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Antler dog chews – the perfect treat for your dog

Why are antler dog chews so good for dogs?

Antler chews are the perfect long lasting treat for your dog. They’re cruelty free, mess free and full of nutrients. It’s no wonder they’re becoming so popular with discerning dog owners around Australia.

With the correct sizing – most antlers will last between 4 – 6 months. This is great news for owners of dogs that really love to chew. In addition, it’s nice to know that your dog is getting a health fix while they’re chewing – so much more nutritious than a plastic toy!

What do you mean by ‘cruelty-free’?

Every year male deer shed their antlers. This means they fall off naturally with no human intervention. We collect the fallen antler and use the best selections as premium antler dog chews.

How are they not messy?

  • Antler dog chews don’t splinter or go gooey. They are slowly worn down by dogs gnawing on them.
  • Antler dog chews are odourless. Even though dogs find them absolutely delicious – they are odourless for humans.

This means that antler dog chews are excellent for indoor chewing.

How long do they last?

Most of our customers get 4 –  6 months (sometimes more) from their antler chews. Yes, even super chewers like Staffies and Great Danes have many months chew time from our antlers.

This is important information for people who are concerned by the price (antlers range from $10 – $44).

When the right antlers are selected they usually cost less than $2/week.

What are the health benefits?

  • Antlers are low fat, high protein treats. This means you don’t need to worry about them having any additional fat in their diet. Great for overweight dogs, dogs with allergies or ones with pancreatitis.
  • They are jam packed with vital minerals like calcium, phosphorous and zinc.
  • Antler chews are excellent for dental hygiene. The gnawing action is great for cleaning teeth and stimulating gums,  while the calcium and phosphorous can help with re-mineralising your dog’s teeth.

 

To see the full selection of antler dog chews, please visit our online store.

 

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The surprising health benefits of deer antlers dog chews

Deer antlers dog chew: The Benefits

Did you know that antler chews have significant health benefits?

Antlers are very rich in calcium and minerals. They also don’t contain a single artificial ingredient. They arrive to you in the same state we collect them from the farm.

There’s no processing, boiling, preserving or anything. The only thing we do is cut them to size.

Some of the cited health benefits of deer antler chews include:

  • They’re great for arthritis. This is because they contain glucosamine and chondroitin that helps in reducing pain effectively and also as they reduce swelling in the joints.
    • For senior dogs suffering from arthritis, you might like to consider ordering ‘Fallow Straps’. These are the softest of our antler chews and the nutritious marrow is more accessible than the harder, tougher antler.
  • Dogs absorb calcium poorly from raw bones. However calcium (and other minerals) in antlers are readily absorbed by dogs as they grind it down to microscopic, easily digestible portions.
  • Deer antler contain collagens that help in promoting the health of the joints and repairing connective tissues.
  • Bone marrow diseases can be prevented by regular intake of deer antler as it replenishes the bone marrow thanks to the monoacetyldiglycerides that stimulates stem cell production in the marrow.
  • Deer antler gelatin has numerous medicinal properties that help in nourishing the spleen and the kidney.
  • In humans, deer antler is known to increase stamina and actual physical strength while also improving mental capacity of people. However, this is yet to be researched in dogs.
  • Deer antler helps the heart, kidney, liver and blood vessels to work optimally and increases their function considerably.

If you’re interested in trying an antler for dog, then please check out our Shop page and take advantage of our express shipping offer.

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Understanding the mineral requirements of your raw fed dog

How many people do you know that exist entirely on prepackaged food?

Unless you’re living on the space station, we’re all encouraged to eat a variety of home prepared foods.

So why should feeding our dogs be any different?

Raw feeding is the home prepped, biologically appropriate dietary approach which emphasizes raw meat, organs, bones, fruits, and vegetables.

However, the naysayers of the raw feeding movement disapprove of these diets because they can be deficient in several key minerals (as the whole supply chain can’t be controlled or measured).

Understanding minerals in raw fed dogs

The essential minerals required to keep your dog in optimum health can loosely be classified into macrominerals and trace minerals.

Trace minerals are called trace because they are required in tiny amounts (milligrams or less). However, the small requirements for these minerals does not reflect their importance.

Macrominerals are required in larger amounts than the trace minerals and are found in greater amounts in a dog’s body.

Iron:

Iron plays a critical and indispensable role in carrying oxygen, bound to hemoglobin in red blood cells, and myoglobin in muscle tissue.

A natural diet with liberal use of organ meats is highly bioavailable and should not require any supplementation.

Copper:

Although not well studied, the total body copper content is quite low in dogs. 

Copper is essential for: 

• skin and coat pigmentation

• antioxidant functions

• incorporation of iron into hemoglobin

• formation and maintenance of connective tissues, including tendons and ligaments

Some terrier breeds (Bedlington, Skye, West Highland White) may carry a genetic mutation. This mutation makes them prone to accumulate copper in the liver and eventually develop liver disease. This has led to a widespread misconception that copper is dangerous for dogs in general. It is only some individuals of some breeds that need a low copper diet.

Copper is commonly added to commercial diets because grains and vegetables are low. Organ meats are a good source of copper. 

Zinc

There are several different factors that effect the absorption of zinc in your dog’s diet. Some young puppies and pregnant dogs, as well as performance dogs, or animals with skin problems, may require more supplemental zinc than is being fed in the diet.

Zinc is required for

  • DNA protection,
  • cell multiplication,
  • dark hair pigmentation,
  • spermatogenesis,
  • skin health,
  • immune function plus
  • protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

 

Zinc deficiency in young animals causes stunted growth and anemia. Alarmingly, arrest of testicular development occurs even before stunting.

The most classical lesion of zinc deficiency is a dermatosis

Pictured here: a dog displaying typical zinc responsive dermatosis.

This is where dogs develop crusting and thickening where skin meets the mucus membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes. Dermatosis may also cause thinning of the coat. 

Kelp is a great source of Zinc ( 100gr = 1.23 mgs of Zinc), in addition to a wide range of other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. By adding half a teaspoon of this green food to your dog’s diet 2 or 3 times a week you can help naturally support your dog’s thyroid and keep their zinc levels topped up.

Manganese

Manganese is essential for:

  • Bone and joint formation
  • Pancreatic function

However, the total amount required for your dog is extremely small (less than 0.5 mg/kg).

No naturally occurring manganese deficiency has ever been documented in a dog or cat on any type of diet although there is a potential for this in diets with excessive calcium.

Levels present in a raw fed diet will be more than sufficient in manganese. 

Selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral that has antioxidant properties. Benefits of selenium include:

  • Cancer prevention
  • Defense against heart disease
  • Treatment for IBD, arthritis, and skin problems.

Muscle, organ meats and eggs are good sources of selenium.

No supplementation should be needed for dogs on a raw fed diet. 

Iodine

Iodine supports your dog’s metabolism and helps them produce thyroid hormones. 

Iodine deficiency has been documented in raw fed dogs. This is consistent with the relatively low iodine level of skeletal muscle.

Iodine deficiency can cause:

  • mental retardation in younger dogs;
  • goiter,
  • dry skin,
  • cold intolerance,
  • hair loss and
  • weight gain.

Iodine deficiency is most common in medium- to large-sized dogs between 4 and 10 years old.  Some breeds, including Doberman Pinschers, Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Old English Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Boxers, Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels are more predisposed to hypothyroidism than others. Iodine deficiency is also more common in dogs that have been either spayed or neutered.

These foods are rich in iodine, and might be worth adding to your dog’s diet. Foods rich in iodine include:

 

Calcium

If you’re feeding a raw diet – you need to be aware that calcium deficiencies can be brought about by high-meat diets because meats contain an unbalanced amount of phosphorous.

Of all the minerals, calcium is required in the greatest amount. Calcium is essential in the body for many functions including bone formation, blood coagulation, muscle contraction, and nerve impulse transmission.

Diets deficient in calcium can cause: 

  • Anxiety
  • skin conditions like eczema,
  • arthritis
  • respiratory problems

NOTE: Raw feeders should not rely on bone as the sole source of calcium in your dog’s diet. The bioavailability of calcium from bone consumption is inconsistent.

One way to offer calcium in a more bioavailable form is through regular access to a fresh antler chew. In addition to numerous other minerals – antlers are high in calcium.

 

Phosphorous

Phosphorous is the other dietary mineral that your dog requires in a relatively high amount.  Meat or organ meats are high in phosphorous but relatively low in calcium.

Phosphorous deficiency is a significant problem in herbivores but isn’t a problem for most dogs.


 

Seaweed has an abundance of naturally occurring minerals and is a great way to supplement your dog’s nutritional needs.  Check out our practical feeding guide about Kelp for Dogs here or view our own King Island Kelp product here.

 

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What does normal dog breath smell like?

 It’s a common misunderstanding that bad breath is normal in dogs.Dog breath smell normal So how do you know what’s a normal dog breath smell?

Dog breath doesn’t have a particular odour and it shouldn’t smell strongly.

Veterinary dentists agree that bad breath in dogs is a sign of significant oral infection. Usually, but not always, this which is caused by periodontal diseases. Some estimate that as many as 90% of dogs have some level of oral disease by the age of one.

Dog breath smells you should look out for:

Fish Breath: Unless you’ve been feeding fishy flavoured food, there’s reasonable chance that the fishy smell is coming from your dog’s anal glands. I know it’s gross but bear with me… Impacted anal glands secrete a fishy odour and cause the dog discomfort. As a result they lick the area and the fish stink get’s transferred to their mouth.

 

  • Treatment: Emptying the anal glands is a very quick & minor procedure, however unless you’re experienced in this treatment (and prepared for the ungodly smell) it might be easier to get your vet or groomer to do it for you.

 

Urine or Ammonia Breath: An ammonia smell is often caused by kidney problems. This is because the kidneys are unable to remove toxins. It results in a buildup of urea, which is then converted to ammonia.

 

  • Treatment: Kidney problems often have other symptoms, such as loss of appetite, vomiting and decreased urination. You should seek vet advice immediately because kidney issues can progress quickly.

 

Nail Polish Breath: As with humans, the instance of an acetone or chemical smelling breath can indicate the presence of diabetes.

 

  • Treatment: Affected dogs need immediate IV fluid therapy to stabilize them, followed by insulin to get blood sugar under control. So get to the vet as soon as you can.

Dog Breath Smell Normal 1

Decay Breath: Regardless of exactly how you describe it – a strong foul odour is indicitave of severe periodontal disease. An abscess can also contribute to this vile smell.

 

  • Treatment: It can be hard for you to identify infections or abscesses – as they are often at the back of the mouth. It’s estimated that 90% of dogs will have some level of periodontal disease. There’s a good chance your dog is in a lot of pain so take them to a vet for a check up.

 

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Going on vaycay? Here are some holiday tips for dogs

Taking your dog on vay-cay? Here are some holiday tips to make your next holiday as fun as it can be!

For those of us that consider our dogs to be family – it’s only natural that we want to take them on holiday. So what can you do to make sure it all runs smoothly?

Holiday tips for dogs – The Road Trip:

Some dogs absolutely LOVE the car – while others can get quite nervous. To make the road trip as pain-free as possible, follow these handy tips to make sure you’re organised.

  • A safety harness or a barricade is vital for ensuring the safety of your dog in the car. Please remember, that if you’re harnessing your dog, position them away from airbags.
  • Try and plan your stops at rest areas or dog parks. Service stations aren’t much fun for dogs – and it can be really tricky to find a place for them to have a quick wee or poo.
  • Ensure your dog has adequate ventilation. And NEVER leave your dog in a hot car (but you already knew that, right?)
  • Providing a chew treat will help alleviate anxiety in nervous travellers.
  • Chewing on an antler is a great option for car travel, because they’re odourless and virtually mess free. We’ve also been told they’ve been successfully used for dogs that suffer travel sickness. A similar concept to sucking on a carsick lolly when you were a child perhaps? 
  • Keep plenty of bottled water on hand in case tap water isn’t available at the stops along the way.

Holiday tips for your dog – The Destination:

Once you’ve arrived in paradise, what do you do if you want to have a night on the town?

Obviously you can’t always bring your dog along – so how can you ensure your dog is happy while you’re away for a few hours?

  • Bring familiar bedding, toys, leashes and crates (if applicable). These will  serve as a reminder of home and help calm them in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Enquire about pet sitters in the area. This will be especially important if there are any New Years Fireworks happening nearby!
  • Save your antler and give it as a treat while you’re gone – that way they’ll be so happy chewing away they might not even notice you’re gone (ok, so that’s unlikely… but you know, at least they’ll be enjoying themselves)

Holiday tips for your dog – Finding Dog Friendly Accommodation:

Looking for pet friendly accommodation is (thankfully) getting easier. However, just because a place is advertised at ‘pet friendly’ doesnt mean that you’re dog will be allowed free rein. Make sure you check with each provider to know their rules and regs.

  • Stayz offer a great range of Pet Friendly Accommodation around Australia. Check out their site here.
  • Holidaying with Dogs is a site dedicated to dog friendly accommodation in Australia.
  • Dogz Online have a page dedicated to pet-friendly holiday accommodation.

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Pet Names 2016

 Pet Insurance Australia has just announced the top 10 pet names in 2016.

“Naming your pet is such a special time in the lives of many pet owners,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “It’s great to see some of the classics making a return this year like Buddy and Coco alongside new emerging names such as Simba and Luna.”

 Seems Bella and Charlie are also the golden names of the season.

 “Both Bella, Charlie and even Coco are popular names on the cat and dog list.”

 

DOGS – WOOF!

  1. Bella
  2. Charlie
  3. Max
  4. Ruby
  5. Molly
  6. Coco
  7. Buddy
  8. Lucy
  9. Archie
  10. Daisy

 

CATS – MEOW

  1. Bella
  2. Charlie
  3. Coco
  4. Luna
  5. Tiger
  6. Oscar
  7. Simba
  8. Milo
  9. Missy
  10. Leo

 

With many expecting the pitter patter of tiny pads over the holiday season, PIA suggests taking your time with naming your beloved new friend.

 “A great tip when considering a name is to have a few,” Nadia suggests. “Sometimes you’ll have a certain name in mind then when your pet arrives home he/she simply doesn’t suit the chosen name.”

 Being sensible in your naming choice is also a good idea.

“Remembering that your precious pup or kitten will be a cherished family member for up to 20 years, so choose a name that will suit them when they are fully grown dogs and cats.”

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Things to know before you buy antler chews from a store

Large antlers for dogs australia

Where’s the best place to buy antler chews for your dog?

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There are a few things you should consider to ensure you’re getting the best value (and best product) for your dog.

Price:

Antlers do get a bad rap for being ‘expensive’ – which in some cases,  is pretty unfair.

At any given pet store, antlers are a little more pricey than your average treat. However, most of those treats only last a few minutes (not weeks or months, like antlers).

In most cases Antlers for Dogs are cheaper to buy online than any other brand in Australia. In addition, 0ur antlers are bigger than most other brands of antler chews.

Texture:

Every time I’m in a pet store, I’m amazed at how crusty and chalky their antlers are. If in fact they stock antlers at all – which is rare.

Our farm fresh antler chews are genuinely superior in texture and density. It’s no wonder that people complain that their dogs chew store bought antlers too quickly – they’re so brittle!

Origin:

Our antlers are sourced right here, from our property in the Hunter Valley, Australia.

The antlers are collected as ‘natural sheds’. This means that the male deer drop them each year with no human interference. This cruelty-free process is great news for discerning dog owners who are conscious of supporting ethical pet products.

 

Convenience:

With each of our product listings, we do include a lot of photos & testimonials so you can make an informed decision. We also have an extensive Reviews page which provides photos of happy dogs with their antlers.

When you do purchase through our online store, your order is sent immediately via express post. Is some cases you’ll receive your antlers the very next morning!

I ordered some Fallow Straps yesterday afternoon for my fur boys and we received them 7am this morning…

Can’t get better than that! As you can see by my pics I have 2 happy pooches…they love them.. ~ Judith, via Facebook. 

 

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Fallow Straps; the softest antler chew for dogs

A ‘Fallow Strap’ is a large, flat antler chew for dogs. They are ideal for puppies, seniors dogs and of course – as a special treat 😉

What are Fallow Straps?

Fallow straps are selected from the palmate – which is the big, flat top section of Fallow deer antlers. The delicious marrowey centre is more easily accessed than it is on the tougher sections of the antler.

Dogs find them absolutely delicious and they’re a great ‘special treat’ or introductory antler chew for dogs. However, they may be devoured quickly by super chewers 😉 

 What options can I choose from?

  • Small Fallow Straps: These are small ‘biscuity’ shaped sections weighing approximately 90g. These are an excellent choice for small dogs or puppies.
  • Large Fallow Straps: The large size is around 120g and is idea for medium dogs, puppies or senior dogs.
  • Flavoured Fallow Straps: At present, we have a selection of Beef & Apple Cider flavoured antlers which are proving to be EXTREMELY popular with our customers. These fallow straps are soaked in beef broth and apple cider vinegar for 24 hours. They are only available in the large size.

 

What do our customers say about the Fallow Strap antler chew for dogs?

antler chew for dogs
Beef and Apple Cider Fallow Straps

‘Echo loves the Beef and Apple cider the most – he won’t share it with anyone’ – Karen C, via Facebook.

‘We finally gave Gatsby his Fallow Strap for Christmas and it was a huge hit! We think it’s his favourite – he even takes it to be with him’ – Britta, via Facebook.

‘Winston loved his Fallow Strap!

He licked and chewed on it for ages. When he wasn’t chewing it he was carrying it everywhere with him. 

When his fur friends came over if they went within 5 meters of them or headed in the direction they were he would race over in front of them and grab it.’ – Cherie E, via Email

 

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WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! How to deal with a dog that barks constantly

What can you do about a dog that barks constantly?

Barking is a normal behaviour for dogs and one of the main ways they communicate. However, when dogs bark constantly this can indicate an underlying issue. It can drive you and your neighbours mad.

The first step is to determine the cause of the barking.

Once the underlying cause and ‘triggers’ for the barking are identified, training techniques can be used to treat the excessive barking in a humane way.

Some reasons for excessive barking include:

Boredom

  • Dogs that are left alone all day with nothing to do often resort to barking out of boredom. Boredom barkers will bark continuously.
  • To tackle boredom barking you should start by ensuring that your dog is receiving enough exercise. If you take your dog for a good walk in the morning they will be more likely to rest until you come home.
  • You should also make sure that your house and garden are sufficiently enriched with toys, puzzles and a good quality chew like a deer antler.
  • In relation to toys, keep their toys in a toy box and alternate the toys they have access to each day.
  • If they like to dig provide a sand pit to divert their instincts away from your garden – you can even try hiding your antler in the sand pit. If your dog has any play mates in the neighbourhood you might alleviate boredom by inviting them over for the day.
  • You may also consider organising a dog walker to walk your dog in the middle of the day while you are at work. You may also consider utilising your local ‘doggy day care’ services.

Separation Anxiety 

  • Dogs are social animals and it is normal for them to become anxious when they are left alone for the first time. Take care to teach your dog how to cope with being left alone at a young age. Begin by trying small amounts of time apart.
  • Make sure they have toys to play and antlers to chew on while they are outside so the experience is a positive one.
  • Gradually extend the length of time you are leaving your dog alone. When you do leave the house make sure that they have somewhere safe to retreat to such as a kennel.
  • Do not fuss over your dog when you come home – make sure both your departure and return are quiet and unexcited. Most dogs will adjust to periods of time alone, however some become severely stressed and may begin to bark incessantly and even self mutilate/injure themselves.
  • If your dog suffers from separation anxiety you will need to manage the condition in consultation with a veterinarian. Though antlers have been proven to be great tools to alleviate separation anxiety.

Fear

Dogs can also bark due to fear. They may be afraid of people coming near their territory or fearful of noises. Barking due to fear is particularly prevalent at night. Common causes of fear include loud noises like fireworks, thunderstorms and slamming doors.

Territorial behaviour

  • It is natural for your dog to want to warn you about potential intruders. Your dog may not be able to distinguish between welcome visitors, people strolling past your home and intruders.
  • If your dog barks at your neighbours,  it is probably also because they are protecting your territory. Again, make sure you have some tasty treats at hand so that your dog associates your neighbours with the food (only give the treat when your dog is calm and not barking).
  • You may also consider asking your friendly neighbours to treat your dog and supply them with their own stockpile – this is preferable to having them yell at your dog in frustration – yelling at a barking dog will only tend to reinforce the barking and protective behaviour.

Barking is also reinforced when owners yell or scold their own barking dog and should be avoided.

Successfully treating excessive barking relies on positive reinforcement – that is, reward good ‘quiet’ behaviour and avoid reinforcing ‘unwanted’ behaviour.

Attention-seeking behaviour

  • Dogs can bark when trying to call out to their human owner or when bored through being left alone for long periods of time or having nothing to do while its humans are at work/away from the home.
  • You can modify attention seeking barking by ignoring unwanted behaviour and rewarding good behaviour. When your dog barks for attention he should be completely ignored – avoid eye contact, even leave the room. Praise and pat your dog when he is calm and quiet so he realises that this is the behaviour required to secure your attention.
  • You can also try giving your dog their antler, only when he/she is calm and not barking. This rewards good behaviour and does not reinforce ‘unwanted’ behaviour.

Never try and modify your dog’s behaviour by punishing them.

Anti-barking collars constitute a form of punishment and are unreliable – they do not address the underlying cause of the problem and are easy to abuse. Your dog will be punished for every bark, some of which will be appropriate, and he will not learn an alternative, acceptable behaviour.

Feeling frustrated? If you’d like to try an antler to stop your dog barking excessively – you can receive a $5 gift card right here.