If you’re a dog parent, the word bully stick won’t be new in your Google search list. But in case you haven’t had an interaction with such dog-treat before, you’re missing out on something incredible. Bullystick is a chewable protein treat, that is both the dog’s and owner’s favourite. It keeps your little pup engaged for several minutes, and he chews every bit out of it. But, what if your puppy swallows the bully stick? Let’s figure out how to handle bully sticks.
What is a Bullystick?
As mentioned before Bullystick is a dog chew made out of a muscle. The muscle that I am now going to announce will really blow your mind away. The muscle is located in the bull’s genital area. Yes, you guessed that right! Most bully sticks are made out of a bull’s penis. It might sound disgusting to you but to the dog, it’s delicious.
Before the bully stick reaches the markets, it is dried and baked in the oven to be completely bacteria-free yet rich in protein. Bully sticks are an amazing product to keep your dog nibbling for minutes to hours. If he has anger issues, throw one in front of him and watch him pull out the anxiety over poor piece of meat. Moreover, it is said to have reduced the incidence of dental caries in dogs. Last but not the least, bully sticks are the best way to keep your furniture free from dog marks. There are various sizes available, ranging from 5 inches onwards.
The number of pros for a bully stick greatly outnumber its cons such as being expensive or smelly. However, one concern that most pet parents don’t seem to get over is, “What if my puppy had swallowed the bully stick?”
What if my puppy swallowed part of a bully stick?
Puppies are such fans of bully treats that they’ll try to swallow even the last bits. They are noway ready to giveaway nibbling on that meaty piece. And in many cases might gulp it down their throats rather than handing it back to you. Stop it you gulper that can cause you later problems!
If you’re lucky to have bought digestible Bullystick your dog’s life has been saved. Bullies are digestible as a protein source thus the risk of choking or causing internal problems decreases to a great extent.
In the other case, if your puppy is choking and the delicious treat has quickly transitioned into danger treat you need to pull it out of his mouth as soon as possible. Pull the tongue out to check, but do not get bitten during the process. If you fail, rush him to the nearest vet!
Small pieces of bully sticks are more suspectable to cause choking, they can even cause GI stress especially in puppies. If the size of the stick becomes too small instead of risking your dog’s health throw it away.
If he’s likely gagging, he will throw it up. Sometimes at night and in some cases even after two days. This is a good sign that eradicates the chances of health concerns.
Now let us have a look at the other possibility. In case your dog had been hungry for a long long time and happened to swallow it down, the approach now differs. You now have to monitor your dog closely for the next few days.
Gums and mouth are the most accessible sites for any pet owner, begin by simply having a look over the little boy’s gums. Are they healthy and pink? If yes, things are good for now. However, if they start to change the colors to dull or yellow, dark red it’s time to rush to a vet.
You can further confirm by a capillary refill check. Keep the gums pressed for a minute, then leave and observe if the pink color overtakes the dull area. If the response is positive, congrats he’s safe.
Keep a check on his panting, dogs pant to get rid of heat. But if your dog has been panting after eating bully stick it is a sign that the bully stick has become an obstruction. This is causing him unbearable pain and so he is panting. Get an X-ray at your earliest.
Check out your four-legged friend’s bowel movements, is he going out to poop at the same time he did before? Or is he missing out on his routine? If there is any change, you know where to go.
If bully stick made my dog sick, What are the reasons?
A bully stick is a choking hazard and even obstructs the bowel movements of a dog. Some might even throw out the meat in their vomit. There are a bunch of more reasons.
Bull meat is used for manufacturing bullies. A dog with beef allergies could show adverse effects such as rash, and diarrhea. You’ll notice him licking and scratching more than usual. Get him tested for allergies and choose other livestock options.
Using the same bully stick over and over again can make a dog sick. It gets colonized with bacteria. Most dogs have a good digestive system but it is the puppies that have little bacteria in their gut and are more susceptible to any likely damage.
How long should a puppy chew on a bully stick?
The recommended safe time limit for a puppy to chew on a bully stick is five to ten minutes. This is a manageable time limit under which you can supervise him. He might want to stick to meat-ilicious candy for a longer time, but you must take it away.
Since pups have a sensitive GI tract, chewing on longer, multiple times a day might cause adverse effects on the system.
What if a dog eats bully sticks too fast?
Some dogs eat bully sticks too fast. Within 15-30 minutes, it makes the way down their esophagus and well that should nearly give you goosebumps. Once the doggos get their mouths over the delicious treat it often gets difficult to snatch it away. If your voracious dog eats bully stick too fast that’s nothing to worry about.
Some adult dogs chew it up in 20-30 minutes depending on their appetite. And a few have a chewy nature when it comes to meat. In my opinion, that’s a con as keeping bully sticks for the next time can provide a medium for bacterial growth. Moreover, it’s rich in protein so your dog gets a nice protein fix in one go.
However, there could be other possibilities. Since you weren’t supervising while your dog was busy with the bully stick, maybe he hid it somewhere or buried it for later use? Or, for all unsupervised time, the gulper just swallowed the bully sticks rather than chewing?
The best way to figure out why the dog eats bully sticks too fast is by keeping an eye on him. You can also supervise him through a surveillance camera in the house too.
How to keep the dog from swallowing bully stick?
To keep your doggo safe yet give him a bully to chunk on you will have to use a bully stick holder. It is available in different sizes and types.
Rubbery Qwizel is shaped like a bone and can easily keep a bully stick in place. Animaswizzler is a great option, while Bully buddy helps not to swallow the leftover end. Bonehead is a screw-based toy that screws around the bully stick tight whereas, Everchew contains a pin to hold the stick in place. Both are excellent meat holders. These toys and holder not only help with the swallowing part, but they also decrease consumption of bully sticks. Thus saving you extra bucks.
If you don’t wanna invest in money into some bully stick holder, get going with hacks. Place pliers on both edges of the tendinous piece of meat to keep it from being swallowed.
When to take the bully stick away?
The most challenging part is often to take the bully stick away from the greedy puppy. You literally have to snatch and watch as the glow within his eyes vanishes. When to ideally take away a bully stick?
A bully should be enough to keep him busy for several minutes. Some slow chewer puppies would use it as a teether for hours which makes me picture a chewy-stinky-bully! It should hold your dog’s attention and grip his gums for not more than 30 minutes. If your puppy has a sensitive internal system, take it away after five to ten minutes.
Take away the bully stick, after it’s near the end with leftover 2-3 inches, so there is no danger of choking.
You can use it multiple times, but not more than three times. Give it away only once daily and then repeat the next day, until it’s short enough to throw.
Alternatives to bully sticks for puppies
Bullystick is known as a great distraction for your dog with multiple benefits, scrapping off dental plaque as the main. Not to forget dogs have taste buds too. Over time, they might get bored and wouldn’t find it as appealing as before. Apart from that bully sticks sometimes get so stinky that pet-parents just want to get rid of them anyway. Is there any alternative to bully sticks?
Digestible Meat Fix: If your dog is bored with beef then switch to Ostrich tendons. They are consumable, longer in size, and help with dental hygiene.
Indigestible Fix: Deer antlers aren’t ingested yet improve dental health and reduce anxiety. They are a great choice for keeping the little pup busy.
Vegetative Fix: Dried Yams or sweet potatoes as the name suggests are tasty-looking vegetative alternatives to foul-smelling bully sticks. They can be given on a lower calorie diet and most importantly are hypo-allergic. This means if your dog is beef allergic you can go for dried yams.
Another option for allergic dogs is Himalayan Dog Chews. They are made with delicious cheese and have little to no smell. But it could have more calories than traditional bully sticks.
Can you break a bully stick in half?
It’s mostly advisable to get the dental treats in all sizes for your four-legged friend. But if you get a large-sized bully stick, Can you cut it into half? Is the hard tendentious muscle safe to cut?
For sure, you can cut it into many pieces but you’ll need external help, not just kitchen scissors or knives.
A butcher’s knife with one heavy stroke can help, but remember to use it with caution. However, if you don’t have it, sorry my friend you’ll now have to get some help from plumbing tools. Yes, to break the rock-hard tendonous bully stick into two, use a powered handsaw.
You can also bend it with all your power and then cut the tendons with sharp scissors. I have tried it and it’s a tough job so I would rather go for the butcher’s knife thing.
How to soften bully sticks?
The answer is simple, SALIVA! The doggo chewing the meat right and tight softens it is the best. Saliva is not only moist but it contains digestive enzymes that help to soften the bully sticks
Many dogs get excited at the sight of bully sticks that keep them on a chewing mission for minutes to hours. However, some of them get picky and tend to stop having it. Not to forget it gets hard in a few minutes, but what to do in order to bring it back to life?
Pet owners soften the dental treats by simply boiling them in water. However, if you don’t find that right, wrap it in a damp towel and put it on the heat in the microwave oven. Another suggestion is simply wrapping the bully stick in a hot towel till the time it is chewable again.
How to store a half-eaten bully stick?
After your dog is done with his treat, it’s now time to store it for the next time. However, most of them leave it soggy which might be the perfect medium for bacterial colonization. The question then pops up, “how to store a half-eaten bully stick?”
Most people put leftover bully sticks in airtight or seasonal jars and place them in the cabinets. There is a chance that anaerobic bacteria might start to grow but there is a far greater hazard than that. A few dogs are so overly excited at the sight of a bully stick that they might reach the cabinet and actually break the bottle. What to do with such crazy pups?
Storing the half-eaten bully stick in a sealed pouch and freezing it is the best option. This way you can put it at a temperature where no bacterial growth is likely and more importantly, it is beyond the reach of your naughty boy.
We all love to play with our puppies, but we can’t do that all the time right? So handover the task to bully sticks for some time. Keep your little dogs under your supervision so that the bully stick is not swallowed. Pamper the little one with magic-treats, keep that bond between you two growing strong!