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Are Antlers Safe for Dogs?

This is one of the most asked questions we get from our customers - and for a good reason!

So are antlers safe for dogs? The answer is- YES! Antlers have been used for many decades! 

Dogs have an instinctual desire to chew starting as a puppy. It’s your job as a dog parent to provide them with something suitable. This is when destructive behavior can emerge. Young dogs need something they can focus on when young puppy chewing urges arise. Antler dog chews are the perfect solution AS LONG as they are sourced properly. We pride ourselves in being 100% wild sourced. Your antlers are free from steroids and toxins that can be found when sourcing from farms/ranches. 

All natural antlers are long-lasting chews. They clean your dog’s teeth, don’t splinter like bones, and don’t cause stomach issues.

But like any other hard chew, antlers can still pose a certain risk for dogs. While they are safer than rawhide and nylon-plastic bones, there are still some things to consider when buying your dog an antler chew. Antlers are hard, which means it is important to select the right size and cut for your pup. This helps ensure your pup does not injure their teeth or gums.

Hardness range in antler chews are based on species and cut: Split-Cut Elk antlers are the softest and easiest access to the yummy marrow inside that dogs crave, while Whole Deer antlers are harder, which are good for stronger jawed - power chewers. Whole Elk antlers are in the middle spectrum of hardness.

When giving an antler chew to your pup for the first time it is recommended to supervise and observe your pets chewing interaction with the antler.

In our 5+ years of business, we are happy to say we've never had 1 customer report any dental injuries. Our multi-step antler cutting process throws out potential hazard antlers and only packages the best antlers for thousands of pups a year to enjoy safely! 

Buying the correct size antler (which we focus on a lot here at Whitetail Naturals) is important! You also want to keep an eye on the size of the antler over time. Once it gets too small, throwing it away will allow you not to worry about it becoming a choking hazard.

But what exactly are deer antlers?

Antlers are unique to the deer family and grow on more than sixty kinds of male deer. They consist of a bone-like substance, which originates as cartilage and slowly mineralizes. Antlers naturally shed every year, and a whole new one grows for the breeding season. 

THE ANTLER GROWTH PROCESS:

  • Antlers start as layers of cartilage
  • Over time, cartilage turns to bone
  • Antlers grow at a rate of about 1 inch per day
  • Antler velvet begins to grow, blood flow lessens, and antlers turn to bone
  • Velvet is essentially a “thin skin of fine fur”
  • Animals will rub off the velvet on their antlers
  • When antlers are fully grown, they are naturally shed
  • Each year, until the animal reaches its prime, they will continue to develop more points on their antlers

Benefits of deer antler for dogs

Antlers are mainly composed of calcium and phosphorus and include other vital minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, sulfur, and zinc. These minerals are essential for keeping bones and muscles strong.

The main health benefit of deer antlers is their use in aiding in dental care for your dog. Gnawing helps to remove plaque on the teeth and keep them clean. Most dental treats on the market are either full of calories or brittle and can break off in your dog’s mouth. Deer antlers are neither of these and are an excellent solution to helping your dog maintain a healthy mouth.

  • Humane - Antlers are naturally shed from animals and cause no harm to them
  • Sustainable - New antlers are naturally grown each year
  • Nutritional Value - Antlers are high in healthy minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus
  • Long-Lasting - The majority of antlers will last a dog weeks, or even months
  • Natural - Because they come directly from the animal, they contain no potentially harmful artificial ingredients
  • Convenient - Antler chews won’t leave a messy aftermath as their rawhide counterparts do
  • Local - Antlers can be purchased from vendors right here in the US and from our website whitetailnaturals.com
  • Oral Health - Keep teeth clean
  • Low smell
  • Rarely splinter or chip

How do we at WhiteTail Naturals procure our antlers? (Story Time 😊)

Once every year, deer and elk naturally shed their antlers in the forest. During this exciting time, Me and my pet Chops leave on an expedition within Texas, the heart of Antler country. We start our journey by gathering all the equipment and some treats for my buddy. Then we spend hours looking for naturally shed antlers that are of exceptional quality.

Of course, we like to take breaks, play around, and eat some tasty snacks. Once we bring back all the antlers, we start the process of inspecting, washing, cutting, trimming, and sanding the antlers so your pet can safely enjoy this delicious chewy treat. We do not add any preservatives, bleaching agents, or any other type of chemicals to our antlers.

After we’re finished, we wait for customers like you who genuinely care for their dogs and their needs to place an order. We then pack and send our Antlers with love and care to you and your pups!

KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE WITH ANTLER CHEWS

Your dog’s health matters, and it’s crucial that you choose the best antlers based on your dog’s chew style and size. Antlers are good for dogs who prefer to gnaw on their chews rather than completely consume them. Remember, antlers are hard dog chews designed to scrape away dental plaque build-up to improve dental hygiene. They also include other vital minerals that help keep your dog’s bones and muscles strong. Chewing is a healthy behavior that you should encourage in your dog, especially as it’s a natural stress reliever.

  • Supervise what your dog is doing when he’s mid-chew! Because of a dog’s nature, he’s likely to want to finish a new chew in one sitting, try and space it out.

  • Choose appropriately-sized antlers for your dog to chew on, and make sure to watch once the antler gets small.

  • Monitor what else he intakes. If he’s sneaking into the food or if you’re feeding him too many treats too often, he could develop a weight problem.

  • Check over his teeth and gums once done; any blood on the antler itself is not a good sign. Any wound should be treated according to severity (if he seems happy, he probably is, a little blood doesn’t always mean a problem). Just use your common sense.

READY FOR YOUR ANTLER FIX?

Don’t keep your dog waiting! Shop today the highest quality of all-natural antler chews for your buddy and some of the most reasonably priced on the market! See you on the other side of our racks!