You bring your puppies home and notice it chewing on just about everything! Rather than give them those puppy chew treats, try a bully stick. They are for puppies are supposed to be a healthy alternative to rawhide and cooked bones, but you’ll need to be aware of the possible risks before you pick one up.
Also Read: Our roundup of the best dog treats to try
Table of Contents
Are They Safe For Puppies?
These chew treats are made from beef pizzle and come in various sizes for all types of puppies. They can be plain, braided, or even twisted into rings. Sometimes whole sticks that are 30 to 40 inches long are available, but you’ll usually find smaller pieces cut into sections for you to buy.
Because most of them are made using natural preservatives, you can be sure your puppies are only digesting good protein while getting entertainment. Some manufacturers even use only natural apreservatives or pizzle from free-range cattle.
Bully sticks may be a safe alternative to other chew treats, but they can still cause intestinal blockage if large chunks are swallowed. For the most part however, these sticks are safe. If your pet is particularly strong or determined, they may start to chew off large chunks. Thanks to the all-natural ingredients, the stick is digestible and shouldn’t cause any intestinal issues. Extremely large pieces may still be problematic in the intestines, but more than that, they can cause your dog to choke.
In this case, you may want to try some alternatives like antler sections, which don’t break off very easily, or even something like a Kong toy to keep them similarly occupied. Whatever you do, don’t substitute for rawhide or cooked bones. These cause frequent blockages, internal splintering in the intestines, and even chipped teeth. Bully sticks are much safer.
Benefits For Your Puppies
They usually contain glucosamine and chondroiton, both of which help support joint growth. The fact that they’re high in protein and low in fat makes them a healthy chewing option, especially for puppies with weight issues.
All the chewing your dog does will support great dental health too, and is the biggest health benefit you’ll see. The action of repetitive chewing allows your dog to strengthen their teeth while reducing the amount of tartar and plaque buildup. Sometimes chewing can even stop cavities from forming, and prevent gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. You still need to brush your dog’s teeth of course, but bully sticks are a great addition.
Another big benefit is in the entertainment your dog will get. Fun chews like these will deter your dog from chewing up your slippers or furniture! Just make sure to keep an eye on your dog while they’re chewing to be sure they’re safe. Yes, they can swallow pieces and digest them just fine, but you don’t want them to get too excited and end up choking.
How Long Should A Puppy Chew On A Bully Stick?
Companies sometimes say on their packaging that your dog should only be chewing for shorter amounts of time to prevent gas or other intestinal issues. Actually, most people agree that no, there is no set amount of time for chewing. The general consensus is that you can leave one out when you’re gone or for a half hour with supervision. For the most part, it’s ok if your dog chews as long as they’re not breaking off pieces or the stick hasn’t gotten too small. With supervision, everything should be just fine.
How Long Does One Last?
In terms of how long it should last, that depends on how often you let your puppies chew and how you store it intermittently. Lots of owners just leave one out and replace it when their puppies are finished. That’s just fine, but if you want it to last even longer, you can keep it in a neutral or cold environment. A resealable bag is perfect, but really as long as you keep it out of the sun, it won’t smell and your dog can keep chewing.
Are Bully Sticks Digestible If Swallowed?
Unlike rawhide or other types of cooked bones, they are a single-ingredient protein item. This means that they’re fully digestible, and can even be consumed. If your puppies do break off a piece, they shouldn’t have to worry too much about intestinal issues. You still need to supervise your puppies however since it’s never a good idea for them to just swallow huge pieces. Some puppies may swallow food and treats without chewing, and may swallow large pieces whole. This can pose a choking hazard more than anything. Just exercise caution and watch your puppy while they’re chewing. You can even attach a vice grip to the end of the stick to prevent them from swallowing the last inch when it gets down to the wire.
Your puppy probably has a tendency to chew on just about everything in your house! After finding yet another chewed slipper, I’m sure you’re looking for an alternative. Bully sticks are a great option for you then. Your puppy can chew on one without you needing to worry too much, and as long as you’re aware of the risks, you can be sure your furry friend is safe.