This article has been specially written for Your Best Friend Pet Boutique by Dr. Abdul Basit Javed (DVM, RVMP)
Offering deer and elk antlers to dogs as dental chews have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. As a dog parent, you should know why antlers are beneficial to your pooch.
Antlers of deer and elk provide many benefits to dogs, including improving their dental health and offering some nutritional benefits. Deer and elk antlers come from a natural source and are environmentally friendly in addition to being beneficial for dogs.
This article is for you if you're interested in learning about the benefits of deer and elk antlers for dogs. We have mentioned all of the benefits of deer and elk antlers for dogs, as well as the risks, so read on.
Benefits Of Antlers For Dogs
Following are some of the benefits of deer and elk antlers for dogs:
Promote dental health
The major benefit of deer and elk antlers is that they boost your dog's dental health. Antlers have a naturally rough surface, which helps to scrape away dental tartar and clean your dog's teeth while they chew on it. Dogs who chew on hard objects such as antlers have stronger teeth and well-developed jaws.
Dental chew for puppies
Deer and elk antlers make great dental chews for puppies, particularly large dog breeds. If you give your puppy antlers, you won't need to buy cheap plastic dental chews for dogs. Antlers can alleviate your puppy's dental discomfort.
Although there is little scientific evidence to back this theory, some vets believe that deer and elk antlers provide nutritional benefits to dogs. When a dog chews on an antler, small bits may end up in your dog's stomach. These tiny bits of antlers can be a good source of minerals including calcium and phosphorus.
Keeps your dog occupied
Antlers are a great way to keep your dog or puppy occupied for long periods of time. In this way, separation anxiety can be avoided, and antlers can also save your furniture and shoes from being chewed upon by your pooch.
Antlers from deer and elk are safe for your dogs because they are not made of cheap plastic or other materials. Antlers contain no harmful chemicals that could be toxic to your dogs.
Some other benefits of deer and elk antlers include:
Since antlers come from deer and elk and a few other animals they are environment friendly. Animals are not harmed to collect antlers because deer and elk naturally lose their antlers each year and grow them back the next year. People gather antlers from the grasslands and woodlands.
No need to refrigerate
Antlers do not need to be refrigerated like bones. Because there is no meat attached to the antlers, they do not need to be refrigerated after your dog has finished chewing on them.
Additionally, there is little chance of bacterial contamination because antlers don't have any flesh attached to them that could rot. Before giving the antler to your dog, you can simply rinse it with water.
Antlers are far more durable than plastic chews or bones. They hardly ever break, and even if you leave them outside, the weather has very little impact on them.
Should You Exercise Caution When Giving Antlers To Dogs?
When giving deer and elk antlers to your dog, keep in mind that the antler should be of an appropriate size so that your dog cannot swallow it but may easily chew on it. Because if the antler is too small, your dog could swallow it and choke.
If you have personally collected the antler from the woods, be cautious to smooth off any sharp or pointed edges before giving it to your dog to prevent damage to your dog's oral cavity.
Because deer and elk antlers are a choking hazard, it is recommended that you always supervise your dog when it is playing with or chewing on an antler. Even though an antler is large, it can become lodged between a dog's jaws and cause an injury in the oral cavity if not carefully removed. Supervising your pooch when it is chewing on an antler also helps to reduce the possibility of choking.
Aldrich, M. (2020, March 27). Benefits of Antlers for Dogs. Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies | Local Pet Supply Store in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Ludington MI. https://www.wagstowiskers.com/pupdates/2019/12/30/benefits-of-antlers-for-dogs
Burke, A. (2020, April 28). Are Antlers Safe for Dogs? American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/are-antlers-safe-dogs/