As more and more pet owners search for treats and chews that their pets will enjoy and are good for them at the same time, the debate between two popular types of dog treats is raised once again. Which is better – bully sticks or rawhide? While each dog treat has supporters and detractors, a more in-depth look at both may help to make the decision easier when you’re looking at both in the aisles of your local pet supply store.
Rawhide treats and chews have been around seemingly forever. Lining the aisles of pet supply stores, rawhide chews are available in a huge variety of sizes for both puppies and larger dogs, shapes that range from bones to twists and ties, and flavors including chicken, beef, lamb and duck.
The biggest appeal of rawhide is how affordable it is. Available both individually and in bulk, rawhide dog treats can cost less than a dollar a piece, while lasting for weeks and sometimes even months at a time. Considered suitable for dogs both small and large, compressed rawhide is generally reserved for smaller breeds as it can become a choking hazard for larger dogs when they attempt to swallow pieces of it whole.
Rawhide dog treats are often criticized for a number of different reasons, not the least of which is the choking hazard they can present if broken into smaller pieces through use and the inability of most dogs to actually digest the rawhide they do ingest, instead having pass through their digestive tract where it can cause damage if there are sharp ridges on the ingested piece. Because of this, more and more dog owners are turning to dog treats that don’t present a choking hazard and that can be digested by their pets as they would their food.
With the panic caused by contaminated pet food in 2007, there grew a huge demand for all natural dog chews and treats. Because of that, bully sticks have grown in popularity with pet owners all over the country in search of dog treats that they feel comfortable with and that their dogs will enjoy.
Unlike rawhide treats, bully sticks are made from the beef of the cow, not the hide, allowing for it to be digested and processed by the dog as it would their food instead of passing it through their system like rawhide. Much like rawhide, bully sticks are available in numerous sizes, from just a few inches for smaller breeds to nearly a yard long for larger dogs, styles including braided bully sticks as a way to work the teeth and jaw muscles, and flavors that include chicken treats for dogs and lamb treats for dogs among others.
Much like rawhide treats, bully sticks can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the treat given to the dog, and while with larger breeds and rawhide you have to be wary of the choking hazard from broken pieces, bully sticks are easily digested by breeds both large and small and won’t chip and break to present a choking hazard like rawhide.
Which One to Choose
While technically neither choice is incorrect, when it really comes down to it, the trend of dog treats and chews seems to be moving more towards bully sticks simply because of their status as an all natural treat that can be digested just like food without any worry of contamination. With plenty of flavors, sizes, and styles to suit every size and type of dog, bully sticks are quickly taking the place of rawhide on the aisles of pet supply stores around the country.
About the Author
Avrum Elmakis is the president of Best Bully Sticks, a leading provider of dog treats, bully sticks, beef trachea, and other all natural dog chews and treats. He and his family own two adorable pugs named Espy and Sushi, the canines who were the motivation for affordable natural dog treats!