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What To Do If Your Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick!

With bully sticks becoming increasingly popular due to most dogs really enjoying them as a tasty, nutritious treat, the number of people who we have noticed reaching out with questions relating to bully sticks is increasing exponentially.

Although we do often see a wide range of different questions relating to dogs being given bully sticks, we have noticed a spike in questions relating to what to do if your dog swallowed a bully stick recently.

Due to seeing so many people reaching out about bully sticks, we have decided to publish this dedicated article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

It is surprisingly common for larger dog breeds to swallow their bully sticks with some of the smaller dog breeds also being willing to give it a good go too.

As with most things relating to our pets, a large number of people instantly start to worry when they noticed that their pet dog has eaten the bully stick and swallowed the lot.

Thankfully, in most cases, there is no need to worry and your dog should be fine but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Due to this, we will be going through a full breakdown of what happens when your dog eats a full bully stick as well as what you should be doing to minimise the risks of any potential problems too.

As we are going to be covering a number of slightly different questions and situations, we have added out table of contents below so you can quickly and easily skip to the required location of the article that fits your circumstances best.

My Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick!

If your dog has swallowed a full bully stick or parts of a bully stick then there good chance that your dog will be totally fine due to bully sticks being made from the highest possible quality beef muscle that is easy to digest.

Bully sticks come in a number of different sizes too and it is very unlikely that your dog will have swallowed the bully stick all at once and will have probably broken it into smaller pieces prior to eating it.

This helps to minimise the chances of your dog having any problems due to eating the bully stick and make it more likely that your dog will simply digest the bully stick naturally as it would with other types of food.

High-quality Bully Sticks are an excellent treat for dogs of all sizes with a huge number of dogs swallowing them each year without issue too.

That said though, if you do notice any problems with your dog after eating the bully stick, it can be a good idea to book a video call with an online vet to check your dog over via video call.

This tends to be quicker and cheaper than taking your dog to the local veterinarians and the fully qualified vets are able to give your dog the once over via video call and put your mind at ease or offer professional advice on how you should be moving forward with the situation.

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

Are Bully Sticks Digestible If Swallowed?

All bully sticks are made from the highest possible quality beef muscle ensuring that they are easy to digest for dogs of all ages.

This ensures that if your pet dog does swallow their bully stick then it will be digested quickly as any other food would be and reduce the chance of your dog suffering from any bully stick side effects too.

Keep in mind that there are some counterfeit, low-quality bully sticks on the market these days so always be sure to use a trusted Bully Stick retailer to ensure your dog is getting the best quality treat possible.

Another advantage of giving your pet dog real bully sticks is that as they chew the stick, their saliva starts to beak the beef muscle down making it much easier to digest if your dog does end up swelling the bully stick too.

With bully sticks being made from a high-quality, natural protein source that is actually of a higher standard than some commercially available dog foods, you can rest assured that your dog is getting a healthy nutritious treat too.

With more and more dog owners switching their pets over to a high-quality, affordable, custom designed dog food with natural treats in between meals such as bully sticks, dogs these days often have a considerably better and more nutritionally complete diet than dogs of as little as ten years ago.

My Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick Whole!

Due to bully sticks coming in a wide range of sizes, it is actually pretty easy for larger dog breeds and some medium dog breeds to eat a bully stick whole without having any problems at all.

The digestive system of a healthy dog should easily be able to digest the bully stick and allow it to pass naturally in the majority of cases.

Even if you think that your pet dog may have eaten its bully stick whole, there is actually a high chance that your dog broke the bully stick down into much smaller pieces prior to actually swallowing it too.

It only takes a couple of seconds for your dog’s strong jaws to crack through the bully stick, especially if it is weakened due to your dog chewing on it for a long period of time and then eating the bully stick in multiple small parts rather than one large part.

We have lost count of the number of times that a dog owner turns their back for a few minutes only to go back to their dog and think that it has eaten the bully stick whole without stopping to think that it is more likely that the dog broke the bully stick into small parts prior to eating it.

A quick visual inspection of your dog’s mouth and throat can also offer a great insight into any potential damage too helping to put your mind at ease but if you are in any double then a quick session with an online vet via video call is probably the best way forward.

My Dog Swallowed Half A Bully Stick!

It is very common for dogs to swallow and eat half of their bully sticks, especially the smaller bully sticks and in most situations, this is not an issue as the beef muscle that bully sticks are made from are easy to digest.

Even smaller dog breeds can often eat a large chunk of their bully stick without having problems.

If you do notice that your dog has eaten half a bully stick and is starting to act a little differently than normal by either coughing or vomiting then seeking professional assistance from a vet is recommended.

This is very rare though and the majority of the time, your dog will b fine to go about its daily business and carry on as normal.

Larger dog breeds can easily eat half of the smaller bully sticks in a single mouth with some of them being able to swallow it without actually chewing.

The majority of dogs will chew their bully stick segments prior to eating them though and as we touched on earlier in the article, in many cases, once your dog starts to chew their bully stick, their saliva will start to soften and break down the bully stick making it easier to eat anyway.

My Dog Swallowed A Piece Of A Bully Stick!

A Bloodhound dog sitting with their Bully Stick treat.
“Harvey with his bully stick” by Jelly Dude is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

It is very common for dogs of all sizes to swallow parts of their bully stick and it is very rare that it will cause a problem or issue with your dog.

Due to most dogs enjoying the taste of bully sticks, it is common for them to chew on it and parts of the stick to fall off, especially if they have been chewing it for a long period of time but these smaller sections of a bully stick can easily be swallowed and digested.

One thing to be aware of is that some of the cheaper, counterfeit bully sticks can shard rather than peel as your dog chews on them due to the way that they are produced.

These shards can be very shard and if your dog tries to eat them at the wrong angle it may cut their mouth. Normal bully sticks slowly start to turn soft as your dog chews them and prevents this from happening though.

If you do think that your dog may have cut its mouth on a sharp shard of a bully stick then monitor the situation.

Most of the time your dog will fully heal without any further issues but sometimes, professional assistance may be required, especially if the cut is near the corner of the mouth and gets reopened as your dog eats.

What Do I Do If My Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick?

If your dog has swallowed a bully stick check its mouth and throat for any obvious tears or rips and monitor your dog’s behavior over the coming days.

The majority of the time your dog will be fine and not have any side effects at all but they can sometimes vomit or suffer from constant coughing or diarrhea.

Although it is very unlikely that this will happen for most dogs, even the smaller breeds, anything out of the ordinary should be checked with a vet.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, it is often quicker and easier for most pet owners to use an online vet who will video call you for advice rather than your local vet but the need for this is usually minimal when a dog swallows a bully stick.

If you do notice any rips or tears in your dog’s mouth or throat after it has eaten the bully stick then it is important to monitor the situation. Although these will often fully heal without you having to do anything, there are some rare situations where they may require stitches.

My Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick And Is Throwing Up!

Small and medium dog breeds may vomit after swallowing a bully stick due to the bully stick not being in their stomach correctly.

This is a totally natural reaction for your dog in this situation but it is a warning sign that you should be seeking professional assistance from your local vet if possible.

Although your dog may be able to deal with the situation itself, it is always better to get a professional diagnosis if possible. Please also note that if your pet dog is throwing up after swallowing a bully stick, it does not mean there is a serious, life-threatening issue.

Some dog breeds have a much smaller stomach than others and even if they managed to eat the bully stick without issue and the stick is not lodged in their stomach, the sheer volume of meat may just be too much for their stomach to hold forcing them to vomit.

Another common reason you dog may vomit after swallowing a bully stick is due to flavorings on the bully stick but this does tend to be rare.

My Dog Swallowed A Bully Stick And Has Diarrhoea!

There are a number of reasons that your dog may develop diarrhoea after swallowing a bully stick and most of them are not serious.

Due to bully sticks being made from meat and the moist environment on them after your dog has chewed on them for a few hours, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause diarrhea if ate by your dog at a later date.

As we mentioned above, some bully stick brands now offer their bully sticks with seasonings on them and this could also be the cause of your dog suffering from diarrhea too.

Another common cause is if your dog is used to being fed a food that is high in vegetables or fruits rather than meat as your dogs gut bacteria will not be optimized to digest such a large amount of meat making diarrhea a possibility.

Although this will often pass within a day or two, if the problem does persist then seeking advice from your local veterinarian is highly recommended.

If your dog is suffering from diarrhea then the bully stick has at least been partially digested though and the major potential risks are over so it is very unlikely that your dog will have any serious problems.

What To Do If Your Dog Keeps Swallowing Bully Sticks!

Although most dogs can swallow bully sticks without issue, it can worry some dog owners and there are a number of ways that the swallowing of the bully stick can be discouraged.

One of the quickest and easiest things you can do is to cut the bully stick down into much smaller segments that your dog will easily be able to swallow though.

This lets your dog enjoy its favourite treat without you having to worry about the bully stick getting lodged in your dog’s throat.

There are also a number of different dog training exercises that you are able to try to discourage your dog from swallowing the bully stick in the future too.

Another practice that is becoming more and more popular is to boil the bully stick in water and the night before you give it to your dog as it will soften the meat up and make it easy for your dog to rip chunks off it that are small and say to eat.

As most dogs really enjoy Bully Sticks, the last thing you should consider is removing them from your dog’s diet totally but this is a step some dog owners choose to take.

A common alternative for bully sticks for dogs are No products found. as they are still made from real meat and most dogs love them too.

Dried pigs ears are usually smaller and softer than a bully stick while also being in a thin layer making it much easier for your dog to break off smaller parts to swallow. We have a dedicated article going over the best bully stick alternatives on the market too that may be helpful.


That brings our article going over what you should be doing in various situations when your dog swallows a bully stick. We hope that you have found our article helpful and that we have been able to put your mind at ease as the vast majority of dogs who do swallow a bully stick don’t end up having any problems at all and will be totally fine given time. As we mentioned though, if you do think that there is a serious problem, seek professional assistance from your local veterinarian as quickly as possible.