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How are bully sticks made?
The process of preparing and producing a bully stick is not as difficult as one may think. It is a lot similar to how we create beef jerky!
- A pet food factory will receive frozen raw materials that may be shipped directly from a slaughterhouse.
- Upon arriving at the manufacturing plant, the raw material will be defrosted and washed.
- Each puzzle is then stretched and hung on racks in preparation to entering the dryer approximately 36" long.
- The dehydration process lasts for several hours at various temperatures depending on the manufacturer.
- The bully sticks are then cut to various measurements which contribute to the length and thickness of each stick.
- A sample is then lab tested for Salmonella and other pathogens and Certified by a Veterinary authority.
Similar to the initial steps above, some manufacturers opt to sun-dry their products. The process is in fact, just that, allowing the bully stick to dry in the outdoors under the sun. These manufacturers are prominent in the India & Bangladesh regions.
We do not recommend purchasing from any vendor that purchases products from these regions.
Since bully sticks are 100% raw-based dog treats, there are two methods used to decrease contamination of the product:
Companies that choose to sun-dry their pizzles may also scrape of any visceral fat from the pizzle. However, sun drying allows bacteria a better opportunity to survive the drying process.
Some companies, however, may take an extra step in the cleansing process by exposing the bull pizzles to radiation. The method of exposing food to radiation is known as irradiation, and it is commonly used to eradicate bacteria and microorganisms.
What is irradiation?
As we mentioned above, many pet treat companies implement two methods of decontamination—washing, and irradiation.
Food irradiation is a process whereby organic products, such as bully sticks, will be exposed to radiation to destroy and combat bacterial growth.
In other words, radiation is used to kill pathogenic bacteria and microorganisms, that can cause food-borne illnesses in pets and people.
According to the FDA, using radiation to destroy pathogens in food is completely safe. The radiation only kills the pathogens and does not affect or compromise the integrity of the food.
So, don’t worry! You’re not feeding your dog radioactive bull penis!
Although the FDA has deemed irradiation safe, our bully sticks are not irradiated. This is due to the higher quality of grass fed beef in South America where we source our products.Food Irradiation: What You Need to Know
Now, many different companies offer bully sticks for dogs. And for the most part, each company will have a unique method for preserving and making bully sticks.
Some companies choose to naturally dry out their bully sticks for over 24 hours, while others may prefer to dry and oven-bake their bully sticks.
It is important to remember, that bully sticks are an all natural treat for dogs. There is no added colors or flavors! And so, once a bully stick is dried and baked, they will merely be packaged off for sale.