What are Bully Sticks Made Of?

Chews By Meg Marrs 3 min read May 24, 2021 7 Comments

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how are bully sticks made

rWhat are bully sticks made of? Bully sticks are popular dog treats, made from the pizzle (aka the penis) of a bull. Bully sticks can also be referred to as “steer pizzle” or “beef pizzle.”

While bully sticks are a popular treat for canines, many owners are unaware of the bully stick’s origin as beef pizzle.

Humans may gawk, dogs go NUTS over bully sticks!

what are bully sticks made of
I have seen heaven and it is a bully stick
Photo credit: Rachel Hinman

How are Bully Sticks Made?

Bully sticks are prepared from the bull pizzle (aka penis muscle) which is cleaned, stretched, and twisted before being prepared. Preparation can vary from sun dried to oven baked or smoked.

beef pizzle

At the end of the process you have the bully stick – a very hard, long brown stick (30-40 inches) which is then cut into smaller pieces for consumption as a dog treat.

Authentic bully sticks are made from 100% beef (the only ingredient is the bull penis). Some suppliers may refer to bully sticks as “beef tendons” or “dried muscles” to make the concept of bully sticks easier to stomach for owners, but make no mistake – it’s bull pizzle!

Are Bully Sticks Good for Dogs?

Bully sticks are 100% natural beef dog treats, and dogs certainly adore them.

But are bully sticks good for dogs? Bully sticks are very calorie dense – about 88 calories in an average 6 inch bully stick. This isn’t necessarily an issue, so long as you feed you dog bully sticks with discretion and keep track of your dog’s diet.

Remember, those 88 calories are:

  • 9% of a 50lb dog’s daily caloric intake
  • 33% of a 10lb dog’s daily caloric intake

The good news is that most dogs don’t consume a whole bully stick in a single sitting. It can take weeks for a small dog to chew through an entire bully stick. For bigger talks, eating one can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

This is great, because it’s very important to keep dogs occupied when leaving them home alone. Owners often make use of treat dispensing dog toys to keep their four legged friends busy, but bully sticks can work just as well!

how are bully sticks made

from flickr user Tricia

As long as you keep calorie intake in mind, bully sticks are largely a safe and enjoyable treat for your dog. In fact, in some countries beef pizzles are also eaten by humans for health benefits! Beef pizzles have:

  • low cholesterol
  • high protein
  • hormones
  • vitamins
  • calcium & magnesium

However, we don’t recommend you take a chomp out of your dog’s bully sticks, as they are essentially uncooked meat products. As a precaution, be sure to wash your hands after handling bully sticks.

Where to Buy Beef Pizzle

Beef pizzle, aka bully sticks, can come from a number of various vendors. If you are interested in getting your dog bully sticks, it’s best to make sure that you buy bully sticks from US vendors or steer pizzle sourced from South America, as some beef pizzle from India and China have questionable quality and are not always prepared properly, which could result in your dog getting sick.

If you’re interested in gifting your dog some delicious bully sticks, Amazon offers a good deal on bulk bully sticks. Alternatively, you can buy beef pizzle dog treats from reliable vendors like Best Bully Sticks.

If your dog goes crazy over new treats, you might also want to consider a BarkBox subscription, which delivers new treats and toys to your pooch monthly (your pup can try everything from bully sticks to goat liver and rabbit!) You can check out our BarkBox review for more info if you’re curious.

Have you ever fed your dog bully sticks? Do they like them? What do you think about them – is the gross factor too much? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!


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M.. Forness

I have a friend who’s sister is married to a farmer, and he raises a small herd of cows for one butcher shop near them. When they put a one of the Bulls down recently; my friend asked her Brother in law to “gift me” the penis! He did, so I’m about to make homemade “bully stick” for my Corgi for Christmas! Wish me luck! LOL

Ben Team

Wow. That sounds like quite a project!
Best of luck. 🙂

Peggy McLeod

Are all of your treats /products sourced from USA?

Meg Marrs

We do not produce the treats.


we make Bully Sticks are 100% Beef Sticks Dog from turkey


Haha, yeah, I guess it shouldn’t be a huge surprise since dogs do tend to adore what we might call disgusting. 😉


Haha! My dog loves bully sticks! I never really knew how they were made, but I did know they were a bull’s penis. I’m sure some people would be surprised to realize this.


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