Are Bully Sticks Good For Dogs?

Jocelyn Bishop
April 19, 2017

Pet Nutrition

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Ask most dog owner what their dog’s favorite chew is and “bully sticks” will likely be the answer.

Here at Redbarn, we happen to be pretty familiar with bully sticks for dogs. For more than 20 years, Redbarn has been one of the leading producers of bully sticks for the pet industry. Over the years, we have fielded many questions about bully sticks: Are bully sticks safe for dogs? Are bully sticks good for dogs? What are bully sticks made of? The list goes on and on…

Since we have such a robust history with bully manufacturing and sales, who better to set the record straight about bully stick facts?

With many positive things to talk about, we thought we’d focus on a few of the best things about bully sticks.

What are Bully Sticks?

If you’re new to bully sticks, the first thing you might be asking is, “What are bully sticks made from?” That’s a great question! When it comes to bully sticks ingredients, you’ll be happy to know that they are a single ingredient chew (so no long and complicated ingredients panel). But if you look at a chart of cattle anatomy, you won’t see ‘bully stick’ listed on there. So what are they? The short answer is that bully sticks are beef pizzle. Pizzle is an all-natural muscle and is very similar to single-ingredient products like beef tendon straps or other dog jerkies. You may also hear them called ‘bully bones’ or ‘bully chews’ – these are just other names for bully sticks for dogs.

If you’re still asking yourself, but what is beef pizzle? That’s a great question too. You might want to sit down for this one though. Are you ready? Beef pizzle is bull penis. If learning that makes you want to swear off buying any more bully chews, we suggest you keep reading.

[Tweet “What are bully sticks? Great question! The simple answer is pizzle, the more complicated answer is…”]

Why Pizzle?

When people find out that bully sticks are made from beef pizzle (bull penis), their reaction is often, “Ew. Why?” It might seem gross to us, but dogs love beef pizzle because of the strong flavor and taste. Dogs love organ meats, like pizzles, because they closely mimic their ancestral diet.

Beyond being a treat that your dog thinks is tasty, there are a lot of things that make bully sticks a great single-ingredient chew.

Bull Pizzle is:

Free From

  • Preservatives
  • Soy
  • Grains
  • Wheat
  • Artificial flavors

Guaranteed

  • 100% Beef
  • Highly Digestible
  • High Protein
  • Great for All Life Stages

Point being? Beef Pizzle makes a GREAT single-ingredient treat for your dog. For dogs with stomach sensitivities, allergies or who just love the taste of beef, you can’t beat bully sticks.

Sustainable Dog Chews

At Redbarn, it’s important that we don’t just make products that are good for your pet but are also good for the planet.

Did you know cows requires 28 times more land, six times more fertilizer, and 11 times more water compared to those other food sources? That adds up to about five times more greenhouse gas emissions.

At Redbarn, we work with ranchers to buy parts of the cattle that might otherwise be thrown away. To be clear, the reasons these parts would otherwise be thrown away is not because there is anything wrong with them, but because outside of the pet industry there is little to no demand for them. 

While there are some companies in the human food space that are working to use the whole animal, there are many body parts that are not considered appropriate for human consumption and/or many people aren’t interested in eating them (pizzle, anyone?).

While some people are dismissive of these byproducts, we believe that when they are high in quality and from an ethical source there are many animal body parts that can become great chews for your dog! This includes the beef pizzle that we use for bully sticks, along with hooves, steer horns, tails, esophagus, lung and ears. We use every part of the animal, which helps farm operations become more sustainable.

The Benefits of Bully Sticks

Digestibility

Bully sticks are 100% beef muscle. They contain only one ingredient– beef pizzle. Bully sticks are a highly palatable, tough chew that most dogs find irresistible.

Redbarn bully sticks are a great chew option for your dog. They are all-natural and have no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or additives. We slow roast them in their own juices to bring out the natural flavors that dogs love.

Redbarn Bully Sticks are a single ingredient chew that you can feel good about giving to your dog because they are highly palatable and fully digestible.

Complete digestibility and our stringent QA testing ensure that Redbarn bully sticks aren’t just good for your dog but are one of the best chew options for almost any dog no matter breed, size or age.

As with any treat, though, supervision is important. Bully Sticks are highly digestible, but be sure your dog isn’t breaking off large pieces that can pose a choking hazard.

 Dental Health Benefits

 

With all of the emerging information about how important dental health is to the overall health of dogs, pet parents face the challenge of how to keep their pup’s teeth clean.

If your dog has a buildup of plaque, the best thing you can do is to schedule a professional cleaning. Next, start a regular routine of wiping or brushing his teeth. You’ll also want to start providing tough chews, like bully sticks, to help maintain your pups pearly whites.

If you have a puppy, start brushing his teeth right away so he is comfortable with the process. You should also provide tough chews on a regular basis to support healthy teeth and gums. Incorporating the act of chewing and gnawing on tough chews into your dog’s routine helps to maintain clean and healthy teeth and gums.

Curious about how Bully sticks help improve your dog’s teeth? At first, it might seem counter-intuitive that by eating, your dog will have cleaner teeth. The easy answer? It’s all in how your dog chews.

The mechanical action of chewing tough chews, like Bully Sticks, promotes dental health by naturally scraping teeth and gums. This “scraping” helps to remove harmful plaque and reduce buildup, keeping your dog’s teeth cleaner. This is because chewing scrapes away any buildup before it has a chance to really stick onto the teeth.

High Concentration of Protein

Dogs are opportunistic carnivores. That means that they prefer and thrive on protein but will certainly eat most anything. Since we know that they are healthiest and thrive on a protein-based diet, why not give them chews that foster their best health? One great way to support your dog’s protein intake is with natural chews!

Redbarn bully sticks come from high protein beef muscle. They are also rich in amino acids that help support muscles, brain, skin, and coat.

Redbarn Bully Sticks are fully digestible, high in protein and support dental health. Show your pup how much you love him by giving him a treat that supports his dental health and gives him the protein he needs to thrive!

Types of Bully Sticks

We offer different sizes, from 3 inches to 36 inches. Redbarn even has a line of mini bully sticks, which are perfectly sized for smaller breeds! While straight bully chews are the most popular, Redbarn produces a variety of bully shapes so you can find the best bully for your dog.

Shaped Bully Sticks

Wondering what varieties of bully sticks are available? If you’re already a fan of bully sticks or a natural chew expert, you might be asking yourself “Why Should I Choose Shaped Bully Sticks?” What’s special about them?

For dogs who need something more to chew on, shaped bully sticks offer a fun challenge to keep pups happy and busy. Every dog is different, so your dog will have their own personal preference for bully stick shapes.

Here are a few of the bully shapes available:

Why Choose Redbarn Bully Sticks?

When it comes to dog treats, you have a lot of options out there! There are a few reasons that we believe we produce the best beef pizzle on the market.

High-quality products are important to us.

Good Bully sticks start with good raw materials. At Redbarn, it starts with the cattle.

Redbarn Naturals Bully Sticks come from free-range, grass-fed cattle that are raised with a healthy grass diet, as nature intended. Our grass-fed beef chews come from both Bulls and Steers. In the end, the result is a natural goodness manufactured in our own plant to strict quality control standards. The same standards we expect for our own dogs passed down to the ones you love!

Redbarn Bully Sticks are whole and never sliced in half.

At Redbarn, we think that you should get more Bully for your buck. What does this mean? Some bully stick multipacks feature bully sticks that are cut down the middle. When sticks are sliced, they’re thinner and can be chewed through more quickly. Look for the green label to make sure you’re getting guaranteed Redbarn Bully.

Other Redbarn Guarantees

  • We sort steer sticks from bully sticks, so you’re getting a thicker stick. Better yet, we even identify them differently on our packaging, so you can be sure to get the size your dog prefers.
  • Redbarn processes our Bully Sticks naturally, without artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors, etc. Nothing artificial, nothing added.

Redbarn has been producing bully chews for 20 years and is one of the largest Bully Stick producers in the world.

When We Say Natural…

We don’t add any chemicals or artificial ingredients to our Bully Sticks. Many consumers don’t realize that odor-free bully sticks are treated with chemicals to eliminate the smell.

Redbarn produces only natural low odor bully sticks. After we clean and cook them, we give them a bath with a natural Yucca solution to reduce the odor. That’s it! When you’re treating with Redbarn Bully Sticks, you’re giving natural ingredients, minimally processed to your dog.

Safely Sourced

Where do we get all this great beef? It’s a good question. While we actively try to source ingredients from the United States, some ingredients from abroad are higher quality than ingredients found in the United States. Our bully sticks are sourced and manufactured in South America at a Redbarn-owned plant that we hold to the same quality assurance standards as our Kansas-based facility.

Redbarn Pet Products believes in keeping the quality of our products, like our natural bully sticks to the highest possible standards.

Our Guarantee

Treat your pet with confidence, each and every stick! At Redbarn quality is #1. We have strict quality assurance specifications in our factories to ensure the freshest bully sticks go out our doors for your dog to enjoy. Learn more about the Redbarn Guarantee.

Our Quality Assurance Procedures

At Redbarn Pet Products, we work hard to ensure that we manufacture the highest quality and safest pet food and treats. We take our Quality Assurance standards seriously. We invest both time and money into our quality assurance programs: purchasing new machinery, hiring skilled and educated staff, and utilizing up-to-date and improved processing and testing protocols.

Redbarn maintains three fully equipped labs: one devoted to quality assurance physical and chemical testing of materials and product, one for microbiological testing, and one dedicated to product development.

Our in-house labs are set up to test pH, moisture levels, water activity levels, and salt levels as well as perform microbiological tests such as aerobic plate counts, anaerobic plate counts, coliform counts and Salmonella screening. We do initial testing on the raw bully materials, then test them again after they’ve been cooked!

Our product development lab has capabilities for trial batches of new and improved items in our product line.

Finally, we utilize an outside ISO accredited laboratory for additional biological and chemical testing, for verification of our procedures and tests results, and for special projects.

Every product that we manufacture in both our Kansas and Paraguay plants is subjected to our high-quality control standards.

Your Pet’s Safety is Our Priority

Together with internal and external monitoring and auditing, we feel that we have industry-leading quality and safety protocols in place to ensure the final product you receive is of the highest quality. With this degree of quality, you can feel treating your dog to a Redbarn Bully Stick. 

New to feeding your dog bully sticks or other natural chews? Want to talk about why bully chews are good for your dogs? Our friendly customer service team is here to answer all of your questions! Either fill out the form here or call us at 1 (800) 775-3849, Monday-Friday between 8 am and 5 pm PST.

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