Can Dogs Eat Antlers? [Are They Safe For Dogs To Chew?]

Can Dogs Eat Antlers?

Many dog owners wonder if antlers are a safe and suitable chew option for their furry friends. Antlers have grown in popularity as a chew treat for dogs due to their durability and potential health benefits, such as providing a source of minerals like calcium.

However, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the potential risks associated with giving your dog antlers to chew on.

Some experts claim that the hardness of antlers can pose a risk to your dog’s dental health, possibly causing tooth fractures or other damage. Additionally, there may be concerns about bacteria or contaminants in antlers that are not properly sourced, cleaned, and prepared.

With these factors in mind, it’s essential to make an informed decision about whether or not antlers are the right choice for your dog and to consider alternatives if needed.

Key Takeaways

  • Antlers provide a durable chew treat for dogs, with potential health benefits.
  • The hardness of antlers can pose risks to your dog’s dental health and should be sourced responsibly.
  • Consider alternatives and consultation from experts before opting for antler chews for your dog.

Antler Dog Chews

Antler dog chews have become quite popular among pet owners, providing a durable and natural option for strong chewers. These antlers come from a variety of sources, including deer, elk, and moose. When choosing the right antler chew for your dog, it’s important to consider the size and chewing habits of your pet.

Amazon Brand – Wag Split Elk Antler, Naturally Shed, Medium 6–7.5 inches

One option that is popular for dog owners is the Wag Split Elk Antler. These antlers are naturally shed and measure between 6 and 7.5 inches in size. They are an excellent choice for medium-sized dogs with strong chewing habits.

Amazon Brand - Wag Dog Deer Antler Chew, Naturally Shed, Whole, Large 8-9.5 inches (Best for Dogs 30-45 lbs)

Another great option for your furry friend is the Wag Antler, Naturally Shed. Similar to the split elk antler, these chews are suitable for dogs who love to spend hours gnawing on a tough treat.

Premium Deer Antler Pieces - Dog Chews - Antlers by The Pound, One Pound - Six Inches or Longer - Medium, Large and XL - Happy Dog Guarantee!

Lastly, for a more premium option, you may want to try the Premium Deer Antler Pieces. These deer antler pieces are packed with nutrients and make a great alternative for dogs who enjoy a slightly softer chew.

Remember, it’s always important to supervise your dog while they’re chewing on any type of treat. By choosing an appropriate size and hardness, you’ll be able to provide your dog with a chew that is both safe and satisfying.

Antler Properties

Antlers are a popular choice for dog owners looking for natural chew toys for their furry friends. These unique and durable materials come from deer and elk, and they offer several benefits to your canine companion.

To start with, antlers last a long time compared to many other chew toys. This durability saves you money, as you won’t need to replace them often. Moreover, antlers don’t splinter as easily as bones or other toys, making them a safer option for powerful chewers.

Besides their longevity, antlers are rich in essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These minerals contribute to your dog’s overall health and well-being. And as your dog gnaws on antlers, this natural chewing process helps clean their teeth and gums, reducing plaque and tartar buildup.

However, when choosing antlers for your dog, it’s crucial to pick the right size and type, so they are safe and enjoyable to chew. Make sure not to use antlers found during your nature walks, as they might contain bacteria or contaminants. Instead, always opt for antlers prepared specifically for dogs.

Remember, you should always supervise your dog while they’re chewing on antlers, and remove any small pieces that might break off and pose a choking hazard. With the right precautions, antlers can be a great addition to your dog’s chew toy collection.

Health Benefits for Dogs

Chewing on antlers has several health benefits for your dog. First and foremost, it helps to reduce plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth. As your dog chews on an antler, it aids in the removal of accumulated plaque, preventing dental issues.

Another benefit of antlers for dogs is that they provide a source of essential minerals, including calcium. These minerals support strong bones and overall health in your dog.

Antlers can also help improve your dog’s breath. When your dog chews on an antler, it not only scrapes off food particles but also stimulates saliva production, which helps to neutralize odor-causing bacteria.

In addition to these health benefits, antlers serve as a natural and long-lasting outlet for your dog’s chewing behavior. Chewing helps redirect destructive tendencies and anxiety into a safe and acceptable pastime, making antlers a great choice for powerful chewers.

Potential Risks and Precautions

Choking Hazard

Just like with any chew toy or treat, there’s a risk of choking when dogs chew on antlers. Pieces can break off and get lodged in your dog’s throat or intestines, causing dangerous blockages. This can be especially true if your dog is left unsupervised while chewing on antlers. To reduce this risk, always supervise your dog when they’re enjoying an antler and be prepared to take it away if it starts to break or splinter.

Teeth Damage

While antlers are known for their long-lasting durability, this same hardness can potentially cause damage to your dog’s teeth. Giving your dog a hard chew toy can increase the risk of broken teeth, which can be painful and lead to more severe issues, such as infections or abscesses. Treating your dog’s dental problems can be quite costly. To minimize this risk, you can start with an antler that has a “soft” core, and monitor your dog’s chewing habits closely.

Contamination Risk

Although antlers are naturally shed by deer and elk, it’s important to be aware that there could be a risk of contamination. Just like any natural product, antlers can potentially harbor bacteria or other pathogens that could be harmful to your dog. To reduce this risk, make sure to purchase antlers from a reputable source that follows proper cleaning and handling procedures.

Alternatives to Antlers

If you’re looking for alternatives to antlers for your dog to chew on, there are plenty of options available. It’s essential to ensure that your dog’s chewing habits are catered to by providing safe and appropriate items.

One popular alternative is feeding your dog duck feet, which can be given as a natural and nutritious snack. They are rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, which are beneficial for your dog’s joint health.

Another option is giving your dog chicken feet. Similar to duck feet, they are nutritious and beneficial for your dog’s joint health. Make sure the chicken feet are cleaned and prepared properly, as raw or improperly prepared items may pose health risks.

For a more substantial chew, consider giving your dog a chicken carcass. Keep in mind that raw and cooked chicken bones have different properties, and cooked bones should be avoided due to the risk of splintering and causing injury.

If you want to provide a larger and longer-lasting chew, oxtail bones are another suitable option. They are safe for dogs and can be a nice treat for your canine friend.

Finally, deer bones are also an alternative to antlers. Be sure to provide your dog with a suitable size and supervise their chewing to minimize any risks associated with feeding bones.

Remember that it’s essential to regularly monitor your dog’s chewing habits and always supervise them when providing new chew items. Find what works best for your dog and enjoy the health benefits that chewing can bring!

Professional Opinions

In this section, we’ll explore professional opinions on whether dogs can eat antlers, covering perspectives from veterinarians and dog trainers.

Veterinarian’s Perspective

Veterinarians have varied opinions on the subject. Antlers are actually a type of bone, and they’re the fastest growing bone in the animal kingdom. While some experts argue that antlers don’t splinter as easily as ordinary bones, others express concerns about the potential for dental damage. The hardness of deer antlers might result in your dog breaking their teeth if they chew too hard, especially if you have a powerful chewer at home. The key is to know your dog’s chewing habits and provide them with antler chews that are appropriate for their needs.

Dog Trainer’s Insight

Some dog trainers also suggest that antlers can be a safe option for dogs, as they are naturally shed by animals such as deer, elk, and moose each year. This means no animals are harmed in the process. However, it is essential to keep an eye on your dog when they’re chewing antlers. If you see your pet struggling or experiencing discomfort, it might be a good idea to take the antler away and try a different type of chew toy.

The bottom line is, every dog is different, and the suitability of antlers depends on individual factors. It is essential to consult with your veterinarian and evaluate your dog’s needs before introducing antlers into their chewing routine.

Final Thoughts Before Choosing

When deciding whether or not to give your dog antlers, consider their chewing habits and preferences. Some dogs may enjoy the hard consistency of antlers while others may prefer a softer chew.

Remember that antlers can provide essential minerals like calcium, and help keep your dog’s teeth clean by removing plaque and tartar. However, it’s important to choose the right type of antler for your dog. Reindeer antlers are harder, elk antlers are softer, and moose antlers fall somewhere in between.

Keep an eye on your dog when they are chewing on an antler to ensure they don’t accidentally swallow any pieces or hurt their teeth. It’s also a good idea to properly clean and prepare the antler before giving it to your dog.

Finally, consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about the safety of antlers for your specific dog. After all, every dog is different, and their needs might vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are antler chews safe for dogs?

Yes, antler chews can be safe for dogs, as they are a natural, long-lasting chew option. Deer and elk antlers are high in calcium and phosphorus, which can support your dog’s health. However, it is important to choose the right size and type of antler chew for your dog to minimize the risks of dental injury1.

What are the benefits of antlers for dogs?

Antlers can help improve your dog’s dental health by removing plaque and tartar from their teeth during the chewing process2. They are also high in minerals, like calcium and phosphorus, which can support strong bones and teeth. Another advantage is that antlers are long-lasting, potentially saving you money on chew toys for powerful chewers.

Can puppies chew on antlers?

It is not recommended to give antler chews to puppies who are teething, as they can be too hard and possibly damage their teeth3. Instead, provide teething puppies with softer, more appropriate chew toys that won’t harm their developing teeth.

Do antlers splinter when dogs chew them?

Antlers generally do not splinter as easily as bones or other toys, making them a safer option for your dog1. That being said, it is important to monitor your dog while chewing any type of chew toy, and remove it once it starts showing signs of excessive wear or splintering.

How to choose the right size antler for my dog?

To choose the right size antler chew for your dog, consider your dog’s size, breed, and chewing strength. Larger dogs or powerful chewers may need a larger, heavier antler, while smaller dogs or more gentle chewers can use a smaller, lighter antler2. Make sure the antler is not too small to avoid the risk of choking.

Are there any risks with antler chews for dogs?

While antler chews are generally safe for dogs, there can be potential risks if not used properly. Some dogs may chew too aggressively and damage their teeth or gums, particularly if they have preexisting dental issues4. Always supervise your dog when they are chewing an antler and choose the right size and type to minimize the risks.


  1. American Kennel Club – Are Antlers Safe for Dogs? 2

  2. Petnile – Can Dogs Eat Antlers Safely? 2

  3. DogCareLife – Can Dogs Eat Antlers?

  4. KeepingDog – Is it OK for dogs to eat antlers?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *