Antler dog chews are becoming increasingly popular for pet owners looking for a natural canine chew toy. The bully stick became popular around 10 years ago, however there have been a slew of concerns revolving around health and infection issues, not least with some pets becoming seriously ill after eating imported products. The hunt has been on to find a natural and organic dog chew which is healthy and doesn’t have the potential for harm for beloved pooches.
How is An Antler Dog Chew Made
Annually, millions of animals shed their antlers, typically moose, elk and deer in North America. Traditionally, antlers have been collected for use in making crafts and furniture, however they are now increasingly popular as a dog treat. Naturally shed antlers are collected in late winter and early Spring as the snow melts and the antlers are more easily found. They are collected, graded and cleaned which typically involves boiling them in water to kill any bacteria or germs accumulated as a result of being left on the ground. The antler is then cut into pieces according to the size of chew being made, and the cut edges are then sanded to ensure they are safe in your dog’s mouth.
The Benefits of an Antler Treat
Where do we start with the benefits of antler dog chews? There are so many, not least because they are totally and absolutely natural with nothing added or removed in their making. Processing is minimal for a naturally shed antler, and no animal is hurt or killed in order to make them. They are packed with healthy minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium as well as glucosamine which is essential for healthy joints.
Antler bones are also germ free, because they are not meat-based. This stops any chance of your dog catching something nasty, such as salmonella as has been common recently, especially with imported dog treats. In use, an antler chew is also very hygienic and if the chew becomes dirty, for instance as a result of being dropped in mud in the yard, then simply rinse it off and it’s ready for use for next time.
There is no smell with an antler chew wither as there is no ‘meat’ or organic component to generate an odor or decay. At the same time there is almost zero waste, and what your dog ingests is easily digested, in fact a dog’s stomach is designed to handle precisely this form of chew treat. You can also give antler chews to puppies, seniors, nursing and pregnant bitches and dogs with a wide range of health conditions.
What you do get is a chew toy for your mutt which will last for weeks, typically between 4 to 6 weeks depending on the size of your dog, whether you have a whole or split antler and how aggressive your dog is at chewing. When you first introduce an antler chew, damp it down a little to get the marrow scent working and your dog will know what to do from there.