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deer antlers for dogs safe

Yes, antlers can hurt dogs. It is also important that the chew toy you choose never fits completely into your dogs mouth. I do not advise using deer antlers as dog chews. Deer Antlers for Dogs, Premium, Grade A, Deer Antler Dog Chew We ensure that all our health articles are evidence-based, and factual claims are supported by research. Currently, there is some disagreement as to whether or not antlers are safe for your dog to chew. No, deer antlers are not completely safe for dogs. That is another very expensive vet bill in the thousands of dollars. these are small deer antlers. 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. Generally deer antlers are stronger than other types of chew material. 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. Well, some vets have obviously never seen a tooth fracture associated with antler chews. To make deer antlers palatable and safe, soak them for a day or two in water or dog safe broth. While my dog Luke was all smiles about chewing on an antler, the results were nothing to smile about. Antler, the part of the animal that supplies warmth, is also the part that the animal has an appetite for. informative article of the risks, but as a purist, I’d rather her chew organic products rather than plastic as she tears into it and ingests toxins. 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. There are figures on the incidence of tooth fractures in dogs. a fact sheet for dog owners on avoiding tooth fractures. We do also need to consider that nutrients and taste are not the only reason dogs like antlers. Trauma to oral tissues, such as fracture of teeth or laceration or penetration of oral mucosa. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. 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). 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. Numerous well-respected vet sites claim that chewing on very hard objects, including antlers, are the primary source of tooth fractures in dogs, along with rough play. While many people have given their dogs antlers to chew on without incident, there are risks that can be expensive to treat. Oral health benefits of a daily dental chew in dogs. But are all antlers created equal? One of the notable features of antlers, compared with other non weight bearing bones, is their hardness. But I’ve put things off because we have a policy here on the Labrador Site. Your vet may disagree! But the chances are it was not. was launched in 2005 and has evolved over the past 15 years to feature some of the best information about deer on the web. When this happens, it usually means that there aren’t any such sources! This is how teeth are broken or gums are lacerated. 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. That event might be the consumption of a particular drug, plant, or chemical. They are still very hard and present many of the same problems as other types of antlers. All we can do is talk about the anecdotal evidence. The recommendations include avoiding antlers, and giving your dog products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). These minerals are vital for keeping bones and muscles strong. And there’s divided opinions on deer antlers for dogs versus elk antlers for dogs, and other varieties. Only bought them once… still wondering about them. The tooth might have been cracked already, for example. 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. So that would suggest that such fractures are not an everyday occurrence. 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. The main discussion seems to be about deer antlers for dogs. The broken tooth may be obvious for all to see. In fact, man-made materials can often be safer for chewing provided they are manufactured to adhere to safety standards. They are widely sold as toys, enrichment activities, and to divert dogs from destructive chewing on household items like shoes or furniture. 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. While these are nutrients that your dog needs, they are adequately supplied in any good quality commercial dog food. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, after that treatment, they won’t suffer tooth fracture or … 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. In these situations, emergency surgery is often necessary. Well, while deer antlers are an interesting chew material for fido, there are some things you need to consider. 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. At first glance, deer antlers seem like an ideal chew toy or treat for your pet. 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. Multiple sizes available with free p&p on all orders. The main reason for this is that there aren’t many studies on whether antlers are good for dogs, or whether they are not. 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.”. Instead, I recommend buying chew toys that have some flexibility or “give” to them, even for large, powerful dogs. Not only are these safe for your pups, they're actually the perfect choice for aggressive chewers, puppies, and large dogs. There are also other mentally stimulating activities that are safer than chewing but will keep your dog occupied. The main health benefit of deer antlers though, is their use in aiding in dental care for your dog. In fact, the most serious risk is what could happen inside your pet. Sadly, that’s not always the case as some bones and other animal materials can cause problems for dogs. In fact, any hard chew material you select will come with the same risks, such as bone or rawhide. Anecdotal evidence can be a tricky subject. Ultimate Guide To Veterinary Dental Home Care. That’s what we are going to do today. Deer antlers can withstand incredible amounts of force (just look up male deer ramming into each other). Our shiba likes it very much. 4.5 out of 5 stars 3,553. The best advice is to speak to your vet. Antlers are made up of mainly calcium and phosphorus, but also includes other vital minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, sulphur and zinc. They can break their teeth on anything, just like humans. There is also the chance that the damage has extended to the tooth pulp and the gums. In severe cases, stabilization of the fractured tooth may require wires and pins. In other words, there’s possibly a strong chance that your dog might be able to chew on antlers on a number of occasions without suffering a tooth fracture. As mentioned before, when it comes to the safety of antlers for dogs, there is neither much evidence, nor much research. 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. What is your take? You may be wondering what to do if you cannot give your dog antlers or other hard materials to chew. Come and say hello! You may even need to see a specialist veterinarian dentist. She is the founder of the Labrador Site and a regular contributor. It helps keep their teeth clean, and it expends energy and keeps the dog out of trouble and out from under foot. There could be another cause. And because it can often be difficult for the owner of a dog to make an objective and measured assessment of how their own dog is feeling, or how his health improving or declining. I am so glad I read this. 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. Let’s dig in to get a more complete picture. ANSWER: I believe that hard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves and antlers are too hard to be safe for most dogs. Then turn around and recommend all these “approved” synthetic name brand products instead. And there are still more sorts of antlers to choose from, such as moose. Natural does not always mean what it says on the label. Let’s dig a little deeper into the safety issues. Are deer antlers good for dogs to chew on? 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. If your dog fractures a tooth, he or she will be in considerable pain. It is also not easy to find deer antlers from a carcass unless you are a hunter or spend a lot of time outdoors. The truth is, there is a huge downside to hard chew toys. Well, antlers are a source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. It may also be that some dogs are more at risk than others. That is a choking incident waiting to happen. They come in a wide range of sizes to select the right fit for your dog’s size and chewing behavior. Merck Vet Manual. We also try to answer common questions about deer. If you’re a proud puppy parent or even just a dog-lover who has seen “Marley and Me” one too many times, it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine every owner’s worst nightmare: you come home from a long day of work or a much-needed date night to utter chaos. How to Make Deer Antler Dog Chews. Unfortunately, antler chews aren’t recommended for strong chewing dogs. You may have heard that cows’ horns are made from a substance called keratin, similar to your own nails and hair. What do they get from eating them? The fact is, we just don’t know for sure. Elk or Deer Antlers. Antlers are rock hard, and strong chewing dogs will bite down on antlers with all their might. They seem pretty tough as well, UNTIL you microwave them, and then they are much more porous and break much easier. Embrace Pet Insurance, Price J et al. There are also puzzle feeders that will help immensely to tire Fido out. Leave the antlers outside somewhere safe, where they will get sun and dry off. And turn our attention to the vets who are telling us what they are seeing in their surgeries. In generic terms, we would say no. /*footer link color*/a.footer {color: #D1B180;}/*footer hover link color*/a.footer:hover {color: #D1C580;}. With anecdotal evidence for the causes of dental fractures, however, we are on somewhat firmer ground. Again, this can happen with any hard chew toy and is not an exclusive risk to dogs chewing on antlers. 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. But antlers are hard enough to withstand the force of another deer’s antlers in battle, which means they’re definitely hard enough to break your dog’s teeth. The general consensus is, “Better safe than sorry.”. A rubber Kong filled with frozen goodies like peanut butter or broth can last a while. Reindeer antlers are also incredibly hard, and will still present much the same issues for dogs and their teeth as other types of antlers. One small grade a premium quality deer antler dog chew treat you will get either a 2 point or a 3 point that is from 7 to 11 inches long. 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. However, good luck in the past is no guarantee of safety in the future. And can you give your dog reindeer antlers? While many people have given their dogs antlers to chew on without incident, there are risks that can be expensive to treat. Dental issues are not the only problem your dog could face. But a great many vets consider those causes to include chewing on very hard objects. Our Labby didn’t like it until he saw the shiba eat it. Before you do that, it is worth considering the outcome of a tooth fracture for your dog. 99. 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. This same toughness can be quite dangerous for your dog. 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. All our products are locally sourced, natural and cruelty free. It isn’t just carnivores that like antlers. Are deer antlers safe for dogs to chew? Khuly P. Complicated Dental Tooth Fractures. Like a sponge. I think I will stick to what mother nature has given us instead of nylon or plastic…. Unwrapping an antler for the first time to hand to your doggo … Deer antlers might be the treat your doggo’s been chewing in his dreams. 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. I believe that hard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves and antlers are too hard to be safe for most dogs. 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. Antlers, however, are rather different. 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. Deer antlers: a zoological curiosity or the key to understanding organ regeneration in mammals? Reindeer: Reindeer antlers are heavier and tougher than standard deer antlers, and a little less commonly available through retailers – probably because no one wants to give Rover a chew toy that used to be Rudolph. Where is the evidence that antlers aren’t safe? Since antlers are naturally shed every year by moose, elk, and other wild deer, you can feel good about buying them, but not as great as your dog will feel as he enjoys gnawing on these incredibly durable and flavorful chews. The dogs that appreciate chewing antlers the most are young dogs and dogs that just love to chew. That’s true, though horns do also have a lining of bone inside them. What about elk antlers for dogs? Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs – Does It Really Work? First, let’s talk about different types of antlers, and whether that makes a difference in the safety of antlers for dogs. 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. Sustainable and humane: Deer and elk shed their antlers in a natural process with no harm to the animal. Selecting chew toys that are softer or have some flexibility can help. So what is it about antlers that dogs and other animals enjoy? They think if it occurs in nature it should be good for the dog to chew and consume. Find out if deer and elk antlers are safe chew treats for your dog. Let’s take a look at what antlers are made from and how tough they are. I’ve been giving my puppy antler chews specifically for her size. If the fracture is bad enough, you may even need to use a feeding tube to ensure that your dog gets enough nutrients while he heals. 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. My border collie loves them, but I’m still not convinced that they are safe even disregarding the posssible dental issues. That’s quite a large proportion of dogs! New antlers also reproduce every year in a highly sustainable cycle. Let’s take a look at what evidence exists, and discuss the topic in detail. But you have to take into account the fact that other kinds of deer are far more common. You need to make a judgement call on behalf of your pet. But wait! All Rights Reserved. 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.”. Up to 20% of dogs will suffer a fractured tooth at some time, according to the Embrace insurance company. 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. Deer antlers are completely safe for your dog to chew and will provide a stimulating and nutritious snack they’ll keep coming back to. Any treatment that is needed will need to take place under a general anesthetic. They are a bony outgrowth of the animal’s skull and are quite unique in that respect. Dogs should be supervised when they are chewing on antlers, while it is safe for dogs to chew on them they shouldn’t swallow the antlers if they crack as the pieces could be sharp and cause injury to your dog. 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. A. Because in this instance I believe that the anecdotal evidence we have here is quite useful. And we do often caution our readers against using only anecdotal evidence, to underpin important decisions about their dogs’ health. This makes it much more difficult to find a novel protein if needed in the future for skin or intestinal issues. Are deer antlers safe for dogs? Chose from whole or split antlers in sizes small, medium, large, xl, xxl, xxxl and xxxxl. J Anat 2005, Harrison C. Nutrition and preventative oral healthcare treatments for canine and feline patients. Antlers, like most natural materials have a breaking point where they can snap and come apart. Save 10% more with Subscribe & Save. Does the dog in your life have a cat in theirs? But it does have the potential to be misused and can be misleading. Indeed, anecdotal evidence often points us in the direction of where a product or procedure might be worth investigating further. But you can’t just sit a dog in the dentist’s chair and ask him to open wide. While nylon bones, deer antlers, and non-processed large bones may look enticing to dogs, they are hard on their teeth. 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. 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. So it is with dogs that suffer major tooth fractures while chewing on very hard objects. It is also a good way to reduce stress and keep your pup occupied. You can also gently boil or blanch antlers to soften them and to eliminate any septic bacteria. You are not going to see much change from $1000. The antlers of many species of deer are made from real bone. The safety (or not) of antlers for dogs is an interesting subject. The VOHC has a list of products that it has approved as safe for dogs to chew. Reindeer are interesting in that they are the only deer family in which both males and females grow antlers. The Labrador Site is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to from The USA. And that the sensible answer to the question, “Are antlers safe for dogs to chew?” is no. Frequently, anecdotal evidence involves a pet owner observing either illness or improving health after a particular event. Deer Antlers for Dogs, Premium, Grade A, Deer Antler Dog Chew, Long Lasting Dog Treat for Your Pet. If we go into the specifics, though, we think a few dogs can manage them. the incidence of tooth fractures in dogs. Some owners have been giving antlers to the dog for years without incident. Q : My dog trainer swears by deer antlers for exercising my dog’s teeth and gums, and my Viszla, Mischa, loves them! And this problem can be made worse if your dog is an aggressive chewer. Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall. Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. “Hard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves and antlers are too hard to be safe for most dogs,” says veterinarian Marty Becker. We’ll discuss why that is, and whether or not the majority of veterinarians are right. Chewing on dog antler treats isn’t any different then dogs chewing on other bones or hard substances. In the UK, for example, shed antlers will sometimes have mouse tooth marks in them. Aggressive chewers, for example. Perfect as dog chews, taxidermy, crafts etc. First take it to a professional company that … 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. Beyond a blockage, there is a risk that it could puncture the delicate tissues of the digestive tract. Assess the risks, and decide on your dog’s behalf. At first glance, deer antlers seem like an ideal chew toy or treat for your pet. Typically, elk antlers are a little softer and easier on the teeth than deer antler dog chews. Signs Of Midge Bites In Domestic Dogs, Dog Exercise: How To Exercise Your Labrador And Keep Them Fit. But the potential problems remain. Are antlers safe for dogs? This article has been revised and updated for 2019. However, deer antlers can be quite dangerous for your dog. © Copyright 2020 Numerous veterinary sites on the internet claim that chewing on deer antlers can cause dental fractures in dogs. I also saw Yak Milk treats. On top of that, we think that there are plenty of alternatives that will provide your dog with just as much pleasure. Antlers for dogs should not be removed during walks or playtime. These injuries can cost thousands of dollars to fix and they cannot just be left due to the suffering they will cause your dog and the risk of infection. 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. The main concern for most pet owners and vets is the hardness of antlers and whether they will damage a dog’s teeth. So what are the arguments against indulging your dog in this happy pursuit? You can also find split antlers, which enables the dog to get at the marrow inside easier. Just like with dental side effects, these problems are not exclusive to antlers. 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. Labrador Retriever Life Span – How Long Do Labs Live? But they will still likely chew on the rest of it, so it doesn’t take away the concern about broken teeth. Some may think that it is OK to take off antlers while walking with children. The short answer – yes, antlers are safe! You can also join in a discussion on this topic over on the forum. 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. Plus, strong chewing dogs will whittle down … Deer antlers and other hooved mammal horns are an all-natural dog chew treat that serves as a tooth-cleaning alternative to natural and synthetic dog bones. Safe for dog: Greenies chews. These individual parts can become stuck in the throat, stomach, or intestines and cause your dog to choke or create a blockage. They will be able to recommend the best chewing alternatives to antlers and other natural materials. I find it interesting how so many vet sites will claim a pure natural antler is dangerous. The hardness of antlers also means they can damage your dog’s teeth and gums if they chew too aggressively or if they have weak teeth. But only a little. You can read our toy reviews in this section of the website. Well done article, thank you for staying fact based! If you don’t have pet insurance, then you will be on the hook to pay out of your own pocket. So we have a situation where many vets are saying, “Do NOT let your dog chew on antlers! Deer and elk antlers are considered safer for dogs than rawhide, primarily due to the fact that they don’t easily splinter, and are an all-natural chew. And rather like the discussion on raw food, it’s one that even vets don’t always agree on. Dogs love to chew and, given the choice, they will clamp down on almost anything, whether it is good or bad for them. Just like with humans, a broken tooth is very painful and can become infected. Frustratingly, neither of these sites, nor any of the others I visited, link to any credible sources of research on this topic. There will also be x-rays, follow ups, and so on. Here you’ll find informative articles about the biology, habitat, habits of deer. There are a wide range of alternative softer source of bone, such as ribs, or the bones of smaller animals. And my personal feeling is that we should pay attention. $15.99 $ 15. Don't miss out on the perfect companion to life with a purrfect friend. The likelihood is that the fall and the break were inextricably linked. Being informed of the cost of endodontic treatment for a pet is enough to make most of us feel faint. Antlers come in many shapes and sizes. Chewing antlers is very good for dogs in many ways. When trying antlers for dogs, you just want to make sure you always monitor your dog while chewing (don’t let them chew too aggressively for long periods of time) and if it’s a puppy with puppy teeth or an older dog with older teeth, maybe try a less dense antler, it will be easier on the teeth. Is this something that we can look up online? However, it isn’t necessary for a raw fed dog to eat very hard bones, such as antlers or the weight bearing leg bones of larger mammals. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs. Let’s take a closer look to find out if antlers are safe for dogs, and if they should be given as a chew. These antlers can be available through game processors or hunters, or hiking through the forest. They can be color or simply have one color in common with no pattern. Rule of paw: don’t buy any chew toy that you wouldn’t want to be whacked in the knee with. And many dogs seem to really like the taste. While antlers are hard, they can splinter and these pieces can become lodged in your dog’s mouth, throat, or stomach, causing damage as well as pain. Mercola Pet

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