labrador retriever nose to nose with brown cow over fence

Where (in the World) Do Bully Sticks Come From and How Are They Produced?

Brittany Randolph

labrador retriever nose to nose with brown cow over fence

Bully Sticks have been used for centuries across different cultures for a multitude of purposes including medicine, walking canes, human tools and utensils - with all of these uses, is it any wonder why dogs love them so much?!

Today, bully sticks are as popular as ever, but their main purpose has evolved. Bully sticks have primarily become a nutritional treat for dogs. And since they are part of many a pups’ weekly diet, folks naturally have questions about where bully sticks come from and how they are produced.

We’re here to shed some light on the subject of bully stick sourcing and explain where Bow Wow Labs gets its sticks, so you can feel good about what’s going in your furry friend’s body.

Why do we source our bully sticks from South American cattle?

We know that U.S. production of food products is important to customers, but we’ve found that South America is a better source for bully sticks than the U.S. for several reasons.

While the U.S. accounts for 20% of the world’s beef production, we are home to only 9% of the world’s cattle. In fact, 60% of the world’s cattle live in South America. Put another way, since 2008, the U.S. beef cattle inventory has decreased by 3.1 million beef cows while South America has expanded its inventory by almost 4 million beef cows.

Due to its large supply of cattle and specialization in beef production, South America is not only an economical source for bully sticks, but more importantly, one of the most environmentally sustainable sources.

cows grazing with dog in the middle

South American bully stick manufacturing processes are safer and stricter

South American inspection and manufacturing processes are stricter than those in India, Australia or New Zealand. This is another reason why South America produces fresher, healthier bully sticks - consistently.

In addition, the way that bully sticks are made in South America result in higher-quality sticks. What do we mean by ‘high quality’? We’ve compared thousands of bully sticks throughout the course of our business and have found that bully sticks that don’t have smoky odors or greasy coatings are best. Low-odor, non-greasy sticks are preferred by dog owners and also yummy to dogs.

Moreover, while some bully sticks are sun-dried or smoked to remove moisture that can cause bacteria, the South American sticks that Bow Wow Labs’ sources are baked at high temperatures after they are hung to dry. This removes additional moisture and therefore the risk of harmful bacteria, while still locking in as much delicious flavor as possible.

close up of Brazilian brown cow eating grass

South American cattle are healthy

Many studies have shown that the nutritional value of beef products, including bully sticks, are a direct result of what cows eat. The old adage, “You are what you eat” applies to animals too!

The bully sticks that we source come from South American cattle that are grass-fed and allowed to graze in a pasture (free-range), practices that are well-recognized for producing healthier beef products.

In general, grass-fed cows are fed mostly grass, rather than corn, soy or other grains, which leads to more flavorful, less fatty meat - and lean bully sticks that are good for chewing! Grass-fed beef contains more carotenoids, vitamin E and other antioxidants.

Free-range cows are not confined to feedlots, crowded in with other animals or restricted from eating when they want. They are not fed routine antibiotics, though they may be vaccinated and treated if they become ill. Stress is minimized for cows raised in this way as well.

small dog looking up behind bully stick and bully buddy

Our South American bully sticks are never treated with chemicals or additives

Lastly, Bow Wow Labs’ bully sticks are never treated with chemicals or additives. Some manufacturers will coat bully sticks in chemicals in order to mask the odor or hide signs of a poorly manufactured product. These chemicals can also be dangerous to your dog’s health.

With our bully sticks, you can rest assured that your dog will get 100% hormone-free, beef protein that has been baked to dry and has no chemicals or bacteria.

When choosing bully sticks for your dog, make sure you know where they come. Is the source a free-range, grass-fed cow that is 100% hormone-free? Have the sticks been treated with chemicals? Get in touch with us if you have any questions about the source of your bully sticks.

Related Resources

Naturally Boost Your Dog’s Health with These 7 Effective Tips
Solving the Bully Stick Problem
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, These Household Items are the Most Toxic to Your Dog

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