CHICAGO — Natural dog chew company, Bully Bundles released data May 13 from its recent study on bully sticks formulated with preservatives. The study, conducted by Bully Bundles and Mérieux NutriSciences, found that bully sticks formulated with sodium metabisulfite can pose dangerous side effects to dogs.

"We aim to raise consumer awareness by highlighting how harmful chemical preservatives, especially sodium metabisulfite, are for dogs,” said Ryan Schoop, chief executive officer of Bully Bundles. “According to the findings, sulfite preservatives destroy thiamine, an essential nutrient in the nervous system."

The dangers of sodium metabisulfite are nothing new, as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled the ingredient unfit for animal and human consumption. However, Bully Bundles’ data reveals the implications of using such an ingredient.

The company’s study found that products containing sodium metabisulfite had 132-times more sulfites compared to bully sticks formulated without sodium metabisulfite. According to the research, sodium metabisulfite destroys thiamine, B1, an essential nutrient for dogs that helps support the brain and nervous systems. Bully sticks formulated with the chemical preservative can lead to dangerous side effects, as well as allergic reactions.

“Bully sticks should be made from just raw beef pizzle and water,” Schoop said. “We hope raising awareness will lead to more transparent labeling and stop manufacturers from adding unnecessary preservatives."

Bully Bundles’ bully sticks are formulated with raw beef pizzle from free-range, grass-fed South American cattle and water to eliminate the need for chemical preservatives, like sodium metabisulfite. The bully sticks are chemical- and rawhide-free, contain a low odor and are 100% digestible.