Do Bully Sticks Have Calories? [Fat Creator?]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

As more and more people become health conscious, they are interested in knowing the calorie content of their food.

The same is true for dog owners who want to make sure their furry friends are getting the best possible nutrition.

So, do bully sticks have calories?

Yes, bully sticks do have calories. The amount of calories in a bully stick will vary depending on the size and type of bully stick, but in general, they contain 10 to 20 calories per inch, so a typical 12-inch bully stick has around 240 calories.

Despite the fact that bully sticks do have calories, they are actually a very nutritious treat for your dog as they are high in protein and low in fat, making them an excellent source of energy for your dog.

In this post, you will learn more about this highly popular chew treat, how much to feed, and when it becomes too much.

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how many calories do bully sticks have
Dear Dog Owner

Why Use Bully Sticks?

Ever since bully sticks were invented, they have been a healthy, all-natural treat for dogs. They are low in fat and calories and high in protein.

This makes them a great choice as an alternative to treats that have more sugar or other unhealthy ingredients.

Unlike rawhide, bully sticks do not splinter or break into sharp pieces when chewed. They are also free from chemicals and preservatives and are 100% digestible.

Additionally, bully sticks help keep your dog’s teeth clean and their gums healthy. This can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can be costly to treat.

Bully sticks are also a great way to keep your dog occupied and distracted from chewing on furniture or other things they shouldn’t chew on.

By providing them with a stick to chew on, you can avoid potential accidents while your dog is supervised.

The Calorie Content Of Bully Sticks vs Dog’s Diet + How Many Calories in a Bully Stick

When it comes to snacks, bully sticks are always a popular choice for our dogs.

They’re easy to grab, portable, and provide a good amount of protein and energy.

However, many people don’t know exactly how much calorie content they’re getting in each stick.

Without this information, it is easy to overfeed and not monitor our dog’s diet, possibly creating an imbalance.

Here’s a breakdown of the average calorie content of bully sticks compared to the requirements of dogs each day.

Size of dog (pounds)Daily calories requirementBully stick calories (1-inch)Percentage of daily requirement
estimates only based on neutered adult dogs

Are bully sticks high in calories?

Knowing that bully sticks have calories don’t really do much to help you figure out how much is too much.

For comparison’s sake, I have put together a simple today for you to see how bully sticks stack up against other common dog treats (take note that not every treat’s serving size is 1 oz, so adjust accordingly).

TreatCalories per ounce
Bully Stick70-140 calories
Dental Chew50-60 calories
Jerky Treats90-150 calories
Training Treats45-90 calories
Peanut Butter Filled Kong400-800 calories
Cheese Treats160-320 calories
Carrots (Raw)12-20 calories

As you can see, it’s mostly similar to other popular snacks and in fact is very low when you work out the serving size. I usually only let my dogs chew an inch, which works out to only around 20 calories.

The Nutritional Value Of Bully Sticks (bully stick nutrition info)

Bully sticks, also known as beef pizzle or pizzle sticks, are some of the most popular dog chews on the market.

They are made from the dried penis of a bull and contain high amounts of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

These are nutrients that your dog needs to get from food sources rather than produce on their own.

Here’s a closer look at the nutritional info of a typical bully stick:

Crude Fat (Min)1.0%
Crude Fiber (Max)3.0%
Crude Protein (Min)72.0%
Moisture (Max)12.0%

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Are Bully Sticks Safe for Dogs?

Generally speaking, yes – most experts believe that there are very minimal risks associated with feeding dogs bully sticks as long as they are properly prepared and stored.

Just be sure to buy your bully sticks from reputable sources, and watch your dog while they chew.

Do not let them do it too long as bully sticks can tire a dog’s jaws or even cause damage to the gums.

If they become too short, they can turn into a choking hazard.

Also, you do not want bully sticks to become a meal replacement.

I never let my dog chew on one for more than 10 minutes at a time, and they get it at most three or four times each week.

Lastly, you should obviously not feed your dog if a bully stick has turned bad, or if they have been contaminated as they cause vomiting!

Our Recommended Bully Stick

Key Benefits

  • Long-lasting engagement, mental stimulation, efficient dental cleaning
  • Grain-free, Hormone free, Chemical free

How Do You Know When a Bully Stick is Done?

One thing to remember when giving your dog a bully stick is that it should be eaten slowly and one at a time.

For smaller dogs, I would tend to cut them in half, but you should know that this increases the cost.

Alternatively, learn about how you can refresh bully sticks so that you can reuse them again and save some money.

The guideline here is that once the stick becomes small enough to fit into a dog’s mouth crosswise, it is time to stop using it.

Typically, this is when the stick is around 3 to 4 inches long.

Instead of simply throwing them away, you can cut them into tiny pieces and sprinkle a few into your dog’s regular food, thus reducing wastage too.

Why Choose A Bully Stick Over Other Chew Toys?

There are many different chew toys on the market, and it can be hard to decide which one is best for your dog.

I choose bully sticks because they are high in protein and contain no fillers or artificial ingredients. This makes them a healthy alternative to other popular chew toys, such as rubber bones.

In addition, bully sticks are easy to digest and have a low risk of causing stomach or intestinal blockages.

Bully sticks are a great way to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. This is especially important if your dog has any dental issues. By helping to remove tartar and plaque buildup, bully sticks can help promote dental health in dogs.

If you do decide to feed your dog a bully stick, be sure to supervise him or her and make sure the bully stick is the appropriate size for your dog.

Fair warning though. You will be asking why do bully sticks smell after you get your first one!

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What Are The Risks Associated With Feeding My Dog A Bully Stick?

There’s really not a whole lot of risk when it comes to giving your dog bully sticks, the main one being a choking hazard.

This can be easily avoided by using a bully stick device which secures one end of the treat and keeps it out of reach for your dog.

Another point to watch out for is how you store the treats.

As your dog will most likely not finish an entire stick in one go, you will need to clean it before keeping it somewhere dry and safe to prevent contamination.

Another common question is do bully sticks cause diarrhea? No, unless you overfeed your dog or it has an underlying digestive issue.

Something else I have also heard some dog parents ask before is if bully sticks will cause a dog to become aggressive.

Well, the answer is no, you do not have to worry about your dog’s behavior changing because of having a treat.

Is It Ok to Give My Dog a Bully Stick Every Day?

Is It Ok to Give My Dog a Bully Stick Every Day?

Yes, you can give your dog a bully stick every day as long as you keep the chew time to 5 to 10 minutes each.

During this time, it is unlikely that your dog will finish an entire stick, so you would not need to worry about it overeating.

My suggestion would be to use bully sticks as an occasional treat instead of as an everyday snack (2 to 4 times a week).

If you want your dog to enjoy them more frequently, make sure they stay fresh by storing them in the fridge or freezer and only giving them one at a time.

Remember to provide bully sticks as part of a balanced diet (like any other food) and make sure there are plenty of other things for your dog to chew on.

This will help keep their teeth healthy and strong!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do bully sticks count as food?

No, bully sticks are mostly packed with protein and a small amount of fats, and should not be considered as regular food nor should it be used to replace a dog’s diet. It does not provide all the nutrition that a dog needs on a daily basis.

Is 1 bully stick a day too much?

When starting out, it is recommended to only give a small amount (1 to 2 minutes of chewing time) to prevent stomach upsets. Slowly increase the amount of time to between 5 to 10 minutes, but never more than 1 entire stick a day, particularly for small breeds and puppies.

How many calories are in a 10-inch bully stick?

On average, a bully stick contains 10 to 20 calories per inch, which makes a 10-inch bully stick contain around 100 to 200 calories each.

Do bully sticks cause weight gain in dogs?

Yes, a bully stick can cause weight gain if consumed in excess. It should be given as a snack, and you need to consider the amount of calories compared to your dog’s daily requirement. Never let snacks exceed 10% of its daily needs.

What do vets say about bully sticks?

In general, most vets recommend the use of bully sticks, even the American Kennel Club. These snacks are healthy and provide a good amount of protein for a dog. They do not splinter easily, and thus are safe for consumption.

Are bully sticks low fat?

Yes, bully sticks are low in fat, making them a healthy choice for dogs who need to lose weight or maintain their weight. On average, each still contains about 10% fat while the rest is mainly proteins.

How many calories are in a 12-inch bully stick?

The number of calories in a 12-inch bully stick can vary depending on the brand and specific composition of the stick, but as an estimate, a 12-inch bully stick can contain around 150-240 calories.

In Conclusion: Do Bully Sticks Have Calories?

Bully sticks are a great way to treat your doggy buddy and when fed properly, the caloric content will not disrupt their regular diet.

They are also a great way to keep your dog’s teeth clean and their gums healthy, so all in all, lots of benefits for your dog!

Be sure to check out other articles on dog diet here:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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