Deer Antlers from Our Customers Viewpoint
There is very little information on the web about whether antlers are good for dogs or not, so I asked some of our customers why they bought antlers for their dogs.
A bit about Antlers
Antlers are extensions of an animal’s skull found in members of the deer family. They are true bone and are a single structure and are generally found only on males. They are shed and regrown each year and function primarily as objects of sexual attraction and as weapons in fights between males for control of harems.
So as you can see no deer were harmed so that your dog could chew on an antler.
If you want to read more about the male deer and their antlers then check out https://www.deernz.org/deerhub/deer-information/antlers/biology/antler-growing-cycles#.XEbLKc3RVPY
So, back to our customers.
Which type of dogs chew on antlers?
Most of our customers that choose to buy antlers have dogs that can’t stop chewing and in fact have a high chew drive.
Before finding antlers some of these dogs were chewing wood, gib board, stones, to name a few things.
Obviously building materials and stones are not a good option for dogs to chew on as there may be hazardous toxins in the building materials, and stones, well that is definitely tooth breaking stuff!
Normally the dogs that turn to antlers are the ones that shred all ‘indestructible toys’ which can be pretty expensive to replace on an ongoing basis.
It’s normal for puppies and dogs to chew on objects as they explore the world. Chewing accomplishes a number of things for a dog.
- For young dogs, it’s a way to relieve pain that might be caused by incoming teeth.
- For older dogs, it’s nature’s way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean.
- Chewing also combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration.
Here’s a list of dogs that like to chew (not a comprehensive list). You may find your dog has some of these breeds in him/her.
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Australian Shepherd
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Siberian Husky
- German Shepherd
- Shiba Inus
Reasons for chewing
- Food orientated
- High energy
- Separation anxiety
- A high ‘kill’ drive (meaning balls etc., not other animals)
- Too much energy from lack of exercise
- And, just because they can!
So do we recommend antlers for all dogs?
It depends. If you have tried all the other avenues such as less dense bones, toys etc. then antlers may be the way to go as they don’t splinter.
If you are just looking for something for your dog to chew, we have other options for your pup to chew on.
As a rule, bones of animals that have had to carry a lot of weight such as cows/bulls/pigs are very dense and have been known to chip teeth. Some bones that are alright for dogs to chew on (raw and dehydrated only/ not cooked) are veal, rabbit, hare, goat, chicken/necks, kangaroo, venison, to name a few.
**Always watch your dog when it chews a bone**
The customers that choose to purchase antlers for their dogs know their dogs well. They have tried all the other avenues such as less dense bones, toys etc. and have come to the conclusion that antler is the best, and cheapest way to go.
Rule of thumb regarding bones
- Bones should be given raw or dehydrated.
- Some dehydrated bones can shatter if your dog has powerful jaws. Visit a store that knows their dog bones and they will be able to guide you. The staff should ask you questions about your dog and in turn will give you suggestions on what bones will suit him or her. It is also a good idea to bring your dog into the store as well.
- When feeding your dog a raw bone, go for the biggest and meatiest one you can.
- Always watch your dog when it is chewing.
Should you wish to talk to us about antlers or bones you can either come to our shop, give us a call or email us. We would be very happy to help you and your pup.
To purchase antlers, click on https://www.catsanddogs.co.nz/shop/deer-antler-large/
Other options for big chewers
Options for little chewers
Options for non bone chewing