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Do Bully Sticks Make Dogs Aggressive?


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Bully sticks, which are beef muscle chew sticks, are one of the most favored dog treats around. They taste good, take a long time to chew, and have several health benefits. The question is though: Do bully sticks make dogs aggressive?

Do Bully Sticks Make Dogs Aggressive?

No, bully sticks don’t make dogs aggressive. Dogs can be aggressive with bully sticks, but the bully sticks don’t encourage aggressive behavior.

bully sticks make dogs aggressive

Why Dogs Are Aggressive with Bully Sticks

Dogs are aggressive with bully sticks because they like them. So, if your dog is aggressive with this treat, he/she would likely be aggressive with just about any treat that he/she adores.

The real reason your dog is aggressive is because of fear the tasty treat is going to be taken away. They engage in resource guarding to ensure that no one, including other pets, steals their favorite treat.

If you’ve ever given your dog a raw beef bone, he/she will likely act the same way. That’s proof that it’s not actually the bully sticks making the dog aggressive, but rather it’s the dog being aggressive with the dog treat.

How to Prevent Aggressive Behavior with Bully Sticks

You can prevent aggressive behavior when you give your dog this healthy treat by making sure you have one for all of the dogs in your house. Giving one dog a treat and not the other encourages aggressive behavior, so keeping things fair is important.

Behavior modification is a great way to teach your dog(s) to not be aggressive with their treats. This means showing them how to behave when there is a favorite treat and praising them when they react appropriately when the treat is presented.

The above training exercise is common among dog trainers, so if you’re not able to teach your pup how to stop resource guarding, you may want to reach out to a professional dog trainer.

The Health Benefits of Dog Bully Sticks

Bully sticks, also known as bull pizzles, are highly nutritious. They are made from a single ingredient – beef muscle, which comes from bull penises. It’s high in protein, which helps maintain and build muscle mass, and beta-alanine which reduces fatigue. It’s also high in iron for dogs deficient or suffering from anemia.

High-protein beef muscle isn’t just good for nutrition, it also helps with dental health. The action of chewing on the dog treat can help clean a dog’s teeth. Since it’s so hard, it can easily cut through tartar build-up, which can lead to serious dental problems.

Many pet parents already know that rawhide chews are not healthy and can be dangerous for dogs. Bully sticks are the best treats as an alternative.

Best Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers

If you have an aggressive chewer, a braided bully stick will save you a lot of time and money. This is another benefit of the bull pizzle. Not only does it take a long time for your pup to get through it, but you’re also giving your power chewer something healthy.

Bully Sticks in Moderation

Despite the health benefits of these treats, it’s important that pet owners understand that they are still high in calories.

According to Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, pet owners could be inadvertently increasing their dogs’ obesity risk by regularly feeding them bully sticks.

Researchers tested 26 bully sticks of different sizes and found that a 6-inch bully stick can have as much as 88 calories. A 10-pound dog would be getting 30 percent of its daily caloric requirement, and a 50-pound dog would get 9 percent.

Just like with humans, obesity can lead to many medical problems, so reconsider that large piece the next time you’re handing over a treat to your pup.

Where to Get the Best Bully Sticks

The best bully sticks are ones that do not contain any other ingredients. You will find some in a pet store that has additives and artificial ingredients. Stay away from those and choose straight beef muscle.

One brand that many pet parents swear by is Best Bully Sticks. They are known to sell 100 percent beef so dog owners can feel good about their dog’s bully stick.

You can purchase Best Bully Sticks straight from the manufacturer to ensure you’re getting the best quality with long shelf life. Sometimes, the ones on sites like Amazon are past the expiration date or are almost at it.

bully sticks for aggressive chewers

Beware of Hazards

A dog’s bully stick is a choking hazard, so always watch your pup when he/she is enjoying one. This is not a treat for dogs that need something to entertain themselves in their crate unless you’re close by.

There are bully stick holders that make the sticks much safer. They hold the stick in place for your pup and don’t let the dog chew on small pieces, so there’s no choking hazard toward the end of the treat. The only thing that could still pose a risk is if your power chewer gets a large piece off the end away from the holder. That’s why it’s still a good idea to watch your dog while enjoying one.

Overview of Do Bully Sticks Make Dogs Aggressive?

No, bully sticks don’t make dogs aggressive. Dogs can become aggressive with bully sticks, though. Since they are so tasty, they resource guard their treat to keep anyone from taking it away. Behavior modification can help decrease the aggression dogs have with bully sticks.

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