How to Choose a Bully Stick? Detailed Guide

Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers. Learn more about us here.

How to choose a bully stick? These are popular treats for dogs, but with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.

Not to worry though.

I will take you through the process of choosing the ideal bully stick for your dog in this comprehensive guide.

By the end of it, you will have the knowledge you need to make an informed choice!

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How to Choose the Right Bully Stick for Your Dog

Here are some of the things you gotta consider if you want your dog to enjoy the right bully stick:

By Size of Dog

Just like how bully sticks come in various sizes, dogs have different sizes as well. 

You may own a small or large breed dog, but either way, to be more accurate, there are specific dog weights that can tell the size of your dog:

  • XX-Small. If your dog only weighs 8 lbs (3.6 kilograms) or less, then it falls into the XX-Small size. Teacup dogs and Chihuahuas fall into this range.
  • X-Small. A dog that weighs between 8 and 15 lbs (3.6 to 6.8 kilograms) is considered to be an X-Small. For sure you’ve already seen dogs of this size. If you’ve been around a Shih Tzu before, you’ll know what an X-Small dog looks like.
  • Small. 15 to 24 lbs (6.8 to 11 kilograms) is the typical weight for a Small-sized doggy. You may not expect this but pugs are a perfect example of a small-sized doggo. Yes, they seem to have solid build but they only weigh between this range.
  • Medium. For a dog to be considered medium-sized, it has to weigh between 24 and 44 lbs (11 to 20 kilograms). A full-grown beagle or dachshund are good examples of medium-sized doggies.
  • Large. The standard weight for large-sized dogs is between 44 and 60 lbs (20 to 27 kilograms), which includes breeds like the Siberian Husky.
  • X-Large. Cops usually walk around the street with German Shepherds in tow, and these dogs are considered X-Large since they weigh between 60 and 88 lbs (27 to 40 kilograms).
  • XX-Large. Dogs that weigh 88 lbs (40 kilograms) and beyond are what you can call XX-Large. Mastiff and Rottweiler are just two examples of this size.

By Chewer Type

choosing a bully stick by type of chewer

Different dogs chew differently on their bully sticks, just like some humans eat faster than others.

Understanding which type of chewer your dog is can help you to choose the right one too.

  • Light chewer: Say you got dogs that only chew lightly, a thin bully stick will suffice for them
  • Moderate chewer: Most dogs will fall into this category and regular chewers. In this case, a medium-sized chew will be suitable for them
  • Strong chewer: Dogs who chew hard should have thicker bully sticks. They last longer and are tougher in general
  • Power chewer: Is your dog an aggressive chewer? You would need the thickest type of bully stick or even consider a braided one. These are harder to chew through and can satisfy even the most aggressive dogs

By Length

Bully sticks are made in different lengths, most commonly 12, 6, and 4 inches.

  • 12 inches are perfect for Large to XX-Large-sized dogs who are strong to powerful chewers
  • 6 inches are excellent for your XX-Small to Medium-sized doggies who are moderate chewers
  • 4 inches are good for your puppies and senior dogs as they are light chewers

By Width

Remembering the widths of bully sticks is easy. 

Just like my body size from young to old, bully sticks are usually offered in thin to jumbo sizes.

  • Jumbo is for dogs from Large to XX-Large who either chews strongly or aggressively
  • Regular is perfect for XX-Small to Medium-sized doggies who chew moderately
  • Junior (or thin) bully sticks are excellent for senior dogs and puppies since they only chew lightly

By Pack or Weight

In most cases, especially online, bully sticks come in packs of 6, 10, or 25.

For first-time dog owners, a 6-pack makes the most sense as you want to test it out before stocking up. 

Alternatively, some dog supply stores allow you to pick up bully sticks by weight.

By Shape

  • Curly: Curly-shaped bully sticks have a spiral shape. This is perfect for your curious doggies since it’ll take them time to figure out how to chew this one!
  • Braided: This shape is made of two or more bully sticks braided into one that’s why you’ll notice it’s a bit thicker than other shapes. It makes for a long-lasting dog chew
  • Ring: Shaped like a ring, puppies will definitely have fun playing and chewing on this bully stick

What to Look for in a Bully Stick

Free-range Beef

Choose the bully stick made from free-range beef.

You’ll be letting your dogs eat beef from bulls that only ate natural food and lived in a free roaming range.


It’s best to let your dogs enjoy chewing on a bully stick free from any chemical that may cause them serious health problems.

Which Bully Stick is Best for Dogs?

There are quite a number of brands out there that seem good and reputable, but my top 2 choices come down to these.

Consider a Bully Stick Holder

The bully stick holder will prevent your dog from accidentally swallowing a bully stick that has gotten too small. 

Buy this cute bully stick holder to help your doggy enjoy its bully stick without the hazard of choking!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What makes a good bully stick?

The ingredients of the bully stick are what make it good. If the bully stick is made from free-range beef and is chemical-free, then that bully stick is surely good for your dog!

Is there a difference between bully sticks?

Yes. Bully sticks come in different sizes, shapes, and suitability for dogs. Some sizes and shapes are suitable for a dog, while others may not be. Some bully sticks are great for large dogs, but won’t do well for small dogs.

What type of bully sticks last the longest?

Braided bully sticks last the longest since bully sticks are combined into one to make a thicker and bigger bully stick.

Are braided bully sticks better?

Yes. Braided bully sticks are better since your dog will have more time to chew them before they become a choking hazard. They are more durable and excellent for any type of chewer.

Doggy says, you might be kee on this too: Is beef hide the same as rawhide?

In Conclusion: How to Choose a Bully Stick?

Choosing the right bully stick for your dog might seem confusing, but with the right information, it doesn’t have to be.

With this guide, all you need is to check a few boxes and you are all set!

Read more about bully sticks here:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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