Are bully sticks better than rawhide?

When it comes to competing for the best chew treat for dogs, rawhide and bully sticks have gone head to head in the competition. Most people might think that there isn’t a big difference between these two pet products, but in reality, these two dog chews are as different as night and day.

The first significant difference between these two products is their composition. Rawhide is a by-product of the meat industry, it is in fact, the inner layer of the epidermis of a beef cattle. As it is part of the epidermis (skin), rawhide tends to have a high collagen composition, and this is what gives it its structure.

On the other side of the spectrum, bully sticks are too a by-product of the meat industry; however, they are composed of muscle and tendon fibers. So, they will naturally contain higher levels of protein! And so bully sticks are a lot more easily digestible compared to rawhide.

While both dog treats serve their purpose of being great dog chews, it comes without saying that each of these treats will have a few downfalls. So, what's the big problem?

Rawhide for Dogs:

  • Rawhide is chemically treated with sodium sulphide, sodium benzoate, and other chemicals. And so it is considered very carcinogenic!
  • Due to their lack of digestibility and tensile strength, rawhide can pose to be a choking hazard.
  • To enhance the palatiably and appearance of the product, rawhide is often treated with artificial colors and flavours. Much of the chemicals used to enhance the flavour are considered toxic to pets.

Bully Sticks for Dogs:

Now, you might be asking yourself, are there cons to feeding your pooch a bully stick? Well, yes there are! But there aren’t as much compared to rawhide.

  • Firstly, the biggest concern with bully sticks is bacterial contamination. On March of 2018, Redbarn bully sticks were recalled due to contamination with Salmonella. It was concluded that their products resulted in a Salmonella outbreak within the human population. It is crucial to remember, that raw based products will undeniably contain bacteria that is harmful to both pets and people.
  • Because of the high-calorie and high-protein composition bully sticks will not be suitable for dogs with obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease.


Summary: Bully sticks win here since they are 100% natural, 100% digestible are safer to chew.

You should always supervise your dog when giving any chew or treat.

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