Bully Stick Dog Treats Contain High Calories, Bacteria: Study

the daily dish More on PawNation: Bully Sticks, Dogs, Nutrition, Pet Treats
If your dog loves to eat bully sticks, you may want to know about a recent study that investigated the caloric content and bacterial contamination of the popular treats. The study revealed surprisingly high numbers for both, according to Science Daily.

A joint study between the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in the U.S. and the University of Guelph in Canada analyzed a sample of 26 different commercially available so-called bully sticks, or pizzles, a dog treat derived from bull penises. An average, 6-inch bully stick was found to contain around 88 calories, which may not sound like much to humans, but for dogs, that number represents 9 percent of a 50-pound dog's daily caloric need, and a whopping one-third of a 10-pound dog's daily requirements.

This information may come as a surprise to pet owners because pet treats are not required to contain calorie information on their labels. But with pet obesity an ongoing problem, it's information that responsible pet owners will want to know.

Perhaps more distressingly, some of the 26 bully sticks tested contained some alarming bacteria, including one with Clostridium difficile, one with the dreaded methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (aka MRSA) and seven with E. coli.

To supplement the study, its authors conducted a survey of pet owners online. Of the 852 people who took the survey, 71 percent of respondents who feed their dogs bully sticks said they avoid animal by-products in their pets' food, even though bully sticks are themselves an animal by-product. That discrepancy may be explained in part by the fact that 44 percent of respondents didn't know the source of bully sticks.

Further studies with larger sample sizes will continue to investigate bully-stick content. Meanwhile, pet owners should feel encouraged to always conduct their own research into what exactly we feed our pets. And always wash your hands after handling pet food and treats.

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Why worry about all the junk they put out there. take 20 minutes of your day and do this. 2 1/2 cup wheat flour, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup each peanut butter and canned pumpkin, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup water. mix it all together with your hands, it'll form a paste like dough. take small amounts smash flat with your hands. bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. store in a container with lid in the refrigerator. healthy the dogs love it and you don't have to worry about all the junk they put in our doggy food and treats.

September 21 2013 at 6:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to keenan's comment

sorry posted twice

September 21 2013 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just take 20 minutes of my time and mix 2 1/2 cups of wheat flour, 3/4 cups peanut butter, 3/4 cup pumpkin, 1/2 tsp salt , 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of water, 2 tsp ground cinammon. mix it all together form a dough paste (with your hands you don't need a mixer). take a small amount flatten it with your hands to make a cookie. bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. no fuss no muss, store in a container in the refrigerator. no bacteria, no preservatives, no junk, no chinese killing junk

September 21 2013 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michelle Jadin

I feed both my dogs a raw diet and give them a 9 in. bully stick almost every day. I'm not concerned about the 'bacteria'...kibble is worse. I'm also not really worried about the caloric value either. Why? Because I exercise my dogs every single day with a 3-4 mile walk. This article makes bully sticks sound like they are not a good treat...which they are. Yes, they are a by-product..but so are hearts and livers.

September 18 2013 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ellen Bowlin

I just read Wikipedia , bully sticks are also bull penises that have been processed by stopping, cleaning ,smoking and then hardening, it is supposed to be completely safe. Evidently bull penis is also safe for human consumption but this is one girl that will not be feasting on that item.

September 04 2013 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone out there eat BULL PENISES, No so why would you give them to your dog. Go to the dollar store and buy some JACK LINKS beef jerky if you want to give your dog a treat.

January 30 2013 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anybody out there eat bull penises, No why would you give this crap to your dog. Go to the dollar store and buy some Jack Links beef jerky

January 30 2013 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was told Bully Sticks were the Achilles tendon of the bull!!?..... Any comments?

January 30 2013 at 8:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dogs have more acid in their stomach's and shorter GI tracts, so they are able to handle the bacteria on a bully stick. Plus it adds to the beneficial bacteria in their GI tracts which is very important for them. There is more bacteria in the poop and sticks they eat outside then there is in the bully sticks. Tripe is full of beneficial bacteria. And I would never microwave their food or treats just because I was afraid of bacteria. That wouldn't do anything but warm it up and potentially burn your pup if you don't let it cool back down. A bully stick is a sometimes 'treat', meaning that as long as you don't make it a permanent part of their daily diet, it shouldn't effect their weight too much. Unless you have an overweight dog. Then they have to stick to a stricter diet. Switch out a bully stick for a carrot.

January 30 2013 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

get your dog treats at a local feed and seed store. more healthy since the products come straight from a farm and not a factory

January 30 2013 at 8:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Never trust Chinese made pet products and other products as well.

January 30 2013 at 6:45 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
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