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Washington has had record rain this fall season, and it has SUCKED. I used to get annoyed when the media painted the picture of the Pacific Northwest having nine months of rain, but when it rains for several weeks in a row, you begin to realize that the media is on to something.
Were it not for the blistering summer heat, Eastern Washington would be very tempting right now.
Because of the weather and shorter days, the dogs' playtime is limited, the walks are practically non-existent, and the idea of standing in the rain while my dogs chew on their raw meaty bones is a joke – ha ha ha HA HA – thank heavens for our five acres and bully sticks.
What Are Bully Sticks?
For the small population who is unfamiliar with bully sticks, they are the disgusting, smelly remnants of dried bull pizzle (or penis) – yep, they use the entire cow! And according to my boyfriend, bully sticks smell like Satan's taint. J isn't a fan of bully sticks and complains the second he walks in the house and realizes the dogs were having a chew/teeth cleaning session.
- J: “I don't understand why they can't just have those outside.”
- Me: “Because I don't want to stand outside in the rain.”
I got used to the smell of green tripe and I got used to the smell of bully sticks. I won't be making a body spray for friends – Eau du Pizzle – but the right bully sticks will buy me at least 30 minutes of peaceful time in a house with four big dogs.
Benefits of Bully Sticks
I give our dogs bully sticks for three reasons:
- Bully sticks do a great job of satisfying our dogs' chew drive.
- Bully sticks work out our dogs' jaw muscles and clean their teeth.
- Bully sticks distract the dogs for at least 30 minutes (if you get the right ones).
- And if I write “bully sticks” about 100 more times in this post, it might turn into the number one post on the Internet about bully sticks. BULLY STICKS, BULLY STICKS, BULLY STICKS.
Our Bully Stick Protocol
My four dogs have taught me a lot about bully sticks, so we now have a Bully Stick Protocol in our home to keep everyone safe.
Our dogs are only given bully sticks when I can keep an eye on them (aka Rodrigo) and my Helicopter Dog Mom tendencies have taught me which bully sticks the dogs can handle.
- Rodrigo tends to steal bully sticks. Sometimes he finishes his first and goes and steals Zoey or Scout's bully stick. Syndey gives him a “homey don't play that” growl when he comes sniffing around her. To keep peace in the home, Rodrigo always gets the biggest one to keep him occupied.
- When bully sticks are chewed down to 3″, they're taken away for an honorable burial in the trash (outside), because the dogs will try and swallow them whole and they'll try and get them out of the trash if I toss them inside. Plus J assures me that the entire house smells like bully sticks when I throw them away inside. Is there an emoticon for “eye rolling?”
- It's nice that each dog has their chewing “spot,” because it keeps the peace in the house on the Hallowed Bully Stick Chewing Days and I know where everyone is and where everyone should be – talking to you, Rodrigo.
Each dog has his/her spot for bully stick enjoyment.
- Sydney lays beneath the coffee table in the living room.
- Rodrigo lays about 2 feet away from her – any closer and she'll give him a warning growl.
- Zoey lays on the rug in front of the back door.
- And Scout lays on same the rug he napped on when he was a puppy, which is beneath Rodrigo's dish (I have to move his dish).
The dogs are only allowed bully sticks for up to 30 minutes. Too much time and Rodrigo's digestive system gets a little wonky because bully sticks are a bit rich for him. Plus, 30 minutes is about all J can stand (if he's home).
I usually only give our dogs bully sticks when I know J is going to be away for several hours.
Dealing with the Smell
The best way to deal with the smell of bully sticks is by lighting candles and not just any candles – they need to be 100% pure beeswax candles. These are the only candles that eliminate odors while improving air quality in the home. They don't mix with the odors of the house and creating the strong scent of Floral Bull Penis. Beeswax candles are also better than the scented candles on the market because they don't put our dogs' health at risk.
Choosing the Right Bully Sticks
When I'm looking for bully sticks, I need ones that are long lasting while doing a great job cleaning our dogs' teeth. I've found three that work great with our dogs. I don't care about no odor or low odor bully sticks – I have candles.
9″ Monster Braided Bully Sticks
These are the best of the best when it comes to bully sticks. It takes 2-3 chewing sessions for my dogs – two for Rodrigo, who is my Monster Chewer – to put a dent in these bully sticks. What I love most about these bully sticks is that they don't unbraid as the dogs are chewing them down. The only downside is that it took Zoey a little longer to figure out how she was going to tackle this beast, so it's taking her a little bit longer to chew it down than our other dogs. Kind of a lame “downside,” right?
If you order these, pick up some solid storage bags to seal away the stench between chewing sessions.
- PawStuck.com currently has these at $16.99. Regular price is $24.99. The more you buy, the more you save.
- You can also order these on Amazon.com for $16.99, but this order doesn't offer additional discounts when you order in bulk.
12″ Braided Bully Sticks
The 12″ braided bully sticks are great or all of my dogs – long enough to provide extended chew time, slim enough for everyone to be able to hold the stick between their paws and go to Chew Town. With Rodrigo, the slimmer braided bully sticks don't last very long, which is why I like the foot long ones. While the other dogs will chew for 30 minutes, Rodrigo will devour this in 15-20.
- Pawstruck.com sells these for $6.99 each. The more you buy, the more you save.
Bully Stick Variety Pack
I tried the Bully Stick Variety Pack two years ago with my dogs, and it lasted a long time. I love it. This is great for someone looking to get a good deal on a quality product. It's perfection for a person, like me, who is raising four dogs with different chewing personalities – there's something for everyone with a total of 7 bully sticks in the pack.
- Rodrigo gets the thick one.
- Zoey likes the circle.
- Sydney enjoys the traditional bully sticks.
- Scout loves his spiral.
At 7 pieces, I can give Rodrigo the small bully dumbbell if he finishes his thick bully stick too quickly. It's a win win!
- PawStuck.com currently has these at $19.99. Regular price is $24.99.
5 Bully Sticks for Gentle Chewers
Technically, we only have one pathologically strong chewer in the house, Rodrigo. While everyone's Monster Braided Bully Stick is less than half-chewed, Rodrigo's is at the 50% mark – he chews nearly twice as hard and fast as the other dogs. He means business.
Zoey is at the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to Rodrigo and she finds huge bully sticks a challenge, so I get the following for her:
All of these give Zoey plenty of chewing time and challenge while cleaning her teeth.