Bully Sticks Dog Chews

Are Bully Sticks Safe For Dogs?

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Bully sticks are a popular treat for dogs because they’re long-lasting, easy to carry around and delicious (according to your pup). But are bully sticks truly safe for dogs?

These chews can be a great source of protein for your dog. They’re also higher in quality than other treats because they normally don’t contain any artificial flavors or preservatives. But, like all treats, they do need to be given in moderation.

It is essential to consider the size of your dog as well when introducing bully sticks as a treat. If you have an aggressive chewer who tends to swallow anything whole without chewing, then you may need a bully stick holder. Bully stick holders help prevent your dog from gulping down the last large piece of a bully stick.

Our top 10 recommendations for bully stick holders

Let’s discuss in further detail bully sticks and what to look for before buying them for your dog.

A bully stick in one of the top bully stick holders, the Bully Buddy

What are bully sticks?

We’ll start by answering the question on everyone’s mind – yes, bully sticks are bull penis. According to a survey from the Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, about half of dog owners don’t know this fact.

This dried muscle is a tasty teat for your pup and can be a great chew. Bully sticks are made through a thorough process of dehydration. Sometimes, these treats are made using additional procedures like smoking or baking to treat the bacteria, while all the nutrients remain intact.

Are bully sticks safe for dogs?

You may have heard conflicting opinions about the safety of bully sticks for dogs, so the answer to this question can feel a bit gray. Most reputable sources (such as the American Kennel Club) say that pizzles are one of the best chew options for a dog and provide readily digestible protein and fats. These same sources say that these chews contain low-fat and taurine (an amino acid that aids with heart muscle health).

While bully sticks are considered safe, you still need to purchase high quality products from reputable companies to ensure their process properly removes the bacteria. Also, as with any treat, supervise your dog’s chew time.

Nutritional benefits of bully sticky

Mental health benefits

A bully stick is an excellent treat for dogs of all ages. Humans often do different things in the name of hobbies to keep our minds occupied and the same is the case with our furry friends. Mental stimulation is incredibly important for your dog. Not properly working your dogs mind can make your pup bored. As often discussed on, boredom is when a dog gets into trouble.

Chewing different things is an activity that dogs enjoy and will help occupy their time. Bully sticks offer one of the best and safest ways for dogs to chew on while also keeping their mind occupied!

The natural act of chewing and licking can be a calming relief for anxious pets. Not to mention the endorphins released provide mental stimulation as well! If you have any dog that suffers from phobias or anxiety, bully sticks can be great help.

Dental benefits

One of the primary and most crucial benefits that makes the bully stick great is its benefits for oral health. Bully sticks have a hard texture, and even if your dog is an aggressive chewer, he will have to spend time chewing on them. If you have a small breed dog, they can spend a whole day chewing on a bully stick. The mechanical abrasion that occurs due to chewing will help remove tartar.

Full of nutrition

Bully sticks are perfect for your pup because they’re all natural and made from that single ingredient discussed prior (bull penis if you forgot). They contain no artificial additives, flavors, or chemicals – just pure protein full of amino acids that are great for their muscles, coat, and skin!

Available in different sizes

Bully sticks for dogs are great chew toys. They come in different shapes and sizes, so there’s plenty to choose from! Puppies can start using bully sticks as soon as they have teeth that will allow them to chew on hard food. The dental benefits of these treats make them an excellent choice for any dog lover with an aging pup or young newbie alike – the chewing action is sure to please all age groups!

A bully stick with another one of our recommended bully stick holders, the Bully Grip

Problems associated with feeding bully sticks

Caloric Content

The first and the most critical problem in using bully sticks is that they contain a higher number of calories. From the prior referenced, University of Tuft study, pizzles contain about 9-22 calories per inch. The number of calories increases as the thickness of the stick increases. This means the standard 6” bully stick contains about 90 calories.

The problem of the high caloric content can be addressed by awareness – knowing how many calories a bully stick contains and the amount your dog can have per day.

90 calories from treats in a day is the recommendation for a dog over 60lbs. The general rule of thumb is treats should be about 10% of your dogs daily calories.

That rule of thumb is not helpful if you don’t know much your dog should be eating. For a quick solution, you can use a the Calorie Calculator for Dogs from the Pet Nutrition Alliance. This calculator is designed as a tool for vets and states it “is only a guideline.”

For the long term, we recommend you speak with your vet about your dog’s specific needs.


Many people are concerned about the bacteria due to bully sticks being an all-natural, raw animal muscle. Thankfully, dog’s stomachs and bodies handle infections differently than humans. Their stomachs are far stronger and can deal with bacteria better than ours. But, there is still potential for vomiting or diarrhea if not purchasing high quality pizzles.

A large mitigation to this concern is to be aware of the contamination risk and to ensure you properly handle treats – mainly washing your hands after contact.


Negativity around bully sticks often comes because of the belief that chemicals are used in processing these treats like chlorine. Reputable companies do not use chemicals in their process of making bully sticks. Improperly processed bully sticks have been linked to cancer.

While not a guarantee, purchasing from a reputable company can prevent encountering chemical or bacteria contaminated bully sticks. These companies make sure their process is as hygienic as possible.

A pup with a bully stick holder from West Paw, the Toppl

How to choose a bully stick for your dog?

Bully sticks are available in various sizes, shapes, and textures to suit all dogs’ needs. There are thinner bully sticks for small-breed puppies who need a more delicate chew that will help them get their teeth used to chewing without crushing too much of the stick at once. Heavy chewers should go for braided or knotty bully sticks, which have greater resilience and texture than other types of dog chews.

What you should look for when purchasing your pup’s pizzles:

  • Made up of 100% natural beef
  • From free-range
  • Contain no artificial preservatives
  • Free of hormones and additives
  • No chemicals


Bully sticks are extremely popular among dog owners because of their taste and nourishing qualities. With a few precautions in mind, they are safe to use as well.

So, remember:

  • High Quality
  • No Chemicals
  • Awareness of the calories
Dupe Food

Dog Ice Cream. Homemade Frosty Paws Recipe (Copycat)

Spoiling your dog is half the fun of having your furry family member. I love giving our dog, Fynn different treats and fun snacks. Living in Florida, the summers are long, hot, and humid. Fynn can get pretty hot even just laying in the yard — especially with his black coat.

When I found Frosty Paws at Target, I loved the idea but not the price tag. A pack of four is $3.99 (almost a dollar each). While not crazy expensive, it’s something I would only want to buy as a special treat.

Unfortunately, the price is not the only downside of Frosty Paws. Since Frosty Paws are frozen, it offers a great opportunity for fresh ingredients but instead whey and soy flour top the ingredient list. While there’s no sweeteners or artificial coloring, there’s nothing to celebrate in the Frosty Paws recipe either.

While delicious and devoured by Fynn, I knew I could make a similar version Fynn would love for a quarter of the price.

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Black dog eating Homemade Frosty Paws Recipe
Homemade Frosty Paws are Fynn Approved ✔

What to make your Homemade Frosty Paws in:

pan filled with liners for the homemade frosty paws recipe dog ice cream
  • Small paper cups: Put the paper cups on a baking tray and fill. To store, after frozen, peel the sides off and you have little treat. Put the treats in a container or Ziploc bag and pop back in the freezer.
  • Ice cube Tray: Use a typical ice cube tray then pop out when you want to give a treat to your dog. If you have a lid for the ice cube tray, you can store the treats directly in your tray in the freezer.
  • Mini muffin pan: Just like the ice cube tray, these are the perfect size for your dupe frosty paws. You may need to pop the treats out with a knife. Take the treats out of the pan and put in a Ziploc or plastic container and store in the freezer.
  • Silicone Mold: A great option due to the flexibility. After frozen, you can fold the mold back to get out your treat. To store, put the treats in container and back in the freezer. If you want to be boujee or get picture perfect treats, these bone and pawprint molds are a fun option for your pups treats.
  • Cupcake Liners: A low cost option and easy to find. If you don’t have plans to make this recipe, then cupcake liners are the most likely item you have laying around available to you. Put them on a baking tray like with the paper cups above. If using paper liners, it’s best to stack 2 or 3 together to give them more support (or you may end up with a flood of batter to clean up like me).

Tips and tricks when making your dupe Frosty Paws

  • When making my Frosty Paws, I used fairly cheap mini muffin papers so they did not hold well. My first few overflowed. Make sure not to over fill your cups. If your cups are still not holding firm, use 2 or 3 cups together
  • If you have extra batter, fill some KONGs or other treat dispensers
  • Let your pup lick the bowl. Not actually a tip, just something to make your dog extra happy
Ingredients for the homemade frosty paws honey peanut butter banana and yogurt with the blender in the background

Ingredients for your Homemade Frosty Paws

  • 1 Banana: low calorie and high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. Because of the high sugar, bananas should only be used for treats
  • 2 cups Plain yogurt: no added sugar. Greek yogurt is a great option because there’s less lactose
  • 2 tsp Honey: small amounts are alright for dogs. And bonus points, if local, it can help with allergies. (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter: Filled with healthy fats and protein a great treat NO XYLITOL
Blender on counter with yogurt, honey and peanut butter to make the homemade Frosty Paws recipe dog ice cream

How to store your copycat Frosty Paws

These frozen treats can last for months in the freezer. Keep them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Homemade dupe frosty paws on tray in the freezer

How to make your copycat Frosty Paws

  1. Blend your bananas and yogurt. Once blended, add your peanut butter and honey and blend again until smooth. By adding second, the sticky peanut butter and honey will blend better.
  2. Pour the mixture into your molds, cups or tray.
  3. Put your treats in the freezer until hardened. Generally 6 hours but may need to freeze over night.
  4. Feed to your pup and watch them enjoy.
  5. Store in an air tight container or zip lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
Black dog licking lips after eating homemade ice cream
Fynn thinks we should make frosty paws every day
Pinterest pin for Homemade dog ice cream with black dog licking lips