Can Puppies Have Bully Sticks?

For many new puppy parents, figuring out what to feed their precious puppy can be a bit bewildering and frustrating. The fact is, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different dog foods, treats, kibble, and chewing products on the market. Choosing the best for your puppy, their breed, age, and so forth can be confusing at best.

That’s especially true of chew treats, of which there are hundreds of different types made from a variety of different meats. From beef and chicken to fish, pork, and even meat-free, finding the perfect chew toy/treat for your puppy takes a bit of work and effort.

One chew treat that many of my readers ask about frequently is bully sticks, a popular treat that dogs love. Made from a very distinct part of a bull or steer (its penis), you can find bully sticks at most pet stores. The question that I hear most often about bully sticks, though, is this; can puppies have bully sticks?

The answer is that, yes, puppies can have bully sticks. In fact, bully sticks are recommended for dogs of any breed and age, including puppies. Bully sticks are healthy, chewable, digestible, and provide several health benefits for a growing puppy. Those include being high in protein and preventing dental health problems, among other things.

Even better, puppies and dogs love bully sticks and chew on them with great enthusiasm. Bully sticks also last for a long time, either while being chewed or stored on a shelf for future use. Plus, there are different types and shapes of bully sticks that can match your pup’s preference. 

Now that you know that, yes, puppies can have bully sticks, you might have more questions about this nutritious and delicious dog chew treat. If yes, read on! I’ve got the answers to your questions below, as well as real-world advice that can help you raise a healthy, happy puppy and be the best puppy parent you can be!

How Often Should I Give My Puppy Bully Sticks? 

Dog experts recommend giving your puppy a bully stick no more than three times a week. One caveat is that if you’re removing the stick before your puppy consumes it entirely, you can give it back to them without it counting as another complete bully stick.  In fact, that’s one of the bonuses of bully sticks; they can often last through several chewing sessions and entertain your puppy several times.

Can my Puppy have a Bully Stick Every Day?

As I mentioned above, bully sticks can usually last for several chewing sessions depending on your puppy, its breed, size, and other factors.  I say this because if you want to give your puppy a bully stick every day, you can, as long as it’s the same one that you have already given them on at least one other occasion. However, giving your puppy a new bully stick to completely consume every day is not recommended. (Too much protein.)

Are Some Bully Sticks Better than Others?

Actually, yes, some bully sticks are better than others. For example, “no odor” bully sticks,  which mask the odor of a bully stick, are usually treated with chemicals during their drying process. That removes the smell but adds unwanted chemicals that could hurt your puppy’s health. It’s better to use “low odor” bully sticks as they have usually been baked or smoked during the drying process instead of using chemicals. This reduces the bully stick’s natural odor but doesn’t expose your puppy to potentially harmful chemicals.

Can Puppies have Bully Sticks in their Crate? 

The answer to this question is yes and no. If you’re nearby and will be keeping a relatively close watch on your puppy, they can undoubtedly chew on a bully stick while in their crate. On the other hand, dog experts recommend that you never leave anything that can break into smaller pieces in a dog crate, especially if you plan to leave the dog alone in their crate for a few hours.

How Long Should a Puppy Chew on a Bully Stick?

Most dog experts and veterinarians recommend a time limit of 10 minutes for chewing on a bully stick. The reason for this relatively short time limit is that if a puppy chews on a bully stick for much longer, it could negatively affect its stomach and GI tract.  

The reason is that bully sticks are very high in protein, something that puppies can struggle with during the digestion process. Also, your puppy can get very dehydrated chewing on a bully stick; thus, you should limit their time chewing time and make sure they get plenty of water afterward.

Another reason that you should limit your puppy’s chewing time with a bully stick is because, once they get down to the last couple of inches, bully sticks present a very high risk of choking. That goes double for aggressive chewers, who can chew down a bully stick in a short period.

What Size Bully Stick Should I Give My Puppy?

One of the reasons that Bully Sticks are so popular for puppies and dogs is that they come in a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses. Typically, Bully Sticks are sold in 6-inch and 12-inch lengths. The thickness is where the most significant difference is, ranging from as thin as a few millimeters up to 23 mm in circumference or thicker. 

Choosing the right size bully stick is crucial to ensure that your puppy doesn’t get one that’s too big or too small. A bully stick that is too big can cause problems for their jaws and teeth, while one that is too small can break into smaller pieces and present a choking hazard. 

Also, you need to choose a bully stick based on your dog size and weight. A bully stick that is too large can be problematic, as we mentioned earlier, for their digestive system. ( Many puppies are gluttonous little hounds that eat until they cause physical pain.)

Below is a basic sizing chart you can use to know which bully stick is the best for your puppy. Keep in mind that, as they get older and larger, the size bully stick you can give them will change also.

  • Less than 15 lb.- 6 inch/Thin
  • 15 to 30 lb. – 6 inch/Regular
  • 30 to 45 lb. -6 inch/Regular to 6 inch/Thick
  • 45 to 60 lb. – 6 inch/Thick to 12 inch/Extra Thick
  • 60 to 75 lb. – 6 inch/Thick to 12 inch/Extra Thick
  • 75 to 90 + lb – 6 inch/Thick to 12 inch/Extra Thick

What are the Best Bully Stick Brands for Puppies? 

Below are some of the best bully stick brands on the market for puppies. I’d suggest trying them all until you find one your pup likes best.

Final Thoughts

Can puppies have bully sticks? Yes, they can and, even better, bully sticks are recommended for puppies and dogs of all ages and breeds. They’re healthy for your dog in moderation as well as chewable, and easily digestible. They also have a lot of protein and can help prevent future dental problems for your puppy.

I hope you like today’s blog about puppies and Bully Sticks. Also, that it answered all of your questions about this nutritious and safe snack. If you have more, I urge you to look at my other blogs on raising puppies. If you’re a new puppy parent, you’ll find a lot of excellent tips, advice, and information that will help you raise your precious puppy into a sweet, loving, and well-adjusted dog.