Whether you’re a new pupper owner, a hardened hound handler, or a selfless stray squire, you’re probably well aware of how doggos of all shapes, sizes, and ages love their treats. What you probably didn’t know is what bully sticks are made of and why it is important to have age-appropriate treats for your new puzzled puppy.
So, what are bully sticks for puppies? In this blog, we’ll give you the ins and outs of why it's important to have age-appropriate treats for your new fluffy family friend, what bully sticks are, and why it might be time to invest in a treat puzzle for your puppy.
Puppy Safety First: Choking Hazards
Before we can talk about what bully sticks for puppies are, it’s important to emphasize that newborn puppies need extra love, care, and attention. While there are plenty of things to be aware of as a puppy parent, the most important one is nutrition and practicing good (and safe) eating habits.
Have you ever been to a theme park and wanted to ride a rollercoaster but you weren’t tall enough to? What about wanting to sit in the front passenger seat (also known as “shotgun”) in a car when you were ten or eleven years old? The point is that there is a reason why these safety restrictions exist: to restrict a human child for his or her own safety.
In puppy terms, you wouldn’t let a human baby eat a ribeye steak at two weeks old so why would you feed your precious puppy a dog treat intended for an adult dog? According to PetMD, a growing puppy needs more protein, fat, and nutrients to grow to its proper size, which is why everyday puppy food is formulated differently from adult dog food. Puppy food is also typically smaller and slightly softer than adult food because of their developing chompers and small mouths compared to their adult counterparts.
While puppies can sometimes be at risk of choking hazards from eating food too fast, this choking hazard risk increases when treats are involved. When giving bully sticks to puppies, it is important to monitor your playful puppy if he or she becomes overly excited about food or treats. Monitor your fluffy friend and make sure they don’t try to swallow the treat whole.
Puppies and Bully Sticks: What They Are
With the safety briefing out of the way, you might ask yourself why these treats are so coveted by your canine. If you didn’t know what bully sticks are made of, then here’s the slightly gross reveal: bully sticks are made from bull penises. These bull penises are often eloquently referred to as the “pizzle” and for good reason, our furry friends get the full zoomies when they’re presented with these wonderful treats.
Premium quality bully sticks are cleaned and rinsed when they arrive at a bully stick factory. A few trade-secret steps later, the pizzle is dehydrated, packaged, and sent to a retailer or directly to your home! The dehydrating process also breaks down some of the products’ fibers so that they bully stick digests easily and eliminates the possibility of splintering and causing harm to your perfect pooch.
According to the American Kennel Club, bully sticks are appropriate for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds. However, we recommend at Bully Bunches to use smaller or specially shaped bully sticks (such as bully rings, bully springs, or bully braids) as a great way to bring peace of mind when giving your cuddly canine this treat. Bully sticks are also calorie-dense and are great to supplement your growing pup’s diet. In a nutritional study about bully sticks, researchers tested twenty-six treats and found that the bully sticks contained approximately 15 calories per inch. With such a nutritionally dense and calorie-rich treat, it's no wonder why our furry fido’s tails wag when they hear the crinkling bag of a bully stick!
You would think that that is all there is to the treat, but bully sticks are more than a one-trick puppy. While bully sticks contain some good bacteria, in a microbial study of dog chews and treats, researchers found in their study that canines who chewed on bully sticks reduced harmful/unwanted bacteria in their teeth and mouth by roughly 60% in comparative sample sizes.
With Great Puppies, Comes Great Pup-sponsibility
Enthusiastic puppies can sometimes choke on new treats that aren’t properly sized. A great way to keep them chewing safely is to use a bully stick holder or some other food puzzle toy. Bully stick holders are fairly self-explanatory: they hold your puppy’s bully sticks. These holders are designed to make it safer and easier to give your puppy a treat without having to worry about choking hazards.
Using treat or food puzzles is a great way to keep your dog entertained and engaged. An added bonus to using treat puzzles is that your tiny velociraptor will be too busy trying to solve treat puzzles and thus saving your couch cushions and table legs from a ghastly gnawing.
Perfect Treats for Perfect Puppies
With so many pros to these treats, it’s easy to see how and why these delightful dog treats have gained such popularity across the US and Canada. Puppies that chew on bully sticks get the extra calories that their developing bodies need while also cleaning their teeth and staying away from your furniture. At Bully Bunches, we call that a win-win!
For premium quality puppy products like bully sticks, beef jerky, yak chews, and more, visit Bully Bunches! Your wholesome whelp will welcome our delightful doggy desserts!