Dog Food Advisor › Forums › Dog Treats › Bully sticks or Rawhide?
April 6, 2014 at 12:48 pm #37922 Report AbuseOnyxMomMember
Hi, I have a 12 week old puppy (Newfoundland and Standard poodle) mix who loves to chew on things. I was hoping to find something that I could give him to keep him occupied for some periods when he gets super hyper in the evenings. He is about 25 pounds and has extremely sharp teeth. When he gets hyper and I play with him he play bites a lot and the only thing that calms him is chewing on something else. I am giving him the made of 100% chicken nubz for now, but he goes through a half bone in about 15 mins.
Should I try rawhide or bully sticks? And can people suggest good brands? I am very worried about chemicals, and made in china products because there really seems to be no regulation at all.April 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm #37941 Report Abuse
YES I want to know too. Have a 20 month old GSD. My vet does not like deer antlers and anything else hard which includes BONES because they can easily crack a tooth and then you REALLY have a problem. I was surprised but she said if I saw some of the problems she sees due to cracked teeth I would agree with her. Rawhide is not digested so I do not give them to my dogs. Greenies are supposedly VERY BAD- plus our GSD chewed the XL ones in one minute. I found the website BESTBULLYSTICKS.com and they seem to have good ones. Go read that site. They explain WHY theirs are better. I ordered some and he LOVES THEM and a 12 inch takes him about 30 min. I take it from him after 15 min. I put them in the freezer a few days, thinking it will help with ANY bacteria left on the sticks. THe company says there is no bacteria due to their processing, but you never know. When this dog started getting runny stools I quit giving them to him because it COULD be bacteria in the stick that he cannot deal with. Now I’m dealing with runny stools. I also bought him a VARSITY BALL which is at Amazon and on the net. They are expensive but honestly this is more entertaining than a chew toy could ever be. Watch the videos of dogs playing with that toy. Plus, it wears him out. He cannot get enough of it. You might consider spending your chew toy money on this great entertainment. Good luck.April 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm #37947 Report Abuse
I know there are a lot of people who love bully sticks. I don’t use them simply because my dog turns his nose at them (I think he knows where they come from, LOL!!!).
I don’t think a raw bone would do much harm unless it was a big load-bearing one (shoulder, leg, etc). Possibly try giving him some chicken backs/necks, and even freezing them to make them last a bit longer.
I also like to stuff toys (good rubber that won’t tear, of course) with treats and peanut butter, then freeze. This keeps my heavy chewer busy for a long time 🙂April 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm #37955 Report Abuse
Bully sticks are high fat, so if you have a dog that is sensitive to fat levels that can cause loose stools. I like to give consumable bones and also to stuff Kongs and then freeze them.April 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm #37974 Report Abuse
Patty, what’s your definition of consumable bone? Anything non weight-bearing (beef/pork rib), or just poultry-type bones?April 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm #37984 Report Abuse
Consumable is dog dependant. All non weight bearing bones are consumable for a large dog, but beef ribs and vertebra aren’t consumable for a small dog. Consumable means that they can eat the entire thing within one meal time, so since I can give my Border Collies a beef rib and before their next meal they will have eaten the whole thing, I can consider a beef rib to be consumable. But my JRT can’t ever finish a beef rib, so for her they are not consumable, but she can handle pork ribs just fine.April 6, 2014 at 5:56 pm #37990 Report Abuse
I see. Thank you. I’d guess about any rib would be fine for my 40-70lb dogs….well, no elephant ribs for any of them XDApril 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm #38000 Report Abuse
Not sure what a Consumable Bone is. Brand name? Are you talking about a real bone that they chew up (consume?). Thanks.April 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm #38001 Report Abuse
Duh – sorry. Not sure how I missed your explanation.April 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm #38023 Report AbuseNaturellaMember
I use bully sticks from bestbullysticks.com with great success, but I did notice Bruno having much softer stools after that (I can even tell when the bully stick passes – it makes his poop a different color than the kibble poop). I never thought it would be the fat level, because I thought, since the bully stick is… pizzle, then it should be all spongy muscle, no?April 6, 2014 at 10:41 pm #38063 Report AbuseaquariangtMember
Bully sticks also smell like crazy. But they do the trick. Some of my other favorites for time consuming:
Beef knee caps
Kongs with safe peanut butter (I’m sure you knew this one)
Tracheas (they don’t take much time)
Ligament bones, or plain ligaments
Dried jerky sticks
And of course, I’m always an advocate for feeding them out of trick bowls or treat dispensers, makes a huge difference in the eveningApril 6, 2014 at 11:36 pm #38085 Report AbuseJackie BMember
I never notice a smell with bully sticks. Now, dried tripe sticks are a favorite for my mini poodle, but they DO have a distinct garbage-y smell. Beef tendons can be a good alternative chew for strong-chewer puppies. There are many on the market. Just try and avoid any brands that seem sketchy so far as processing and ingredient-sourcing goes.April 6, 2014 at 11:58 pm #38091 Report Abuse
Good rule of thumb for dogs: the stinkier it is, the tastier the dog finds it, and the more he’ll wanna give you kisses on the face after eating it, of course!!!! XD (my boys always try sneaking in a bite or two of cow, pony, and kitty “leftovers” right before licking my face. Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!)April 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm #38113 Report Abuse
Bully sticks that have been cleaned the right way don’t have that old urine smell. It’s the cheap nasty ones that do.April 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm #38277 Report Abuse
I have been feeding bully sticks from a reputable source for years. I have just had a really bad experience. One of the ‘pizzles’ which is a braided bully I purchased seemed particularly large and ‘bulbous’ unlike any I had seen before. I thought little of it and actually thought it might last longer but the following morning lots of problems began. I divided the pizzle between my two aussies and the following morning woke up to a huge pile of bile vomit with what looked like awful green rubber okra. Obviously it HAD to be be the pizzle because my dogs are not allowed in the yard without supervision so they did NOT get something from the yard or anything from the house. It looked like one of the dogs (probably the male) swallowed several pieces rather whole and what was most disturbing was that it FELT LIKE HARD RUBBER. It changed color from dark green to brown and back to green and back to brown. I could cut it up with a serrated knife but it remained like ‘hard rubber’ and I cannot imagine it EVER breaking down in the stomach. Two days later my female got bloody diahrrea. I put both on chicken and rice only with a spoon of canned pumpkin. They have eaten only fresh boiled chicken and rice now for four days and my female seems okay but my male is still passing heavy mucuous and somewhat soft stools. I am HORRIFIED. I thought these things were ‘DIGESTIBLE’ !! Praying the remainder will move through his system without damage this week. My vet tells me there is no obstruction or else he would be vomiting continuously but I want him back to normal. I will NOT be feeding any more of these !!April 8, 2014 at 11:05 pm #38281 Report Abuse
Oh my gosh. I know too well how it feels waiting for your dog to pass something. I’m really hoping the best for you. Also, please contact the company and let them know what happened. Did you take any pictures you can forward to the company. Again, my fingers are crossed that everything comes out OK. (Literally)April 8, 2014 at 11:11 pm #38283 Report Abuse
My dogs get a bully stick once a week. We always secure them in vice grips to ensure they don’t just swallow them. One of my dogs is very bad about gulping. They last a little bit longer than most chew treats we give them. They love them!April 9, 2014 at 12:18 am #38285 Report Abuse
I bought from a reputable petstore which specializes in organic and holistic dog food. I called them immediately of course. He told me he buys his ‘pizzles’ and bullies from a meat company in Wisconsin. It was the opinion of my veterinarian that something must have gotten into the machines which process these pizzles because he does not believe those were edible product pieces. Of course, how does one PROVE such a thing; I simply KNOW what I gave them and I know that is what it was, which is even more disturbing. Yes, thank you, also praying tomorrow brings better results and his GI tract will calm down and go back to normal without problems. Yes, I have photos of what ‘came up’ and what ‘came out’, as well as bags of the items in my freezer for proof. SIGH.April 9, 2014 at 12:18 am #38286 Report Abuse
p.s. I live in Fort Worth TexasApril 9, 2014 at 12:28 am #38287 Report Abuse
Gosh sorry about such a horrid experience! It does sound like something that just have gotten in during the processing though :/ I’ve not used bully sticks too much, as only one of my boys likes them, and I have other things for him to chew on (sorry, can’t be grossed out enough by what those are made of LOL!). My other boy just sniffs them, then shrinks his head in like a scared turtle, and looks at me like “Please mom. No. Just. No.”April 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm #38321 Report Abuse
Interesting. I’m the one with the now 20 month old GSD with the afternoon loose stools who had been doing beautifully on TOW High Prairie (5 stars) until I transitioned to Origen and Acana. Simultaneous to that I was giving him some Bully Sticks from “BEST BULLY STICKS” (an internet site). I had studied Bully Sticks and the way these were made sounded the best. The small company in Virginia appears to be very conscientious about producing a quality and safe product. They are aware of potential problems re Bully Sticks and say they have implemented some techniques that ensure safety. I had ordered inch thick ones. Have been wondering if he got a particular bacteria from those sticks that contributed to this inflammatory bowel condition he is now in. Our weather was bad during Feb when this started and I gave him one every other day to help tide us all over until our bad weather cleared up. At first I had put them in my deep freeze bec I had read that that would kill any unknown bacteria. Then I stopped doing that. Nice weather is here and I do not plan to give him anymore of those. May freeze the remaining ones all summer in prep for winter. He DID enjoy chewing on them and I do not blame this company. I think they are very committed to producing a sound product. They have an interesting video on their web site.April 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm #38328 Report Abuse
I no longer trust them to feed any more unless I have manufactured myself from my own free range cattle. Unfortunately it ususally ends up being the processing plants and equipment at fault, i.e., machines which are not properly or regularly cleaned, foreign objects in the processing equipment, etc. I am learning that one cannot be too careful. I have feed ORIJEN for years; it is a high quality dog food and manufactured on site. I also feed PRIMAL RAW. the ONLY treats my dogs are allowed are dried sweet potato and prior to this – bullies – I use Primal because it is fit for human consumption as is Orijen…this is a scary time and one cannot be too careful. I am still seeing dark green stools today so I know whatever this is still trying to move through their systems. Today I add Probiotic. The store which sold me this bully is the best store in this part of the state regarding quality but this proves anything can happen. Diligence and more diligence. I don’t think your problem is the Orijen but did you mix it with the other food to introduce slowly? Are you feeding Six fish or meat? I have seen some rumblings about Arcana this week….on Susan Thixton’s site.April 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm #38356 Report Abuse
Putting them in the freezer is a great idea. I’m going to do that from now on. Thanks!April 28, 2014 at 11:30 am #40378 Report AbuseSuburban GalMember
Gizmo, my 7-year-old papillon, gets rawhide and bully sticks. He likes both, but prefers bully sticks.
If you’re going to give rawhide, just stay away from anything made in China or any other country with subpar or inferior standards.
Personally, I go out of my way to ensure whatever I buy Gizmo is made in the United States. If not here, the a country that has similar standards like Canada, the U.K., Holland, Australia, New Zealand, etc… .January 22, 2015 at 5:57 pm #64716 Report AbuseEquine-n-CanineMember
I just discovered bully sticks at a local pet boutique shop. First, I can’t believe how expensive they are, kind of crazy but my dogs LOVE them. Has anyone used the brand angustreats. Seems to be new on the market possibly. Not finding much info other than trademarks, etc. Currently they get Ferrera Farms.
Thanks!January 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm #64739 Report AbuseNaturellaMember
Equine-n-Canine, if you order from http://www.petflow.com or http://www.bestbullysticks.com, you can get better deals on bully sticks. 🙂
But no, haven’t heard of those 2 brands you mention.January 31, 2015 at 5:12 am #65531 Report AbuseKimi_foreverMember
crazy4cats, actually bestbullysticks recommends putting them in the freezer or refrigerator, they do not recommend it for killing bacteria but instead to keep them fresh as they are a natural treat, they also say you do not need to thaw them when you take them out….but obviously for long term strorage putting them in the freezer is best…
deborah: i understand wanting to control the process under which your dogs food comes from, but do you honestly think it’s in any way practical to raise your own free range grass fed cattle and produce your own bully sticks? that sounds almost insane to me????? but on a serious note i am totally curious about susan thixton’s rumblings on champion pet food, that is if she decided to make that information public and not try to get a profit from it by making it private and selling it to people willing to pay for her opinion…March 15, 2015 at 8:42 pm #68870 Report AbuseJohn MMember
in case nobody knows this apparently appears to be a thing and appears to be superior to all of these things.
okay ya do know
April 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm #70774 Report AbuseJamie KMember
- This reply was modified 8 years ago by John M.
I was checking out some other information on the site when I saw this post under recent topics. I figured I’d chime in since I give my two girls bully sticks on the regular. They absolutely love them, and yes it is true they do smell awful, but I cannot deny them one of their simple doggie pleasures! I only buy them from bestbullysticks.com and have been for about 2 years now. Not only do they have the bully sticks, but sooo many other natural dog bones and chews. Just some of the many I have purchased: bison cartilage, beef tendons, cow, lamb, & bison ears, bull wrinkles, moo snouts, marrow, knuckle, & femur bones. Aside from beef chews they have; bison,chicken,lamb,venison,pork and a few more. My dogs have never once gotten sick from anything I have purchased from them. I highly recommend their products. Great quality and seem to be cheaper than most that carry them. I ran out one time and grabbed a 5 pack at the grocery store of a well known brand, I cannot remember the name at the moment, and both my girls had diarrhea for most of the night. Sorry for the lengthy review, but I just wanted pass along the info because as you know a lot of products made for dogs these days are loaded with crap, and it’s hard to find quality products from a trusted brand. Hope this helps with anyone new to buying bully sticks!!April 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm #71202 Report Abusecarol cMember
Hmmm! I have a 4,4 lb chi that I occ. will buy a bully stick for. Actually just paid $7.99 for one at Tractor Supply. It was made in Paraguay. It is about a foot long and should last him quite awhile. I was thinking they were more cartilage then high in fat and a much safer alternative then other chewy things out there. They only smell like pee if you put your nose right into it. Point is- are the Paraguay ones ok? Should I be putting it into the freezer or Fridge when he isn’t using it?September 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm #78802 Report AbuseLinsey HMember
Jamie K, thanks so much for your input on our natural bully sticks and other chews- we appreciate it and your business. We hope your pups continue to enjoy :).February 27, 2016 at 6:37 pm #83408 Report AbuseRhonda TMember
I give my Izzy (Maltese and Yorkie) bully sticks from Only Natural Pets. Made in the USA. Natural.November 28, 2016 at 6:28 am #92082 Report AbuseCarleen LMember
Just wondering…has anyone had experience with allergies to the bully sticks. It seems to me, the day after I give our dog one, she licks her butt like crazy!!!!!November 28, 2016 at 10:27 am #92086 Report AbuseLinsey HMember
Carleen, we haven’t heard of that side effect at BestBullySticks before. If your dog isn’t used to chewing bully sticks, it’s important to know that they are high in protein and can cause looser stools, especially at first.
Do you know if she is sensitive to beef in general? For dogs who don’t tolerate beef well, we suggest other protein chews like lamb or chicken.
Hope her condition gets better!December 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm #92789 Report AbuseBarb CMember
I work at Petco, and have often wondered if Bully sticks have the same issue as rawhides, with pieces being able to be chewed off, and swallowed, causing bowel obstruction. i imagine they digest (?) about the same as rawhides.
I’d appreciate any input or information. ThanksDecember 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm #92792 Report AbuseanonymousMember
http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/blog/harmful-side-animal-sourced-dog-chews (excerpt below) click on link for full article.
Cow hooves and pigs ears are what the name implies.
Marrow bones are from the long bones of cows and pigs.
Rawhides are the skin of cows.
Antlers come from either deer or elk.
So what do you think bully sticks are? Think about this one. Give up? They are bull penises! Hmm.
There are some dangers with all of these items. All of these have the potential and can cause intestinal obstructions, but equally important are the dangers that come from the way these are processed. They are first soaked for hours in a caustic lye solution to digest the undesirables off the skin and then to remove the lye the skin is then soaked in bleach solution. Sounds yummy. Many of the rawhides come from China where they have been known to use arsenic compounds to preserve them.
There is no regulation of rawhides or pigs ears. You really have no idea where these come from.
Marrow bones and antlers cause many broken teeth. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t want me to hit you in the kneecap with it, your dog should not be chewing on it. I can not tell you how many expensive extractions are the result of dogs chewing bones.
Also, you can use the search engine here to look up topics. I am sure that if you Google enough, you will find articles to support your opinions (whatever they may be).
I have found that I get the best results by listening to a veterinarian that has actually examined the pet in question.
I prefer science based veterinary medicine.December 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm #92797 Report Abuse
Hi Barb C-
We give our dogs a bully stick once a week. They are aggressive chewers, therefore we put the sticks in a vice grip so they do not try to swallow them without chewing them up. They are 5-1/2 years old and have not had an issue with them. They’re a little stinky and they love them! Rawhide scares me and I’ve never given it to them. Hope this helps!April 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm #97476 Report AbuseKari PMember
I had a foster dog nearly choke on a rawhide bone. It partially obstructed his airway for close to half an hour and I had to encourage him to keep drinking water until it softened enough for him to swallow it. I will never give rawhide to another dog.
The best chews are ones that are hard enough to provide resistance and help clean the gum line but not so brittle that they splinter or can break into chunks small enough to swallow. Really hard chews, like hard antlers and bones, can break teeth. It is important to keep in mind that not all antlers and bones are the same. Elk antlers tend to be softer than those from deer, and split antlers are softer than whole antlers. Also, fresh sheds are softer and much safer for dogs than older sheds, which tend to be whiter in color and very brittle. These antlers are harder and can splinter, but being lower quality they are generally much cheaper. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the broken teeth that vets see are due to people giving their dogs poor quality antlers.
Softer supportive “bones” like tracheas provide enough texture and hardness for dogs to enjoy chewing on but are not so brittle that they will splinter or break a dogs teeth.
Some people have good luck with Himilayan dog chews. Our dog devoured his in less than half an hour but some people say they last weeks. These do have some flavor, but the odor is mild and non-offensive, and they don’t stain.
Whimzees are an all natural dental chew that fall into the “hard enough to satisfy the need to chew but soft enough to be easily digestible and not break teeth” category. They aren’t inexpensive though, and they last maybe 5 minutes with our dog.
Chew toys made of durable but flexible rubber are wonderful as well. Whether or not your dog likes these (or destroys them) very much depends on your individual dog but we have a Kong that has lasted our dog as well as a Bionic Bone that he loves.
Our dog’s preferred chew toy is his Nylabone. It is hard and durable enough to last and satisfy his chewing needs, but doesn’t splinter and is not so brittle that it breaks teeth.
For us, the toys are a good option because our dog will fixate on scented/flavored chews and go at them until they are no more. The toys are better for playing with and redirecting him, as we are showing him what is appropriate to bite/chew on, but not giving a “treat” reward for nipping behavior.April 11, 2018 at 9:39 am #113459 Report AbuseMyjayla HMember
I have found that these Jack & Pup are the Best bully sticks for the money
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