because it was the latest fad and people thought them safer than other dog chews. A few minutes later, we were painfully aware that those too can cause a chocking hazard.  

The only general rule we can all follow is to always remove a dog chew when it gets small enough to become a chocking hazard in and of itself. 

Be careful and stay current and well informed. We sure are worth it.



Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

I am glad that you posted all of this very much impawtant information. I was aware of the dangers and my mom is really really careful about that stuffs. I LOVE cow hooves butt she only lets me have them once or twice a week. I don't get bully sticks any more, beclaws there were some cases of bad sickies in the city near us... caused by bully sticks.
The only thing that my mom lets me have ALL the time are my deer antlers. DAD... gets those for me, along with all the rest of the deer. hehehe It doesn't splinter and it can not have the sickie making things in it. You can actually BUY deer antlers at PetSmart... butt the ones I get are.... FRESH!!!!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Lamb Trakhhea!!
Lamb Ears!!!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Remi said...

Good info. I really like Merrick Jumbo Flossies, but mom would rather me chew on a bully stick because they last longer.

the magic sleigh said...

Woos Twinkie! What great info woo have been presenting!Scampi really loves his bully sticks, but I prefer milkbones....
I see woo have a new kitty too, what fun. Kitties can be nice if woo can restrain yourself to be nice to them too.
~husky kisses~
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Lorenza said...

Hi, Twinkie!
When we read info like the one you gave to us... I am thankful for not having pet stores here where we could buy treats!
Boring rawhide is what we have here and I lost interest in those long time ago.
Chicken jerky is my favorite and my mom makes it for me!
Kisses and hugs

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Hey Twinkie and Co., Thanks for the B.Day wish.
Now about those antlers, I'm thinkin' that I like mine so well beclaws... my dad goes out and hunts the deer and then I get the antlers FRESH... hehehe UNLESS HE GETS A DOE hehehe.
If you want... you can put yours in chicken or beef broth for an hour or so to... rev up the taste.

D.K. Wall said...

Great post. We order our bully sticks from a reputable online source. We were shocked one day in a pet store chain to discover that the bully sticks they were selling were not actually 100% natural, er, bully sticks, but rather had fillers in them. Shocking.

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! Lots of Golden Thanks for the information. I LOVE Bully Sticks ... Oh! My! Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

I don't think I've ever had a bully stick. I checked in a catalog and they don't look like anything I remember having. I'm going to have to speak to my personal shoppers about this. I like a lot of different treats, but I keep 'em guessing as to which ones I'm going to like on any given day. One day I'm all about chicken jerky. The next day not so much. Thanks so much for all the tips.

wags, Lola

Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Mom's always really careful about our treats, but I think you may have just turned her off to Bully Sticks. It's okay because there are other chews we like, but Mom is still going "Eeeeew." (Silly Mom.)

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Mutant Puppy

Kate said...

MMMMMMM I am not allowed trats very often because I get allergies but I do enjoy a good rawhide chew!

I haven't tried bully sticks tho... maybe thats a good thing, I don't wanna eat a bulls Woohoo!

Hope you have a great weekend Twinkie and Family!

Molly the Airedale said...

yummmmmmmmmm - we used to get those all the time but now that I have kidney disease, I'm not allowed to have them any longer. Mom doesn't let Mitch have them either because she doesn't want me to feel bad!
Thanks for the review, Twink!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Thank you for such an informative post Twink! Mom doesn't give us chews though.....I don't like them and Chewy, well, he gets very possessive of his chews and can get downright mean sometimes!!

Chi kisses, Lilibell

Brandon - The dog with a blog said...

Wow Twinkie, lots of good information!


3 doxies said...

Ooooooh Miss Twinkie, I haves missed you soooooo much.
We don't get any of this stuffs cuz mom is afraid one of us will get aggressive. And well, see sometimes her mind wonders and she may furget and go off and do sumptin else. Now that's not a very responsible pet owner if you asks me...hehehehehe!

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Hey Twinkster!! This was a really good post. Our mommy stopped giving us rawhide chews, now we know why! BabyRD swallows her greenies almost whole & they come out in her poo the same way. Yikes. I take my time and chew properly. We need to play catch up on your bloggie now.
Hootie & BabyRocketDog

JacksDad said...

Well, now I've read everything! :)

Sagira said...

So many different treats, such little time...

KB said...

After too many close calls, we've actually given up all chew treats, although we still have a few bully sticks around that we give very occasionally.

I'm wondering if dogs actually get salmonella. I'd read that due to their very short intestinal tract, they were not prone to the same food poisons as we are. I thought that the main risk of salmonella from dog treats was to humans handling them and then forgetting to wash their hands afterwards. However, I don't remember my sources of information.

Thanks for such a comprehensive summary!

I must add that the one intestinal blockage that we had among our dogs was a blessing in disguise. The surgeon found early cancer on both the spleen and the liver while removing the blockage. The cancer was cured and our S (yellow lab) lived another two years until a different kind of cancer finally took him a year ago. So, in a funny way, we thank the blockage for two years of life for S!

Unknown said...

Thank you for all your information. It was nice to read over. I always wondered exactly what bully sticks were until today. Do you know of any sites to purchase bully sticks on? I recently found this one site at It seems pretty good. Tell me what you think, please! - Janie Graham

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