Bones and natural chew treats have become extremely popular among dog owners. They are healthier alternatives to synthetic chew toys since they are long-lasting and help clean your dog's teeth. However, not all chew treats and bones are created equally. Some may cause more harm than good. Others may contain harmful ingredients that may cause health complications in dogs. Pet owners should be aware of the risks and benefits of these products when choosing one for their four-legged friend.
While all three are high value, they have some dangers associated with them. The solution is not to deprive your dog of these healthy treats, but to find a safe way to deliver them to your dog. This article will discuss the benefits and risks of 3 popular chews for dogs: bully sticks, steak bones, and yak sticks for dogs. And the best way to offer these treats to your dog. First, let's answer the question, "are bully sticks safe for dogs?"
What are Bully Sticks?
Bully sticks, also known as beef pizzle, are a single-ingredient dog chew made from high-protein beef muscle, specifically, the pizzle (or penis) of a bull. These strips have a hard, chewable texture and strong meaty flavor, making them popular among dogs. They're typically used as a treat because of their low-calorie content and low odor. Bully sticks are also a natural source of calcium and protein. So are bully sticks safe for dogs? The short answer is yes. While there are still some risks, there are ways to feed them to your furry friends safely. Here are some other things you may want to know:
Benefits of Bully Sticks
- All-natural, single ingredient treats that contain no artificial ingredients, making them a healthy choice
- Rich in protein, calcium, and other nutrients that may benefit dogs' health and improve their performance
- Helps freshen dog's breath by reducing plaque buildup on the teeth
- Highly digestible, so it's gentle on your dog's stomach
- Long-lasting chew that provides mental stimulation and can help reduce anxiety in dogs
Risks of Bully Sticks
- Some bully sticks may be contaminated with bacteria
- Potential to cause choking if swallowed in large pieces
- May cause stomach upset in some dogs and puppies
- More expensive than other treats
What are Steak Bones?
Regarding steak bones, experts are divided on whether they're safe for dogs. While some experts claim they are safe and nutritious, others warn that they can cause health problems.
Many experts recommend giving raw steak bones, never cooked bones to dogs as a healthy snack in moderation because they provide several health benefits. However, following the feeding guidelines is crucial to avoid health risks for you and your dog. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of feeding steak bones to dogs:
Benefits of Steak Bones
- High in protein and low in calories, which makes them a tasty and healthy treat for dogs
- An easy way to maintain strong teeth and gums and prevent gum diseases
- High in calcium, which helps build and maintain healthy bones and joints
Risks of Steak Bones
- May cause choking and damage to the dog's teeth, mouth, throat, or intestines if splintered or broken into pieces while chewing
- Risk of contamination with bacteria and parasites that can cause illness in some dogs
- May cause vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems
- Can increase the risk of pancreatitis if fed in high quantities
- Generally more expensive than other treats and snacks for dogs. Unless of course you cut the meat off a T-Bone steak for your own dinner and save the bone for your dog.
What are Yak Sticks?
Yak sticks are an excellent treat for your dogs. Made with just three simple ingredients—yak milk, salt, and lime juice. They are hard, crunchy and a healthy alternative to traditional dog treats. Like bully sticks, yak sticks contain no fillers, preservatives, or artificial flavors, making them a safe choice.
Benefits of Yak Sticks
- Made with all-natural ingredients, and are a good source of vitamins and minerals
- Lactose-, grain-, and gluten-free, and fully digestible
- A good alternative for dogs that don't like the texture of other treats
- Promotes dental health for dogs and relieves stress
- Recommended chew for teething puppies
Risks of Yak Sticks
- Excessive consumption may also cause health problems
- Too frequent consumption may damage your dog’s teeth
- Huge chunks can be a choking hazard
- Dog’s like to bury them, just like bones. So prepare to have your yard or garden torn up.
- Relatively same price range as bully sticks
Bully and yak sticks, and raw steak bones have many benefits but should not just be handed to your dog. They need a holder, something other than your hands. BarkerFun offers a simple holding device that can be used with all three of these great treats. The Treat Clincher turns bully, yak sticks and bones into long term enrichment. Dogs will pull and tug and do their best to consume the treat while it is firmly held safely in place. No risk of choking. No mess on your floors. And no buried treasures in your yard.
Bully sticks, steak bones, and yak cheese sticks all initially cost more than traditional packaged dog treats. However, when you calculate time into the equation, bully sticks, bones and yak sticks win. They last a lot longer that a bag of packaged treats, they entertain your dog. And they are all healthy.