View Full Version : Bully sticks - bad for our dogs?!

Lady Hoop
13th June 2013, 10:11 PM
One of my dearest friends just welcomed a sweet little frenchie into her home. I told her about Lady's love for curly bully sticks and how, as far as I knew, they were relatively safe as long as you take it from them when there's only a few inches left.

Her sweet pup had an upset stomach yesterday so she ran him to the vet. They asked what he'd been snacking on or eating, to which she answered bully sticks of course. The vet told her to never give bully sticks because they are bull penis (which I already knew) and are linked to salmonella poisoning in dogs. :confused::confused: This baffled me. This is the first I've heard of this complaint. Anyone familiar with this? My poor Lady is dying for a bully stick, but now I'm afraid to buy her one.

14th June 2013, 03:27 AM
Never heard that one before. I wonder what your friends vet would think about feeding RAW chicken backs :shock: (its a joke) I'm sure there is some risk but Fletcher is enjoying a bully stick right now.

14th June 2013, 04:37 AM
Most vets seem to be brainwashed to think any natural food is dangerous. All vets I've come across are against all types of raw and wet foods - so when it comes to that area of things I like to do my own research. (my vet sent me to a list of "approved" dental foods/aids, there were like 10 things on the list and they were all highly processed and of questionable brands). Also, as far as I know the risk to salmonella is more to humans than to dogs.

If they eat too much of anything, or if it's a new food, or if they have a sensitive stomach - stomachs get upset, it happens. You can buy different brands though some are made in a more natural process than others (i.e. organic no chemicals, etc.). I also stay away from products made in China or really anywhere outside of Canada and US.

ps. besides the raw food thing, I think my vet is great!

14th June 2013, 05:50 AM
I've never heard that. It could also be she just came into the house and is still getting used to things, ate more of the bully stick than her tummy could handle, etc. There is also no reason to run a dog to the vet immediately upon an upset stomach. If it continues, obviously yes, but not right away upon an upset stomach.
Luke puked on my comforter the other night. I just washed it, and he is fine.
I haven't gotten bully sticks in a while, but I just get stuff that was made in the USA or Canada. I also give an occasional chicken wing if I happen to pick some up on sale, but I really don't mention that to the vet. Dogs can get salmonella and transmit it to humans though.

14th June 2013, 03:26 PM
Our vet is against bully sticks, rawhide and natural bones (due to splintering). In addition, she advises against rope toys since our dog was successful in untying them and getting the splinters. Hence, she is somewhat limited to Nylabone products (non-edible) marked for powerful chewers. I'd really like to giver her a natural bone and keep an eye on her at all times while she uses it. However, I respect our vet's judgement and would feel horrible taking her in for something I was advised not to do. She is charged with our girl's medical issues - the least we can do it respect her counsel (even if I do want to cheat - but don't). Remember years ago when we left restaurants with a "doggie bag?" Typically it was a piece of meat with the bone and the dogs loved them - and never got sick. Something has changed - don't know why. Doggie bags are now like dinosaurs.

14th June 2013, 05:55 PM
I posted on a group about Elton not liking bully sticks. Ella's neurologist commented that maybe he knows what they are made of and is smart. It made me think something must not be good about them. Then he decided he loved them but I haven't bought anymore.

14th June 2013, 07:56 PM
The vet may have read this January, 2013, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine study of bully sticks:


"All 26 treats were tested for bacterial contaminants. One (4 percent) of the sticks was contaminated with Clostridium difficile; one (four percent) was contaminated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics; and seven (27 percent) were contaminated with Escherichia coli, including one tetracycline-resistant sample."


15th June 2013, 05:07 AM
Eep about the article, this is good to know for people who are medically more vulnerable to these germs than the average person. I give Rose Moozles and Texas Toothpicks (cow tail).

16th June 2013, 02:48 PM
I've been feeding Charlie Bully Sticks for the last 3 years. Never had a problem that I'm aware of.

17th June 2013, 02:45 AM
Was the vet a male? If so, he might be sympathetic to the bull. :(

Sophie's intestines could not handle bully sticks when she was a puppy. They were too "rich" for her system and made her stools quite loose. As her digestive system matured, she now handles them just fine.

Nylabones, on the other hand, caused some horrific cases of diarrhea for Sophie that left major messes inside the house for me to clean up. (I was not home for two of them. Ugh.....) Once I took away the Nylabones, she had no more diarrhea attacks. She was quite an aggressive chewer until her third birthday. She chewed off and ingested those little bits of firm, scratchy nylon. So, I wholeheartedly disagree with the vet's suggestion of Nylabone.

MRSA and staph and bacteria are everywhere. I think if a human in the household has a medically diagnosed compromised immune system, then it is definitely better to keep anything questionable away. But, seriously, dogs lick their rectums, some eat poop, mine is very interested in bird poop outside, bunny droppings, and God-knows-what, etc.. Gagging, just to think about what they pick up "back there."

17th June 2013, 02:52 AM
Doggie bags are now like dinosaurs.
I think that is because most of now use "to go boxes" for our leftovers, and eat them ourselves for lunch the next day. I do.

17th June 2013, 05:22 AM
My cavalier Charlie loves bully sticks. I have never had an issue with him chewing on them. I get the non odor ones.

17th June 2013, 08:16 AM
We get some very good quality ones from Germany - they also are low odour and both of my cavaliers love them! so no problems here :cool:

Super Princess
18th June 2013, 04:05 AM
Was the vet a male? If so, he might be sympathetic to the bull. :(

hahahh :D

I recently posted about nylabones and how i think they're dangerous after what ive seen maggie do to them.
I went into bosleys and had them show me some of the healthy safe options i had.
bully sticks were one of them. I purchased one and thought id give it ago.
I tell you..we had the family from vancouver over for dinner..we have never been able to get through dinner at my parents without putting her away and listening to her cry . she sat with her bully happily the whole time. she loves it.

I am still reading up on them...am concerned about the huge ammount of calories (article suggested overweight would be a risk) and then the risk f getting sick from bacteria

Bentley and Me
14th January 2014, 01:20 AM
I agree about the splintering, rawhides, ropes and all of that. my dogs wont chew kongs or nylabones. That doesnt leave much left. but here's another thing I wanted to remind people? Do you all remember when the ONLy dog food a Vet recommended was Hills science diet and the ONLY place you could buy it was at the vets office? Now wasnt that a coincidence. Since Iams and science diet deregulated their distribution and you can buy it at petco, etc. my Vet actually recommended Purina Puppy Chow last week which they used to say was no good. go figure.

I looked up the five star kibbles and thats what I feed my dogs. And I dont have to go to the vets office to get it.