two dogs at counter waiting for food

Can Bully Sticks Make My Dog Sick?
Understanding the Health Benefits and Risks of Bully Sticks

Can Bully Sticks Make My Dog Sick?
Understanding the Health Benefits and Risks of Bully Sticks

two dogs at counter waiting for food

The Bow Wow Labs Innovation Team has put a lot of time and energy into researching and understanding the health benefits and risks of bully sticks for your dog. As our customer base has grown, one of the questions we get asked the most from new bully stick aficionados is, “Can bully sticks make my dog sick?”.

There's always a chance your pup’s tummy can get a little upset when you introduce a new treat or change in her diet. However, if you give her high-quality, properly-prepared sticks, like Bow Wow Labs’ bully sticks, the chances she'll get sick are very low.

Here's what you should know about giving your dog bully sticks, things to consider when choosing bully sticks, and how to keep them fresh and safe for your fur-baby.

Dalmation with girl

Bully sticks are a treat, not a meal replacement

Bully Sticks are high in calories, ranging from 9 to 22 calories per inch. That means that the average 6-inch bully stick packs in about 88 calories. Because of their caloric density, bully sticks should be given as a snack two to three times per week, depending on the weight of your dog.

Bully sticks are pure protein, so if you give them to your dog as a meal replacement, he'll miss out on getting the nutrition from other food groups - carbohydrates, fruits and veggies - that a well-rounded meal provides.

Also, adjust your dog's food intake on the days he has bully sticks to avoid overfeeding him. Overfeeding can be a big cause of stomach aches in dogs, more so than what you might be feeding them. Learn more about why bully sticks are a treat and not a meal replacement here.

small dog holding crown of broccoli in paws

If bully sticks are a new treat, slowly introduce them into your dog’s diet

Introduce bully sticks into your dog’s diet slowly, much like you would do when changing her food. This will help her belly adjust to the new treat and limit the possibility of her getting sick from eating too much, too quickly.

Another trick is to allow her to chew on the bully stick for twenty or thirty minutes at a time. This will help prevent her from binging on the stick but still give her the benefits, such as positive mental stimulation and a healthy amount of protein.

young woman giving dog treat at desk

Give your dog high-quality premium bully sticks

Bow Wow Labs’ bully sticks are premium, which means that they come from grass-fed, free-range cattle, are 100% hormone free and never treated with chemicals. Additionally, our sticks are baked at high temperatures after they are hung to dry, eliminating the risk of harmful bacteria.

If bully sticks are not prepared properly during the extraction and drying process, a bacteria can form that will cause your dog to experience diarrhea or vomiting. That is certainly not something we want to associate with such a delicious and nutritious treat. We're in close touch with our supplier to make sure our bully sticks are safely produced.

dog starting a treat jar on counter

Store your bully sticks properly in between uses

When your bully sticks are not in use, store them in a cool dry place. Using a sealable, stay-fresh jar will keep your unused bully sticks dry. Too much moisture and humidity can cause bacteria to grow on your sticks. And, the fresher the bully stick, the more your dog will enjoy it.

We also recommend wrapping any half-chewed bully sticks in a plastic bag along with your Bully Buddy and storing it in the refrigerator (for up to a week) until the next time you give it to your dog. This will also help prevent bacteria growth.

Related Resources

Bully Sticks - Treat or Meal Replacement?
Bully Stick Best Practices: Why Does Matching Your Dog’s Weight with the Right-Sized Bully Stick Matter?
Our Bully Sticks are Low-Odor - Why This Matters