Most dogs like to chew. If you don’t provide something for them to chew, they will find it on their own… possibly in the form of your dining room table, your favorite shoes, your favorite book, even your electrical cords! But in recent years a new type of chew for dogs has come on the scene… deer antlers, and they are actually GOOD for your dog. They can be found at many Greenville pet stores.
Male deer “shed” their antlers in late Winter to early Spring. They naturally fall off during this period, but grow back each year. Being rich in minerals and calcium, they are a favorite treat for squirrels and rodents in the wild.
There are several advantages to using antlers as chews:
• Deer antlers are an extension of the deer’s bones. They consist primarily of Calcium Phosphate and Calcium Carbonate, with some great health advantages. Consuming 3 grams of deer antler will give your dog approximately 800 mgs of Calcium. The same 3 grams of antler also provides about 750 mgs of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate, in addition to natural Collagen. These ingredients are useful in regeneration of connective tissue in the dog’s joints as well as reducing inflammation from Arthritis and Tendonitis. In addition, new studies are looking into the positive effects of an ingredient in antler bone marrow called monoacetyldiglycerides, which apparently stimulate stem cells that in turn produce blood cells. The end result is a healthier, stronger immune system for your dog. Antlers also provide a higher percentage of protein over rawhide chews.
• Softer than bone, they are less likely to splinter or chip your dogs teeth.
• They are better for your dog than rawhide chews, which are much softer and do not last as long as antlers. An antler chew can last many weeks, even months, depending on the dog. Rawhide can also be bitten off in chunks and swallowed which can cause intestinal blockage, and allergic reactions to rawhide are fairly common.
• They do not stain like some rawhides and are odorless.
Of course, all dogs will not like antlers. The first time you might need to rub a little beef or chicken juice on it to entice your dog to chew. And if your dog is an extremely aggressive chewer, and wants to break the bone in two instead of chewing it, it may not be suitable for him. You may want to file down any sharp edges that might form from chewing, and be sure to throw away the bone when it gets small enough to swallow! And don’t be shocked at the price. Pet stores usually price them by the ounce… Just remember they will far outlast rawhide.