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6 Best Antlers For Dogs

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on June 22, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

Unleashing your dog’s inherent gnawing instincts can bring about numerous health and behavioral benefits and antlers for dogs can put them in touch with that primal spirit. One effective way to do this is by introducing them to a popular, natural chew toy—antlers. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of antlers for dogs, discussing their nutritional benefits, safety, and the various types available on the market. Whether you’re a new pet parent seeking to enhance your dog’s dental health or an experienced dog parent looking for sustainable chew toys, this guide will provide comprehensive insights into choosing the best antlers for your canine companion.

antlers for dogs

What Are the Different Types of Antler Chews for Dogs? What Are The Pros and Cons of Each?

Antler chews for dogs come from a variety of sources, each with their own unique pros and cons. Let’s explore the three main types: deer antlers, elk antlers, and moose antlers.

Deer Antlers:

    • Pros: Deer antlers are among the most common types of antler chews for dogs. They are incredibly dense and durable, providing long-lasting chewing for dogs. They are rich in minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which are beneficial for your dog’s dental and bone health. Additionally, they are generally more readily available, making them a less expensive option.
    • Cons: Due to their density, deer antlers can potentially cause tooth fractures in dogs that are aggressive chewers or in those that have weaker teeth. They can also be too hard for puppies and senior dogs.

Elk Antlers:

    • Pros: Elk antlers are less dense than deer antlers, making them slightly softer and safer for dogs that chew aggressively. They are still durable enough to last for a while and are rich in the same beneficial minerals. Elk antlers also have a large marrow center, which many dogs find particularly tasty.
    • Cons: Elk antlers can be more expensive than deer antlers due to their lower availability. They may also not last as long as deer antlers due to their softer nature.

Moose Antlers:

    • Pros: Moose antlers are flatter and broader than deer or elk antlers, offering a unique shape that some dogs may prefer. They are packed with minerals and can last quite a while, depending on the size and chewing habits of your dog.
    • Cons: Moose antlers are often the most expensive of the three types due to their rarity. They may also be too large for small dogs, making them more suitable for medium to large breeds.

Regardless of the type of antler you choose for your dog, it’s essential to always supervise their chew sessions to prevent any potential choking hazards. If your dog is a particularly aggressive chewer or has pre-existing dental issues, consult with your vet before introducing antler chews to avoid any unnecessary health risks.

antlers for dogs

Buyer’s Guide: What Factors Should Be Considered When Choosing Antlers for Dogs

Choosing antlers as a chew toy for dogs can be a great option, as they are natural, long-lasting, and can help keep your dog’s teeth clean. However, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you choose a safe and appropriate antler for your dog:

1. Size of the Antler:

  • Appropriate Size for Your Dog: Choose an antler that is the right size for your dog. It should be large enough that there is no risk of your dog swallowing it, but not so large that it could hurt their mouth.

2. Type of Antler:

  • Deer, Elk, or Moose: Different types of antlers have different densities and hardness. Elk antlers are generally softer, deer antlers are more dense and hard, and moose antlers are flat and softer than deer antlers. Choose the type that is most appropriate for your dog’s chewing style.

3. Whole vs. Split Antlers:

  • Whole Antlers: These are more durable and long-lasting, but they are also harder and can be more likely to crack your dog’s teeth.
  • Split Antlers: These have been cut down the middle to expose the marrow, which is softer and may be safer for your dog’s teeth. However, they will not last as long.

4. Freshness:

  • Look for Fresh Antlers: Fresh antlers are less likely to crack and are generally safer for your dog to chew on. Avoid antlers that look old or dried out.

5. Source:

  • Ethically Sourced: Ensure that the antlers have been ethically sourced and are not from hunted animals.

6. Dog’s Chewing Style:

  • Consider Your Dog’s Chewing Style: If your dog is a very aggressive chewer, you might want to opt for a softer antler like elk. If they are a more gentle chewer, a deer antler might be appropriate.

7. Inspection:

  • Inspect the Antler: Make sure there are no sharp edges or points that could injure your dog’s mouth or gums.

8. Supervision:

  • Always Supervise Your Dog: When giving your dog an antler, or any chew toy, it is important to supervise them to make sure they are not choking or breaking off large pieces that could be swallowed.

9. Allergies or Sensitivities:

  • Be Aware of Allergies: Some dogs may be allergic to antlers. If your dog has never had an antler before, start with a small amount of time and watch for any adverse reactions.

10. Age and Health of Your Dog:

  • Consider Your Dog’s Age and Dental Health: Senior dogs, or dogs with dental issues, may require softer chews to avoid damaging their teeth.

Choosing the right antler for your dog requires careful consideration of these factors. Always prioritize your dog’s safety and monitor their chewing to ensure a positive experience. Additionally, if you have any doubts or concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before introducing a new type of chew toy.

The 6 Best Antler Chews for Dogs

#1 – Premium Deer Antler Pieces – Dog Chews – Antlers by The Pound

Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chew
  • Wild shed in the USA
  • Premium, grade-A whole elk antler chew
  • No mess, no odor
  • No chemical additives
  • Veteran owned company

The Premium Deer Antler Pieces – Dog Chews by The Pound is a product that provides natural and healthy chews for medium and large dogs. It guarantees to provide at least 1 pound of Grade A antler pieces, sourced and made in the USA, and without any chemicals or added preservatives. It is a fantastic source of natural minerals and is perfect for tartar control while leaving no mess or odor.

#2- Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chew – Premium Elk Antlers for Dogs

Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chew
  • Wild shed in the USA
  • Premium, grade-A whole elk antler chew
  • No mess, no odor
  • No chemical additives
  • Veteran owned company

The Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chew is a premium whole antler chew for dogs, individually inspected to ensure high standards. It is long lasting and perfect for non-aggressive chewers, and is an all-natural, clean, odorless alternative to rawhides, bully sticks, and pig ears. A percentage of every sale is donated to a featured rescue program. However, it’s important to note that since this is a product of nature, each piece may vary in size, shape, weight, density, and color.

#3 – WhiteTail Naturals – Antlers for Small Dogs (6 Pack) Deer Antler Dog Chew Bones

WhiteTail Naturals - Antlers for Small Dogs
  • Contains 6 deer antlers, 4-6 inches long
  • Naturally shed, ethically sourced, hand-selected
  • Wild shed deer and elk antlers
  • No mess and odorless
  • Ideal for smaller-sized dogs and teething puppies

WhiteTail Naturals offers a pack of 6 naturally shed deer antlers suitable for small to medium-sized dogs and teething puppies. These long-lasting, single-ingredient chews support oral health and satisfy chewing urges while providing essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc. WhiteTail Naturals implements ethical sourcing and crafting practices in the USA to ensure premium quality, mess-free, and odorless chew toys for safe indoor use.

#4 – Amazon Brand – Wag Dog Deer Antler Chew, Naturally Shed

Amazon Brand - Wag Dog Deer Antler Chew
  • Wild sourced & naturally shed
  • Packaged in the USA with North American antlers
  • Premium grade A
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • No additives, bleach, dyes, or formaldehyde

The Amazon Brand Wag Dog Deer Antler Chew offers a naturally shed antler chew for dogs weighing between 30-45 lbs, providing a natural source of minerals without any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or additives. The antlers are wild sourced and packaged in the USA with North American antlers, ensuring premium grade A quality. A satisfaction guarantee is offered for up to a year after purchase.

#5 – Top Dog Chews – Large Variety Pack, Premium, Grade A, Antlers for Large, Medium or Small Dogs

Top Dog Chews – Large Variety Pack
  • 1lb variety pack with antlers from 6” to 9”
  • Hand selected from free-range Elk, Moose & Deer
  • No preservatives, chemicals, or bleached
  • Ethically sourced and wild shed in the USA

The Top Dog Chews Large Variety Pack offers dogs a natural and odourless chewing experience with a range of deer, elk, and moose antlers. These premium grade A antlers are ethically sourced from North American free-range animals, ensuring a high-quality product. They are long-lasting and provide mental stimulation while also effectively cleaning teeth.

#6 – Small Whole Deer Antler Dog Chew, For Small to Medium Size Dogs and Puppies

Small Whole Deer Antler Dog Chew
  • 2-point or a 3-point, ranging from 6 to 11-inches
  • Small Grade A wild deed antlers
  • Sanded edges for safety
  • Made and sourced in the USA
  • Great for small to medium chewers

The Small Whole Deer Antler Dog Chew by Big Dog Antler Chews Brand offers a natural and safe chewing option for small to medium size dogs and puppies. The antlers are sourced from wild deer and are free from chemicals and added preservatives. They are custom cut, trimmed, and sanded for safety. The chews also provide natural calcium, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc, making them great for tartar control. Customers can receive either a 2-point or a 3-point antler, ranging from 6 to 11 inches in length.

What Are The Risks of Antler Chews for Dogs?

While antler chews can provide many benefits for dogs, including dental health support and mental stimulation, they are not without their risks. Here are a few potential concerns to consider:

  1. Tooth Damage: Antlers are very hard and dense. While this makes them long-lasting chews, it also presents a risk to dogs, especially aggressive chewers. Chewing on such a hard surface can potentially lead to broken teeth or other dental injuries.
  2. Choking Hazard: Pieces that are chewed off from the antler can present a choking hazard, especially if they’re small enough to be swallowed but large enough to get lodged in a dog’s throat.
  3. Digestive Obstruction: If your dog manages to break off large pieces of the antler and swallow them, these could cause an intestinal blockage, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that usually requires surgical intervention.
  4. Contamination: Like any animal product, antlers can potentially carry bacteria or other pathogens. While most reputable suppliers will treat and process their antlers to minimize this risk, it’s still a possibility to keep in mind.

To mitigate these risks, always supervise your dog while they’re chewing on an antler. Make sure the antler is large enough that your dog can’t swallow it whole, and take it away if it becomes small enough to be a choking risk. If your dog is an aggressive chewer or has dental issues, consult with your vet before giving them antler chews. Also, always source your antlers from reputable suppliers to ensure they have been properly processed and are safe for your dog to chew.

antlers for dogs

Frequently Asked Questions About Antlers for Dogs

Are antler chews safe for dogs?

Antler chews are generally safe for healthy, adult dogs, particularly moderate or gentle chewers. However, they are not recommended for puppies with developing teeth, senior dogs with dental issues, or aggressive chewers due to potential risks of dental damage.

How often should I replace antler chews?

This primarily depends on your dog’s chewing habits. You should replace the antler chew when it becomes small enough to pose a choking hazard. For some dogs, this may be a few weeks, while for others, it could be several months.

Are antler chews suitable for puppies?

Antler chews are not usually recommended for puppies. Their teeth are still developing and the hardness of the antlers may cause damage. Opt for softer chew toys that are specially designed for puppies.

Do antler chews have an odor or cause stains?

A major advantage of antler chews is that they typically don’t have a strong odor or cause stains. However, if your dog chews them in the same spot regularly, there might be a slight smell or some discoloration.

What size antler chew is appropriate for my dog?

The size of the antler chew should correspond with your dog’s size and chewing habits. Ideally, the chew should be larger than your dog’s mouth to prevent them from swallowing it whole. Consult your vet or a pet store if you’re uncertain about the correct size.

What do I do if my dog swallows a large piece of antler chew?

If your dog swallows a small piece, they should pass it naturally. However, if they ingest a large piece or exhibit signs of discomfort (like vomiting, loss of appetite, or changes in behavior), immediately contact your vet as this could signify a digestive obstruction.

What nutritional value do antler chews offer?

Antler chews are rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and zinc, which contribute to strong bones and teeth. However, they shouldn’t be relied upon as a primary source of nutrition, but rather as a supplemental treat.

Can antler chews help with dental health?

Yes, antler chews can help scrape away plaque and tartar build-up on your dog’s teeth, contributing to better oral health. However, they should not replace regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

Are there different types of antler chews?

Yes, antler chews can come from various animals, including deer, elk, and moose. Each type varies in hardness, size, shape, and nutritional content, offering different benefits and potential drawbacks.

Can antler chews keep my dog occupied?

Absolutely! Antler chews are excellent for keeping dogs mentally stimulated and engaged. Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and giving them something appropriate to chew on can help prevent destructive behavior at home.

Conclusion: Best Antler Chews for Dogs

Selecting the perfect antler for dogs is an integral part of their overall health and well-being. The best antlers not only offer a source of entertainment for your furry friend but also contribute to dental hygiene and nutritional enrichment. Always remember to consider your dog’s size, chewing habits, and personal preferences when making a selection. With the right approach, antlers can provide an engaging, healthy, and satisfying chewing experience for your dog. Finally, remember to always supervise your pet’s chewing sessions to ensure safety. With the wide variety of antlers available in the market, you are sure to find the perfect one that your dog will love and benefit from. Happy chewing!

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

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