Collagen Sticks Vs. Bully Sticks: Which is Best for Your Dog?

|5 min read

A dog's chewing habits go beyond the fun element of passing their time and gnawing on toys or treats. Chewing releases endorphins, the happy hormones that relieve stress and promote mental stimulation. 

Selecting a healthy chew for your dog helps maximize the benefits of this activity while providing hours of entertainment. However, choosing the best chew treat for your dog can be tricky. 

When we talk about natural dog chews, collagen and bully sticks come to mind. Each has its benefits, so which one should you choose? Collagen sticks or bully sticks?

Keep reading to find out!

What Are Collagen Sticks?

Collagen is one of the most structurally important proteins in your dog's body. It holds everything together, from bones and muscle to skin and fur. 

Collagen dog chews are an irresistible treat that has been developed as an alternative to rawhide chews. Like rawhide chews, collagen dog chews are long-lasting and suitable for medium and heavy chewers. 

They are made from the inner layer of cow skin, corium, and these tasty treats are rich in collagen. The corium's elasticity makes it safe to chew and easy to digest. As dogs chew on these collagen chews, they ingest the nutrients packed in the corium, offering several benefits lacking in rawhide chews.

Since the raw materials start with a single sheet of corium, there is room for many shapes and sizes of chew sticks. It usually comes in 6-inch and 12-inch sticks shaped into rings, braids, chips, rolls, and twists. 

So, your furry pal can enjoy and be healthy at the same time.

Benefits of Collagen Sticks

As a dog owner, you must know that chewing promotes dental health, strengthens your dog's jaw, and aids digestion. Additionally, collagen sticks for dogs provide mental stimulation and offer physiological benefits for your dog. 

When your furry friend chews the collagen sticks, it breaks down into peptides and amino acids that help:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase mobility and flexibility
  • Enhance bone strength
  • Support skin health and moisture retention
  • Make your dog’s coat shiny
  • Promote dental health through saliva secretion and tartar removal

What Are Bully Sticks?

Bully sticks are chew made from the penis muscle of a bull, preferably referred to as the 'bull pizzle'. Made from natural ingredients, the bully sticks have high protein content and are low fat, which makes them a healthy alternative to rawhide chews, which lack nutritional value. 

Appealing to your furry friend, the bully sticks are appropriate for medium chewers. These come in different sizes and accommodate dogs of different sizes with different chewing habits. Pixie bully sticks are ideal for small breeds, whereas braided ones are recommended for heavy chewers. 

The bully stick is rolled out in a 36-inch "bully cane," which is usually chopped into 6-inch and 12-inch sticks and shaped into rings, spirals, and braids. Also, the thickness varies from extra thin and thin to thick and even super jumbo. 

It is important to note for dog owners that bully sticks often have a strong natural smell, which increases when the dog starts chewing. You may find the smell irritating, but your canine companions will go wild for that smell and flavor.

Benefits of Bully Sticks

Bully sticks are not just delicious treats for your canine companions; pizzle is an excellent source of amino acids and digests completely. These amino acids benefit your furry friend's fur, nails, and muscles.

These long-lasting chews are a safe and easy-to-digest replacement for rawhide chews. Although they start hard, they are 100% all-natural beef, easy on your pup's stomach. Some of the health benefits of these durable treats are:

  • Support dental health by removing tartar and promoting saliva secretion
  • Promote joint health
  • Help make your dog’s coat shiny
  • Support muscle tone

Collagen Sticks vs Bully Sticks: Main Differences

Collagen sticks and bully sticks are similar in appearance and are long-lasting chews. Still, they have several elements that set them apart.

The main differences between bully sticks and collagen sticks are as follows:

  • Ingredients & Benefits

    Bully sticks and collagen sticks are chews made from a single beef ingredient but sourced from different parts of the animal. Bully stick is sourced from the bull's penis, and the collagen stick is sourced from the inner layer of the beef's skin. 

    These nutritional treats contain a high protein level, but collagen is relatively less fatty than bully sticks, with less than 1% fat content.

    The collagen present in collagen sticks is widely known to help maintain healthy bones, tendons, and joints. It also improves digestion and enhances the appearance of the coat. At the same time, amino acids in bully sticks improve the dog's nails, fur, and muscles. 

    Usually, collagen is a recommended treat for active or older dogs.

  • Chewing Time

    Bully sticks and collagen sticks offer a long chewing time, which keeps dogs occupied for a long period and removes dental tartar. However, if we compare collagen sticks to bully sticks, the collagen stick would take longer to chew of the same weight. 

  • Digestibility

    Although collagen and bully sticks are easy on the stomach, bully sticks are relatively easier to break down, especially when your dog swallows a big chunk. To avoid such incidents, you can use a bully stick collagen holder so that your dog does not suck up the last 3 inches. 

    Some dogs are more sensitive, which can result in softer stools. Whenever you introduce a new product to your pup, it is recommended to give it in moderation to see how your dog reacts to it. 

  • Flavor and Smell

    Bully sticks have a stronger natural flavor than collagen sticks. The smell of the latter usually drives dogs crazy. 

    Since the smell and taste of bully sticks are stronger and more appealing, they attract picky eaters, too. Some dogs may prefer a bully stick to a collagen stick just because of the smell. 

  • Price

    Generally, a collagen stick of the same weight is cheaper than traditional bully sticks. Why? It depends on the availability of the source material; since there is only one pizzle per beef, the raw material is limited compared to the collagen extracted from the inner layer of the beef's skin. 

Final Words

As fun as chewing is, it is a vital part of the dog's life as it offers several health benefits. So, pick natural chews such as collagen sticks and bully sticks to maximize the benefits of your dog's chewing habit. 

Collagen and bully dog chews come in different sizes and shapes appropriate for all chewers. They help improve joint health, muscle tone, and dental health. 

Whether you spoil your dog with one or both of these treats, you can rest assured that your dog is consuming high-quality treats rich in protein.

To start, a collagen stick usually lasts longer than a bully stick, about 20% longer. It is less greasy, less odorous, and less expensive!  Give it a try to see if your doggy will like it!


Do vets recommend collagen sticks for dogs?

Yes, vets recommend collagen sticks for dogs. Collagen sticks are safe for all dogs and offer numerous health benefits. Veterinarians and dog enthusiasts worldwide endorse collagen sticks as a safe canine chew option. Additionally, these collagen chews serve as an excellent source of supplementary protein essential in their diet with remarkably low-fat content.

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