‘Are antlers safe for dogs? I’ve heard that they can cause tooth breakages. Is that true?’
In a word yes. Just like any hard object, antlers chews can cause dog’s teeth to break occasionally. However, this is relatively uncommon (with no reports of it happening with our antlers – touch wood!)
Fortunately, most dogs who love to chew do so without any harmful consequences and the feedback about our antlers has been overwhelmingly positive.
So what can you do, if you want to introduce antler chews into your dog’s life but want to minimise the risk of dental damage?
Selecting the right antler chew:
Antlers have a different composition throughout – i.e. the burr or piece that attaches the antler to the deer’s head is the toughest section. With fallow deer the ‘bullwinkly’ sections at the top are the softest.
Some dogs have far stronger chew drives than others, and “power chewers” need safe, long-lasting chews as an outlet to avoid destructive behaviours.
These dogs (Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a great example) who are notoriously heavy chewers need a robust antler chew like the ‘Chewy Brutes’ while senior dogs, puppies or softer chewers should opt for standard antlers or fallow straps.
Introducing your antler chew to your dog:
Always supervise your dog’s chewing activities, especially if your dog is a strong and persistent chewer.
Choking is the main hazard, so choose appropriate sized chews that are too large to swallow whole. Be sure to remove the antler when it has been chewed down to a size that might be a choking risk.
Be vigilant about noticing if your dog is breaking off large pieces that might get swallowed or stuck in the throat. Older dogs may still have a strong desire, but their teeth become more brittle with age, and a softer chew could help prevent a broken tooth.
A few dogs are “gulpers”, indiscriminately grabbing and swallowing toys, socks or whatever they find, and need to be monitored closely because large antler chunks might cause a blockage if they swallow them whole.
So which antler chews do we suggest?
Once are antlers are collected, we process them into the most appropriate size and density – as we’ve outlined in our shop products. We know all dogs are different – so we take great pride in providing the most suitable option for your dog.
To read the full guide on which antlers are the most suitable for your dog – please visit this page