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Are Deer Antlers For Dogs A Good Chew Toy?

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Over the past couple of years, we’ve been hearing rave reviews about deer antlers for dogs.

If you have a Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever in your house then you probably run into some of the same issues we do with Dublin, our yellow lab, Stetson, our black lab, or Raven, our Golden Retriever.

Those three just love to chew up their dog toys, treats, chews, beef collagen sticks, bully sticks…you name it, they chew it.

In fact, Raven can chew up a 12-inch collagen stick in less than 10 minutes!

Are Deer Antlers For Dogs A Good Chew Toy?
Are Deer Antlers For Dogs A Good Chew Toy?

That’s the same stick that used to take Dublin 2 weeks to polish off (now it takes him about a half-hour).

Needless to say, we’re always on the lookout for a high-quality, durable, chew to occupy our dogs and satisfy their need to chew.

Enter Deer Antlers for Dogs.

OTHER RESOURCES: Chew toys are great for helping with bitey, nippy, mouthy puppies. Check out this list of the best chew toys for a teething puppy from our friends at Labrador Training HQ.

Deer Antlers For Dogs

Do deer antlers make for a good chew toy?

Some of the things we’ve heard about these antler dog chews are:

  • “They are great for dogs who love to chew because they last for a very long time.”
  • “You can purchase them in different sizes depending on the size of your dog.”
  • “They don’t stink really bad like the bully sticks you get from the store.”
Two Pups' debating...Are Deer Antlers A Good Chew?
Two Pups’ debating…Are Deer Antlers A Good Chew Toy?

If you’d like to read more information about deer antlers for dogs then check out the product description for Bones & Chews Deer Antlers. Chewy readers give mostly good reviews.

So, are antlers for dogs safe?

We recently received an email from our Guide Dog group that we wanted to share with our readers.

Here’s what they had to say about deer antlers for dogs.

Are Deer Antlers For Dogs Safe?

“We are having an increase in the instances of dogs (puppies and adults) with acute diarrhea.

All tests show that the cause is not bacterial or parasitic. What all these cases do have in common……

Now I am not knocking antlers, they definitely have their place.

Antlers are an excellent tool for dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

But because they are considered a novel protein, once a dog is given this as a treat, Venison can no longer be considered a novel protein for that dog.

This makes it much more difficult to find a novel protein if needed in the future for skin or intestinal issues.

Recently, as antler dog chews become more popular, antlers are getting more scarce.

Antler chew sellers are popping up all over and they are looking to sell the cheaper, low-grade antler to make more profit.

These antlers are old, brittle, and can crack and splinter when chewed.

Because of the scarcity antlers are being brought in from other countries like China where they may be treated with chemical preservatives.

Antlers are also high in protein, this too can cause stomach upset especially in young dogs.

We recommend the following “chew toys”:

Sterile bones, Nylabones, and the occasional rawhide,(UPDATE rawhides are no longer a recommended chew) are the same chew toys given while they are in training.

All of these chews need to be given only under direct supervision.

We do not recommend antlers as a chew toy/supplement.”

–Guide Dog Vet Department

I'm going to sleep on this one. Whether or not their good chew toys their good pillows! :)
I’m going to sleep on this one. Whether or not their good chew toys their good pillows! 🙂

Are Deer Antlers For Dogs A Good Chew Toy?

Obviously, we can no longer use deer antlers as a chew toy/supplement for our guide dog puppies in training, but then again we never had the chance to use them in the first place.

By the way, I’m glad I did not have to experience acute diarrhea with my pups.

The fear of all 3 of my dogs getting diarrhea is enough to make me avoid purchasing deer antler chews for my dogs.

QUICK UPDATE: Several readers have noted in the comment section that many dogs have cracked their teeth on deer antlers. In my own experience, I’ve had one friend tell me their dog cracked a tooth as well. I know this is not the case with all dogs. One thing I’d recommend is to know your dog. If your dog is an intense chewer then maybe try a softer chew like a KONG. One reader said they don’t give it to their dog if they can’t dent it with their fingernail. 

So I guess we’ll just stick to the Sterile bones, Nylabones, and the occasional pressed rawhide bone. (UPDATE Pressed rawhide bones are no longer recommended)

Lucky for us Dublin (and now Apache) loves the Nylabones and Sterile Bones so we rarely give them any other kind of dog chews.

Our current favorite dog chew toys are

We also like the following chews:

The KONG Dog Toy has been indestructible while the Nylabone Wishbone gets a bit jagged when our dogs chew on it, but has remained in one piece…just don’t let your dog drop it on your barefoot…OUCH!

Are Deer Antlers Good For Puppies?

Since we first wrote this post we had never used deer antlers with our puppies.

As you can see from the updated pics in this article we decided to see what the pups thought about deer antlers.

After all the pluses and minuses mentioned in this article, one of the big ones that we were afraid of was cracked teeth, and therefore decided antlers wouldn’t be appropriate for the big boys.

However, the little guys love to teeth but don’t usually bite down with the same force as the big dogs thus alleviating my fear of cracked teeth. Also, puppy teeth fall out at around 4-6 months.

So we took the plunge and allowed our puppies under 4 months to play and chew on the deer antlers.

Our pups immediately loved the antlers and had no issues with cracked teeth and they barely put a dent in the antlers. Luckily we haven’t had any digestion or diarrhea issues with our puppies.

The question now is will I continue to use deer antlers with my young pups?

Yes, if I can find a high-quality deer antler I don’t mind using it with the puppies. However, I’ll probably stick mostly with my two favorite chews: Yak Cheese Dog Chews and Beef Collagen Sticks.

One thing to remember is no matter what your puppy is chewing monitor him closely.

While products like antlers and rawhides come into the news more often even items deemed “safe” can become a hazard depending on the puppy.

That’s it! By the way, there’s tons of great information about the advantages and disadvantages of antlers for dogs in our comments section. Check it out if you have a moment.

Do you have a destructive dog that loves to chew?

What are your favorite dog chew toys?

Have you tried deer antlers for dogs?

How about elk antlers for dogs?

We’d love to hear about your experiences so tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Related Article:

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Are deer antlers for dogs a good chew toy? We’ve debated this over the years and there are definitely pros and cons to deer antlers for dogs. When the popularity of these chews came to the forefront some are definitely while others against these as a dog chew toy. #dogchews #deerantlersfordogs #deerantlers #antlersfordogs #dogchewtoys #deerantlersfordogsnatural
Are Deer Antlers For Dogs A Good Chew Toy?

UPDATE: This post was originally posted on December 27th, 2011. It has been updated with new information based on our experiences over the years.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. I’ve given my 12week old English Bulldog puppy a deer antler and she has gone mental! Really hyperactive, has anyone else seen this?

  2. Same thing just happened to us! 14 week old puppy loved his first antler. Acute diarrhea and drooling quickly ensued.its been about 3 hours and he seems to be improving but the antler is in the trash and NEVER AGAIN!

  3. I have two 10-month old Schnauzer puppies who love to chew on my furniture. They are the Nylabone so we bought them antlers. They’ve had the antlers for four days now and on the fourth day they have projectile diarrhea. Can The antlers possibly be the cause?

  4. I’m yet to try antlers but our 4 month old border collie loves a KONG and pig ears (only Australian!) Bones from butcher get smelly plus with summer fast approaching l didn’t want anything that could attract bees etc. When her teeth are really sore a nice thick carrot will do the trick

  5. Others have noted that their dogs have cracked their teeth on deer antlers. Every dog is different. It’s important to know your dog and be sure he/she is safe with any chew toy or product.

  6. wait til he breaks his teeth……then u can pay $800 to have them pulled

  7. I love the deer antlers since we got Coco the antler he does not chew on my furniture. Which is a win. He will spend hours just chewing in the antler. Rubber chew toys he looses interest in in minutes. Cocobean is a 4 month old chocolate Labrador.

  8. Deer antlers have worked great for my 2 chihuahuas. I have had no issue with cracked teeth or diarrhea and have used them for 2 years now. My chihuahuas ate Nylabones, I don’t want that in their stomachs. Recommend antlers for small dogs.

  9. We’ve mostly been looking for natural chews for our dogs. Every chew we’ve come across seems to have pluses and minuses including deer antlers. One of our current favorites are bully sticks although depending on where you get your bully sticks from they could have a very bad odor.

    FYI, there’s been a lot of controversy with Rawhide here in the United States so we’ve avoided all types of rawhide with our puppies and dogs.

  10. Thank you for sharing your experience with lamb horns from Icelandic+. I’m going to check them out for my dogs and hopefully they work as an alternate chew.

  11. This is a really interesting article. As I am from Australia we have never heard of using deer antlers as chew toys for your puppy. Rawhide bones have been our go to but the smell has been a problem. Maybe I will give this a try with our new puppy!

  12. I switched to lamb horns from Icelandic+. They are fresher and safer than antlers. I have a powerful chewer(bully breed), and I usually get at least a week or two out of each horn. They are not as odourless as antlers, but they are still a considerable improvement from bully sticks, bones, and other natural chews. They are available in other proteins from other brands, but Icelandic+ is my go-to company. They source high-quality, responsibly sourced ingredients from Iceland.

  13. Odor free is definitely a great thing. Along with the smell of bully sticks our house definitely has a doggy odor plus lots of fur tumble weeds. This year I hope to do more to keep our home cleaner and more odor free.

  14. Something that doesn’t stink would be a big hit in our house. It’s gross how some of the rawhides and other chew things stink and then the slobber from the dogs. Antlers sound like a good cure for that…too bad about the cracked teeth. That scares me. Thanks for the information!

  15. This is the most complete information I have ever found on dog chews, even after a lot of research, My dogs buried their Nylabones after a couple of sniffs.

  16. I agree with you 100% on your post! On antlers for dogs, I find that if you get antlers that are less dense for puppies, they have an easier time getting to the marrow and and it’s slightly easier on their little puppy teeth. Also you have to always monitor antler chewing.

  17. In my nearly 50 years of owning dogs I’ve never seen a problem with antlers and only once seen a problem related to rawhide, and that was while it was on it’s way out. I’ve seen dogs eat everything from the evening newspaper, the dreaded chicken bones, plastic toys, plastic wrap, wood, etc…..and my latest puppy went through a very brief sand eating stage and now will stealthily pick up small pebbles to chew on while on walks. I agree that it’s all about the individual dog and whether he has sensitivities to certain items, and whether his mission is to get his chew toy down his gullet as soon as possible or he takes his time with it.

  18. I will never give my dogs nylabones again! I had a 1-1/2 year old lab mix that was able to chew hers up into small pieces. We had no idea until she stopped eating and became sick. The vet finally saw it in her stomach on the X-ray and performed emergency surgery, however she was too weak to make it through the night! Never again will I risk it for a chew toy, I’ll stick with KONG.

  19. The reality is a dog can break/chip a tooth on almost anything even their food. I’ve had a dog crack/break tooth on Nylabone… I had a puppy bite off/swallow part of a Nylabone, so I really don’t like Nylabone much except maybe the Wishbone/Wolfbone larger sizes. The Knuckle Bones can cause all sorts of problems… I think most times when dog chews on it will end up throwing up since it like flakes a bit. He has swallowed parts of Bully Sticks which he has thrown up. Rawhide he would at times throw up kinda if it was the sticks since would like chew it down quick. I found the round ring shaped ones are better since he can hold it w/ paw eating bits. I’ve tried a few of the deer/elk made in USA antlers which at first the puppy didn’t seem interested in. He seems to chew one more than the other though not sure which. The other dogs don’t seem to care for antlers, I find getting the largest size or near there is best. If they don’t have things to chew they will start chewing walls, couch, eating blankets, anything can imagine. So while chews might not be perfect they are probably safer. Like anything dogs are going to do better with things others might not. Most of the fatal issue I’ve read about Knuckle Bones were the smoked or baked style over the normal. I know my dog was crapping all over when got this CAstor Pollux Organic Puppy food probably from the Coconut Oil… So should all dogs not use anything w/ that, maybe there those who have no problems. I did read a lot of reviews of all those dog food lines where people complained about the loose stool/exploding all over house barely making it to the back door etc ;).

    I would try to get stuff made in USA, I find it confusing they have Bully Sticks along w/ Steer Sticks… The Steer are from neutered bulls, which makes me wonder does that matter? Like is being neutered safer? Also for writing a blog should know more about antlers… According to what I’ve read they shed them naturally so don’t need to kill them for their antlers. Also if do the wild antlers then need to treat them to make sterile eliminated the parasites. Puppy in general can react badly to anything since their system is delicate developing. In general anything give dog is going to cause some loose stools or other issues… Especially if give too much or at wrong time of night/day to digest properly or conflicts w/ another food. I never used Antlers before, I’ve used Hooves but don’t trust them since too easy to swallow. If can’t find something Made in USA from USA then really don’t bother… They have some shifty companies that claim or mislead about it being USA etc… Like somebody was telling me Barksworthy isn’t USA purely, supposedly its even explained on their web site… Like one of those where its american but processed in another country or its processed here from somewhere else… I notice dogs will throw up chunks of the pizzle from Drs. Fosters Smith which seems to splinter or flake… Their pizzle style long sticks can break them finding like weird bits or chunks in them. Most things sold as treats/chews/whatever are not even classified as food… So its some shady stuff going on, company to company the same product isn’t consistent or pure. You might have it be called a deer/elk antler but its not the same as another brand or type. Pizzle for example I think when fed the dogs Lamb they seemed to throw up for some odd reason. Yet many talk about how lamb is good for dogs w/ allergies or issues etc. Blanket statements are not really good. In anything have to try to find the best type/quality. I remember getting rawhide from like Brazil that when dog was chewing could see bits of newspaper or some other crap. Now they have something they claim is 99% digestible “Beefhide” which got not even realizing it wasn’t “rawhide”… It was the same braided style that used to get them since was made in USA. Would like to know if anybody else has tried products called Beefhide or replacements for rawhide not mentioned? Try to only have cotton/natural fibers around dogs… I had one eat/chew swallow part of a sheet which had Polyester causing like a 6K surgery eventually to remove crap from stomach. Little dogs are harder to handle since they are small… So what might not bother a bigger dog is going to harm them. Its like drinking alcohol if lack the ability to digest it or have a slight body weights/size no tolerance :). I try to get my puppy who will be a year old soon the largest antlers possible like 8.5+ or 9+ since they seem safer for him. Most problems I think from Antlers cracking/breaking teeth are from getting dog too big or small. Many seem to be blaming antler when the fault is with them or other issues not mentioned.

  20. I’m horrified that you recommend hide chews for dogs. Many dogs have died as a result of these becoming slimey when softened by chewing. It is impossible to extract them from the dog’s throat.

  21. some deer antlers aren’t safe…..i had bought one from petco that my doberman would carry around….when she passed i gave it to my small dog, one day i found the antler and a chip on the sofa. the following week he went in for a dental and they found 2 broken teeth. these thing are hard as rocks and will break teeth in the wrong dogs mouth….dog give these to dogs!

  22. Our 20 week mini Aussie is spending the night at the vet due to vomiting and diarrhea. A X-ray showed tiny bone fragments thruout his gut and I could see it in his poop. . The only “bone” he has had are antlers. Puppies/dogs have the ability to shave off antler particles which can back up the puppy. We thought he had eaten something and could not pass it. Which was true but we never thought of his antler being the cause. So be careful. Larger dogs have bigger systems but I’m. It taking any changes. I threw them all out. I’m praying I get to pick my boy up in the morning and he is all better.

  23. My Irish Terrier would have nothing to do with the antler when we first brought it home. He sniffed and mouthed it for a little while but never showed any interest in it again. A few months later, we left it in his crate one night. He chewed on it for quite a while but then he began to convulse and vomit all over the inside of his crate. I picked it up and threw it into the garbage. Never again.

  24. While I have given my dog Soldier deer antlers from time to time, I only do it on occasion (I never let him have one for longer than a few hours in the evening, then I put it away until the next time). A veterinarian suggested that having an antler available all the time may mean that the antler becomes damp or sticky and can then have bacteria breed on it. I don’t know if this is true, but it sounded sensible to me so I don’t take the chance.

  25. @Barry, @Angela and @Tuck, my apologies for not responding to this comment thread sooner. This is not my full time job. I get hundreds of comments and emails every week and unfortunately I don’t have time to respond to everyone.

    @Barry, you make great points and thank you for sharing the link. Here are a couple more with some other opinions on rawhides:

    Best Rawhide Chews
    Are Rawhides Bad for Dogs?

    You are correct that I am not an authority on dog products, deer antlers, dog chewables, and “rawhide bones”. This is a blog where I share my experiences raising guide and service dog puppies. Six years ago the guide dog school asked us not to give our puppies deer antlers, but still recommended rawhides and sterile bones. The school places over 300 puppies every year and based on their experience and research they deemed it okay to allow us to give their puppies rawhide.

    I read through the BARk post @Barry shared, the two links in my comment, and a half dozen other articles about rawhide and based on those readings I cannot conclusively say that all rawhide is bad for all dogs, but based on those reading there are plenty of dangers and pitfalls associated with rawhides as chews for dogs.

    As @Barry pointed out I am not an expert or authority on this subject and this is by no means a scientific study.

  26. I was thinking the same thing about the rawhides chews and Colbys response (lack of) speaks volumes here….

  27. Thanks for telling us about Buzz. Yes, I recently talked to one of my guide dog friends who said her dog cracked a molar while chewing on a deer antler and she too stopped giving them to her dogs. Now that my dogs are older I’m being very careful with what I allow them to chew on (I guess it really shouldn’t matter whether they’re young or old). A few other chews we’ve tried are the Himalayan Dog Chews which we don’t like too much and Bully Sticks which we’ve always liked we just haven’t found a good supplier.

  28. I had no idea about the scarcity in antlers. Very interesting. My two pups used to chew on Antlers quite a bit, until I threw out their entire collection in early 2015.

    The cause was that Buzz had broken a molar that ended up needing to be removed in its entirety. He broke it while chewing on one of those extra large, smoked beef bones you can buy at the grocery store.

    Needless to say, this was a HUGE lesson learned and I will never ever purchase those bones again. They are way too hard and can cause massive damage. Antlers aren’t nearly as hard and dense as beef bones, but I didn’t want to take any chances and threw them out as well.

    Now that we’re feeding a raw diet, both pups eat their raw meaty bones without any issues and the benefit of brushing their teeth while eating them (they get duck necks & heads, chicken leg quarters/feet/wings). They also get bully sticks as recreational chews.

  29. We like giving our dogs bully sticks and haven’t had problems with pieces breaking off, but we are careful because when they get too small our dogs can choke on them. Before that happens we’ll throw away the small pieces.

  30. Thank you for your input. 1st off, I have to tell you when I had horses in the eighties I had a Malamute named Bear, who was my love. What a great dog Malamutes are. Big, big dogs with so much love and gentleness in them… but are also great watch dogs. Your message brought back wonderful memories. I now have a 1 yr old, 10 lb. Maltese. I have given her
    the deer antler chew and she loves it. However I worry if it can damage her teeth in the long run. I hate to give them up, but I dislike rawhide or bully sticks because they cause a mess and can possibly choke her if a piece brakes off. ???? What are your thoughts on his?

  31. Did you saw off the tines of the antler? That’s where splintering will most likely occur – not from chewing on the main beam or base of the antler.

  32. Thanks for sharing. We’ve had some friends report reactions to deer antlers and others who have had issues with their dogs chipping teeth. Be careful before giving your dog any type of chew, toy, or treat.

  33. i cannot give my 3 yr old lab deer antlers or raw bones from pet store, frozen. he loves chewing on all of them, but then his tummy is upset for about 4 days, he feels fine, but not long after eating his regular ‘good quality’ kibble, he throws them all up.

  34. Amazing what you learn online.
    I have 6 months old retriever at home and had 2 antler bones.
    We went back and forward with him having diaorrhea but we never linked it to the bones.
    I only now discovered 2 of his tooth being massively chipped. Off to the vet tomorrow.
    He doesn’t chew on sticks or stones so I suspect the bones to be the cause.

  35. Thanks for sharing your experience. It would be interesting to know how much bacteria collects on dog chews like antlers, bully sticks, Nylabones, Kongs, etc. I imagine the synthetic chews don’t collect bacteria like the animal parts.

  36. Hank, our mixed Black and Tan Coonhound, had an antler but I’m not sure exactly what kind. He has had several over his 2 years. We all loved them and thought they were the greatest thing going.

    About 6 to 8 weeks ago I noticed him chewing the antler for an unusual amount of time, but did not really think anything about it. Several weeks later I noticed his upper lip (usually black) was very red. Took him to the vet and after several questions asked by the vet I remembered the unusual amount of time he had chewed the antler. Vet said he had probably scratched his lip chewing the antler and bacteria from the antler had gotten in and caused an infection.. We never thought about anything like that happening. Long story short, all chew toys and antlers were thrown away, antibiotics and a cream were prescribed for 12 days and he is doing much better. His lip is almost totally black again and getting better every day.

    I’m disappointed because we thought we had found the answer to his chewing needs. I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem. Just in case this happens to anyone else I thought I share our experience.

  37. I just purchased two Antler Chews by Master Paws from Menards today. It was a small size for my dogs which are Lhaso Apso. They chewed on them for a long time and then I noticed the one had chew off the complete end of hers and a large crack ran down the middle of the rest of the antler. Is this dangerous for my dog? I thought they would not splinter so I’m concerned for the one who ate a portion of hers. I have taken both of them away from them. They were not happy. Do I need to be concerned?

  38. I’ve been having an ongoing problem with my Border Collie/Lab mix- diarrhea, and testing positive on and off over the past year for giardia, hookworm, whipworm.
    I have been buying and giving her elk antlers from our local pet shop (a good brand, as far as I know), as they don’t splinter and she loves them- plus, they last quite a long time.
    I am at a loss as to why she keeps testing positive for parasites. Has anyone else had a similar situation? I’m very careful to keep an eye on her outside as we do have our share of wildlife in the area, but never allow her to eat anything from the ground. I’m beginning to wonder if she might be picking up parasites from the marrow of the elk antlers. Any advice would be appreciated…

  39. That’s a good rule of thumb and I have heard that complaint (cracked teeth) from many others. In our experience we’ve noticed every dog is different and some of our friends love the deer antlers for their dogs while others not so much.

  40. my vet says know. last yr around christmas she had numerous calls abt people that had given their dogs deer antlers and had cracked their teeth on them. i dont give my dogs anything that i cant make a dent in it with my fingernail.

  41. Thank you for the tips! Unfortunately for us we do not hunt and wouldn’t know how to acquire our own deer antlers nor would we know how to prepare them for our dogs.

  42. Wow expensive… the piece of antler I got for my adult border collie (now given to my new mongrel puppy) is 7 inches long and was £7.00 (about $10 I think). I’ve don’t know which deer species it came from (from the look of it, probably European Red deer – it’s definitely not a palmate type antler) but the outer part is very, very hard and he never managed to chew through it or splinter any of it off (he regularly used to eat whole ham bones in 20 mins – so he did have pretty strong jaws). The puppy has made a bit more of a dent in it (through persistence and razor sharp teeth I think) but it’s still all in one piece with only a few gouge marks to show for their efforts. They did get out a lot of the accessible marrow but it didn’t do either of them any harm that I could tell (no diarrhea at least). I’ve had the antler kicking about for a year now, am I meant to throw it out? It’s much harder than a bone – could it crack a puppy’s teeth?

  43. We have a Great Dane and four Irish Setters. The GD has gnawed his way through quite a few pairs of leather boots and is a very strong chewer. The Irish also enjoy chewing. My husband hunts and the deer antlers that are not worthy to hang on the wall, are given to the dogs for chews. I have NEVER had one splinter, be chewed entirely up, or cause any gastro problems. Never had any marrow come out of them either. I will not buy antler chews from the store because I don’t know where they come from, what they come from, or at what stage those antlers were ‘harvested.’ I would recommend antler chews ONLY if you get them yourself.

  44. Was thinking the exact same thing. Anyone who gives their dog rawhide hasn’t done their research. Horrible stuff.

  45. Our pup loves deer antlers and has never had a problem with them. However, after reading this post, I do want to research the store-bought antlers’ source. Thank you! Also interested in Elk antlers now too.
    Beware of the “occasional rawhide,” though! Facebook

  46. My dog has been chewing deer antler since he was a puppy with no adverse affects – from deer that I harvested antler cut into 5″ pieces lasts about month a chunk. Highly recommended.

  47. We have a 1 year old lab and he loved the first antler we bought. It was very hard and had no accessible marrow. We bought another round of antlers that looked good but I didn’t notice that the marrow was more accessible and within 10 minutes he had cleaned out a bunch of the marrow from inside the antler…well you can guess what happened over the next 24 hours. That little bit of marrow wrecked his system and he ended up with major diarrhea that created a few messes in the house and 2 or 3 middle of the night trips outside. Can’t take that chance again especially when he is crated during the day. We are done with the antlers and need to look for another tough toy for him to chew. Again, the problem didn’t seem to be the hard outside part of the antler, it was the marrow. He did ok with the first antler that didn’t have the accessible marrow.

  48. Like I have said before, antlers in animals are similar to food in people. Certain people have certain sensitivities to certain foods. High fat dairy products or spicy foods can possibly cause certain people to have diarrhea. Onions make my throat close, scallions make me sneeze. Everyone has their own thing. Well, dogs are similar. Most dogs love the marrow from the antler, a few dogs could care less. Most dogs tolerate marrow just fine, then you have the few that have the sensitivity or allergy to it and it turns into a stomach issue for them. The only way is to try it and see. Antlers don’t necessary cause dogs to throw up or have diarrhea, I can’t stand when people say that. Instead the proper way to say it would be that sometimes you will find a dog that has an allergy or a sensitivity to the marrow in an antler and they can not tolerate it.

  49. Once in a while we get a not so sale-able elk antler our antlers for dogs inventory and my dog Rain gets to eat it. Normally, the antlers we sell last our customers between 2-6 months, depending on the aggression of the chewer, how bored they are, etc… We had this extra large, stark white, light weight antler (similar to what you might find in the big box stores or on places like Etsy, that we couldn’t sell so I decided to give it to my dog in our office to try it out. I videoed her on and off for two straight days chomping on this elk antler. At the end of the two days I found many sharp pieces broken off and on the floor (doesn’t happen with our good, fresh elk antlers), which is very dangerous. And while my dog absolutely loved this particular antler and spent hours on it, it was almost completely devoured within the 2 day period and I had to get rid of it. A few days later she went back to her good antler she has had sitting around our office for the past few months. I am telling you all of this because I, as a business owner, would not want my customers to spend $15 or $35 or $65 even on elk antler bone and it be gone in two days and I don’t think our customers would like that as well, right? Moral of the story is, elk antlers could be the greatest and most natural dog treat on the market today but watch where and who you get them from, do your research and remember that you get what you pay for!

  50. I had a greyhound whom I noticed chewing on the fallen antler of one of our resident wild white tails several years ago in the winter. One and a half weeks later she became quite ill and her right eye started to bulge out of the eyes socket. She had an abscess from a splinter that had punctured her soft palate (roof of her mouth) and caused an infection. The abscess had to be surgically drained and she would otherwise have died as the infection moved into her brain. It was not a good scene!

    Thus, while I’d like to us antlers to improve the teeth of our current dogs, I’d need a bit more convincing of their safety.

  51. Our vizsla recently started vomiting and having diarrhea. We thought it was a parasite/worm and took him to the vet. Everything came back normal. Then we thought, maybe it’s the marrow for the antler. He has chewed closer to the marrow on one of his antlers For the past two months he has loved chewing it but I think we hit our breaking point. Bottom line: Antlers are great for a little while but when you get too close to the marrow it’s time to pitch it.

  52. You’ve put yourself in the position of authority by responding to the “deer antler” question. In doing so you go on to comment on some of your dogs chewables, including “rawhide bones”, which in fact are not bones at all! They are made from a treated animal hide, loaded with toxins that all combine to make a substance that is mostly undigestable, but potentially poisonous to your dog dangers of rawhide.
    The issue here isn’t the suitability of deer antlers for dogs, it’s the assumption that you are knowledgable about dog products. I’m afraid that, based on your misinformation on rawhide chew products, you’re not in a position to be doling out information. Nothing personal just remember who your audience is, and what the consequences could be!

  53. I just bought a split elk antler at Petsmart for my Jack Russell/Beagle, Gracie, who is 6 or 7 years old (I’m not the original owner). She enjoyed it for a bit but didn’t seem all that into it. Then when I picked it up, it felt like some marrow was coming loose. She then proceeded to have diarrhea all night with my having to take her outside 3 or 4 times in the middle of the night. I finally closed her up in my bathroom since it’s so much easier to clean up if she were to have an episode inside the house. I think it’s out of her system now, but if anyone has had similar occurrences, I would love some feedback. Thanks.

  54. My 8 month Golden Retriever is mad for his deer antler. He would chew it for hours on end if ever I let him. He also loves to carry it around the house and drop it on to the tiled floors enjoying the noise it makes.!! However I do have to seriously limit the time he spends with it as it definately makes his stools much looser.

  55. I discovered that dogs LOVE antlers about 40 years ago when my 3yr/old Alaskan Malamute discovered my Whitetail rattle-in rack in the back of my jeep. My Malamutes do NOT do well on any carbohydrate-saturated commercial dog food–even the high-end, expensive “natural” kibbles. I get nothing but diarrhea or loose stools on them. So I feed them a raw diet only, and never have a problem. They also get the “trots” from the edible Nylabones, even though they adore them–so I remembered the antlers that my late Mal, Yukon, had discovered, and I went with Elk antler for my new little guy with the carb-hating gut. Perfect! Endless hours of gnawing with a happy pup. Rather than spens a fortune on fragments of antler, I get a nice 3-foot-long shed Elk antler, cut it into manageable lengths and sand the sharp edges, and Jake has antler chews for the year. One antler gives Jake a year’s worth of chews, and my friends’ pit bulls get a few antler treats as well for Xmas gifts. Great source of calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium/magnesium as well as chewy entertainment!

  56. Have several dogs and friends with dogs as well. We are hunters so the whitetail antlers are quite abundant. As far as the antlers for dogs, we saw of any of the tines that may easily break, and then turn them loose. My dogs have sensitive stomachs when it comes to processed chews, such as rawhides, but the antler has not shown any negative effects on any dogs that I know of. They will last from teething through adult if you get the right base diameter.

  57. Our family hunts so have our own antlers. Have elk, deer and moose. Our dogs love them all and have no problems with them splintering. Two dogs had teeth that really needed to be cleaned. Now after about three weeks of chewing on these antler pieces they are shiny and clean looking. Our new puppy loves them and keeps him busy. He is a lab and into everything!

  58. Just keep in mind that deer antlers are must softer than elk antlers so your dog will go through them much faster. Still a great treat!

  59. I bought some deer antlers for my Dandie Dinmonts and Westie, a few weeks ago. They love them. Keeps them busy for ages. Cleans their teeth beautifully, with no ill effects. However
    they have such strong jaws that they can chew them down , so I remove them when they get to the stage where they could be swallowed !

  60. wspuppyeyes on etsy.com is awesome and cheapest I have seen. Our Dog loves all antlers and we have not had any issue.

  61. My Chihuahua, Courtney, LOVES her deer antler. I bought it in March for $7.99 from Pet Valu and here we are three months later- she still has more than half left! Exellent chew in my opinion.

  62. That’s great. I wish I had the option to get fresh sheds from the woods. Not too much here in the city.

  63. Why is your comment “When I was in Vet school”. Are you no longer seeing these problems? Or are you no longer pursuing a career in veterinary care?

    Your pose “Dogs are not required to chew on anything to be happy, etc.” neglects the fact that dogs do get dental benefits of plaque removal from chewing.

    Please give a complete explanation of your position. Is it not true that dogs chewing on bones could possibly see some of the same issues? What chews would you recommend for dental benefit?

  64. I only give my dog fresh sheds that I find in the woods. I would never pay for the store bought ones when I can just train him to help me find chew toys for him in the summer.

  65. Hey Kris, I’m not sure what you would do to properly prepare elk or deer antlers that were found while hunting. Our dogs really enjoy both elk and deer antlers, but we’ve only purchased from reputable sources.

  66. My dog is a big chewer and the antlers I buy at the store (most likely Elk) last for months… Unfortunately for me a 5″ piece of the larger base of the antler is $25… I have asked a hunter friend to get me some sheds if he comes across them and I was wondering do I just cut off a piece and give it to my dog or should I sterilize it somehow? I thought that maybe if I bake it for a couple of hours it will harden it and kill any present bacteria.

  67. My cousin has a reindeer farm. All of her reindeer are well taken care, vet checked regularly and have enclosed acreage to roam on. As the antlers fall off they are stored in a clean environment. I have given many of these antlers as gifts to friends dogs. They all love them and none of our furry friends have experienced any kind of sickness except unhappiness when they don’t have one! Make sure you get them from a reliable source! I would do a lot of research on company selling them before I bought an antler from a chain store.

  68. We had bought deer antler for our aggressive chewer, he has loved them. Then I heard about deer antler being used like a steroid by athletes and was researching if they were safe or not, funding this post.

    I beleive they are safe (from my searching, but I have actually had
    some old antlers and had decided to
    cut them up instead of purchasing

    Here what I did:

    Found 2 old deer racks from my garage. Theses were left from the previous owner of the house and
    appeared to be left over from a hunt, perhaps to later have mounted. They are at least 30 years old, and still had some skin on the skull.

    1) using a saws all, and chop saw, cut then to the appropriate size for your dog. My dog is about 35 lbs, with a smaller medium size mouth and I chose about 4 inches long.

    2) also trim any sharp points off

    3) using a belt sander, smooth all edges to a soft rounding.

    4)Washed them in straight tap water.

    5) covered them in clean water in a sauce pan with a lid and boiled them for about ten minutes.

    6) added 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and ree boiled watching carefully for boil over (way more likely now).

    7) drain, cool and serve!

    Old antlers are having no splinter issues (I would know with my chewer)

    Good luck!

  69. I have wondered about antlers, too. My daughter works at a vet, and he doesn’t recommend them. We have had good luck with the Nylabone Hollow Stick. It’s bacon flavored. Even our Weimaraner hasn’t been able to destroy that. You are right about watching out for those things being dropped on your feet! I have many bruises on my toes!

  70. How is your puppy Martha? Was it the deer antlers that was making him or her not eat? I always steer people away from deer antler and towards elk, they are better and stronger but marrow is like any other food, most tolerate it, once in a while a dog can’t. But if you love the antlers you can always ask a good retailer to give you an antler that less rich marrow.

  71. Hi Jenna,

    I would maybe wait till your lab’s puppy teeth fall out, and then give one a try. Most dogs do great with antlers, just be careful where you get them. They are a great treat and dogs love them, especially dogs like Labs and other big breeds. Like I have posted here before, antlers for a dog is the same as food for a human. Some can be sensitive to them, most are not. As far as pieces split off and dogs getting hurt from the treat, make sure you get grade A elk antlers that haven’t been sitting out in the woods forever getting dried out, from a reputable retailer, read reviews, and you should be find. Look, any dog can chew any toy or treat and get it go down the dog’s throat, so can humans. But we can’t live in bubbles; antlers have been proven over and over again to be safe.

  72. I have a yellow lab puppy who is almost 3 months old. He loves bully sticks but he eats them so quickly that I can’t keep up. I am open to any suggestions but I am nervous about trying antlers especially after reading some people’s personal experiences.

  73. I have been giving my Dogs Antlers for years. I go out and find them in the woods once the deer have shed. I don’t have one single bad thing to say about them. Me and the dogs get exercise while finding them, the dogs absolutely love them, they last forever, and from everything I have read they promote bone strength and density in my dogs. I would definitely caution against giving any dog an antler that was old and brittle. sometimes we find them after a few years on the ground. no good . I only give my dogs fresh shed antlers that are still in the form they were before the deer shed them. I don’t have any proof but I believe with a good diet and exercise and deer antlers as chew toys has extended the life and health of my old dogs. Thank goodness I don’t have to buy them though , wow , expensive. Sorry for the long run-on sentence I am typing with one hand due to a broken humours in my shoulder. good luck to all with deer antlers . I am 100% a fan for dogs.

  74. My husband just recently gave our 5 month old boxer a couple small deer antlers he had in his work shop for a couple of years. Now today we are noticing she is not eating today, Is this related to eating on the antlers? I read in one of your post that they may have too much protein for puppies and maybe upset her stomach.
    I have put them up today until we find out why she not eating.

  75. We just boarded a doodle for one week. He stayed in our home due to a medical problem. While here he had his own large bone to chew on but a few times chose one of the antlers we have for the dogs. When he went home the owners discovered a back tooth that was cracked in half. Now this dog is 8 years old but the vet said his teeth were in good shape. Today he is having 3 back teeth extracted because they are all cracked. His vet says that antlers are the WORST thing you can give a dog. So what caused this problem, beef bone or deer antler> Will we ever know?

  76. I have two mastiffs and two french bullies. I had a hard time finding chews for the Presa. My brother hunts and while he didn’t want to give up his antlers, he ordered me others. The Presa has been carrying them around for weeks. This past week one of my bullies was diagnosed with tick bite paralysis, but when he didn’t recover within the 72 hour time frame he was upgraded to botulism. I am wondering if somehow the antlers are the culprit? My Presa is showing minor signs of hind leg weakness. I guess it’s time to throw them out just in case, but curious to know if anyone has had similar experience?
    I haven’t found any food recalls for botulism, I live in a suberb with six food wood fence, can’t figure out what else they could have come into contact with.

  77. I would be very careful feeding your dog deer antlers from Target. But that is just my opinion. You have to know where they are coming from and deer splinter.

  78. Hello all,
    My toy poodles (5) and my son’s chihuahua are all under 5 pounds and I finally found deer antlers under $5 at TARGET of all places. If you give deer antlers, make sure they do not have velvet on them and they look like they were boiled. The dogs do just fine with it;

  79. When I was in vet school, we saw MANY dogs with issues due to antlers. Three-root molars cracked, regular molars shattered yet still in the gum, torn up gums, and many more dental and mouth issues. That doesn’t even include the list that we kept in regards to gastrointestinal problems (vomitting, colon perfs, etc.).

    While antlers may seem like a wise choice as it is cost-effective, etc., but your dog’s health and well-being should matter more. Drop an antler on concrete, or better yet, throw it onto concrete. See what happens to the concrete and the antler. Now…do you want your dog chewing on that?

    Dogs are not required to chew on anything to be happy, etc. If your dog is causing issues with chewing on inappropriate objects, there are many other options. Train your dog and give your dog something to do. Exercise your dog, do not ignore your dog, positive reinforcement, and the list goes on and on. Many dogs that chew are simply bored. It gives them something to do.

    Use common sense, people.

  80. I have given my lab pup a deer antler but I get it organically. where I live there is a lot of bucks. So after a certain part of the year I just go and find all that I can, the ones I don’t give my dog go right into the freezer to last a little longer After ALL of them have gone into the oven at 400 for 5 min. I even have friends who hunt and give the antlers to me. So I am never in short supply.
    only down side is. my pup can go threw a 8 point rack in 4 days. So they last longer then any other bone.

  81. American Antler Dog Chews. In Griffith Indiana has all the kinds of antler you can choose from. Mostly deer and elk. They are both great for dogs and are reasonably priced.

  82. i found this site, because i bought a $20 made in the u.s.a. antler (the brand is “blue sky”) for my 6 year old pitbull. he eats anything & everything. i was looking for something healthy that would last & i happily buy my guy the top of the line food/treats. i liked that it was organic & sustainable. he’s an aggressive chewer so i gave him the antler, took it away after a few hours, returned it to him the next day, & he threw up. when i took him for a walk, he started crying while passing his excrement. i took a look at the antler & noticed that there were 2 tiny pieces of the bone & they were like razors. antlers may be fine for some dogs, but they’re not for mine.

  83. Great info. We got some deer antlers from a hunter in Virginia. He cut off the sharp or cracked places. We have a tuff chewer – a 2 yr. old Rottweiler puppy who destroys everything within about 30 minutes. The antlers seem to be a great choice for her. She loves them, and they last a long time. She has had no side affects, but she has broken off some small pieces, so we monitor her as we do with all her toys. It may not be good for the teeth if dogs are left to chew on them too often and for too long a period of time.

  84. I’m so glad I found this article. I’d heard so many good things about antlers I bought some for our IRWS. They can pretty much destroy any toy within 10 minutes so the fact that the antlers ‘grind down’ for the marrow really appealed. They are now, however in the bin.

    Our female was showing some discomfort and distress so we took her to the vet…and x ray showed a splinter of bone lodged in her tummy. antler bone doesn’t break down like more traditional bones given to dogs so, as far as we know, its still in there and causing her random discomfort and pain. The vets decided not to operate to remove it as at could cause more problems.

    I’ve also heard of a beagle who was bleeding when going to poo because of scratching and damage caused by a sliver of antler.

    These weren’t cheap and were bought from reputable suppliers.

  85. Also, when my own dog was a puppy, she was getting sick a lot. We would give her all sorts of things to chew on including antlers and she was vomiting often. We stopped antlers and other things and realized she had intestinal parasites instead. Once those were treated, we re-introduced antlers and other treats slowly and she was totally fine. It is very rare that an antler would be the cause of this. In our case we thought it might be but it wasn’t.

  86. Hi, I just saw the post about your dog. Vomiting is never fun but dogs are like humans, not every single thing they eat is going to agree with them. Your dog could have a sensitivity to the marrow or possibly the antler had something on it that made him or her sick. Once in a while you do come across a dog that gets sick from a certain treat but this is not the majority of dogs, only a small handful. I have personally been selling these for years and giving them to my own dogs. I have maybe seen 2-3 dogs over 6 years get sick while chewing on an antler. Vets recommend them, they are a great, natural product.

  87. I would say I would maybe wait until baby teeth fall out to start on antlers. You can start before but maybe with a split or a softer antler (a good retailer should be able to pick on of those out for you). Once they get the taste of the center, then graduate to a regular one. My own puppy didn’t really get interested in the antlers until about 6 months, now she can’t get enough of them. Good luck and elk are the way to go, in my opinion!

  88. I just found this page, and I am grateful for all the information, in the original post and the following comments. My once puppy is now 10 years old, and I have a new Pyre/Boxer shelter baby and an AKC GSD coming home the end of next month. I know Nylabones can cause intestinal blockage (Never used them when I fostered, my chow had huge issues though when she chewed them) but was looking into antlers. Rawhide rolls, even though not ingested, just mostly chewed, still gave her loose stool. While they are babies, I will be using bully sticks now (Because they smell) but know I will likely need something a bit more durable as they age.
    So, it looks like Elk may be the way to go, maybe split at first for the marrow to entice them? What age to start introducing antler though?
    (Kong puppy toys are awesome though!)

  89. Neil –
    We regularly follow posts here at Puppyintraining, as the community and Colby offer awesome and educational content. I can’t believe that ten months have passed since I last posted (here, above, in fact). In any event, I felt compelled to reach out to you, as (i) I’ve always had Labs (until my Chocolate boy passed and our family made the crazy decision to try our hand at rearing the Vizsla), and (ii) having treated my Labs to antler chews since I was young, and owning now Mountain Dog Chews (a national retail and wholesale brand of Grade A elk antler chews), I am sincerely interested in the gastro issues your Lab experienced today.

    As a dog owner, I’ve never experienced anything like that, and, as a biz owner, we’ve never had any of our customers’ dogs suffer any ill effects whatsoever. I hate that your Lab is ill, and I hate to hear that your presumably first experience with an antler chew coincidentally was negative. Are there any details you could share with us? That is, while, as some folks above have suggested, it’s possible for rich marrow to upset a puppy’s tummy (not unlike our new Vizsla’s reaction to switching over to a super-high-protein Orijen kibble), vomiting is not something to take lightly. Do you know whether your Lab actually ingested pieces of antler? Did you notice anything peculiar looking about whatever antler chew you purchased (e.g., “funky,” dirty end or an odor)? Hope your Lab feels better soon (keep him hydrated — and, in any event, **don’t rule out a stomach virus**)!

    Once your dog is well, I’d be happy to provide you a sample chew. Quality antler chews are veritable God-sends for heavy chewers such as Labs, Vizslas, etc.!

    Kind regards,
    Founder, MountainDogChews.com
    Questions? Bark at me: topdog@mountaindogchews.com

  90. Hmmm…that’s interesting. I never really thought that might be the reason why our guide dog school no longer allows the deer antlers for our dogs, but you could be correct that it has to do with sponsorship. The dogs we train belong to the school so we have to abide by their rules. We are also not allowed to give our dogs tennis balls or frisbees.

    By the way, this blog post was not sponsored. There are a few affiliate links in the post which have been highlighted.

  91. My lab has been vomiting for several hours after 2 hours of chewing on an elk antler, made in USA, high quality etc etc. Never again!

  92. I’d much rather have my dog chewing a natural substance then the chunk of plastic that Nylabone and Hartz offers. This review comes off as someone with a sponsor to me. Knocking a great product to push some commercial product. All my dogs have used antlers with no issues.

  93. I would be careful buying antlers on Ebay and also, instead of bleach, I would suggest simply boiling the antler treat, it’s much safer.

  94. My 2 dogs love antlers. Soak them in water for a few hours . If they are dirty put in a small amount of bleach then soak them again. Take a hack saw and cut them to a good size for your pup. I find my own in the woods in the spring, Look to ebay for some at a better price.

  95. Antlers are the value priced chew.

    Although they are pricey up front, they last months.

    My dog can gnaw a Nylabone to the unsafe “rice” stage in one evening.
    Bones, rawhide, and Bulli sticks are smelly and messy and inevitably end up ingested.
    And none lasts more than a few days.

  96. A note on Moose antlers. I have always sold elk, my husband recently went to Alaska and brought back Moose for me to test out. We tested it on our own puppy a few times and here are the results… The Moose while tasted very good, there were white particles all over our carpet and we also tested the Moose with a larger dog and the same thing happened. That doesn’t usually happen with elk.

    Also, I was an an industry tradeshow a few weeks ago, I have been looking for a new antler supplier. I always like to make sure I am getting the best and biggest antlers for my customers. I found a lot of crap and some great ones. The ones I found that were great were Grade A, and that is what you want to look for. You can tell by the color of the antler on the outside, it is more rich in color, has a yellow/brown color, not washed white.

  97. I have to agree with Rachel, elk is better that deer. My seven year old GSD had an un-split elk antler from the base, which he didn’t chew much. Another dog from the office took to it and I ended up giving it to her, she’s a Samoyed. I just bought a split elk antler large, and my GSD is devouring the marrow from it. It’s obvious now that he’s more interested in the inside rather than the outside of the antler, although I hope he’ll continue to gnaw away at it once he’s removed the marrow. My dog, fortunately has not gotten ill from elk or deer antlers.

    There are a ton of reputable antler sellers, most notably ones that have ranches and have elk herds or other antlered animals. You just have to find the right ones. Also, moose antlers are wonderful. I have a friend that hunts for antlers during the shedding season, just before winter. Although the antlers are much flatter, the spikes from the antlers are just like elk and deer antlers.

  98. While I am like most people and attempt to garner my information from multiple sources, I felt compelled to reply to this as I stumbled across it. The email mentioned above claims Nylabones a s rawhides as occasional treats. Rawhides are one if the worst things to give your dog. In order to get them I to that state, they are treated with a chemical that contains trace amounts of arsenic and then are bleached. While the final process kills off the arsenic in theory, I am in no way comfortable giving my animal something that once contained arsenic. Further, per multiple easy to find reports from vets (I encourage you to ask your about rawhides), they are horrible for your dog and not easily digestible. If you truly care about your animal, remove rawhides from their stable if treats.

    The same goes for Nylabones. Dogs can easily break pieces off and they too are chemical laden. Why give you furry friend something that could kill them slowly over time or cause medical issues.

    Go natural. It’s simpler and cheaper then you think. Sweet potatoes dehydrated into think chips are incredibly good for dogs. Beef trachea stuffed with other meats are great when given frozen. Last for about thirty to sixty minutes. I personally use antlers. The article above suggests not using because it could potentially remove venison as a protein source down the road. There are multiple other types of proteins used in QUALITY dog foods that can be substituted. Fish, chicken, lamb, and duck are all available types in brands such as Blue Buffalo and Orijen.

    Deer antlers bought from a reputable source are indeed good for your animal. They are softer then the weight bearing beef bones that wear down and chip their teeth but yet are extremely popular in pet stores (where did the idea ever come from that a bone uses to support at 1000lb cow in its leg is a good idea for a dog to chew???). Antlers are soft enough that teeth do not wear down from chewing. Dogs love them a chewing outlet. I agree that I would not touch the ones from overseas. Lets support our own economy and buy from local suppliers. There are great companies that sell them here. I can’t think if any names off the top if my head, but the brand sold at Petsmart and Pet Valu are American and 100% natural. I believe both are harvested from she’s Montana deer antlers (hence the price, the are collected by hand).

    I hope this article helps someone. I apologize for the long winded rant, but I felt compelled to respond.

  99. Unfortunately, I’m not too sure how you prepare deer antlers. Someone else in the comment thread may have an idea how you should treat or prepare deer antlers before giving them to your dogs.

  100. We got some deer antlers from a friend who has a farm. Do we have to do anything to clean them or prepare them before giving them to our dogs?

  101. Hi Kelly,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through with your puppy. But antlers are not dangerous if you get the proper size and the right type. When an antler gets to the point where your dog could possibly swallow it, then it should be thrown away and a new one should be given. Good quality antlers and elk, should not break apart and pieces are usually never consumed. If your puppy was able to break off a piece and swallow it, then that was not a good antler. Either it was deer or not a whole antler but a piece or the antler was so old that it just broke, which rarely happens. At any rate, it is horriable to have to go through something like this I am sure but honestly, a dog can get anything lodged in their stomach, so can a person.

  102. As I write this my 9 month old puppy is spending the next two nights recovering from surgery because she had a piece of antler stuck in her small intestine. Do NOT use!!! My baby could have died. She is a 75 lb pit mix, not a small dog. BEWARE!!

  103. Hi Beth,

    Wow! That sounds like it was a great investment. I’m glad your puppy is enjoying it. I’ve had plenty of 4 month old puppies and to have something for them to chew on for more than 5 minutes is a god send. I may have to get a few antlers for my next puppy. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Take care,

  104. Our 4 month old Lab loves her deer antler. We bought it from our Vet and the packaging said it was certified to be from the USA and without any chemical or other preservatives. We bought a larger sized antler because the vet told us it is pretty indestructible, and we paid $18.00 for it. Honestly, it is the best purchase we have made since we brought her home. It may have been more expensive for one chew toy, but it is much less than all the money we spent trying to find one she liked. It is the only bone she has ever chewed for more than 5 minutes. She turned up her nose at every other chew toy (including natural and flavored Nylabones). She has not had any physical problems, and she has stopped chewing on everything else in our home. I’m so glad we found it!

  105. Yeah…Nylabones that are made in China – I bet those contain all kinds of good stuff (Huge amount of sarcasm.) I’ll stick with the antlers – the diarrhea hasn’t “kicked in” for my pup.

  106. Hi Pamela,

    I am not 100% positive about deer antlers but elk antlers are expensive because they last much longer then a normal, consumable dog treat. In a non-aggressive chewer, a good elk antler can last up to 6 months, in my expierence. It all depends who you buy them from and if they are deer vs elk vs moose (moose are hard but tend to make a mess, deer spit and splinter and don’t last as long) and the dog. But you can ask anyone who has tried at least an elk antler from a reputable source, they are the great, long lasting treats and well worth the added cost.

  107. woops… I am so sorry. I posted the link incorrect. You can just click on the name ‘Doggie Diva’ and that will take you to the antler page. If I am not allowed to add a link to our site on this blog, please let me know and I am sorry.

  108. Hi Lucia,

    We don’t sell Elk Antlers. Maybe we should start selling items in 2013. We order a lot of our dog toys and chews from Amazon.com.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  109. My dogs LOVE LOVE LOVE the deer antlers I got them for Christmas. Would love to try Elk Antlers! What are your prices? I’m in Canada.

  110. Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you for rescuing your dog from the animal shelter. That’s great that the antlers work so well as a chew toy for your dog. I’ve noticed my dogs haven’t been as aggressive with their chewing recently, but I’d still like to give the deer or elk antlers a try. Maybe we’ll get some for Christmas. 🙂

    Take care,

  111. We recently adopted a one year old boxer/pit bull/ german shepherd/beagle mix from our local animal services and have been frustrated with toys. She seems to be a very aggressive chewers and has destroyed every toy within 1 or 2 days. Several people have recommended the antlers to us. I finally broke down and purchase her one today and have been extremely pleased. We even left her alone in the house, not in her crate, when we had dinner with a neighbor and for a change she did not get into anything, she was busy chewing on her antlers. I would highly recommend them to a pet owner with an aggressive chewer, like our little girl.

  112. We sell number 1 – prime a brown “natural shed” ONLY. If antlers lay on the ground for any period of time prior to gathering, they will collect bacteria and parasites. Once this happens the antlers are sold and then cleaned with chemicals. Some turn white or grey because of the deterioration from weather as well. This will make them weak, and prone to splinter. When purchasing antlers it is important to know where and how they were sourced. We have not had any reports of digestive issues with antlers, however, I would never be on board with Mary Sunshine chewing on a toxic plastic toy or rawhide. As with any products you purchase, they are not all the same quality and you get what you pay for. . .

  113. I bought a deer antler for my dog, who is cutting teeth. He kind of played around with it, but now he carries it around. I’d never heard of them until I went into a chain pet supply store and I thought I’d try it. I imagine it’s low quality. I don’t normally buy my dogs low quality. I’m glad I saw this article. My dog’s first reaction must’ve been, “meh”. As concerns for diarrhea, I am thinking it might be the extra magnesium in the bone. Magnesium is a human laxative, and it’s present in bone matter. I might not buy him another one. He’s not too crazy about it. He usually chews things up pretty quick, rawhide is gone in a half an hour. He doens’t have anything to chew right now, so he’s carrying around the antler. I am kind of concerned about it being too narrow, and he swallowing it, and choking. At night I pick it up. My other dog is a miniature schnauzer, age 7 and she doesn’t even take an interest in it. The nylon bone is coming apart, but this is my second dog to chew on it. It’s several years old. He loves his Extreme Kong toy. I’m sticking with that.

  114. Hey all! This comment arrives a bit late, but I just found the site and wanted to chime in. I am the owner of Mountain Dog Chews (www.mountaindogchews.com), a boutique distributor of Grade A+ elk antler chews. I agree with everything that Doggie Diva (nice to meet you, BTW!) states above. Although we are new on the scene, I’ve spent my life with dogs and antlers by virtue of my interests in the great outdoors.

    By FAR, I prefer elk antler over any over species of cervids (whitetail deer, mule deer, red stag, etc.), as the antler material offers optimal density — which makes for a chew that is durable, but also more safe. Elk chews actually are LESS dense than other antler chews as its outer-structure / marrow ratio is much lower. By contrast, most deer antlers are incredibly hard throughout (think jawbreaker hard), while lacking much in the way of core marrow. I have found that such other antler offerings carry too high a risk of causing slab fractures (Ouch! I can’t imagine the pain of a broken tooth…) for me to feel comfortable offering them to our dog, much less endorsing them to the market through Mountain Dog Chews. Too, although all antlers are less likely to splinter as compared to cooked meat bones, elk (and moose, also) chews can be virtually worry-free from splintering (if processed correctly and sized appropriately), while deer antlers may readily snap or crack when at the mercy of a voracious chewer – to me, personally, it’s an an apples to oranges comparison.

    If you’ve indulged me this far, I’ll point out one other thing (well, a couple of related things) to keep in mind when considering ANY antler chew from ANY brand/store… First, (until I saw shenanigans firsthand, I had assumed the following would be a GIVEN in conducting business (unfortunately it’s not, and it’s a huge issue)) make sure you know what you’re buying! That is, there is rampant misinformation in this particular market – it’s audacious, in fact. By analogy, if one was a seller of sacks of “dog food,” generically stated, I could find myself purchasing anything from horse meat to top-shelf, small-batched organic kibble that rivals what I, myself, eat for dinner! Frankly, folks who are tossing chalk white low-grade antlers in a bag/box and simply stamping them “antlers for dogs” are doing a grave dis-service to the pet industry. …Namely owing to:

    (i) safety issues associated with passing off weathered white, often-cracked, Grade B/C/D shed antlers as suitable, when in fact such chews are prone to splintering, devoid of the same nutritional benefits found in fresh, brown Grade A+/A chews, and, in a worst case scenario, a hazard to our pups. More to this in pt (ii); however, the takeaway is: do not settle for junk. Awhile ago, I ran into a gent who told me that he sold “antlers” and as “antlers are antlers, what you get is what you get…” There was no care or differentiation as between deer v. elk, and certainly no concern regarding antler grade. We all should expect more, generally speaking.


    (ii) a general lack of knowledge as to the commodity aspects of the shed antler market (from which antler chews are derived). In a nutshell, there is a market for every type of antler, and within each market, there exists a somewhat subjective (albeit time-proven) “grading” system. As a rule of thumb, chews made from deer sheds are significantly less costly (to the manufacturer, note) than elk antler chews. Moreover, with respect to grading, the lower the grade, the significantly less costly (again, to the manufacturer, note). For sake of example, consider the following grading scale (used w/r/t elk sheds):

    Grade A+: I would wager that less than 5% of ALL antlers could meet these criteria. This grade of antler historically was reserved for craft and artisan use (chandeliers, premium furnishings, etc.), as these antlers are THE cream of the crop, hand-selected, fresh, recently-dropped brown antler (local foliage may affect the color and weight a bit, but these are the BEST). These are the only grade of antler we use, and suffice it to say that the value of such antlers greatly exceeds the value of 99%+ of each year’s stock allocated to antler dog chews. As for dog chews, our mandate for only Grade A+ results in a chew with the most aroma (insanely attractive to your dog, but not noticeable to humans), and the highest available moisture content (which makes such chews extremely palatable to all sizes and ages of dogs). As a supplier, this unfortunately means that when we hand-select, say, 20,000lbs for our brand, our actual per-pound yield is a pittance of our competitors’. For the consumer, however, our “Mammoth Chews” often top two pounds, whereas a “Jumbo,” “Monster” or “XL” chew from others will be half-price, but only a few ounces and nary the size (honestly, for better or worse, we are selling “small” antler chews that are priced the same, but rival brand “Z’s” “extra-large” chewz – wow). The Mountain Dog Chews brand admittedly isn’t for everyone; however, we confidently contend that we offer the best that money can buy, and I’ll stand behind that. As far as we can assess, we are the SOLE brand committing (and paying top dollar for) this Grade A+ caliber of product for dog chews. Time will tell as to whether you and the markets will recognize our investment. 😉 Hypothetical financials: Naked acquisition cost to the brand = ~$20+/pound. Average yield = ~2 pieces per pound. Average retail price per chew = ~$14. Average gross margin = ~$8/pound.

    Grade A: These chews are derived from fresh, brown antler sheds, and represent the top ~10 – 15% of antlers each year. Essentially, only quality, current-year sheds will make up these chews. Furthermore, they are, but for our Grade A+ classification noted above, among the best of the best – and such chews should represent the minimum benchmark for your expectations when purchasing antler chews. Currently, I HONESTLY know of only two other suppliers in America that will give you true Grade A antler chews (we are not affiliated with either). So, if you want antler chews that actually are derived from current-year sheds and that contain the beneficial minerals touted, then demand that your supplier or retailer give a representation as to grade quality (if not our A+, then at least A). Hypothetical financials: Naked acquisition cost to the brand = ~$15/pound. Average yield = ~2.5 pieces per pound. Average retail price per chew = ~$12. Average gross margin = ~$15/pound.

    Grade B: Grade B currently constitutes the bulk of the so-called “high end” antler chew brands you’ll find online, etc. And, friends, that is not saying much (notwithstanding that we have two lower tiers yet to discuss!). If you have attended any major U.S. pet industry trade show within the past twelve months, Grade B represents, with a single exception, the antler chews exhibited. Grade B is commonly known as “hard white” within our shed hunting community. These antlers typically are one or two years old, and most likely will be significantly dried out, bleached white from weather exposure, and usually will have some degree of rodent chewing (ground squirrels, marmots, etc.) on portions thereof. They don’t call these “hard whites” without reason…! The largest, entrenched distributors in the pet industry peddle thousands of pounds each day, unfortunately, thanks to mis-information and good marketing… Will your dog care? Probably. Should WE care? Undoubtedly. Hypothetical financials: Naked acquisition cost to the brand = ~$10/pound. Average yield = ~3.5 pieces per pound. Average retail price per chew = ~$10. Average gross margin = ~$25/pound.

    Grades C and D: We’ll lump these two categories together, as even under the best of circumstances, these are (quote me!)… J – U – N – K. Please, treat your dog with a pig ear or a bully stick rather than opting for these lowest-grade antler chews. For your dog’s safety and health, if Grade A+ or A brown antler chews don’t suit your budget, don’t waste your money, when other good alternatives are available. These sub-prime Grades of chews are easily recognizable, and unfortunately can be found under a couple of established brands TODAY on the shelves of one the largest big-box pet retailers, as well as, to my personal disappointment as an authentic sportsman, on the shelves of one of America’s largest retailers of fly-fishing tackle, outdoors clothing and other “quality” gear… These sub-prime Grades of antler chews are comprised of antlers that have had (best case) several seasons of sun, wind and rodent exposure and/or (more typically) many years of sun-baking such that one may actually scratch off from surfaces white powder(!), and in any event have lost enough moisture such that you will notice cracking within the crystalline structure of the antler if you look closely (note: often you needn’t inspect closely, as the chew will more resemble a small piece of weathered coral than a wholesome best-in-class dog treat). These sub-prime Grades will easily crumble and splinter, and I can’t imagine that any self-respecting dog lover would knowingly provide this type of chew to his or her pup or support in any manner the folks perpetuating said brands’ acceptance. Again, expect more (much more)! Hypothetical financials: Naked acquisition cost to the brand = ~$5/pound. Average yield = ~4.5 pieces per pound. Average retail price per chew = ~$8. Average gross margin = ~$31/pound. (Yikes, it’s good to be a bottom feeder, eh?!?)

    So, there you have it – our $0.02! Given the above, it is CRITICAL that people (whether at the consumer-level or the big-box-retailer-level) demand to know what they are getting – AND to make sure they are getting what they have paid for in terms of value and quality / product integrity and safety (…and without regard solely to profits – as anything worth doing is worth doing only with excellence).

    Best regards,
    Founder, MountainDogChews.com
    Questions? Bark at me: topdog@mountaindogchews.com

  115. That is why I always recommende elk antlers over deer antlers. Elk last much longer and don’t usually split and they don’t splinter at all.

  116. Hi Kim,

    That sounds interesting. How does your husband make treats out of the deer antlers? Some of our friends say it takes months for their dogs to get through their deer antlers.


  117. My husband makes treats out of his deer antlers for our Labs. The antler chews are one of their favorite toys, but they do tend to splinter after being gnawed on for a couple days. I usually take it away from my dogs once they’ve started eating it down.

  118. Hi Callie,

    Thank you so much for letting us know about your experiences with Elk Antlers. That’s interesting to know that they are the most dense antler. I’ll check out bestbullysticks.com.

    Thanks again for the information!

  119. We’ve always bought Elk Antlers for our hounds. We get them from bestbullysticks.com because they have the best prices. I’ve always been told Elk Antlers are great chews for aggressive chewers because they are the most dense antler. But I think with any type of new protein source, a dog can’t have to too much, and they need to be monitored with any sort of large treat like this. I think they’re WONDERFUL! You just have to be a responsible dog parent. =)

  120. @Maggie, thanks for letting us know about your pups favorite (most durable) dog toys. My guys are heavy chewers too so I’ll have to check out the Hartz dura play dog toys.

  121. I have a 9 month old pitbull n I tried almost every toy out there n she chewed n destroyed them until I found Hartz dura play dog toys . She could never chew n destroy these toys. They are the best toys I ever found out there. Try n see the difference

  122. Sure, no problem. I love talking about the antlers because I really believe in the product. It’s funny because I sell fancy dog clothes and beds and collars and strollers and stuff like that so myself selling antlers was never even a thought. But, my husband and I were at an industry tradeshow once and we saw a booth and the guy was telling us about them and we had our dog with us and she went nuts for them. My husband convinced me, I didn’t even want to touch them at the time. It was a great decision and I have been selling them for many, many years now. And in my expierence, elk are stronger, split and splinter less and last way longer. Again, this is just my expierence but I do have a lot of it and I sell them at big expos all the time and I am constantly interacting with customers about them. I get feedback about them all the time. If deer were better, I would be selling deer, trust me.

  123. @Rachel, thank you for the information. Those are some very good points and I was actually thinking about the fact that a small number of dogs stomachs would be sensitive to the antlers. I will have Apache for another 3 months until he starts his formal guide dog training. Since our school does not want our guide dog puppies using the antlers as chews I think I’ll probably just wait until he goes off to guide dog college before I decide whether or not to allow my dogs to use the antlers as chews. By the way, why do you like the elk antlers better than the deer?

  124. @Corinne, thank you for telling us about your experience with your deer antlers. A lot of these comments now have me leaning towards not trying the antlers with my dogs. However, one of my friends recently told me that she has deer antlers for her dogs that they have not really played with/chewed on and asked if I wanted to take them home with me…maybe not now…

  125. Antlers are great for dogs but once in a blue moon a dog can have a reaction like that. It’s just like humans, most people can eat onions but I have a sensitivity to them and can’t tollerate them. I can tell you I have been selling elk antlers for dogs for years and years and have had customers call their vets and get them approved and have only heard of a few stomach issues. Some dogs can have a sensitive stomach and some antlers can have richer marrow then others. When buying them, a good retailer should be able to pick you an antler that is less dense, if you request it. But generally, the richer and darker the marrow and the heavier the bone, the longer it will last. Hope this helps. I wouldn’t discount them for your dog, the majority of dogs do not have stomach issues with them. They are generally the type of treat that is not consumed all at once. And elk is way better then deer, in my opinion.

  126. @kay, that’s terrible! Thanks for sharing. I hope your dog is feeling better. I’ve heard a lot of good reviews on the antlers for dogs, but the bad reviews really worry me and make me very hesitant to trying them. I’d rather avoid the emergency vet then try a new type of chew toy.

  127. I actually searched for dear antlers for dogs because as a Christmas present my dad gave my 8 month old Shih Tzu some deer antlers. Within a day or so she was throwing up. This continued for two days. I took the antlers away and no more throwing up! I don’t really think it was a coincidence, but it might have been. But the idea that antlers may cause stomach upset in young dogs certainly makes sense from our experience.

  128. My Black Lab had extensive stomach issues and vomiting after chewing an antler with quite a bit of marrow. He was sick for days and I would never risk it again or recommend the feeding of antlers to anyone with a dog. He couldnt eat anythiing and the emergency vet said it was the antler.

  129. If you can not make a dent into the chew toy with your thumb nail it is too hard and WILL break there teeth. I am a veterinary tech, and I have seen lots of dogs who have chewed on bones, antlers, hooves, nylon bones, etc with broken teeth. A dogs jaw bones and muscles are stronger than their teeth, and if what you give them to chew on is too hard, they will break there teeth.

    If you do not believe me check out the AVDC (American Veterinary Dental College) website: http://www.avdc.org/carefordogs.html

    quote ” Dogs are carnivores – they chew on bones in the wild. However, AVDC does not recommend cow hooves, dried natural bones or hard nylon products because they are too hard and do not mimic the effect of a dog tearing meat off a carcass. These hard products are associated with broken teeth or damaged gums.”

  130. Also, check out moose antlers, I saw them at my last show and they looked great. But they may be too hard on dog’s teeth, not sure. It’s worth investigating. I would stay away from deer.

  131. @Antlers for dogs, thanks for the information on elk and deer antlers for dogs. As I’ve mentioned I’m going to check out the antlers for dogs at our upcoming Orange County Pet Expo and every bit of information helps. Now I have a better idea of what to ask the retailers when checking out the different pet product booths.

  132. I am the owner of a dog boutique that specializes in antlers for dogs. Antler dog chews are a great, great dog treat chew bone for dogs and puppy’s but there are some guidelines you would want to follow. ONLY buy from a company that buys from antler suppliers in the United States. In my expierence, elk are better
    then deer, they last longer and they don’t really splinter or split. If buying
    your antlers online, try to find a site with some reviews of that retailers antlers.
    If this is the first time you are purchasing from that retailer, email them, see
    if the retailer responds and is knowledge about the products. The retailer should
    be able to suggest the proper size and density for the type and size dog or puppy
    you have. I have been selling high quality elk antlers dog treats for years and
    years and the only issues I have seen causing stomach issues is when a dog with
    a sensitive stomach has an antler with too much marrow inside. With a puppy or
    even a dog with stomach issues, I would advise asking your vet first but speak
    to the retailer about it. I personally choose the antler that fits the dog and
    the dog’s situation. I would never give a high density, dark marrowed antler to
    a new puppy or a older dog with a sensitive stomach. If you can stick to some
    guidelines and try one out, you will be pleasantly surprised and probably hooked.
    It’s the only dog treat out there that you actually get your money’s worth.

  133. @dot, I don’t know too much about the “wasting disease”. I’m going to see if my vet knows anything about the disease and any problems it might cause with antlers for dogs.

  134. I am concerned about the ” wasting disease” that has been reported over the last few years about deer herds especially in the Northwest states. Would that disease carry over to the dogs that chew on the antlers possibly from one of those deer?

  135. My dogs loves her deer antler chew. We got it from a local organic deer farm, so I am not concerned about the source being unsafe or anything. The best way to find a source is to ask around at your local farmers market.

    We have had no problems with the deer antler chew other than I should have bought a smaller one for her. They don’t make a mess, don’t smell and the dogs will always come back to them. And good for dogs with sensitive tummies.

  136. @Melissa, that sounds great. Thank you for telling us about your experience with deer antlers for your dog. I’m waiting until the OC Pet Expo to see if I can’t find a high quality antler at on of the product booths.

  137. Let me just say that he is now taking a break from chewing it and napping with it between his legs, his head resting on it. Obviously it’s a big hit.

  138. My greyhound/lab is currently (very happily) chewing on his first antler. He is the kind of dog who will eat through any rawhide or bone very quickly, which leaves me scared to give him any of those for fear of the danger and negative side effects. I read that a good-quality antler will grind down instead of chunk off. He also has some food allergies, is not interested in getting food out of a Kong or similar toy, and is a neurotic who likes to eat his feet/leg when lonely. I am very excited to see how he does with the antler. He’s been gnawing on it for a bit now, and I don’t see any marks yet–usually he’d have gotten a chunk off any bone at this point. I ordered several (bulk discount) from PetExpertise on Friday night, with FREE shipping, and here they are in Monday’s mail!!! Hopefully they will live up to the hype. I also ordered a product called “Himalayan Hard Cheese,” but I didn’t try that yet, as I was too excited to give him the antler 🙂

  139. @Sari, thanks for your deer antler review! I’m hoping to find some high quality antlers for dogs at this years Orange County Pet Expo.

  140. @Melanie, the antler lasted 5 months! That’s awesome! My labs are heavy chewers and I’m going to see if I can find some high quality antlers for my dogs at the upcoming OC Pet Expo. Thanks for the review!

  141. Sweet’s Dogs Deer Antiers item. I was really searching for this product’s.
    “preston dog collars”

  142. I have given my dog deer antlers before. He loves them. He has NEVER gotten sick from them, they do not make a mess in my house, and he is content for hours on end. Rex is a Border Collie/Black Lab mix so he is a destructive chewer if he doesn’t have something strong in front of him. Sure the cost seems a bit steep, but they last for months! The Nylabones around here (PEI CANADA cost about 10 bucks. This antler I just bought him was 16, but the antler is natural, the Nylabone not. His last antler last him 5 months. I can not find ANY other chews that last even remotely that long. Any toy from a store would be destroyed in minutes!
    I buy his antlers at a local pet supply store. I know the owner, and he knows where his product comes from, so I trust it isn’t tainted.
    You really need to try these antlers! They are AMAZING!

  143. Our 7month old rescue mutt chews through Nylabones & toys at an alarming rate- most toys don’t last 20 minutes. We have good luck with the original Kong but she’s only interested in them if there’s a treat inside. For us, the deer antler has been a bargain simply because we’ve had it for months, it doesn’t smell up the house like a bone, isn’t sloppy like a bully and she loves it. She also hasn’t had diarrhea or any other gastro issues. So happy our pet shop introduced it to us!

  144. @lsolazy, thank you for your response! That’s some great information on the different kind of antler chews available. We’re going to take a close look at all the different antlers available when we attend this years pet expo. We plan on asking lots of questions before making any purchases. Also, that’s very interesting that antlerchews.com is no longer taking new customers.

  145. There are many differences in antlers mainly between species, the age of the antler, and the animals diet. That being said, whitetail, mule deer, and elk are the most common I’ve seen but also all over in my area. My dogs prefer the elk which are also larger and have a lot of marrow which can cause upset stomachs from the rich marrow especially in pups or even adults who are sensitive or allowed to eat too much and the split or sliced/button antlers leave easy access to the marrow.

    I try to only use less than a year old naturally shed antlers as they are hard without being overly aged and cracked. Also be sure to get a bone large enough or even slightly too large as most problems come from the dog having something too small that they can try to break and either get a sharp edge or damage their teeth trying to break it to get at the marrow.

    The large diameter ones though do not allow this and also force the dog to just wear it down very gradually nicely cleaning their teeth in the process. Properly sized are more expensive but they are much safer and last a lot longer.

    I’ve also ordered from antlerchews.com in the past but it looks like are not taking any new customers right now which tells me they would rather make less money than offer an inferior product.

  146. One of my dogs is a Miniature Australian Shepherd who loves to chew. Thankfully she only chews her toys. But, we have gone through a lot of toys. Enter the elk antler. She loves it. There is a guy in Colorado who makes furniture from Elk antlers. His Aussie started chewing on the chairs. So he took the larger left over pieces and gave those to his dogs. Now they have a great little side business selling them. You can purchase new, or slightly weathered, depending on your dogs chewing habits.
    My dogs love chewing elk or deer antler. We live in Utah, so antler is very easy to come by. Torrey’s teeth are very clean, and Roxy, the pom/chi even has great teeth. She would never ever chew anything hard before and her teeth needing cleaning last year. Expensive.
    Extremely old antler would not be good for any dog, but newer or brand new is great. They have minerals in them that are good for dogs too.

  147. @Janice, Thank you so much for giving us a little bit of a heads up on purchasing the antler chews. We still haven’t tried them, but all the advice we’ve been receiving will definitely help us if we decide to move forward and get some antlers for our dogs.

  148. My dogs love the antler chews, however you have to be very careful about the ones you buy. If they show cracks they are old and the dogs can devour them all at once and they come right through them in hard white stools.

  149. Thanks for letting us know about your experience with GDD. We were told not to let our guide dog pups chew on the antlers, but I may still try them with my personal pets.

  150. @JoAnna Thanks for sharing your experience. We had heard antlers in general, but we’ve already heard from a few readers that they have not had any problems with the
    antlers they’ve used w/ their dogs. Check out some of the other comments on the blog.

  151. I just read your “deer antler” info and I am wondering if the elk antlers I have been giving my dogs are safe? THEY SIMPLE LOVE THEM AND I HAVE NOT NOTICED ANY SIDE EFFECTS. Thanks and Happy New Year!


  152. Just to add some information, GDD where I am raising my puppy from right now, says they are fine for the dogs and they are great chew toys. They have no problem with us giving them to our dogs. Have had no sick dogs or any other problems. They even used them in a gift exchange and a new puppy got one and no one had the nerve to steal it from the puppy. GDD had no problem with this at all. I would keep giving them to my dog and pet dogs as well, but they don’t really like them that much.

  153. @Cheryl, thank you so much for your comment. While I cannot use antlers as a supplement or chew toy with our guide dog puppies in training it may be something I try with my own pet dogs. Overall I’ve heard mostly positive feedback about deer antlers for dogs, but after I received the message from this blog post I became hesitant about the product. Thanks again for sending us this information.

  154. @Pamela, I’ve been put off by the prices of the deer antlers as well and that’s probably the main reason why we haven’t tried them yet. I’ve received several emails from other readers that really like the deer antlers and I’m going to post them to the comments section so everyone can get a different perspective of the deer antlers for dogs. This is the first time we’ve heard of any concerns with the antlers too.

  155. I have purchased them, but only from one site, I NEVER purchase anything but USA products and found a site where they only sell fresh Grade A deer antlers from USA, I have had no problem and also purchase for my sons pup who also has no problems. See the following from the Pet expertise site: Antlers from Pet Expertise are the best quality: As antlers for dog chews are getting more popular and difficult to source, some other antler chew sellers are offering low quality, old, chalky, antler that is likely to splinter and crack. Other sellers offer antlers that are split down the center which can cause the antler to dry out quickly and become brittle. Rest assured that Pet Expertise antler is grade A, fresh antler from the USA only and will continue to be!
    My personal experience with this seller is positive and the antlers are Grade A.

  156. I’ve been curious about deer antlers but have been put off by the price for a consumable chew. This post is the first time I’ve seen concerns about deer antlers.

    I guess I’ll stick with good old Nylabones. Honey loves them and they last a long time.

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