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Are Bully Sticks Bad for Dog Teeth?

Posted on: September 30th, 2013 by

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance

Hi. My name is Marc Caldwell; I’m a local veterinarian working with Pets Best Insurance, to answer some Facebook questions for you guys.

Our next question is: My 2-year-old Chihuahua loves his bully stick in the 6″ size. I’m wondering since he goes through them so quickly if he’s hurting his teeth, I’ve noticed that his teeth are actually getting smaller. It concerns me that you mentioned his teeth are getting smaller; it’s not normal for an adult tooth to actually regress in size. My concern is that possibly what’s happening due to excessive wear and tear at the teeth, they may actually be fracturing due to chewing on this hard surface.

I would strongly recommend having the teeth evaluated by a veterinarian to ensure this isn’t happening, because if they fracture down to the pulp, or the meat of the tooth, it may actually cause long-term dental problems and dental disease. For the time being, I would probably recommend discontinuing the use of the bully stick until you have a chance to have your animal evaluated by a veterinarian.

If you have other questions, post them below or visit the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.

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  1. Kim says:

    My understanding of bully sticks are to treat them as if they were a Hershey bar to humans—I limit my dog to chewing on it for a while and then take it away from him. He chomps on the Nylabones–the powerful ones–I hope those are okay? First of my dogs to actually enjoy Nylabones…none of my prior dogs would have anything to do with them…those are safe?

  2. Mont Mckernan says:

    I lost my dog to a fungual infection last year…he was 4 yrs old and I have bills of over $4000.00. The first vet missed the diagnosis and said he had a collapsed trachia…sadly my dog didn’t make. What do I do?

  3. Jay says:

    I’m not really sure I heard an answer here: Could you please tell us: ARE these chew sticks bad for dogs in general?

    Do they cause canine gingivitis or other dental issues? Thank you so much for your help.

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