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Why Antlers Make the Best Dog Treat

Updated on December 9, 2013

Does Your Dog Chew Through Anything?

Many dog owners, especially those with breeds that have heavy bites such as German Shepherd Dogs, find that treats simply don't last. Their dogs often consume plastic, fabric and anything else. Even heavy-duty Kong treats will sometimes be devoured. Dogs that chew through everything have very limited options for fun, and bones can be incredibly dangerous for these dogs because they can crack or splinter. Antlers are one of the best types of dog treat for these dogs.

A tough dog deserves a tough chew.
A tough dog deserves a tough chew. | Source

Why Are Antlers Better?

Antlers are incredibly hard and they're also very delicious. Just like bones, antlers have marrow within them. Your dog will work hard to get the marrow out, but will not be able to without some time. As anyone who has held an antler knows, an antler is nothing like bone. When being held, it feels much more like ceramic. Rather than break or splinter, an antler is slowly and carefully worn down.

Cheap antlers can be found online for those that want to save money, and many pet shops now carry antlers as well. Antlers come in two formats: whole and split. The whole format is great for heavy chewers while the split format is good for lighter ones.

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Doesn't It Hurt the Deer?

Hunters and other sportsmen will likely find this question fun! Deer actually naturally shed their antlers, and it's these shed antlers that are collected. A deer is absolutely not hurt during the process of collecting antlers!

Getting the Best Deal

The prices on deer antlers tend to vary dramatically. The best way that you can get a good deal on antlers is by going to hunters directly. Hunters are often in the forest, and many of them pick up shed deer antlers for their own projects or simply to resell. Buying deer antlers from the pet store will usually give you the worst possible price. When choosing deer antlers from an individual, you should look over the antler to ensure that it is dense, heavy and hard. A lighter antler may be from an immature deer and will not be as strong or enjoyable for your dog. Buying antlers by the pound is also preferable to buying them as a single piece.

Tips for Using Antlers

  • Take away the antler if it gets too small.
  • While antlers are very safe, no dog should be with any chew toy unattended.
  • Boiling the antler in broth can make it taste even better.

Choosing the Right Size for Your Pooch

Large antlers of about 8 inches or more are ideal for larger breed dogs exceeding 50 pounds.

Medium antlers of about 5-6 inches are preferable for medium breed dogs exceeding 30 pounds.

Small antlers of about 3-4 inches are available for smaller dogs and puppies.

Don't worry: no deer are harmed in the making of these delicious treats.
Don't worry: no deer are harmed in the making of these delicious treats. | Source

Other Fantastic Chew Toys

If antlers aren't your dog's style, there are still some options. The Extreme Kong toy line is made of touch rubber. Himalayan dog chews are also another great solution that last a long time and are delicious to most dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian if you're trying some form of alternative dog treat, and never give your dog a treat unsupervised.

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    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 

      4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Good hub, jkcki. Antlers are a relatively new treat, having just come on the scene within the past 10 years or so; around here, anyway. I see them in pet supply stores for as much as $19.99 for the lager points (as in 6-point buck), and even those aren't large chews. They're worth their weight in gold, as they say. Anyone coming across antlers while on a nature walk has found true treasure if they're a dog owner.

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