-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Popular dog treats called
bully or pizzle sticks may contain more calories than expected and
could be contaminated by bacteria, according to a new study.
The treats are made from the uncooked, dried penis of a bull or
Researchers examined 26 bully sticks made by different
manufacturers and found that they contained between 9 and 22
calories per inch. That means that the average 6-inch bully stick
had a total of 88 calories, which is 30 percent of the daily
calorie requirement for a 10-pound dog and 9 percent of the daily
calorie requirement for a 50-pound dog.
"While calorie information isn't currently required on pet treats or most pet foods, these findings reinforce that veterinarians and pet owners need to be aware of pet treats like these bully sticks as a source of calories in a dog's diet," study first author Dr. Lisa Freeman, a professor of nutrition at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said in a university news release.
"With obesity in pets on the rise, it is important for pet owners to factor in not only their dog's food, but also treats and table food," she added.
The researchers also found that about one-third of the treats
were contaminated with bacteria. One stick had
Clostridium difficile, one stick had methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus, and seven had
All pet owners should wash their hands after touching such
treats, as they would with any raw meat or raw meat diets. Very
young children, elderly people, pregnant women and people with
weakened immune systems should never touch or handle raw
animal-product-based treats and raw meat diets, the researchers
The study was published in the January issue of the
Canadian Veterinary Journal.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers
safe handling tips for pet foods and treats.
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