|Barked: Sun Aug 19, '12 9:54am PST |
|I talked to an antler salesman at our last flyball tournament. Turns out antlers are graded A, B and C. A just came off the deer/elk/moose/whatever that year. B are last years, and C are 2+ years old. The antlers you see in Petco and other chain stores are typically C grade. They're dried out, cracked up and typically not that interesting to dogs anymore. Most antlers for sale are B grade (that's what I have apparently been buying anyway).
My dogs all prefer elk antlers. Apparently the reason for this is the low bonearrow ratio. Whereas deer antlers are heavily lined with bone with only a little marrow in the middle... Much less interesting to many dogs. Same reason many dogs prefer split antlers - the marrow is right there. On the other hand, if your dog is a heavy, heavy chewer he may plow through split antlers faster than you'd like.
I've always bought antlers from the vendors at flyball tournaments. Some independent pet stores get them too, but you still have that variation in brands and quality. One store here carries the "Antlerz" brand which are C grade and I haven't liked any of the ones I've seen (also interesting that the same company makes Churpee chews, which my dogs sat down and ate like a cracker even though they're supposed to last longer than a bully stick!).
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