Can dogs chew on real deer antlers?

Owners of dogs are well aware of their animals’ propensity for chewing on objects. Dogs chew to relieve tooth pain, burn energy, and keep their teeth healthy. They can handle a wide variety of chewable objects thanks to their strong constitutions and teeth that are as tough as nails. However, puppies can’t just gnaw on anything without consequences, and in the case of deer or elk antlers, there may be hidden danger. Today, we’ll examine both perspectives on this contentious aspect of dog ownership.

A responsible pet owner will pause to think about the dangers that could result from their dog chewing on antlers. Some common antler-chewing dangers are:

We detest seeing our cherished pets suffer in any way, and major surgery is incredibly expensive.

Antlers are extremely durable and last much longer than many other chew toys, which is a plus. If your dog discovers a set out in the woods, they won’t splinter as much and are free. Pet stores sell antlers as well, so they’re easily accessible. Other antler benefits to consider:

Whether or not you choose to give your dog antler chews is entirely up to you. If you choose to eat these treats, make sure your chew is big enough to prevent choking and keep an eye out for any broken or sharp edges.

Sign up right away to receive our most recent advice in your inbox. Privacy Policy.

What are some safe alternatives to antler chews?

Knowing the truth about canine antlers may have you wondering what canines who enjoy chewing or who are heavy chewers can safely consume. The good news is that by picking the right chew toy, you can avoid a painful tooth fracture. Even better, it’s simple to determine whether a chew toy is too challenging for your dog. I learned the following rule from Dr. Fraser Hale, a board-certified veterinary dentist:

The “kneecap smack” maxim places restrictions on what your dog should chew. This can be upsetting for dog owners whose canine companions are heavy chewers. However, it can also lessen the suffering and discomfort your dog feels as a result of a broken tooth. I have a small selection of dog chew toys that I suggest to my veterinary patients, including Kong toys and West Paw’s Zogoflex toys. Alternatively, you can search for the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s certification.

Can dogs chew on real deer antlers?

Antlers may cause a GI obstruction.

Antler fragments that dogs ingest run the risk of becoming lodged in the stomach or intestines. Veterinarians disagree on the subject of whether a dog’s stomach acids can decompose antlers. Even though the antler will eventually decay, problems can still arise while it is still in place. The antler may lodge in the intestines and prevent the passage of intestinal contents or prevent food from leaving the stomach.

Can dogs chew on real deer antlers?

In extreme cases, an obstruction in the intestine can result in a hole in the intestine or the death of a section of the intestine. This may allow intestinal contents to leak into the abdomen. Dogs with holes in their intestines or dead intestines are extremely ill and occasionally die.

Signs of an intestinal or stomach obstruction include:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • A lethargic dog
  • Poor appetite (or sometimes still a good appetite but vomiting shortly after eating)
  • Weight loss
  • These symptoms are not unique to obstructions because they can be caused by a variety of conditions, such as other GI issues like canine pancreatitis and systemic issues like organ failure. Call your veterinarian as soon as you notice any of these symptoms so they can examine your dog and come up with a plan.

    Surgery is necessary to remove the antler (and, in severe cases, damaged portions of the intestine) in cases of GI obstruction. Complex or serious cases might need intensive care for several days in the hospital. Antlers aren’t worth the risk because some obstructions can even be fatal.

    Benefits of Deer Antlers for Dogs

    Calcium and phosphorus make up the majority of antler composition, but other essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, sulphur, and zinc are also present. These minerals are vital for keeping bones and muscles strong.

    However, using deer antlers to help your dog’s dental hygiene is their main health benefit. Plaque on the teeth is removed by gnawing, keeping them clean. The majority of commercially available dental treats are either calorie-dense or brittle and prone to breaking off in your dog’s mouth. Deer antlers are neither of these, and they’re a great way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.


    Is it safe for dogs to chew on deer antlers?

    Deer antlers are completely safe for your dog to chew on, and they’ll give them a stimulating and nourishing snack they’ll keep coming back to. It can be intimidating to first unwrap an antler to give to your dog.

    Can I give my dog a deer antler I found in the woods?

    Antlers are dangerous for dogs for three reasons, regardless of how they are cut or what animal they come from: Antlers can result in excruciatingly painful fractured teeth Smaller antler pieces could pose a choking hazard.

    How do you prepare deer antlers for dogs?

    The antlers are harvested, then the sharp points are ground off or sanded down. They are then blanched to sanitise them. (It’s never a good idea to fully boil bone products because it can make them brittle.) Since there has been no further processing, these goods are truly natural.

    What kind of antlers can dogs chew on?

    Moose antlers for dogs are softer than other antlers and are frequently offered in a variety of slices and shapes so that you can find the right one for your particular dog. Even other varieties of “antler” chews made from water buffalo horns are available.