The Benefits of Deer Antler Chew Bones for Dogs

Sophie wants her deer antler!
Copyright 2017 by All Things Husky
There has been a lot of buzz over the past couple of years about giving deer/elk antlers to dogs as chew sticks.  I had heard a lot about this and decided to look into it further to see if it was a good as it sounded.  Of course the first thought that came into my head was that it is a natural product so it has to be better for the dog.  Then I saw the prices and was a little taken back because for chew sticks, they aren't exactly bargain prices.

I started researching them and went ahead and purchased a one pound bag of deer antlers because it was cheaper to get the one pound bag antler per antler than to buy two on their own.  Since I have two dogs, even though they understand the concept of sharing, one antler was NOT going to work.

There were eight antlers in the package and they ranged in length from 4" to 5" and varied in diameter.  You can see the package that I purchased here.

There was absolutely NO hesitation when I gave Sophie her first antler and the same for Spudward, my Red Tick Hound mix.  Each dog took their antler and disappeared into separate rooms in the house.  I heard the dual grinding noise of antler chewing for a couple hours after they took off with their new chewing obsessions.

They both went back to their antlers multiple times over the next few weeks.  One antler would last each dog approximately 1 1/2 to 2 weeks before being chewed to a knob that is just too small to trust that it wouldn't choke one of them.  I thought that was a reasonable amount of time after taking into consideration how often both dogs were chewing on each of the antlers that was available to them.

Deer Antler
Copyright 2017 by All Things Husky

What about the benefits of giving a dog a deer antler?

Spudward was starting to have plaque build up on his teeth.  After chewing the deer antler for a few days, his teeth looked really clean.  I don't know if this is a common benefit but it did help him out a lot.  I had read that deer antler chews were good for helping to clean a dog's teeth and with what I saw with him, I think this is more than likely true.

Deer antler is a natural product and most are harvested from antlers that have been shed.  This is just my personal belief but I would stick to companies that you know to ensure that the antlers were harvested humanely.

They are packed with nutrition.  These aren't rawhide bones that could be made of anything under the sun with zero nutritional value.  Antler contains iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and magnesium.  All great for your dogs joints and bones.

They do last longer than rawhide bones.  When I used to give my dogs rawhide (which I stopped a couple of years ago) one rawhide bone would only last a couple of days.

The empty bag, time to order again!
Copyright 2017 by All Things Husky

Antlers do not splinter or split like bones do which means there's no chance of the dog swallowing a splintered piece that could cause problems later on down the road.  Just like any other toy or chew stick, you do want to keep an eye on the size and condition of the antler.

Both of my dogs LOVE these so now that we have went through the first bag, it's time to get more.  I feel better giving these to both of my dogs.  Sophie, my husky and Spudward, my red tick hound mix.

I have been very pleased with giving my two dogs deer antler as an alternative to rawhide bones, pig ears and cow hooves as chew treats.  If you have any experience with giving deer antler as a chew toy to your dog, please share your experience with us in the comments section below on on our Facebook page.  

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