Two dogs happily chew bully sticks in Bully Buddy bully stick holder

Bully Sticks - Treat or Meal Replacement?

Johnna Devereaux C.P.N.

Last updated on April 28, 2020

Are bully sticks treats or a meal?

At Bow Wow Labs we’re focused on a few very simple concepts: keeping dogs happier and safer, and making dog parents feel more empowered and confident in their pet ownership role. That’s why we created the Bully Buddy - to keep dogs safer when enjoying bully sticks*, and to give dog owners peace of mind.

One question we often get is: are bully sticks a treat or a meal replacement? Great question! The quick answer is: bully sticks are calorically dense treats that provide longer chew times, and are a great addition to your dog’s weekly regimen. But bully sticks are not a nutritionally complete and balanced food and therefore would not be considered a meal replacement.

Assuming you allow your dog to eat the full length of the bully stick, you should restrict other treats on those days and always be mindful of all food and additional treats that you may give your pup to avoid weight gain. but depending upon the treat’s size in relationship to the size of your dog, they could be adding meal-worthy calories to your dog’s diet.

How many calories are in a bully stick?

In 2013, American and Canadian researchers from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Guelph conducted the study to examine the caloric density of bully sticks and found that the treats range from 9 to 22 calories per inch.

That means that the average 6-inch bully stick packs in about 88 calories. So, for a 50-pound dog, the 88 calories amounts to 9 percent of its daily diet which isn’t too significant. But, a 10-pound dog would get a whopping 30 percent of its daily calorie requirements from one bully stick.

So just like anything else in this world - too much of a good thing isn’t always good for you (or your dog)!

That doesn’t mean bully sticks aren’t still a great way to keep your dog happy and healthy - just keep these calorie stats in mind so you can adapt his or her diet for the rest of that day if necessary. And, of course, use your Bully Buddy to help prevent choking on the tail end of that bully stick!

*Bully sticks are a great longer-term chew that brings lots of joy to your pup, supports a healthy mental state, and satisfies their instinctual desire to chew. We always recommend pairing your bully sticks with the right size Bully Buddy to make your pup safer and to help prevent a choking hazard or intestinal obstruction once they’ve chewed down to the last 1 to 1.5 inches of the bully stick.


You might also like:

Related Posts


Safeguarding Your Furry Friends: Preventing Pet Poisoning

Read More

The Power of Spirulina: A Nutritional Marvel for Your Dog

Read More

Discovering Arrowroot: A Nutritional Gem for Your Dog’s Wellness

Read More

Follow us @BowWowLabs

Convenient Shipping

Your package will be on its way within 2-3 business days of order placement. Timing of arrival depends on the delivery option chosen at time of checkout; orders placed on/around holidays may result in longer shipping times.

Great Customer Service

We pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to great customer service. If you have a question, need a product recommendation or have an issue with your order–we are here to help!

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you (or your pet) are not 100% satisfied with any Bow Wow Labs product, simply click HERE to share your feedback and give us the opportunity to make it right with our no-hassle, free replacement or full refund promise.

Appeared In

Copyright © 2024 Bow Wow Labs.
Created using