There’s no doubt that bully sticks begin to smell awful after a short period of time. This may send you and your furry friend away making you wonder; Why do bully sticks smell so bad?
Bully sticks smell bad as a result of the oxidation process which happens when they become wet by mixing with your dogs’ saliva and oxygen from the atmosphere.
Although bully sticks are odor-free at the time of purchase, they may begin to change and become smelly few days after being chewed by your dog.
In this article, we delve into the science behind bully stick odors, explore the factors that contribute to their distinctive smell, and most importantly, share practical tips to mitigate the stench, ensuring a more enjoyable chewing experience for both you and your canine companion.
Table of Contents
Why Do Bully Sticks Smell So Bad?
Bully sticks smell so bad when they mix with saliva which acts as a source of moisture thus initiating the decaying process.
Bully sticks, also known as pizzle sticks, are made from the uncooked, dried, and twisted penises of bulls or steers. Yes, you read that correctly.
The strong smell originates from the natural compounds present in the bull’s genitals, such as proteins, fats, and oils. These compounds, when dried, undergo chemical changes that release the distinct odor.
Furthermore, bully sticks are typically air-dried or smoked, which intensifies their smell even more. The process of drying or smoking can result in the formation of additional compounds that contribute to the foul odor.
It’s worth noting that not all bully sticks smell equally bad. The quality of the stick, the drying process employed, and the specific animal it comes from can all affect the intensity of the odor. Higher-quality sticks may have a milder scent, while lower-quality ones might be more pungent.
While the smell may be off-putting to us humans, dogs seem to relish it. They are drawn to the strong scent, which makes bully sticks an appealing and long-lasting chew for them.
How Do You Get the Smell Out of Bully Sticks?
To get the bas smell out of bully sticks, you should wash them thoroughly in hot or lukewarm water before giving it to your dog.
Rinsing the bully stick can help remove some of the surface odor-causing compounds. Be careful to avoid over-rinsing which may affect the texture of the bully stick.
Another solution to remove the smell out of bully sticks is by soaking it in vinegar. You should create equal parts of water and white vinegar, and let the bully stick soak in it for 15-20 minutes.
Vinegar has natural deodorizing properties that can help neutralize the smell. After soaking, rinse the stick thoroughly with water and allow it to dry.
A third solution is to bake the bully stick in oven. Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 200°F (93°C). Place the bully sticks on a baking sheet and bake them for approximately 30 minutes. The heat will help evaporate some of the odor-causing compounds. Be sure to monitor the sticks closely to prevent them from becoming too brittle or burned.
The fourth and last solution to get the smell out of bully sticks is by simply opting for odorless bully sticks.
Some pet supply companies offer odorless bully sticks that have undergone additional processing to reduce or eliminate the smell. These sticks may be a bit more expensive, but they can be worth it if the smell is a significant concern for you.
Is It Normal for Bully Sticks to Smell So Bad?
Although bully sticks have a natural smell to them, it’s not normal for bully sticks to smell bad. The bas smell comes when they are exposed to dogs’ saliva and oxygen in the atmosphere.
So, even if a bully stick is marked as “oder-free” on purchase, it doesn’t mean that they are totally odor free.
They will have a slight smell, especially ones that are added with chemicals such as formaldehyde and bleach to mask the natural smell.
With that said, always go for small sized bully sticks which your canine friend will be able to finish before they begin to smell bad.
So, this brings us to the question; how long do bully sticks stay fresh?
How Long Do Bully Sticks Stay Fresh?
Bully sticks stay fresh for a long period of time; anywhere between 1 to 2 years from the day they were produced.
When selecting a bully stick for your canine friend, ensure you select the best quality, natural chew to keep your furry friend free from being exposed to harmful chemicals and additives.
So, the freshness of bully sticks can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the product, storage conditions, and the specific brand or manufacturer.
Generally, bully sticks have a relatively long shelf life compared to other dog treats, thanks to their drying and smoking processes that help preserve them.
It’s important to check the packaging for any specific recommendations provided by the manufacturer regarding storage and expiration dates.
If stored properly in a cool, dry place, bully sticks can remain fresh for several months. Sealed packages or airtight containers can further extend their freshness.
However, once the package is opened, the exposure to air and moisture can accelerate the degradation process. In such cases, bully sticks typically remain fresh for a few weeks or up to a month, depending on the environmental conditions.
It’s crucial to keep them away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity, as these factors can promote spoilage and mold growth.
Are Bully Sticks Full of Bacteria?
A study by Tuff University on presence of bacteria in bully sticks identified that approximately 4% of bully sticks are contaminated with bacteria.
So, bully sticks, being an animal product, can indeed harbor bacteria. However, the extent of bacterial contamination can vary depending on several factors.
Bully sticks are typically made from raw animal parts, such as bull or steer penises.
Raw meat inherently carries bacteria like Salmonella or Escherichia coli (E. coli), which can pose health risks to both dogs and humans.
Additionally, the drying process used for bully sticks may not eliminate all bacteria present.
It’s important to note that bacteria are not necessarily harmful in all cases. Dogs have a different digestive system compared to humans, and their bodies are generally better equipped to handle certain types of bacteria. Nevertheless, caution should still be exercised to minimize the risk of illness.
To ensure the safety of bully sticks, it’s crucial to choose reputable brands and manufacturers that prioritize quality and hygiene. Look for products that undergo proper testing and adhere to strict quality control measures.
Reputable brands often provide information about their manufacturing processes, including testing for bacteria and other contaminants.
In conclusion, the pungent odor of bully sticks can be attributed to the natural compounds found in the bull or steer genitals, as well as the drying and smoking processes used during production.
While the smell may be off-putting to us humans, dogs are drawn to it. If the smell bothers you, exploring alternative chew options, such as dental chews or durable rubber toys, can provide a pleasant and odor-free experience.
Remember, the well-being and enjoyment of our furry friends are what truly matter. So, whether it’s a bully stick or an alternative, let’s continue to keep our dogs happy, healthy, and entertained.