Hello, fellow dog lovers! It's Sarah Johnson here, back with another pawsome adventure from my own kitchen. After much research and some, let's just say, unique experiences, I have ventured into the DIY world of making bully sticks at home. As a dedicated dog mom, I know how much our furry friends love these treats, and I thought to myself, "Why not give it a shot and make them at home?" Well, let me tell you, it's been quite a journey!
Getting the Raw Material: A Wild Goose Chase
The first step in making homemade bully sticks was finding the raw material. Bully sticks are made from the bull's pizzle (yes, that's the penis, for those wondering). Securing this was not as simple as popping to my local grocery store. You see, even in our small town of Eagle, Idaho, we have some interesting specialty meat shops, but none carried what I needed.
I spent a few days calling around, finally tracking down a friendly local farmer who, after a good-natured chuckle at my request, agreed to help me out. Trust me, folks, this initial hunt for the bull's pizzle was quite an adventure!
The Cleaning Process: Not for the Faint-hearted
Armed with my raw material, the next step was cleaning. This is a critical stage as it ensures all the dirt and bacteria are completely washed away. I rinsed it thoroughly under running water, channeling the same dedication I use when preparing Sunday Roast for my family.
I then boiled the pizzle in a large pot of water. I’ve always loved the smell of cooking meat wafting through my home, but I must confess, this was an entirely different aroma experience, one that, well, you might want to prepare yourself for.
Boiling it for a few hours not only cleans it but also tenderizes the meat, making it easier to strip in the next step. After letting it cool, I buckled down and got hands-on, stripping off the excess meat and fat. As I worked, the ever-curious Baxter watched from his spot in the kitchen, no doubt dreaming about the treat in the making.
Preparing and Cooking: Patience is a Virtue
Once the cleaning process was done, the real fun began. I cut the pizzle into 6-inch pieces - the perfect size for my Baxter to gnaw on. Remember, always consider the size of your furry friend when cutting the bully sticks.
Next up was a crucial step: slow roasting. I set my oven to the lowest setting, around 175 degrees Fahrenheit, to allow for a low and slow cook, very much like how I love to prepare my pot roasts. My goal was to get rid of any moisture inside the bully stick, making them hard and durable, the way Baxter likes them.
This step takes time, folks, around 24 to 48 hours. And yes, you read that right. It's a labor of love, but well worth it when you see your doggo's eyes light up. Plus, with Baxter's anxious chewing habit, I wanted to make sure they lasted.
Cooling and Storing: It's All in the Technique
Post-roasting, I allowed the bully sticks to cool completely before storing. This is essential because cooling helps solidify them further and seal in all the good stuff.
Now, the storage part can be a bit tricky. The bully sticks have to be stored in a dry, cool place, away from sunlight. I stored mine in airtight containers and put them in the basement. If properly stored, they can last for up to three months, although Baxter's were gone a lot sooner than that!
Safety First: Baxter's Happy Tail
Like every responsible dog mom, I did a bit of a taste test before I gave these homemade bully sticks to Baxter. Not that I tasted them, but I watched Baxter closely during his first chewing session to make sure he didn't react badly. Thankfully, all went well and he took to them with relish.
I also made sure I removed the bully stick from him once it was small enough to swallow, as it can be a choking hazard. Always, always supervise your fur babies when they are enjoying these treats, my friends!
A Labor of Love: Making Bully Sticks at Home
Making bully sticks at home might not be everyone's cup of tea, but as a dog parent who loves a good DIY project, I found the experience gratifying. It wasn't just about the process itself, but about creating something healthy, beneficial, and enjoyable for Baxter.
And, guess what? He loved them! His chewing time increased, which meant his anxiety levels reduced. Plus, his oral health improved. And from my perspective, I found joy in knowing exactly what I was giving him - a clean, natural treat free from any additives or fillers.
In the end, friends, that's what it's all about - making our furry friends happy, healthy, and loved. Even if it means handling a bull's pizzle on a sunny afternoon in Idaho!
So, there you have it, my paw-parents - the comprehensive guide on "How to Make Bully Sticks at Home". Don't forget to share your experiences or any DIY tips you have discovered along the way in the comments section. Till next time, keep those tails wagging!
This post was last updated at October 2, 2023 15:25