Jan. 28, 2013 — A popular dog treat could be adding more calories than pet owners realize, and possibly be contaminated by bacteria, according to a study published this month by researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Guelph.
The treat in question: the "bully" or "pizzle stick." The American and Canadian researchers analyzed the caloric density and bacterial contamination of these popular items, made from the uncooked, dried penis of a bull or steer. They also administered a survey to pet owners to assess their knowledge of these treats.
The study, published in the January 2013 issue of the Canadian Veterinary Journal, examined 26 bully sticks purchased from retailers in the United States and Canada and made by different manufacturers.
A random subset of the 26 bully sticks was tested for caloric content. These bully sticks tested contained between nine to 22 calories per inch, meaning the average six inch stick packed 88 calories--nine percent of the daily calorie requirements for a 50-pound dog, and 30 percent of the daily calorie requirements for a 10-pound dog.