One of the popular options of chews that most dog owners choose is the deer antlers, and they come in different types, which range from the split versions or fallow antlers to the full antlers. Regardless of the option that you buy, the big question that ones to mind is whether deer antlers are safe or not.
The big answer to this question is Yes. However, this only applies to deer antlers of high quality because it’s unlikely that they will have sharp edges after splitting. Another thing to know about deer antlers is that they don’t dry out or become brittle. Therefore, your dog will need to be extra patient and put in the effort required to break the antler, which is why they are the ideal option for prolonged and perfect chewing.
Another source of concern among many is the risk of choking when chewing the deer antlers. This is because antlers are large, and the dog won’t be able to gulp them whole. However, always endeavor to remove the antlers immediately when you notice that they have worn down significantly.
Are Antlers Digestible?
Another question that comes to the mind of many is whether antlers are digestible or not. The interesting thing is that they are, in fact, digestible. Dogs gnaw on the deer antler for a prolonged period of time, and during this time, the size of the antler reduces significantly. Antlers are rich in iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc, all of which are nutritionally beneficial to the dog.
When Can My Dog Have an Antler?
Puppies can start to chew on deer antlers from 10 weeks of age and above. At this age, the split antler dog chews tend to be easier on their teeth, and it’s also essential for teething puppies. The interior part of most antlers tends to have the texture of a honeycomb, and most dogs like to chew on this texture.
For aggressive dog chewers, the perfect option to get is the full antlers, and this option generally takes a longer time to gnaw on. However, it’s important to be careful, especially with dogs that have strong jaws, as their teeth can be broken on the antlers if they bite with too much strength. Always remember that antlers are not designed to be chomped, but they are designed to be gnawed.
Benefits of Deer Antlers
Deer antlers offer many benefits, and it goes beyond keeping your dogs occupied. It also acts as a great natural dental chew, and it makes it easier to keep their teeth clean. Antlers also help in removing plaque from the teeth of the dogs, thereby keeping it white and clean. Studies show that it’s possible to remove up to 70% of plaque on the teeth of dogs by allowing them to chew on antlers for up to 30 minutes every day. Another amazing thing about antlers is that they are hypoallergenic, which implies that they are ideal for dogs with sensitive tummies. Antlers are also odorless and more comfortable for dogs.