Bully Sticks - What Are They and Why Are They Expensive?



What Are Bully Sticks?

Bully sticks are dehydrated meat treats, sometimes known as pizzle. They are the penis of bulls or steers, and although they are somewhat of a delicacy in some Asian cultures, they are generally considered to be an animal by-product.

It can take 2 - 3 days to dehydrate each bully stick. Slow dehydration retains nutrients - these are the perfect treat for raw fed dogs.  

This is great news for dogs, because once dehydrated these are a tasty and long lasting chew. Being a single protein,they are easily digestible. Bully sticks contain high levels of taurine, an amino sulphoic acid necessary for fat digestion and heart health.

They can be quite high in calories, but these are good quality calories from protein, not empty calories from sugar. As an occasional treat this is not a problem - if your dog is lucky enough to get bully sticks frequently, we would recommend adjusting the meal allowance accordingly to prevent overfeeding.

Bully Sticks Are Excellent For Dental Health

Unlike bones, bully sticks cannot splinter, and are also good for dental health. Being a longer lasting chew, as the dog works through it, dental plaque and tartar is loosened, helping to keep teeth healthy and clean.

This chewing is also key in preventing gum disease, or gingevitis. Did you know that gingevitis not only leads to dental decay, but that bacteria from the mouth can travel throughout the body causing heart, liver and kidney disease.

Chewing is good for your dog for other reasons than dental health. For puppies, chewing can relieve teething pain. Chewing also relieves boredom, and is considered to be useful in helping dogs manage anxiety and frustration. Giving your dog a treat which he can chew on for a reasonable period will make him relaxed and release feel good endorphins.

Why Are Bully Sticks Expensive?

Given that bully sticks are dehydrated penis, there is only one per bull - I know, it sounds obvious, but bulls have 2 ears, 4 legs, but only one penis. That means there are fewer to start with. 

Then there is the actual work involved in preparing the bully sticks.They are quite labour intensive. Each one has to be prepared by hand, removing any fat. They are then dehydrated for 2 to 3 days.

Finally, throw in the drought which has plagued Australian farmers for the past few years, affecting supply. All Australian beef products are rising in cost, whether for humans or dogs. Even in times of plenty, they are still a more expensive treat, as demand often exceeds supply.

Our supply of bully sticks is always unpredictable - demand is much higher than supply at the moment. We do have a good supply of small bully sticks at the moment, and the quality is excellent.

As at April 2021 we are unable to procure Australian thick bully sticks at an acceptable price point - wholesale prices are currently around $110 per kilo (when available), and  many retail stores are now selling South American produce.

We stand by our decision to only stock Australian meat treats. We are supporting Australian farmers and other Australian business, and bringing the best quality treats to you.


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