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:
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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