Some typical dog “treats” can actually pose major health risks for your pet.Rawhide bones aren’t easily digestible and can cause deadly blockages in the digestive system. But what about antlers? Keep reading to find out if antlers are safe for your dog to chew.
Can (and should) dogs chew on antlers?
The short answer – yes, antlers are safe and dogs can chew on them! Deer andelk antlers are considered safer for dogs than rawhide, primarily due to the fact that they don’t easily splinter and are an all-natural chew. Antlers are also an extremely long-lasting treat in comparison to other dog chews.
You can also choose from or antlers for your dog. Whole antlers are full segments of antler, while split antlers are cut in half lengthwise, displaying the marrow. Split antlers are softer on dogs’ teeth. Depending on the level of chewer your dog is, we recommend starting with split antlers so that dogs have easier access to the soft marrow core, and then graduate to whole antlers for aggressive chewers. As with any treat, it is important to supervise your dog as they chew, to ensure they are practicing safe chewing habits.
What are the benefits of antler chews for dogs?
Antlers are a naturally occurring source of protein and amino acids and aren’t processed like rawhide bones. They’re simply collected, cleaned, and cut. They are never treated with harsh chemicals or dyes. Antlers also contain many naturally occurring nutrients, such as zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.Because they are rich in protein, dogs should not chew more than a half-inch or so per day, or else they may get an upset stomach.
Animal lovers will also appreciate that antlers are a humane and sustainable natural dog chew. Elk and deer antlers are shed naturally every year, so these chews are cruelty-free. Because they grow new antlers every year, these chews are more sustainable for the environment (as well as biodegradable).
Antlers are odorless treats by themselves, however as your dog chews, their saliva will impart a slight odor. Be sure to monitor your dog while they chew, and ensure they are practicing safe chewing habits with their antler.
Lastly, antlers will last your dog a long time. The average lifespan of an antler chew can be as long as six months to a year. With that said, this will depend on the size and cut of the antler, the hardness of the core, and how aggressive of a chewer your dog is. Our reinvented antler program ensures each dog finds the right type of antler to chew, based on their size and chewing tendency.
Are there risks associated with antlers for dogs?
Like any chew, antlers can pose certain risk for dogs. While a safer and more humane chew than rawhide, there are still some things to keep in mind when buying your dog an antler chew. Antlers are very hard, and this can mean that if your dog chews too aggressively, they can chip a tooth or hurt their gums. This can be avoided by buying split antlers for first-time chewers and observing your dog as they chew to ensure they’re not chewing too hard. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the size of the antler over time. Once it gets to be quite small, throw it out to avoid it becoming a potential choking hazard.
Antlers are a bigger investment than other chews, but they also last a long time. When taking into account the lifespan of these chews, antlers are well-worth the price tag.
The bottom line
Overall, antlers are safe chews for your dog to enjoy with proper supervision. They are a cruelty-free and sustainable chew that will last your dog a long time. Elk and deer antlers are rich in protein and a natural source of many different nutrients for healthy dogs. If you are unsure what type of antler to buy or if an antler chew is right for your pet, consult with your vet for a recommendation.
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