Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick – Are Bully Sticks Digestible?

Bully sticks are very popular treats for all dog breeds. If your dog swallowed a Bully Stick, you may have been concerned as to whether it will impact them in a harmful way.

In most cases, you don’t need to worry as bully sticks are digestible for dogs. However, there are some steps you can take to check that your dog has digested the bully stick well.

Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick

In this article, we will outline all the information you need to know about bully sticks and how safe they are for dogs to consume.

We will detail the benefits, drawbacks, and steps you can take to ensure that the bully stick does not harm your dog.

Be assured that most of the time, Bully Sticks will not cause any harm to your dog. They are, in fact, a great source of stimulation and have a positive health impact.

What Is A Bully Stick?

Dogs have a natural urge to chew. While toys can provide great stimulation, often they can become unsafe.

Bully sticks are a great, healthy alternative to ensure your dog can maintain their natural urge to chew while also being stimulated. It will also prevent the chance of them grabbing your shoes and chewing them off.

Bully sticks are made from dried beef muscle and are sometimes known as pizzle. These treats are naturally constructed and very safe for dogs to chew.

Bully sticks are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and tastes, and come from a single part of a bull.

Manufacturing processes will differ between brands. They are typically all drained of moisture, then baked, and then air-dried.

Bully sticks are incredibly nutritious and satisfying for your dog.

Are Bully Sticks Good For Dogs?

Because Bully sticks are made from raw meat, there are far fewer health risks compared to other chewing treats.

Dog Swallowed A Bully Sticks

Some of the known advantages of Bully Sticks are listed below:

  • Bully sticks are easily digestible and do not contain harmful toxins.
  • As they are dried, there are no additional pesticides or chemicals added.
  • The raw meat content of a bully stick includes lots of protein and the key amino acids, which support a healthier coat.
  • Unlike bones, Bully Sticks are not known to splinter and are therefore easier to digest.
  • The dry texture ensures Bully Sticks are great to chew. In the process of chewing, dogs will remove plaque from their teeth and also improve overall oral health.
  • Amino acids in the Bully Sticks support brain development.
  • Bully sticks are available in a variety of sizes to ensure that all dog breeds can benefit from the natural chew provided.

How Are Bully Sticks Made?

There is no single way to manufacture a bully stick, but the conventional process includes the draining of beef fluid, followed by a drying process, and then cooking.

Beef can have a unique odor that is very appealing to your dog. It can be though pretty pungent for humans.

As a result, in the processing of Bully Sticks, they are exposed to heat sources and water to ensure the odor is a bit more pleasant after it’s been dried.

Are Bully Sticks High In Calories?

Bully sticks are very high in calories. The average calorific density for a bully stick is 15 Calories per inch. A classic 6-inch bully stick will then total around 90 calories.

Bully Sticks

While a kilo of Bully Stick will range between 2500 to 3500 calories. This is considered a significant amount of adult daily intake, ranging between 9% and 30% of the daily calorie requirement.

As Bully Sticks are a treat and not a fully nutritious meal, you should watch carefully how much of the bully stick your dog is consuming.

Are Bully Sticks Harmful?

The raw meat and amino acids included in Bully Sticks make them very healthy for dogs.

However, the risk of any all-natural product is that there is minimal processing, and can include some harmful bacteria.

Typically, the more processing the product has gone through, the healthier it will be, as most of the harmful bacteria would have been eliminated through the heating process.

If you want to provide your dog with a bully stick, be sure to wash your hands afterward and also sanitize the area in which they consumed the stick.

If any of these harmful bacteria enter your dog, they could weaken the immunity and cause serious illness.

For some dogs who have beef allergies, Bully Sticks cannot be consumed and will be harmful.

Also, if your dog is struggling with being overweight, they should avoid consuming Bully Sticks as they are high in calories.

How Many Minutes Can My Dog Chew On A Bully Stick?

Bully Sticks are generally very safe, you should monitor your dog while they’re chewing on them. There can be some risks of an upset stomach or bleeding gums due to excessive chewing.

Typically, puppies should have up to 10 minutes at a time chewing on a bully stick, while for adults this can be pushed up to 15 minutes.

You’ll notice that Bully Sticks can calm down an anxious or stressed dog. But rationing this chewing process is important so that they don’t cause any harm.

When Should I Remove The Bully Stick?

Although Bully Sticks are very safe and provide great satisfaction to your dog, they do provide a health risk, especially if a large chunk of it is chewed and swallowed.

In some cases, this can cause a gastrointestinal emergency and should be seen by a vet immediately.

To avoid this scenario, you should remove the bully stick from your dog when there is a small enough piece that could be swallowed.

In any case, you should always observe your dog while they are enjoying the chewable bully stick.

Following each chewing session, you should also monitor your dog to see how they are reacting to it. You should also make sure you are providing your dog with the correct-sized chew.

Are Bully Sticks Digestible If Swallowed?

Because Bully Sticks are made from raw meat, they are perfectly healthy to digest for dogs.

However, if your dog suffers from stomach issues, it may struggle to swallow a large chunk of a bully stick at one time.

Likewise, all dogs will likely struggle to swallow a significant part of a bully stick in one go.

Digestible Bully Sticks

Large chunks of Bully Sticks could get lodged in the throat or even in the intestines and become a choking hazard. This should be avoided as it may require surgery to fix and could develop into a severe condition.

You can prevent these scenarios by monitoring your dog whenever they’re chewing on a bully stick.

Also, you should provide fresh, clean water that is easily available to ensure that their throat is lubricated.

What Is The Correct Size Bully Stick For My Dog?

Ensuring your dog has the right-sized Bully Stick is a preventative measure you can take to reduce the risk of choking.

The correct sizing should be made clear on the packaging of the Bully Sticks, but if there is no information available we suggest you always go a size larger than what may be recommended.

In the worst case, this means that your dog will be chewing for a little bit longer.

Generally medium to XL-size dogs can handle 12-inch Bully Sticks, while toy and mini dogs will have smaller Bully Sticks ranging between 5 to 6 inches in length.

How Often Can They Have A Bully Stick?

Although Bully Sticks are very satisfying for dogs, you should view them like sweet treats for a human child. Therefore, rationing is important.

Generally, we recommend you give your dog a bully stick once per day for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on their age.

This also helps you easily monitor the bully stick each day and see how much progress they are making.

What Steps To Take If My Dog Swallows A Bully Stick?

If you’re unsure about what to do when your dog swallows a bully stick, the simple steps outlined below should be followed.

  • Step one – Some dogs can be greedy as they want to bite and chew off a significant chunk to preserve the stick for themselves. As soon as you notice that your dog has swallowed a chunk of the bully stick, you should quickly check its mouth to see if any of the beef is wedged between the oral cavity and its throat. If they swallowed a large piece, this is likely.
  • Step two – You should pull the dog’s tongue and look through the whole oral cavity. If you see any debris, you should perform a dog Heimlich maneuver. If you notice the bully stick located in its mouth, you can use your fingers to try and get rid of it. You should be careful in this process not to push the stick further inside. Also, your dog won’t like this, so be cautious about biting.
  • Step three – If you successfully implemented the Heimlich maneuver you should remove all of the remaining uneaten bully sticks to prevent your dog from consuming them anymore. If they consume more, the issue may be further aggravated.

Bully Sticks Right Size

  • Step four – If you know your dog has consumed a large chunk of bully stick you should clean the area after you have choked them and contact your vet immediately. This is especially important if your dog has suffered from pre-existing health issues. During the vet visit. they will be able to diagnose and monitor any specific issues and any potential issues down the line.
  • Step five – If your vet suggests a ‘wait and see’ approach you should monitor your dog closely to see if there are any changes in their consumption habits. Also, check their weight regularly to see if they are dramatically gaining or losing weight.
  • Step six – Be prepared for changes in behavior and eating habits as your dog will have gone through an unwanted health event.
  • Step seven – Over the coming days, your dog will start to pass the bully stick through its poo. They will likely excrete small or large portions of the bully stick, depending on the medication provided by the vet. If there are traces of blood in the stool, you should call your vet immediately. Likewise, if your dog is constipated, this could be a sign of a stomach or bowel disturbance, so you should also call your vet.

How To Prevent My Dog From Swallowing A Bully Stick?

Unfortunately, some dogs are more prone than others to swallowing objects. If your dog is a swallower, you should be very cautious in how you provide them with treats such as a bully stick.

Ensuring you purchased the correct size stick for your dog is an easy way of preventing them from swallowing it.

Also, there are some cool stick holders which can help regulate the amount of the stick that your dog can consume in one go.

The last preventative measure is observation. Always supervise your dog whenever they are consuming a bully stick and take it away if they are getting close to swallowing it.

If you also observe any sharp edges or thin areas of the stick, you can throw those away and replace them with a new stick As these points can cause discomfort in the stomach if consumed.

Are Bully Sticks Safe For Puppies To Consume

Bully Sticks are perfectly safe for puppies. They can be great sources of enjoyment, stimulation, and cognitive development.

However, as puppies are less experienced, they may take slightly more likely to take chunks out.

If your puppy is a big chewer, restrict their time using the stick to 10 minutes and observe them closely throughout.

Final words

Bully sticks are great treats for your dog. Whether a puppy or an adult dog, all breeds benefit from the natural chew of a Bully Stick.

Bully sticks are perfectly digestible, as they are made from using raw dried beef.

However, to reduce health risks, you should restrict the time in which your dog chews the Bully Stick, and also monitor them closely while they’re chewing.

There can be a risk of your dog biting large chunks and this causes digestion issues and choking.

Also, make sure you find the correct-sized bully stick for your dog size as this can a go a long way to preventing any choking episodes.

That said, the benefits of using Bully Sticks for dogs are enormous. They provide stimulation as well as improved oral health. Natural meat ingredients also promote a healthy coat and brain development.


Hi there, my name is Blake and I have an American Bully named Rocky. I fell in love with the breed around ten years ago after seeing some of my friends adopt a Bully. I love the combination of the muscular physique and calm, loyal companionship that the American Bully breed has to offer. My enthusiasm for the breed has led me to train as a dog behavioralist and trainer. Over the last ten years, I have supported many households in raising their American Bully and maximizing the potential of the breed. I’m delighted to share my knowledge and expertise on this site.

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