Bully Sticks versus Elk Antlers: Which One Is Better?
“Meatball loves to chew. Someone suggested either antlers or bully sticks. Are they ok for bulldogs?” posted by Phylis, owner of Bulldog Meatball, on englishbulldognews.com forum.
Phylis is not alone in her quest to find out more about these two chew treats. I found several other dog breed specific forums that were discussing their opinion on both Bully Sticks and Elk Antlers. These forums, while providing tidbits of helpful information, did at times get a bit confusing to follow.
I have decided to help out dog owners and do a side by side comparison between Elk Antlers and Bully Sticks. I have compared each product based on how it is processed, the life cycle of the product, product health benefits to your dog and overall cost of product.
How Are They Processed?
Bully Sticks name fittingly derives from the fact that these chew treats are made of 100% natural bull penises. Bully Sticks are dried, lightly smoked or natural flavored. Make sure to look for bully sticks that are properly cleaned. Unsterilized meat sticks can lead to bugs and bacteria contamination.
Elk Antlers are 100% natural, containing no preservatives or harmful chemicals. The dried composition of elk antlers make them more resistant to bacteria and bug contamination. Male elks shed their antlers annually and Elk Antler treats simply come from the left over shed piles. For animal activists and vegetarians, you will be happy to know the elks are not killed or harmed in order to collect their antlers.
How Long Do These Treats Last?
Bully Stick treats are best suited for the light chewers. Bully Sticks usually only last a couple of hours for heavy chewers, but could last several weeks for dogs that are light chewers. Several of the forums complained that the Bully Sticks stank, softened and became very soggy. Probably best to get naturally flavored sticks and again look for brands that are cleaned properly.
Elk Antlers are better for the heavy chewers. The antlers have a bone marrow center that makes it harder for dogs to chew away. Usually antlers will last dogs up to 6 weeks. Elk Antlers are odor free and do not splinter away. Great for zero messes within the home.
What are the Health Benefits?
Bully Sticks are great for tartar control. These treats help reduce tartar build up and prolong your dog’s teeth. Bully Sticks are also 100% digestible and low in fat.
Elk Antlers provide a rich source of nutrients including iron, calcium, glucosamine, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. These nutrients reduce tartar build up, strength bones, and give dog’s coat a healthy and shinier look. Elk Antlers are also 100% digestible and are better for dogs with beef allergies.
How Much Do These Treats Cost?
The cost of Bully Sticks and Elk Antlers depends on the size dog you have. Bully Sticks range in price starting at around $1.10 for 6 inch stick to around $4.75 for 12 inch sticks.
Smaller Elk Antlers start at $4 per antler for petite dogs (under 20lbs) and go up to $20 per antler for large dogs (over 70lbs). Bully Sticks are less expensive than Elk Antlers, but remember don’t last nearly as long as Elk Antlers. The average Bully Stick lasts a couple of hours, whereas Elk Antlers on average last 6 weeks. In the long run, Elk Antlers are less expensive if you have a heavy chewer.
My comparison showed interesting results. Elk Antlers and Bully Sticks are both 100% digestible, natural and well loved by dogs. However, it seems from this side by side comparison that Elk Antlers offer considerably more pros than Bully Sticks. Elk Antlers trumped Bully Sticks on health benefits, odor control, and product life cycle.