Popular dog chew treats, commonly known as bully sticks, may contain more calories and bacteria according to a recent study. Bully sticks are made from a dried, uncooked penis of a bull or steer.
The recent article in the Canadian Veterinary Journal reviewed the study of 26 different bully sticks which were found to contain 9 to 22 calories per inch. The average 6-inch bully stick may contribute to pet obesity, considering it contains about 88 calories or about 30% of the daily calorie requirement for a 10-pound dog.
“While calorie information isn’t currently required on pet treats or most pet foods, these findings reinforce that veterinarians and pet owners need to be aware of pet treats like these bully sticks as a source of calories in a dog’s diet,” said Dr. Lisa Freeman, a professor of nutrition at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
“With obesity in pets on the rise, it is important for pet owners to factor in not only their dog’s food, but also treats and table food,” she added.
The study revealed that about one third of the treats were also contaminated with bacteria. It’s important that pet owners wash their hands after handling bully sticks and any other raw meat products.
This study brings light to the high amount of calories and bacteria that bully sticks may contain and serves as an important reminder to pet owners to be conscious of what they are feeding their pets, including the amount of calories given on a daily basis.