What Are Bully Sticks Made of

Many people use bully sticks for dogs, but what are they made of? Are they safe for dogs? Should you give them to your dog? Let’s find out about the best bully sticks and their pros and cons for your dog.

Bully sticks are dog treats made from beef or steer penis. They are natural and long-lasting, good for keeping dogs busy. Choose them from trusted sources for safety. Dogs love them, and they’re a simple, natural treat to consider for your pet.

What Are Bully Sticks Made of?

Bully sticks come from the bull’s private parts (mostly bull penis). The manufacturers stretch and twist them. Then, they dry them, usually by taking out the wetness. Sometimes, they bake or smoke them instead.

Some people also use chemicals or radiation to get rid of bad germs. Once they’re totally dry, they cut them into 6-, 12-, or 30-inch pieces and pack them up.

Nutritional Information About Bully Sticks

Bully sticks are mostly protein, around 80-90%. They have very little fat, only about 3%. When it comes to cholesterol, it’s low.

So, bully sticks are a good source of protein for your dog, with low fat and cholesterol. Keep this in mind when you give them a treat.

Why A Beef Penis Is Used In Bully Sticks?

Even though fancy restaurants don’t serve beef penis, dogs love it. In fact, it’s natural for dogs to eat all parts of their prey, including puzzles. Dogs and wolves go for the nutritious organs first because they’re rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Beef pizzles are safer than rawhide and bones because they don’t splinter and are easy to digest. Moreover, they help clean your dog’s teeth as they eat.


  • Bully sticks are made from a single natural ingredient, usually beef or steer penis.
  • Bully sticks are hard and durable and often a chewing enjoyment for dogs.
  • They offer a high protein content, which is essential for your dog’s muscle development and overall health.
  • Compared to some other chews, bully sticks are easily digestible and less likely to splinter.
  • Chewing on bully sticks can help in cleaning your dog’s teeth and gums.


  • Bully sticks can have a strong and sometimes unpleasant odor, which some pet owners may find bothersome.
  • Bully sticks are calorie-dense due to their high protein and fat content, which can cause weight gain in dogs.

The Manufacturing Process of Bully Sticks

Bully sticks are usually dried, cooked in different ways, and air-dried, but methods can vary. Manufacturers use different standards and processes. Bully sticks are often baked or smoked with just a couple of ingredients.

Bully sticks vary in shape and size for different dogs. Make it fun by offering different shapes. They have a distinct smell that dogs like, but it can be strong for us. Some have less smell and may be easier for us. Good ones are made to reduce the smell by managing ingredients and drying them carefully. Heat and moisture during drying affect the smell.

Why Is Sodium Metabisulfite Important In Manufacturing Bull Sticks?

Manufacturers use sodium metabisulfite to reduce the smell and change the color of bully sticks. But if they follow the right steps, they can make low-odor sticks without chemicals. It includes using fresh materials, cleaning and cutting them well, and cooking them at the right temperature and time.

The FDA and other experts worry about sodium metabisulfite. It can cause allergies and harm vitamin B1, which is important for brain and body functions. The FDA says it’s unsafe in meat products. But some bully sticks still use it, even though it’s risky.

We couldn’t find any bully stick sellers saying they use this preservative. We suggest dog owners talk to their local bully stick sellers to make sure sodium metabisulfite isn’t in their sticks. It keeps dogs safe and healthy.

Bully Sticks Are Dog-Friendly Entertainment

Natural bully sticks last longer than rawhide and are good for most dog owners. They’re not ideal for quick training, but great to keep your dog busy and distracted, especially if they like to chew a lot.

If you have a puppy, find bully sticks made entirely of beef for them. Give your dog a stick if they’re bored or anxious, but be careful not to reward bad behavior.

If your dog gets upset when you leave, give them a stick to focus on. It’s better to remove the chew if you’re worried about leaving them alone with it. Bully sticks keep dogs entertained and away from chewing on furniture for a while.

Are Bully Sticks Safe For Dogs?

Dogs have strong stomachs but can get sick from bacteria. Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea. To avoid this, buy bully sticks from good companies that process them safely.

Bully sticks are high in calories and can have bacteria. Natural products have less processing so some bacteria can stick around. More processing (like irradiation or baking) makes them safer but less natural.

If you give your dog bully sticks, wash your hands and clean where they ate. Bacteria can be really bad for young, old, or sick people.

Keep Your Dog’s Diet Balanced & Healthy

For a healthy dog, manage weight by matching calories eaten with what’s needed weekly. If your dog controls food on other days, one full bully stick won’t affect nutrition or weight. Balance calories by changing treats weekly—maybe a stick one day and veggies the next. Choose wisely for a well-rounded diet. Variety is good for your dog’s nourishment.


Bully sticks are made from beef private parts (usually penis). They are a natural and long-lasting treat for dogs. While they have some odor, they can be a good option for keeping your dog occupied and satisfied. It’s important to choose bully sticks from reputable sources to ensure they are safe for your furry friend. Remember, dogs love them, and they can be a great addition to their diet in moderation.


Do bully sticks have bacteria?

Yes! Bacterial infection is possible with natural remedies. Research found bacteria like Clostridium, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus in a small number of tested bull pizzle products.

Are bully sticks safe for puppies?

Dogs of any age can chew bully sticks, even puppies. They’re not too hard for puppy teeth, so they’re good for teething. But puppies have sensitive stomachs, so limit chew time to 5-10 minutes.

Can bully sticks cause weight gain in dogs?

Bully sticks are usually low in fat, unlike pig ears. They contain about 10% fat and 75-85% protein. It makes them a good choice for animals watching their fat intake.

By Gagnon

Dedicated Veterinarian with a passion for animal care and well-being. Extensive experience in diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions in diverse animal species. Committed to providing compassionate and effective healthcare to furry and feathered friends.