Deer Antlers for Dogs Are GRRRRRREAT!

by Barb S. on December 3, 2012

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Rudder tears around the house with this antler, so I actually had to hold it to take a photo.

Rudder tears around the house with this antler, so I actually had to hold it to take a photo.

I have been reading about antlers for years on different dog forums and have been dying to try them with my dog, Rudder. I got a chance to do this before they got into stock and was so impressed I couldn’t believe it.

Made from naturally-shed or harvested deer or elk antlers that have not been exposed to the elements for more than a year, they are among the hardest natural chews on the market, making them super for mega-chewers, like Izzy, my colleague Ellen’s lab mix. Unlike some other hard chews, antlers leave no sloppy mess, are odorless to humans, and do not splinter, they just slowly grind down as your dog chews.

I gave one to Rudder – at first he didn’t know what to do with it, so I soaked it in broth overnight (I usually put some broth in his kibble – not that he is spoiled or anything!) Viola! The next day he couldn’t keep his mouth off of it! And he is still going strong 5 days later. I put it up when I am not with him, so it becomes a special treat, and I must say it keeps him busy! (This video says it all in 15 seconds.)

Because we are a pet-loving company here at Drs. Foster & Smith, and we tend to talk “dogs” (and other pets!) as we pass in the halls, I have been hearing rave reviews about these antler chews from coworkers since we started selling them:

deer antlers

Ellen’s Izzy can chew through just about anything (Izzy is about 65 lbs) and Ellen gushed about the deer antlers for dogs she got because she could not find anything to keep Izzy busy – until now. The longest lasting chew she has found to date, the antler chews are made especially for aggressive, “power” chewers, but all dogs love them, including her 25-lb Kobe.

Mike couldn’t wait to tell me how his Shih Tzu/Poodle Chum kept the antler chew with him all day. He said that bigger bones are harder for him to navigate and that the Schnauzer next door wanted it too!

Sarah told me in no uncertain terms that her huge Lab cross, Wrigley, would be getting more antler chews. “At first he didn’t know what to do with it,” she said, “but then I held it in my hand and he started gnawing on it. When we smeared peanut butter on it, the fact that this deer antler was a chew clicked and he went back to it all evening!”

Julie, with Gracie, the Cocker said that she liked the idea of elk or deer antlers for dogs because they are unique, natural and “wild” chews.

Our other customers just love them, too! “mimi2” left a glowing review: “My dogs are very hard chewers and it has been difficult to find products that last longer than 15 minutes. The antlers are might seem like an expensive investment but they don’t break or get soft and “mushy” and they really do last FOREVER. If my dogs could talk they would recommend them highly as a safe, long lasting and satisfying chew.”

Check out these interesting facts about all-natural antler chews:

  • Antlers start out as layers of cartilage and slowly mineralize into bone.
  • Most antlers grow up to 1″ per day.
  • As they become large and the velvet begins to grow, the blood flow lessens and they become bone.
  • Every year, when the antlers reach full growth, the animal naturally sheds them.
  • The older the animal, the more “points” it is able to grow.
  • Because of the fast cell growth that occurs naturally in antlers, scientists are using them for research in cures for many diseases, including cancer.

In our experience, if a dog is not interested in the deer antler initially, “bring out the flavor” by rubbing with sandpaper, or soaking in broth or bullion overnight.

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About the author: Barb is a Certified Veterinary Technician with degrees in Journalism and German Studies from the University of Minnesota. She lives happily in the northwoods of Wisconsin with her Newfoundland, Rudder, and her tuxedo cat, Max. Barb is Senior Copywriter for Drs. Foster and Smith dog and cat catalogs and has been with the company since 1999. See more articles by Barb S.

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Deer Antlers for Dogs Are GRRRRRRRRREAT! | Lovely Pets
January 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie January 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

What breed is Rudder? I am asking because I have a Newf and I am always worried that chewies are too small for his (ummmm) LARGE mouth.

Thanks Bonnie

Barb S. January 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Hi Bonnie. Rudder is a Newf as well. Slender, at about 140 lbs if that helps. The antler that he is giving “love eyes” to in the first photo is a 6″ Monster Deer – it’s very thick. I would be comfortable giving a Newf that one or the 8″ Deer Giant. As I indicated in the post, it is extremely hard.

And HELLO to a fellow Newf person. It’s a challenge to raise them, but so worth it! What’s your Newf’s name and is he Black, Landseer, Brown or Gray?

Barb

Carla January 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Lovely dog…. My dog lately has what i believe to be a licker problem, he just doesnt stop licking… he has 10 years old though… i do buy chews for him.. gets him happy, but the awfull habit just doesnt go… any advise?

Lisa R January 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Wow great article. I am going to have to try a deer antler for my dog!

Jeanne B January 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

My daughter’s dog, Jaylo (10 month old Border Collie/Springer Spaniel) absolutely loves her antler. It is the best thing we ever bought her. They are fantastic!

Barb January 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

Carla, Lisa, Jeanne B: Thanks for the comments. Lisa, you don’t mention if your dog is licking his feet or just generally licking. You may want to get his teeth checked out by the vet, since he is getting up there in age. Jeanne B- why don’t you head on over to our Facebook page and post that photo of Jaylo and her antler?

Carla March 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

The deer antlers sound really interesting. I am assuming that they come in different sizes? I have a chihuahua, a golden retriever, and a great dane that all love to chew. If I win the $100 #CELEBRATE I will buy some:)

Mandy Z March 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Deer Antlers. Win I win $100 I might buy some for my dogs. #CELEBRATE

Kenesha March 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Just purchased some Elk antlers for my three male boxers. Needless to say they LOVE them! I am surprised at how fast one of my boxers is chewing his antler up! :) #CELEBRATE

Kate Volz April 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

My dogs love deer antlers, even my dog that normally won’t go near bones, toys, or nylabones. However, make sure you carefully select the size and type to match your dog’s needs. My 40lb Sheltie is a power chewer and needs a much larger size than that suggested for him. My 10yo dog needs the split antlers due to bad teeth, but if my Sheltie gets ahold of the split ones he rips it to shreds. They really are excellent products, just realize what your dogs needs are and choose accordingly.

#PETS I would like to win the Large Busy Buddy Bristle Bone for my dogs- you can never have enough safe chew toys!

John August 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Never would have thought of deer antler, haha will try to find around

Barb August 21, 2012 at 8:25 am

Thanks for everyone’s comments! My dog and friend’s dogs still love them.

John, if I understood your comment, I wanted to let you know that you may want to reconsider gathering natural antlers from the ground, since there is no real way of knowing how long they’ve been there. The antlers we offer are Grade A or B, which means they have not been exposed to the elements for over a year.

Thanks again,

Barb

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