Bully Stick Basics: What Are Bully Sticks Made From?

What are bully sticks, anyway? As the name suggests, it’s the penis of a bull. They may also be called beef pizzles, pizzle sticks, beef sticks, or steer stix, but it all comes down to the same thing. Not only do dogs love them, but they use parts of the bull that may otherwise go to waste—making them a more sustainable dog treat option!

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know this! A recent survey published in Canadian Veterinary Journal found that only 62 percent of veterinarians could correctly identify the main ingredient of bully sticks. Forty-four percent of the general public could do the same.

The best bully stick products are created from high-quality, grass-fed, free-range cattle from either North or South America. These cattle are never raised in feedlots or given antibiotics, and they are never sourced from China.

The idea of your dog chomping down on a bull pizzle may not sound tasty to you, but dogs love their texture and flavor. Also, using bully sticks as dog treats is a great way to make use of every part of a slaughtered bull. And if you like feeding your dog treats with simple ingredients, Cadet® bully sticks are a good choice because they contain just one ingredient!


Frozen bull sticks—pizzle canes—are received at the factory that processes the Cadet bully sticks directly from certified slaughterhouses. Once received, the frozen pizzles are thawed, thoroughly washed, and put on hooks for further processing. At this time, any remaining visceral fat or connective tissue is removed.

The pizzles are then hung on carts to be taken to the oven. A weight is placed at the ends of each cane to stretch and straighten them during the heating process. The pizzles are then placed in special convection ovens to cook and dry for approximately 60 hours, although the exact time varies depending on the ambient humidity and temperature. Once dry, the pizzle canes are ready to be cut to size!

Because this is an all-natural product, expect there to be some differences in thickness, color, or shape among specimens. But the best bully sticks are alike in one respect: They contain no fillers and are grain-, gluten-, and preservative-free.


While all dogs should be supervised while munching down on any chew treat, bully sticks are safe for your dog. As an added benefit, they promote healthy teeth and gums when chewed. And after a vigorous session of evening chewing, your dog will probably be relaxed and calm for the rest of the night.

As with all treats, wash your hands after handling them yourself, as you would after handling raw meat. Humans are much more prone to Salmonella than are dogs, so we have to careful dealing with any all-natural dog treat.

RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?


Yes! Bully sticks are highly digestible and make a great rawhide alternative. In fact, the bully stick is a real source of nutrition for dogs, and they’re high in protein and low in fat.

How long will a bully stick last? That depends entirely on your pup. Even strong-jawed dogs find the sticks a chewing delight. Bully sticks typically last from several hours to a few days, depending on your dog’s size and determination.


The people who bring you Cadet products produce both plain and braided bully stick varieties. Braided bully sticks provide extra exercise for the teeth and gums, and will last longer than the plain ones.

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