The VOHC has a list of products that it has approved as safe for dogs to chew. While many people have given their dogs antlers to chew on without incident, there are risks that can be expensive to treat. Can Dogs Digest Antlers? The likelihood is that the fall and the break were inextricably linked. What do they get from eating them? Feeding Your Labrador Puppy: How Much, Diet Charts And The Best... Major extra-oral or body-wide issues such as toxicity, esophageal or gastrointestinal obstruction or perforation, or gross nutritional imbalance. âHard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves and antlers are too hard to be safe for most dogs,â says veterinarian Marty Becker. Antlers come in many shapes and sizes. What you will find are many vets and dog experts telling you not to give antlers to your dog. Rawhide chews also look less appealing because can often cause blockages in the digestive system. I find it interesting how so many vet sites will claim a pure natural antler is dangerous. This may look like it will save you money on a weekly trip to the animal store for new chews. What is your take? If this is a risk you want to avoid, you’ll need to think of alternatives that fulfill the same purpose as chewing on an antler for your dog. The recommendations include avoiding antlers, and giving your dog products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Antlers, like most natural materials have a breaking point where they can snap and come apart. But only a little. Deer and elk antlers are considered safer for dogs than rawhide, primarily due to the fact that they donât easily splinter, and are an all-natural chew. What about split antlers , they are cut in half lengthways to expose the marrow. The best advice is to speak to your vet. There are also puzzle feeders that will help immensely to tire Fido out. Chose from whole or split antlers in sizes small, medium, large, xl, xxl, xxxl and xxxxl. I’ve done some reading as well and other articles disagree with this claim.. mostly due to the fact that certain breeds of deer antlers are specifically bad for dogs as they split in small pieces that could harm their intestinal tract. Anecdotal evidence can be a tricky subject. Yes, antlers can hurt dogs. I must admit she enjoys the hell out of it! And I’ll take a moment now to explain why I believe that to be the case. Unfortunately, antler chews arenât recommended for strong chewing dogs. This is how teeth are broken or gums are lacerated. Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall. When you have a situation where even experts disagree, and where the evidence is lacking, much of the responsibility shifts to you as the pet owner. There could be another cause. When this happens, it usually means that there aren’t any such sources! We do also need to consider that nutrients and taste are not the only reason dogs like antlers. This makes it much more difficult to find a novel protein if needed in the future for skin or intestinal issues. Plus, strong chewing dogs will whittle down â¦ Let’s take a look at what evidence exists, and discuss the topic in detail. Perfect as dog chews, taxidermy, crafts etc. Here at the Labrador Site, we have decided not to give our dogs antlers, as we feel that the risks of tooth fractures is too great. They don’t shard and splinter, so they seem to be safer than leftover bones from your cooked meat. Dogs should be supervised when they are chewing on antlers, while it is safe for dogs to chew on them they shouldnât swallow the antlers if they crack as the pieces could be sharp and cause injury to your dog. Because in this instance I believe that the anecdotal evidence we have here is quite useful. Since awareness of this problem was first raised in the veterinary press in 2013, they state, there has been a “large increase in cases seen of fractured carnassial (and other) teeth by dogs chewing on antlers and other hard toys.”. Does the dog in your life have a cat in theirs? If you have a voracious chewer, then you may see a hard chew toy as more appealing because your dog will chew through other materials so quickly. In fact, the most serious risk is what could happen inside your pet. But you can’t just sit a dog in the dentist’s chair and ask him to open wide. But the chances are it was not. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. They will be able to recommend the best chewing alternatives to antlers and other natural materials. North American deer antler or elk dog antlers are large and rarely chip, split, or splinter, so they can survive a lot of chewing without harming your dog. As mentioned before, when it comes to the safety of antlers for dogs, there is neither much evidence, nor much research. And if a tooth sheared off while the dog was eating an antler, then the probability of a “cause and effect” link is fairly high. Deer antlers for dogs can have a harder texture than other varieties of antlers. In addition, if you purchase these reindeer horns and your dog doesnât like them, you can return them for no questions asked with their Happy Dog Guarantee. Beyond a blockage, there is a risk that it could puncture the delicate tissues of the digestive tract. If you do decide to give antlers to your dog, we strongly recommend you insure him and make sure he is covered for dental treatment by your policy. In generic terms, we would say no. And this problem can be made worse if your dog is an aggressive chewer. Let’s dig in to get a more complete picture. In the UK, for example, shed antlers will sometimes have mouse tooth marks in them. At first glance, deer antlers seem like an ideal chew toy or treat for your pet. There is also the chance that the damage has extended to the tooth pulp and the gums. The general consensus is, “Better safe than sorry.”. Before you do that, it is worth considering the outcome of a tooth fracture for your dog. Well, while deer antlers are an interesting chew material for fido, there are some things you need to consider. Antlers are very hard indeed. One of the challenges of owning a puppy and raising it to become an adult dog is understanding what it can and cannot safely chew on. It depends. Deer Antlers for Dogs, Premium, Grade A, Deer Antler Dog Chew First, let’s talk about different types of antlers, and whether that makes a difference in the safety of antlers for dogs. You can read our toy reviews in this section of the website. Here you’ll find informative articles about the biology, habitat, habits of deer. So what is it about antlers that dogs and other animals enjoy? That’s what we are going to do today. There are a wide range of alternative softer source of bone, such as ribs, or the bones of smaller animals. With anecdotal evidence for the causes of dental fractures, however, we are on somewhat firmer ground. We see too many fractures (particularly carnassial slab fractures) that have occurred as a direct result of chewing on these objects.”, Meanwhile, other vets are apparently saying, “Go ahead and let him have antler dog chews, they’re fine.”. First take it to a professional company that â¦ ARE Antlers Safe for Dogs? This same toughness can be quite dangerous for your dog. It is also important that the chew toy you choose never fits completely into your dogs mouth. All we can do is talk about the anecdotal evidence. You can also find split antlers, which enables the dog to get at the marrow inside easier. Reindeer are interesting in that they are the only deer family in which both males and females grow antlers. In fact, any hard chew material you select will come with the same risks, such as bone or rawhide. Well, antlers are a source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. If your dog fractures a tooth, he or she will be in considerable pain. however, breeds such as elk antlers and mule deer antlers are safe for them to chew as they do not split in the same way. Typically, elk antlers are a little softer and easier on the teeth than deer antler dog chews. No, deer antlers are not completely safe for dogs. We ensure that all our health articles are evidence-based, and factual claims are supported by research. You may have heard that cows’ horns are made from a substance called keratin, similar to your own nails and hair. Bones, rawhide, and antlers are all off the menu, but that does not stop your dog from loving to chew. And there are numerous research papers on the treatment of a wide range of fractures in dogs (and cats). Chewing on dog antler treats isn’t any different then dogs chewing on other bones or hard substances. These antlers can be available through game processors or hunters, or hiking through the forest. Vet Brett Beckham has produced a fact sheet for dog owners on avoiding tooth fractures. I do not advise using deer antlers as dog chews. The main reason for this is that there aren’t many studies on whether antlers are good for dogs, or whether they are not. I believe that hard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves and antlers are too hard to be safe for most dogs. But wait! These individual parts can become stuck in the throat, stomach, or intestines and cause your dog to choke or create a blockage. It helps keep their teeth clean, and it expends energy and keeps the dog out of trouble and out from under foot. Antlers for dogs usually come from deer, elk, reindeer or moose. Antlers certainly aren't for every dog (especially overly-aggressive chewers) but for many pups antlers are a great substitute for the traditional dog bone. No, deer antlers are not completely safe for dogs. The antlers of many species of deer are made from real bone. And can you give your dog reindeer antlers? Anecdotal evidence is the accumulated observations of people, rather than properly controlled clinical trials. However, vets advise against purchasing antler chews, because of the ways they can injure your dog. At first glance, deer antlers seem like an ideal chew toy or treat for your pet. Furthermore, there are clear benefits to chewing such as relieving stress, focusing attention, and helping your pup avoid boredom. You may even need to see a specialist veterinarian dentist. There are also other mentally stimulating activities that are safer than chewing but will keep your dog occupied. It isn’t just carnivores that like antlers. Antler, the part of the animal that supplies warmth, is also the part that the animal has an appetite for. And there’s divided opinions on deer antlers for dogs versus elk antlers for dogs, and other varieties. Vet Marty Becker for example states that “hard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves and antlers are too hard to be safe for most dogs.”, Vet Norman Johnston of the UK Dental Vets group has more to add. 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. There are figures on the incidence of tooth fractures in dogs. A good general rule used by most vets is the “knee cap rule” – if you wouldn’t want to hit your knee cap with it, then it is too hard for your dog to chew on and risks tooth injury. Save 10% more with Subscribe & Save. Dogs love to chew and, given the choice, they will clamp down on almost anything, whether it is good or bad for them. Ultimate Guide To Veterinary Dental Home Care. While these are nutrients that your dog needs, they are adequately supplied in any good quality commercial dog food. They are still very hard and present many of the same problems as other types of antlers. It’s also worth remembering that there are different types of antlers in the animal kingdom. While antlers are hard, they can splinter and these pieces can become lodged in your dogâs mouth, throat, or stomach, causing damage as well as pain. And there are still more sorts of antlers to choose from, such as moose. Why Do Dogs Eat Grass And Is Eating Grass Bad For Them? But it does have the potential to be misused and can be misleading. $15.99 $ 15. Leave the antlers outside somewhere safe, where they will get sun and dry off. When Do Puppies Stop Biting And How To Cope With A... Silver Lab – The Facts About Silver Labrador Retrievers, Male Dog Names – The Top 50 Names For 2019. Many dog owners get confused about natural materials. Hard chews such as deer antlers can also cause bleeding in the mouth or internally if they splinter and blockages if swallowed, two more reasons to avoid them. That is another very expensive vet bill in the thousands of dollars. The Labrador Site is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. We’ll discuss why that is, and whether or not the majority of veterinarians are right. You can also join in a discussion on this topic over on the forum. These minerals are vital for keeping bones and muscles strong. But I’ve put things off because we have a policy here on the Labrador Site. In other words, if your dog breaks a tooth, you are guaranteed a very expensive trip to the vet. I think I will stick to what mother nature has given us instead of nylon or plastic…. A rubber Kong filled with frozen goodies like peanut butter or broth can last a while. So that would suggest that such fractures are not an everyday occurrence. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs. a list of products that it has approved as safe. Claiming that the evidence is purely anecdotal and therefore of no value would be a bit like saying that your leg broke when you fell from a second floor window, but that the fall can’t be pinned down as the exact cause. however, breeds such as elk antlers and mule deer antlers are safe for them to chew as they do not split in the same way. One of the notable features of antlers, compared with other non weight bearing bones, is their hardness. One of the biggest misconceptions of dog ownership is buying hard chew toys and allowing your dog to gnaw on them is helpful to its teeth. Deer antlers are completely safe for your dog to chew and will provide a stimulating and nutritious snack theyâll keep coming back to. But the potential problems remain. Our shiba likes it very much. Deer antlers can withstand incredible amounts of force (just look up male deer ramming into each other). Are Deer Antlers Good for Dogs? Being informed of the cost of endodontic treatment for a pet is enough to make most of us feel faint. This means that the anecdotal evidence we are hearing from many vets around the country, with regard to the link between antlers and broken teeth, is actually quite valuable. Does My Dog Love Me: Signs Your Dog Loves You, Labernese – A Complete Guide To The Bernese Mountain Dog Lab Mix. Antlers and other hard materials, both natural and man-made, can cause broken teeth in dogs. Also, look at alternative toys or chews that may provide the same pleasure and tooth cleaning benefits, without being so hard on your dog’s teeth. If you have been searching for ways on how do you sterilize deer antlers for dog chews, the answer is to soak the antlers in alcohol. Letâs take a closer look to find out if antlers are safe for dogs, and if they should be given as a chew. The truth is, there is a huge downside to hard chew toys. What about elk antlers for dogs? She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program, Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website. Merck Vet Manual. Antler chews are also full of nutrients such as calcium. Because we don’t have any published data on the causes of tooth fractures, there is no way to specifically tell you for sure that antlers are safe for dogs to chew, or that antlers are not safe for dogs to chew. Antlers are made up of mainly calcium and phosphorus, but also includes other vital minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, sulphur and zinc. Weigh up the pros and cons of antler dog chews for yourself. Was thinking about getting antlers for our dogs, but now I am rethinking it. They can be color or simply have one color in common with no pattern. Indeed, anecdotal evidence often points us in the direction of where a product or procedure might be worth investigating further. Veterinary News 2017, Quest, B. We also try to answer common questions about deer. Trauma to oral tissues, such as fracture of teeth or laceration or penetration of oral mucosa. So it is with dogs that suffer major tooth fractures while chewing on very hard objects. The main concern for most pet owners and vets is the hardness of antlers and whether they will damage a dog’s teeth. For example, moose antlers are softer than others (such as the hard elk antlers). Hard chews such as deer antlers can also cause bleeding in the mouth or internally if they splinter and blockages if swallowed, two more reasons to avoid them. Sustainable and humane: Deer and elk shed their antlers in a natural process with no harm to the animal. Unwrapping an antler for the first time to hand to your doggo â¦ But they will still likely chew on the rest of it, so it doesn’t take away the concern about broken teeth. You can also gently boil or blanch antlers to soften them and to eliminate any septic bacteria. But you have to take into account the fact that other kinds of deer are far more common. these are small deer antlers. While nylon bones, deer antlers, and non-processed large bones may look enticing to dogs, they are hard on their teeth. So are antlers safe for dogs? Health benefits: North American deer and elk antlers last a long time, rarely split or chip and are non-allergic (great news for dogs with allergies). Well, some vets have obviously never seen a tooth fracture associated with antler chews. Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. Rule of paw: donât buy any chew toy that you wouldnât want to be whacked in the knee with. Does this include deer antlers? Antlers are also known to improve a dogâs coat. Deer antlers are a particularly good alternative to provide your pet because the bonelike material is extremely dense and will stand up to a massive amount of chewing. But antlers are hard enough to withstand the force of another deerâs antlers in battle, which means theyâre definitely hard enough to break your dogâs teeth. They are a bony outgrowth of the animal’s skull and are quite unique in that respect. WorldDeer.org was launched in 2005 and has evolved over the past 15 years to feature some of the best information about deer on the web. Do Midges Bite Dogs? If your dog is an aggressive chewer, after that treatment, they wonât suffer tooth fracture or â¦ So what are the arguments against indulging your dog in this happy pursuit? It is also not easy to find deer antlers from a carcass unless you are a hunter or spend a lot of time outdoors. There seems to be no useful data on the various causes of these fractures. I also saw Yak Milk treats. That’s true, though horns do also have a lining of bone inside them. After being shed, antlers are often picked up and gnawed by wild animals. There is a wide range of chew toys on the market specially designed to give dogs the opportunity for recreational chewing that won’t cause them injury. After all, theyâre natural and âsustainably harvestedâ (elk and deer shed their antlers naturally). Antlers are rock hard, and strong chewing dogs will bite down on antlers with all their might. That’s quite a large proportion of dogs! Oral health benefits of a daily dental chew in dogs. Where is the evidence that antlers aren’t safe? Letâs dig in to get a more complete picture. They seem pretty tough as well, UNTIL you microwave them, and then they are much more porous and break much easier. Dental issues are not the only problem your dog could face. Frequently, anecdotal evidence involves a pet owner observing either illness or improving health after a particular event. Antlers are not really the safest options out there, and we wouldnât recommend them. J Anat 2005, Harrison C. Nutrition and preventative oral healthcare treatments for canine and feline patients. Any treatment that is needed will need to take place under a general anesthetic. As far as we can tell at the current time, it sadly looks as though antler dog chews may be something you should avoid giving to your four-legged friends. Just like with humans, a broken tooth is very painful and can become infected. Are deer antlers good for dogs to chew on? The problems with anecdotal evidence arise because it can be difficult to prove that the event in the dog’s life was caused by, rather than simply associated with, the therapy. Certainly, the chewing process helps to remove plaque and tartar. However, deer antlers can be quite dangerous for your dog. Generally speaking, the treatment for your dog will be just like it would be for you. For domestic dogs, who often suffer from boredom, chewing on a hard substance is a relaxing and recreational activity. For raw fed dogs, bones are a necessary part of their diet. And rather like the discussion on raw food, it’s one that even vets don’t always agree on. Reindeer antlers are a slightly less popular variant of antler chews for dogs. Embrace Pet Insurance, Price J et al. But a great many vets consider those causes to include chewing on very hard objects. Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs – Does It Really Work? Deer antlers donât make a mess, they donât smell, and all dogs love to chew on them. The tooth might have been cracked already, for example. The broken tooth may be obvious for all to see. A. Antlers for dogs should not be removed during walks or playtime. To make deer antlers palatable and safe, soak them for a day or two in water or dog safe broth. We do have deer in our woods and they shed antlers (our GSD brought home a deer skull one day, how … sweet) so we wondered if we should let them gnaw on it a bit. All our products are locally sourced, natural and cruelty free. And that is a conservative estimate. 4.5 out of 5 stars 3,553. And we do often caution our readers against using only anecdotal evidence, to underpin important decisions about their dogs’ health. the incidence of tooth fractures in dogs. Selecting chew toys that are softer or have some flexibility can help. J Vet Dent 2013, Dogs Love These Chews, But They Fracture Teeth Like Crazy. Not only are these safe for your pups, they're actually the perfect choice for aggressive chewers, puppies, and large dogs. On top of that, we think that there are plenty of alternatives that will provide your dog with just as much pleasure. Reindeer antlers are also incredibly hard, and will still present much the same issues for dogs and their teeth as other types of antlers. In fact, chewing on hard products like elk or deer antlers for dogs can lead to dental problems like fractured teeth, and internal damage from splintering. By safe, they mean that the product won’t cause the following: Each product has to pass two separate trials (carried out on different dogs) in order to pass. The safety (or not) of antlers for dogs is an interesting subject. Are antlers safe for dogs? Natural does not always mean what it says on the label. They can also get stuck in your dogs mouth and create a very distressing situation. In fact, man-made materials can often be safer for chewing provided they are manufactured to adhere to safety standards. Your furry friend loves to chew on things around the house; unfortunately, your shoes were never intended to be your dog's personal chew toy. It is best to avoid any chew toys that have been treated with chemicals or other sprays to make them last longer. Are deer antlers safe for dogs to chew? Sadly, that’s not always the case as some bones and other animal materials can cause problems for dogs. I’ve been giving my puppy antler chews specifically for her size. I have been meaning to write an article on this topic for several years, as it’s one that comes up frequently in our forum. Deer Antlers for Dogs, Premium, Grade A, Deer Antler Dog Chew, Long Lasting Dog Treat for Your Pet. 99. 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