Deer Antlers- The Best Chew Around!
The world of dog chews is a scary place. The things we give our dogs to chew or eat smell, look, and seem disgusting. Some things are so expensive you just don't even bother. But what is worth your money and what isn't? We've tried all kinds of different animal parts over our first year of business, but we keep coming back to antlers. In the end, antlers are the best source of nutrients, the longest lasting, the least smelly, and the most chewed item in the house. Dogs love the "wild" smell of antlers, but the smell cannot be detected by human noses.
Where Do They Come From?
We get our antlers from natural sheds found in the central part of the US. Our distributor does not believe in getting antlers from farmed or hunted deer/elk. Antlers shed off of deer naturally every year, almost like humans growing hair. The antlers are full of nutrients that become the marrow in the middle of the antler, which is what the dogs are after when they chew.
Antlers actually start off as cartilage and then slowly mineralize into bone. During the early stages of growth, antlers grow up to 1" per day! When they become larger, velvet starts to grow on them and the blood flow lessens until the antler fully becomes bone. The older and larger the animal, the larger the antlers become (and the more "points" they develop, or antlers sticking off of the main antler body).
All antlers, whether deer or elk, are very high in calcium. They also contain collagen, phosphorous, and other nutrients that dogs might not otherwise get in their regular food. Antlers are all natural and do not need any kind of conditioning, cooking, processing, aging, or chemical treatments. They're the exact same thing that was on the deer before! Bone hard textures on the antler also help clean teeth, massage gums, and exercise your dog's jaw. Multiple dogs in the house find it a good substitute for a stick when tug-of-war games begin. Antlers do not splinter like some hollow or dried bones. As you can see- there are numerous reasons for your dog to chew one down! Even though it could take them weeks, even months!
Sizing and Chewing Caution
You should try and select an antler size based on your dog's chewing habits and mouth size. Our medium antlers are good for basically any size dog out there, even the smaller ones. If you have a normal chewer, go for the tines. They are the ones that go to a point. Dogs seem to like these because they are a bit narrower and can be chewed a bit quicker. However, if you have a super chewer, go with the whole antlers. They have a bit more body to them (thicker diameter) so it will take longer to chew. They will not be as long, however, unless you grab one of our monsters.
As with any chew, please supervise your dog when giving them this treat. If you see them "chomping" down on it hard enough to break it, take the chew away for a few moments and correct your dog. If your dog bites hard enough, a tooth fracture can result. Also, if the antler becomes worn down small enough and becomes a choking hazard, take the chew away.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and will give our antlers a try!
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