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Are antlers a safe chew?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Misty

Can I chase it?!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 10:58am PST 
Maybe this would be better off in the food and nutrition forums, but since my main concert here is safety I figured I'd try here first. I've been hearing about antlers as chews for a while, but I really don't know anything about them as far as safety or anything. Could anyone give me any information here? Thank you!
Misty and Cooper's Mom
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Roxy

Roxy - aka Bob
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 11:10am PST 
My 4 Deutsch Drahthaars have antlers available to chew on at all times and they love them! Have been giving them to the dogs for years and have never had an issue. I have never seen one splinter or break, they just slowly get worn down and when they are about 6-8 inches long, I throw them away and toss out a new one. I don't want to have to worry about them trying to swallow one whole.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 11:14am PST 
I think they are from everything I've read (vet blogs, product info and reviews) as well as from my own experience with Lucille. She is a very aggressive chewer, and bully sticks (pizzles)disappeared in minutes. When I read about elk and deer antlers, I ordered some in varying sizes. They are her absolute favorite right now and have been for months. She'll chew on them contentedly for an hour or more at a time. She's been working on the same elk antler daily since the beginning of June, they last a very long time.

They do not shard or break, antlers are ground down by the dog's teeth which minimizes the possiblity of a dog's tooth breaking. A side benefit is that they get trace amounts of healthy minerals like calcium etc. They also don't smell or leave stains=bonus for me. As long as you get the right size for your dog's mouth and their chewing style, they seem to be quite safe. I ordered online from bestbullysticks.com and I've been very happy with all of the antler products so far.
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Misty

Can I chase it?!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 11:15am PST 
How do they compare to bully sticks? Even when I buy the big jumbo ones, Misty can go through one in maybe 30 minutes, and thats on a slow day. Right now both the dogs stay with my mom during the day so there's almost always someone with them, but in a few weeks I'm moving again and they will be in the new house alone while I'm at work and school. I have Kongs and other things to keep them occupied for a while during the day, but I'd like to have a safe chew that they won't go through with in an hour of me leaving.
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Quincy- FM TFE-II- TDIAOV CGC

I have just met- you and I LOVE- you!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 11:20am PST 
We just bought 3 elk antlers, and they are absolutely terrific. The one with more open spots to the inside "marrow" of sorts went the fastest, it was originally about 7 inches and is now 2. They chewed on it pretty much constantly over the week and it took that long. The ones with smaller marrow-exposed areas hardly have a dent, and they've been going for a few weeks now. Bully sticks are great for my sheltie, but my other two just burn through them. So far antlers are the only natural chew I've found that holds up for any significant length of time. We highly recommend way to go
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Roxy

Roxy - aka Bob
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 11:22am PST 
Our dogs get fresh antlers and they last anywhere from 1 to 3 months depending on the size. That's with all 4 taking turns chewing on them.

Edited by author Tue Jul 27, '10 11:23am PST

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Maggie (I'm- Moms Angel- Now)

Punish the DEED- NOT The Breed!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 10:24pm PST 
How long would they stand up to a puppy chewing on them? My two are not into the kongs and we have tried the busy bone thing as well as pigs ears that have the peanut butter in them only to find them gone in a few hours.
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Sen

I can sit- pretty...- see?!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 11:21pm PST 
@Maggie

Sen has had a deer antler since we brought her home from the Humane Society at about 6-8 weeks old (she's now about 10 months). Most of her chewing was done during the tail end of her various teething phases since I think the super harness of it hurt her gums a little.

Now, however, we keep one in her crate at all times, and one in whatever room she's in. It keeps her occupied for hours at a time. She loves hers, and I can honestly say that the antlers and frozen carrots were life savers when she was younger.
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Maggie & Porter

We are serious- trouble
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 27, '10 11:46pm PST 
I get antlers from my family (they are hunters). I have a box of them, but the intial two that I first got are still in the chewing rotation...but then again they came off of a frozen deer head so not sure if that is the cause of their longevity or the fact that there is only one cut and a whole antler (little tines/2 point black tail).
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Sophie

Can I lick the- plate please?
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 28, '10 7:58am PST 
Antlers are great and last a lot longer then bully sticks.
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