Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inform thyself!

Bully Stick Alert: Bully Sticks or Buffalo Sticks from India (from bestbullysticks.com)

Please know you sources! There is now a huge influx of “bully sticks and other natural treats” coming into the US market from India. Several private labeled brands in the US are advertising these products as free-range, grass fed, and all natural. The Indian buffalo market (not even beef) is unregulated and has several health concerns that we will discuss below. Several companies have approached us, from India, offering lower costs of raw material, but we are committed to a high quality natural product; so we have decided to use only free-range beef from Brazil for our chews.
The bully sticks that we sell are only from cattle considered “green cattle” as they are not given hormones or fed corn, which cattle are not accustom to. Our cattle graze freely on open grass fields and grow naturally. Products from India are almost always sun-dried, not baked and are not regulated like the bully sticks we offer on our site. Although, it is much cheaper to sun dry bully sticks and other natural treats, the bad outweighs the good. Our bully sticks are vertically baked to drain any residual liquid from the product. Sun dried product is many times laid horizontally, out in the sun, so residual liquid remains in the product. This product typically has a high level of odor to it (a urine smell), or a chemical added to it to help with the smell. There is also higher potential for diseases, such as foot and mouth disease, and the finished product is routinely affected with bacteria because the products temperature during cooking is not well regulated. Also, because they are exposed to the environment, there is a great chance of bugs. Although our treats are sometimes more expensive, the quality of the product remains high, and you do not have to worry about any of these issues with our products.
Many people ask why not make bully sticks from North American cattle? The reason for this is that not only is it expensive, but most of the cattle in the US is kept in feedlots and encouraged to grow at a much faster rate (growth hormones) than is natural. In addition, the US has very little grazing land, which forces farmers to over populate grazing areas.
Prior to purchasing any bully stick products you should first ask your pet store or online vendors the country of origin for their bully sticks and treats. Don’t worry; they are legally obligated to inform you. We think your dogs’ health is most important, which is why we pay close attention to these types of details and only offer products that we feel comfortable feeding our own dogs.

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