How to Safely Give Your Dog a Bully Stick

Redbarn Team June 26, 20193 comments
Small dog with a Redbarn Bully Stick in his mouth

Bully sticks are a durable chew many dogs and pet owners love!

They are a boredom-busting, stress-reducing treat made of 100 percent beef muscle and help support healthy teeth and gums by gently scraping dogs’ teeth as they chew.

While you may know of bully stick’s many health benefits, it is just as important to understand ways to ensure your dog enjoys them responsibly. So, do you know how to feed your dog a bully stick safely?  

As one of the largest manufacturers of bully sticks, Redbarn frequently receives questions from pet parents regarding bully stick safety. For the continued feeding safety of your pet, we want to address some crucial tips to keep in mind when giving your dog a bully stick.

Introducing Your Pet to Bully Sticks

Are you giving your dog a bully stick for the very first time?  

When selecting a bully stick (or any chew) for the first time, it is extremely important you select the size and shape most appropriate for your dog. The size should be larger than your pet’s muzzle to prevent them from swallowing large pieces or any other potential choking risks.

After selecting the proper size, treat your dog to the bully stick for five to 10 minutes. Why? Bully sticks are a high protein treat, and if your dog is not used to digesting such high amounts, they may end up with an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Luckily, responsible pet parents can prevent all those from happening!

A slow introduction to bully sticks can help lower the risk of upsetting your pups tummy and a messy situation. After a close inspection, gradually increase their chew time. We recommend feeding your pup no more than one bully stick a day.

Supervise Your Pet

This is one of the most critical sections of this blog post!

We repeat: please read this.

When giving your pet ANY treat or chew, you, as the pet parent, must monitor them closely to ensure they’re enjoying the chew safely.

That means being in the room, watching them chow down, and listening attentively as they enjoy their bully stick. While Redbarn Bully Sticks are durable, eventually your chewer may power through, breaking off small pieces.

Keep in mind bully sticks are not intended to be swallowed in large pieces. If your dog chews off a chunk that is too big, they could choke or suffer from gastrointestinal blockage. Being in the room with your pet will allow you plenty of time to grab the broken-off piece, avoiding this potential health risk.

Remember, in most cases, chews should be larger than your dog’s mouth.

At Redbarn, we do our very best to put out safe and quality products. Unfortunately, the simple fact is no natural treat or chew can guarantee your pet’s safety. That is why Redbarn believes it’s important to educate pet parents on supervising their pets to decrease the inherent risks that come with consuming any natural animal body part.

And as a bonus, supervision can show you which chews and treats your dog likes the most! Some dogs enjoy our bully braids more, for example, over our traditional straight bullies.

To help you pick the perfect chew for your dog, it always helps to understand their individual chew style. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Bully Sticks

How do I know when to take away my dog’s bully stick?

Take the bully stick away and discard it once it can be swallowed whole (about 2.5- 3 inches in most cases). Some pet owners use vice grips or toys to ensure their pet doesn’t chew past a certain point.

How should I store my dog’s bully stick for the next chew time?

In between treating, to dry the bully stick either let it air dry or use a towel. Then, store the bully stick in a cool, dry place where your pet can’t reach, like a high cabinet or pantry shelf. We do not recommend refrigeration as the moisture could potentially attract bacteria.

Be sure to wash your hands after handling your pet’s bully stick.  

Why should I trust Redbarn Bully Sticks?

Redbarn has industry-leading quality and safety protocols in place to ensure the final product you receive is of the highest quality.

We take our Quality Assurance standards seriously. We continually 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: a quality assurance lab for physical and chemical testing, microbiological testing, and a product development lab.

With this degree of quality, you can feel confident about giving your pet our Redbarn products!

What are some bully sticks alternatives?

We understand bully sticks may not be the best chew option for your dog.

And that’s ok!

Redbarn has over 200 quality treats and chews for pet parents and their dogs to choose from that provide many of the same benefits. For a unique, single-ingredient chew similar to bully sticks try Redbarn Puff Braids, Tripe Twist, and Esophagus Braided Sticks. These esophagus treats are all-natural, grain-free, and will keep your dog engaged with each bite.  

Hopefully, you found our short guide on bully stick safety helpful. Still have more questions? We are here for you and your pet! Feel free to reach out to us at 1-800-775-3849 Monday- Friday 8 am-5 pm PST, or by email at

Do you have some other bully stick safety tips you want to share? Comment below!

Comments (3)

elensgonzals on December 06, 2020

I enjoyed reading your article, and I’m planning to have this for my dogs. A little bit hesitant as I heard about the downside of this bully stick, but upon reading your blog it changes my mind, and I want to give it a try. I’m also thinking about your other alternatives I hope my dogs will love it as a treat for them. For further reading, I found this dog vomit post perhaps it might help anyway, thank you for sharing your article.

ryan.gould on December 06, 2020

Great tips!

Jocelyn Bishop on December 06, 2020

Thank you for reading! #Redbarnfamily

Leave a comment