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Over the past couple years we’ve been hearing rave reviews about deer antlers for dogs.
If you have Labrador Retrievers in your house then you probably run into some of the same issues we do with Dublin, our yellow lab, and Stetson, our black lab.
Those two boys just love to chew up their dog toys, treats, chews, bully sticks (we like, recommend and use best bully sticks – affiliate link)…you name it, they chew it.
In fact, Stetson can chew up a 12 inch bully stick in less than 5 minutes!
That’s the same stick that used to take Dublin 2 weeks to polish off (now it takes him about a half hour).
Some of the things we’ve heard about these wonderful 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.”
If you’d like to read more information about deer antlers for dogs then check out this affiliate link Amazon.com (affiliate link).
Amazon readers give mostly good reviews. Check out the antler dog chew reviews (affiliate link).
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.
Deer Antlers For Dogs
“We are having an increase in the instances of dogs (puppies and adults) with acute diarrhea. All test 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, antler is 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) these are the same chew toys that are 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
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.
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
The KONG Dog Toy has been pretty much 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 bare foot…OUCH!
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.