Bully sticks are a long-lasting, healthy treat that satisfies a dog’s instinct to chew. As for who makes the best bully sticks, that’s up for debate. There are many options available today. As a result, trying to figure out which companies make the best bully sticks can leave you scratching your head.
Naturally, you want your furry friend to be happy and healthy. The right bully stick will keep your dog happy but the best bully sticks will keep your dog and your wallet happy. After learning what these popular treats are and taking a look at some of the best bully sticks on the market, you will be ready to make an informed decision.
What is a Bully Stick?
To determine what makes a bully stick good, we first need to understand what bully sticks are. All dogs have a natural chewing instinct which keeps them entertained and also helps to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Bully sticks are an edible chew for dogs.
What do they make bully sticks out of?
What goes into the best bully stick? In most cases, not a lot. Bully sticks usually contain only one ingredient: dehydrated or baked bovine penis, also called pizzle. While cattle pizzle is most common, some companies use buffalo pizzle.
Due to its pure nature, bully sticks are a favorite treat of holistically minded dog owners. Some bully stick manufacturers even source their material from grass-fed, organically raised cattle.
Some owners prefer bully sticks to other products because bully sticks are naturally derived from cattle pizzle and are usually not chemically treated, unlike other chew alternatives such as rawhide.
What types of bully sticks are available?
Bully sticks come in a variety of sizes, from six inches all the way up to three feet long. Some manufacturers offer bully sticks categorized by different widths, but not all do.
While most bully sticks are straight, some are available in novel shapes. Spiral and braided shapes are common variations. Some manufacturers may also make bully sticks in bone, cane, and pretzel shapes.
Where are bully sticks sourced from?
Many bully stick producers will note what animal their material is sourced from, as well as the country. Some manufacturers may source materials from other countries and then process them elsewhere.
For example, they can make a bully stick with ingredients from Brazil but process them in the United States.
Are bully sticks safe to feed?
There is some controversy over whether bully sticks are safe to give to dogs. According to the Canadian Veterinary Journal, a 2013 study found that bully sticks were very calorie dense, containing up to 22 calories per inch. The same study also found treats that were contaminated with bacteria like E. coli.
These findings raised concerns that bully sticks may contribute to dog obesity and sickness. However, the Canine Journal casts some doubt on the study, noting that the study only used a small sample of 26 bully sticks and only 30 percent of that small sample was contaminated with bacteria.
How to safely feed and handle bully sticks
Whenever you give a bully stick to your dog, be sure to watch them ensure that your dog does not harm themselves while eating it. Always be ready to take away a bully stick (or any other treat or toy) if it becomes too small and presents a choking hazard. Also, provide plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink.
Since bully sticks are a meat product, be sure to wash your hands after handling. Also, clean any surfaces the bully stick may have touched while your dog was eating it.
Prices vary depending on the size of the bully stick and the type of packaging. Single bully sticks that are around six inches long usually cost somewhere between $3 to $10 if you buy them online.
How We Found the Best Bully Sticks
To find the best bully sticks around, we went looking for the top rated bully sticks available online. From there, we took note of where the product was sourced from and if it was finished in a different country. We also looked at what real customers had to say about each bully stick online.
The Best Bully Sticks Online
This is a list of the best bully sticks you can buy. The following brands all met our criteria. Please note that they are in no particular order.
Canine Caviar is a holistic pet food and treats company that specializes in alkaline dog food. The company’s treat line uses buffalo as its made ingredient, including buffalo pizzle in its Buffalo Bully Stix. The Buffalo Bully Stix comes in 6-inch or 12-inch lengths, in packs of 7 sticks or packs of 50 sticks.
For those who worry about where a product is from, they make Canine Caviar Bully Sticks in India, but they package them in the United States.
Canine Caviar Buffalo Stix enjoy a favorable rating on PetFlow where the 12-inch sticks receive a 4.4 out of 5 stars. Out of 252 reviews, 88 percent of reviewers said that they recommend this treat. Positive reviews talk about how much their dogs love the treat. Critical reviews for Canine Caviar Buffalo Bully Stix complain that the bully sticks are very smelly and that they do not last as long.
Red Barn is a premium pet food company that makes dog food and dog treats, as well as cat food. The company produces a variety of bully sticks in various lengths and shapes including straight, braided and round. The Red Barn makes their bully sticks from free-range beef pizzle which can originate from Paraguay, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, New Zealand, or Turkey.
Red Barn bully sticks are highly rated on Amazon where the 3-pack of 7-inch bully sticks is rated 4 out of 4 stars with over 300 reviews. Other Red Barn bully sticks get similar ratings, like the 12-pack of Bully Springs which gets 4 out of 5 stars with 90 reviews.
Positive reviews of Red Barn bully stick products talk about how long-lasting the bully sticks are when given to their pets and how much their dogs enjoy it. Some critical reviews say that their dogs did not like the product. Red Barn also had a voluntary recall in 2018 that included their bully sticks due to possible salmonella contamination.
Pet’s Choice Pharmaceuticals is a pet food company that makes natural pet treats as well as nutritional supplements. Their Low-Odor Bully Sticks product is part of their treat line which includes other natural chews like hooves, tail, and meat jerky. According to Chewy.com, they make these sticks with Colombian cattle, and the USDA inspects and certifies them.
These bully sticks have a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Chewy. Out of 201 reviews, 89 percent of reviewers recommend the product. Happy customers love these sticks for their low odor and affordability. Some customers noted that the product thickness and quality are inconsistent, with some sticks drastically thinner than the others.
Barkworthies is a natural dog treat company that offers bully sticks as well as jerky chews, antlers, and bones. They make their bully sticks from free-range cattle pizzle sourced from Brazil but baked and packaged in the United States.
Barkworthies Odor-Free American Double Cut 6-inch Bully Stick has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Chewy with 39 reviews and 89 percent of customers recommending the product. Aggregated reviews on Google Shopping give it 4.3 out of 5 stars with 84 reviews. Customers that enjoy the product say that their dogs love the sticks and that they are low odor. Some critical reviews disagree, saying that these sticks are not as odor free as the name would imply.
Cadet is a pet treat company that offers a variety of chew treats including bully sticks, rawhide, and natural chews. They make and source their bully sticks from grass-fed, free-range cattle in Brazil.
The small bag (1-pound) of Cadet Bully Sticks gets an aggregate review score of 4.1 stars out of 134 reviews on Google Shopping. Positive reviews talk about how their dogs love the taste of the chews and that they are a good value for the price. Some reports do complain about the smell.
I and Love and You is a natural pet food company that makes dog food and dog treats. Brazilian grass-fed cattle pizzle goes into their No Stink! Bully Stix.
These No Stink! Bully Stix get a 4.3 out of 5 out of 96 reviews aggregated from 18 stores on Google Shopping. Overall, reviews are positive and say that the sticks are great with low to no odor and that their dogs love them. However, reviewers do complain that these bully sticks are expensive when you compare them to similar brands.
Our top choice is Red Barn Bully Sticks. They are an overall good value, and despite a voluntary recall due to possible salmonella contamination, their full range of bully stick products enjoys high total reviews. For pet owners with sensitive noses, we recommend Barkworthies Low Odor Bully Sticks as an alternative.