Is your puppy teething? Are you in search of the right chew toy for your little friend to bite on? Or do you want to know how safe antlers are for your pup? Like you, many dog owners want answers to these questions. So let’s just kick off.
Are Deer Antlers Safe for Puppies?
The extensions that you see on a deer’s skull are antlers. They are made of bone and you would be surprised to know that they can grow up to an inch every day. That is why they are among the fastest-growing animal tissues on Earth. Every year, the deer antlers shed and then regrow. Sometimes they even break off accidentally which can cause bleeding too. In such cases, the regrown antlers are often deformed. Are Deer Antlers Safe for Puppies?
Researches show that the big-antlered stag attracts female deers more. So antlers add charm to the male deers. People use antlers to make their homes look more aesthetic. The question is if they have a pet dog or a puppy, would it be safe to give them antlers as a chew toy? Before answering the question, we want you to know about the types of deer antler chews. So here we go;
Types of Deer Antler Chews
They are longitudinally dissected deer antlers. As antlers are bones, so the bone marrow of these antlers is easily available to dogs. Moreover, they are also soft.
They are hard and are recommended for aggressive chewers. They do not break or splinter and are a good long-lasting chew toy for adult dogs.
You can easily buy both types of antlers from a good pet store.
Apart from these two types, elk antlers, moose antlers, mule deer antlers, and reindeer antlers are also preferred by many dog owners.
Are Deer Antlers Safe for Puppies?
This is a burning question. Many worried pet owners want to know the answer, so let’s relieve them.
If your puppy (puppy teeth) has a mature jaw bone, adult teeth, and is at least one year old, then deer antlers are safe for them.
It’s a good idea For puppies of 10 weeks, the split antlers are considered the safest to chew. It is because they are not hard on the pup’s teeth. Moreover, it relieves your pup from the discomfort they experience during teething.
Remember that you have to keep an eye on the pup when giving him antler for playing. Also, ensure that the size of the antler is big so that your pup may not swallow the whole at once as it can cause choking hazards.
Some puppies love to chew on the antlers. So, offering them antler is a good treat. Dog owners just need to be a little careful.
Are Antlers Digestible?
Most dogs love chomping antlers. During it, they ingest the small pieces that are worn away due to continuous biting. These small pieces are completely digestible. In fact, they are the natural source of iron, potassium, zinc, and calcium for your dogs. So don’t worry, if your dog ingests a small amount of antler, it would not upset its stomach. They are excellent chew treats, the right size, for smaller dogs also. They are a natural treat, include whole elk antlers, good choice to complement dog food
Can Senior Dogs Chew Antlers?
Some antlers like whitetail deer antlers are very hard. They are not good for puppies. It is preferred to keep them away from older dogs too. If you have a senior dog, go for elk antlers. It is good for your dog’s sensitive teeth as compared to deer dog chews. So, the answer to your question is YES senior dogs can chew antlers but just ELK ANTHERS. So, it is better not to try others as the dog’s teeth can get damaged.
What are the Benefits of Deer Antlers?
We know that now you want to know about the benefit of deer antlers. Below we have discussed a few splendid benefits of these hard chew toys. So, be ready to dive in.
1. Maintains your dog’s teeth
Dogs cannot brush to get rid of plaque and tartar that accumulates on their teeth. So do you know what they do?
The chewing action!
It keeps their teeth clean. When dogs gnaw on deer antlers, the plague and tartar deposited on their teeth are scrapped off. Moreover, during this process, saliva is produced. It contains enzymes that dissolve the plaque which ultimately prevents bad breath too.
- A solution to stress and anxiety – The deer antler chews help dogs get rid of stress and anxiety. It keeps them busy. Chewing antlers releases happy hormones which give them peace and pleasure. Hence, they feel good and joyful.
- A good source of minerals – The deer antlers are enriched with calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. They also contain a small amount of iron. All these minerals are good for your dog’s bones, and teeth, and improve the overall health of your pet.
- Help in maintaining a healthy weight – While chomping on the antlers, dogs do not feel hungry. If your dog is obese, give them a deer antler. It will be busy chewing it and will not feel hungry. It is a good way of keeping your dog busy in burning calories and losing weight.
- Your furniture is saved too! – When dogs are bored they often start barking or scratching your furniture. Deer antlers are a nice solution to the pet’s boredom. Your dog will be busy chewing the antlers. Hence in this way, your furniture will be saved from scratches and the carpet from being torn.
- Deer antlers have no smell – Unlike most dog chews having a pungent smell, deer antlers have no smell. So, you can give your pet this odor-less treat even inside your home. You do not need to make your dog rush toward the garden.
- Costly but long-lasting – The prices of deer antlers vary depending upon their sizes. Some are too expensive. But the point is that they are long-lasting entertainment for your dog.
Due to these reasons, dog owners demand deer antlers for their furry friends.
What are the Risks of Giving Antler Dog Chews to your Pup?
Though antlers have many benefits, highlighting the risks is also equally important. So, let’s just get started.
1. Can fracture jaws
As mentioned before, antlers are hard, they are not recommended for pups having milk teeth. It can damage their teeth. There are chances that even adult dogs can suffer from jaw fractures if they use excessive force to break the antler.
You can avoid this by softening the antlers either by soaking them in water or a dog-friendly broth.
Make sure you buy a good quality deer antler for your dog. Such hard chews are long-lasting and do not break easily. Poor quality antlers can break into the mouth of your pet and injure its oral cavity. It can puncture the internal organs and can be a choking hazard.
Also, give you pet antlers having sizes bigger than their mouths. If the size is small, the dog may swallow it which can cause internal blockages.
Just a little heedfulness is required. The risks will be minimized automatically.
Alternatives to Deer Antlers
Some pet parents are not comfortable giving deer antlers to their pups. So here we present some alternatives for their pets:
- Cow hooves – They are a natural alternative but splinter easier than antlers.
- Horns – Antlers can be replaced by the horns of bulls, sheep, and buffalo. Like antlers, they also have low chances of splintering and also are less expensive compared to them.
- Bully sticks – Bully sticks are also a good alternative to antlers.
These are some of the natural alternatives to deer antlers. You can also buy flavored and flexible synthetic dog chews from reliable pet stores at reasonable prices.
Final Thoughts – Are Deer Antlers Safe for Puppies?
Are deer antlers safe for puppies? Well! Yes, Deer antlers are safe for those puppies that are above 12 months and have a mature jaw bone with adult teeth. There are different types of antlers. For instance, elk antlers are soft as compared to deer antlers. So if your pet cannot chew the harder ones, you can go for the softer ones. It does not mean that deer antlers are no more required. They have a number of benefits that have raised their demand among pet owners. Still, some risks are also associated with them but they can be lowered with proper care and supervision. In short, deer antler is a good treat for puppies.
Can Dogs Chew Bully Sticks?
Yes, Dogs can safely chew bully sticks. They are made of pure beef muscle and do not contain anything that can harm your pet. You just have to ensure that your pup does not swallow the whole at once. It can be risky. When the stick reaches the size that can be easily swallowed, replace it with a new one.
How can I Soften Antlers for Dogs?
You can soften the antlers for your dog by soaking them in water or a broth that is good for your dog. Keep them soaked for 1-2 days. Give the treat to your furry companion. The purpose is to save the pet from jaw fractures.