Most of you have wandered in the chew toy aisles of pet stores and have seen the large variety of treats, rawhides, and other objects for your dogs to chew on. A very common one is "bully sticks". These look like long, tubular rawhide and are mixed in among the other chews. Some of them are very long, some have been twisted into a spiral, and some have been cut into shorter lengths. They're quite common and I bet that many readers have given them to their own pets.
But do you know what they are? The first time I saw one in a pet store I was a bit shocked, and it still causes me to smile when I see them, especially if someone is buying a pack. If more people knew what they were, I think sales would drop. So what are they?
Yes, that's right. Bully sticks are dried and preserved bull penis, hence the name. I've even been able to identify the different sections of the penis and the urethra and have a complete anatomy lesson right there in the store. The long ones are the full length penis, while the shorter ones are the penis cut into pieces.
Yes, I know some of you men are crossing your legs and cringing. And you women are probably dying to read this to one of the men in your life to see their reaction.
As strange as this may seem, it's purely psychological. There is nothing bad about rawhide penis and the dogs certainly don't know the difference. In essence, there is no real difference between bully sticks and more traditional rawhide treats. Both are cow tissue dried and preserved and both are safe to chew. You can also find dried liver and lungs as treats.
But I have to admit that while I give rawhides to my own dogs, I've never given them bully sticks and don't think I would. There's just something about the fact that it's penis that weirds me out a bit.
Now all of you know the truth. Be sure to tell all of your friends!