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Bully Stick Calorie Check – Are Bully Sticks Fattening For Dogs?

As more and more dog owners start to give their dogs bully sticks as a quick and easy way to keep their dog occupied with a dog treat, we have noticed more people asking questions about what’s exactly in a bully stick as well as a few other questions.

One of the questions that we have seen a large number of people asking about recently is about bully stick calories as well as if bully sticks are fattening for dogs or not.

Due to having seen so many people reaching out about these as well as it being important to know more about the food that you are giving to your dog, we have decided to publish this article.

Our hope is that we will be able to help our readers better understand the calorie content of bully sticks as well as how they are able to affect your dog’s weight.

Before we go any further, we just want to say that the term “bully stick” is not specific to any single brand.

Different brands product bully sticks and each brand have their own dimensions for the dog treats meaning that each brand will have a different calorie content for their bully sticks.

For the most accurate information, you should always check the labelling for the specific bully stick brand that you use for your dogs.

Are Bully Sticks Fattening For Dogs?

Bully sticks are not fattening for dogs due to your dog’s weight being based on the simple equation of calories in via food vs calories out via exercise. Bully sticks can easily be implemented into the diets of most dogs without your dog putting weight on.

Due to the tough texture of bully sticks, it can be hard for some dogs to even eat them so thy actually have minimal calories added to their diet from the bully sticks.

Even if your dog does eat the fully bully stick though, they are made from lean beef muscle protein so are surprisingly low in calories when compared to some bully stick alternatives.

A single gram of protein contains four calories where as a single gram of fat contains nine calories with many dog treats having a surprisingly high amount of fat in them.

Due to bully sticks being relatively low in fat, they tend to have far fewer calories than a dog treat that does have fat in them.

A Jack Russel Terrier dog enjoying a bully stick as a treat.
“Jimmy and his bully stick.” by ojbyrne is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

How Many Calories Are In A Bully Stick?

The general rule of thumb is that a bully stick will generally be between 9 and 22 calories per inch.

It is difficult to give an exact answer due to different brands using different beef muscle cuts with different calorie content and most brands offering regular, thick, and jumbo width bully sticks changing their calorie content.

How Many Calories In A 12 Inch Bully Stick?

A regular 12 inch bully stick will usually have around 110 calories in it with a thick 12 inch bully stick having around 180 calories in it and a jumbo 12 inch bully stick having around 265 calories in it.

Depending on the breed of dog you have as well as how much exercise it gets on a daily basis, all three types of 12 inch bully stick can be added to most dogs diets without issue.

How Many Calories In A 6 Inch Bully Stick?

A regular 6 inch bully stick will usually have around 55 calories in it while a thick 6 inches bully stick has around 90 calories in it and a jumbo 6 inches bully stick usually has 130 calories in it.

It can be much easier to work a 6 inch bully stick into your dog’s diet without it gaining weight due to it having less calories in it than the larger 12 inch bully sticks.

Can I Give My Dog A Bully Stick Every Day?

Many dog owners do give their dogs a new bully stick every day without their dog putting weight on. We usually don’t recommend that you do this though as a bully stick puts a large amount of wear and tear on your dogs teeth and gums.

If you have a dog breed that can get frustrated due to a lack of exercise while you are out at work, a bully stick each day can be a great way to protect your home from your dog chewing it to pieces though.

You have to try and factor things like this in when working out if you should be giving your dog a bully stick each day or not.

As we covered above, the six inch bully sticks contain far fewer calories than their twelve inch alternative so you can often give your dog a six inch bully stick each day without issue.

The six inch bully sticks will often keep your dog occupied for just as long as the twelve inch variant too making them a great option.


That brings our article going over the calorie content of bully sticks as well as if bully sticks can be fattening for dogs to an end. As with most things when it comes to nutrition and diet, it is easy to work bully sticks into your dogs diet with relative ease provided you use them in moderation and ensure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. Bully sticks tend to have around half the calories of some of the other popular dog treats on the market too making them a great treat option.