Congrats on welcoming a puppy into your home! Your roly-poly fur ball is sure to bring so much fun and joy to your life!
That is… until she devours your favorite running shoes or takes a chomp out of your coffee table. You still love her--she’s family, obvi--but what can you do to prevent destructive chewing?
For one thing, it’s important to remember that chewing is a totally natural behavior for your sweet pup. She might be teething, and the chewing alleviates some of the pain. Or, she just needs a jaw workout and a clean gum line, both of which matter for a dog’s overall health. As she grows, the teething-related chewing will stop, but dogs need to chew for life. It’s part of their overall wellness! So, it’s up to you to provide her with appropriate chews.
Sure, chew toys are great, but you often end up with shredded fuzz and pieces of plastic strewn all over your house. A teething pup can accidentally ingest broken shards of plastic that break off as they chew. Despite their smaller size, puppies still chew with a lot of force! A growing pup does need chew toys, but they shouldn’t be your only go-to to meet your pup’s need to chew.
So, what about natural alternatives? You’ve probably heard of all kinds of dangers associated with different types of animal-based chews, especially rawhide, but have you ever wondered: Can puppies have bully sticks? Let’s dig into the details to find out:
First, what is a bully stick?
Made from buffalo pizzle (TMI warning: yeah, it’s that part) and natural flavor, it’s a protein-packed chew that is easily digested. That’s key because many chews that line pet store shelves don’t digest easily and provide a safety risk for a young pup.
What are the benefits of a bully stick?
Bully sticks help your dog clean her teeth and gums. Since most pet owners don’t actually brush their teeth (though you should!) it’s an alternative to scrape off gunk and keep your pup’s pearly whites healthy.
Bully sticks keep puppies busy with safe and appropriate chewing. While we always recommend you supervise your dog as she chews any toy or treat, a bully stick can keep her busy and satiate her need to work out her jaw, clean her teeth, or lessen teething pain. Plus, bully sticks deliver a powerful protein punch.
Are there any downsides to a bully stick?
They don’t last forever--but what does last with a teething pup? Also, bully sticks do have an odor to them, but it actually helps attract your dog and keep her interested in the chew.
So, can puppies have bully sticks?
Yes! In fact, bully sticks make an awesome, satiating chew. Try your pup with a bully stick and see what she thinks--our guess is she’ll love it!
One final note: Talk to your vet about your dog’s daily caloric needs before feeding her too many bully sticks. A Tufts University study found that six-inch bully sticks can contain as many as 100 calories per stick. Factor those calories into your puppy’s daily consumption to prevent excessive weight gain.