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.”. Even raw bones can cause broken teeth. Frequently, anecdotal evidence involves a pet owner observing either illness or improving health after a particular event. No, deer antlers are not completely safe for dogs. So what is it about antlers that dogs and other animals enjoy? Like broken bones, broken teeth may often, but not always, have dramatic symptoms. The Veterinary Nurse 2017, Bellows, J. 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. As mentioned before, when it comes to the safety of antlers for dogs, there is neither much evidence, nor much research. They can be color or simply have one color in common with no pattern. A. I also saw Yak Milk treats. Multiple sizes available with free p&p on all orders. Any treatment that is needed will need to take place under a general anesthetic. Antler chews are also full of nutrients such as calcium. 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. I believe that hard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves and antlers are too hard to be safe for most dogs. While my dog Luke was all smiles about chewing on an antler, the results were nothing to smile about. Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs – Does It Really Work? In other words, if your dog breaks a tooth, you are guaranteed a very expensive trip to the vet. And there’s divided opinions on deer antlers for dogs versus elk antlers for dogs, and other varieties. Not only are these safe for your pups, they're actually the perfect choice for aggressive chewers, puppies, and large dogs. If we go into the specifics, though, we think a few dogs can manage them. Find out if deer and elk antlers are safe chew treats for your dog. But they will still likely chew on the rest of it, so it doesn’t take away the concern about broken 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. The truth is, there is a huge downside to hard chew toys. This may look like it will save you money on a weekly trip to the animal store for new chews. 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. Does My Dog Love Me: Signs Your Dog Loves You, Labernese – A Complete Guide To The Bernese Mountain Dog Lab Mix. 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. 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. What is your take? We do also need to consider that nutrients and taste are not the only reason dogs like antlers. That event might be the consumption of a particular drug, plant, or chemical. Your vet may disagree! Because in this instance I believe that the anecdotal evidence we have here is quite useful. 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. All our products are locally sourced, natural and cruelty free. Dogs love to chew and, given the choice, they will clamp down on almost anything, whether it is good or bad for them. But the potential problems remain. 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. You may have heard that cows’ horns are made from a substance called keratin, similar to your own nails and hair. I am so glad I read this. Beyond a blockage, there is a risk that it could puncture the delicate tissues of the digestive tract. © Copyright 2020 WorldDeer.org. 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. When this happens, it usually means that there aren’t any such sources! The best advice is to speak to your vet. 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. That’s quite a large proportion of dogs! There are also puzzle feeders that will help immensely to tire Fido out. And many dogs seem to really like the taste. The dogs that appreciate chewing antlers the most are young dogs and dogs that just love to chew. I must admit she enjoys the hell out of it! Generally deer antlers are stronger than other types of chew material. It is best to avoid any chew toys that have been treated with chemicals or other sprays to make them last longer. And that is a conservative estimate. You need to make a judgement call on behalf of your pet. Chose from whole or split antlers in sizes small, medium, large, xl, xxl, xxxl and xxxxl. Anecdotal evidence is the accumulated observations of people, rather than properly controlled clinical trials. It is also important that the chew toy you choose never fits completely into your dogs mouth. Or after the application of some form of alternative therapy or product such as ‘body wraps’ for example. So it may seem that there are more antlers to go around. $15.99 $ 15. And a great many websites promoting antlers for dog. 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. Antlers are also known to improve a dog’s coat. Rule of paw: don’t buy any chew toy that you wouldn’t want to be whacked in the knee with. This is why most veterinarians advise dog owners against giving antlers or other hard materials as a chew treat. Antlers for dogs should not be removed during walks or playtime. 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. Aggressive chewers, for example. Are Antlers safe for dogs to chew? So it is with dogs that suffer major tooth fractures while chewing on very hard objects. Currently, there is some disagreement as to whether or not antlers are safe for your dog to chew. Let’s take a look at what antlers are made from and how tough they are. 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. 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. But only a little. ARE Antlers Safe for Dogs? 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. /*footer link color*/a.footer {color: #D1B180;}/*footer hover link color*/a.footer:hover {color: #D1C580;}. Anecdotal evidence can be a tricky subject. Selecting chew toys that are softer or have some flexibility can help. 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. Being informed of the cost of endodontic treatment for a pet is enough to make most of us feel faint. In fact, any hard chew material you select will come with the same risks, such as bone or rawhide. This is how teeth are broken or gums are lacerated. Unwrapping an antler for the first time to hand to your doggo … The main concern for most pet owners and vets is the hardness of antlers and whether they will damage a dog’s teeth. Frustratingly, neither of these sites, nor any of the others I visited, link to any credible sources of research on this topic. 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. Antlers are an excellent tool for dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 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. Before you do that, it is worth considering the outcome of a tooth fracture for your dog. Deer antlers: a zoological curiosity or the key to understanding organ regeneration in mammals? There could be another cause. Sure, you already know your dog should not be chewing your favorite pair of shoes, but are deer antlers safe for dogs? And rather like the discussion on raw food, it’s one that even vets don’t always agree on. Antlers are rock hard, and strong chewing dogs will bite down on antlers with all their might. 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. Come and say hello! Let’s dig a little deeper into the safety issues. 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. They can break their teeth on anything, just like humans. Is this something that we can look up online? You can also join in a discussion on this topic over on the forum. Some antlers will be harder than others, while there are also different textures. a fact sheet for dog owners on avoiding tooth fractures. Antlers are also an extremely long-lasting treat in comparison to other dog chews.. You can choose from whole and split antlers. 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. Antlers, however, are rather different. The main discussion seems to be about deer antlers for dogs. It helps keep their teeth clean, and it expends energy and keeps the dog out of trouble and out from under foot. Let’s take a closer look to find out if antlers are safe for dogs, and if they should be given as a chew. Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. Oral health benefits of a daily dental chew in dogs. Reindeer are interesting in that they are the only deer family in which both males and females grow antlers. We ensure that all our health articles are evidence-based, and factual claims are supported by research. Numerous veterinary sites on the internet claim that chewing on deer antlers can cause dental fractures in dogs. In fact, man-made materials can often be safer for chewing provided they are manufactured to adhere to safety standards. Will the antlers ever powder in the gut causing a bowel obstruction – similar to what dry, white bones can cause? After being shed, antlers are often picked up and gnawed by wild animals. Perfect as dog chews, taxidermy, crafts etc. 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. You can also gently boil or blanch antlers to soften them and to eliminate any septic bacteria. This same toughness can be quite dangerous for your dog. In the UK, for example, shed antlers will sometimes have mouse tooth marks in them. 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. Just like with dental side effects, these problems are not exclusive to antlers. 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 turn our attention to the vets who are telling us what they are seeing in their surgeries. 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. Deer antlers might be the treat your doggo’s been chewing in his dreams. You are not going to see much change from $1000. It depends. The safety (or not) of antlers for dogs is an interesting subject. Weigh up the pros and cons of antler dog chews for yourself. 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. Well, while deer antlers are an interesting chew material for fido, there are some things you need to consider. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs. There are figures on the incidence of tooth fractures in dogs. 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. 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. They are widely sold as toys, enrichment activities, and to divert dogs from destructive chewing on household items like shoes or furniture. Antlers are very hard indeed. New antlers also reproduce every year in a highly sustainable cycle. Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall. Assess the risks, and decide on your dog’s behalf. 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. Chewing antlers is very good for dogs in many ways. 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. However, good luck in the past is no guarantee of safety in the future. Yes, antlers can hurt dogs. The fact is, we just don’t know for sure. I do not advise using deer antlers as dog chews. However, the weight of opinion seems to be falling into the NO camp. Some owners have been giving antlers to the dog for years without incident. Safe for dog: Greenies chews. A rubber Kong filled with frozen goodies like peanut butter or broth can last a while. First, let’s talk about different types of antlers, and whether that makes a difference in the safety of antlers for dogs. Chewing on dog antler treats isn’t any different then dogs chewing on other bones or hard substances. Does the dog in your life have a cat in theirs? 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. 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. Deer antlers aren’t completely safe for dogs – there are risks that can be very expensive to treat. 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.”. Typically, elk antlers are a little softer and easier on the teeth than deer antler dog chews. Including toys, bone, and antlers. The general consensus is, “Better safe than sorry.”. Well, antlers are a source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Plus, strong chewing dogs will whittle down … To make deer antlers palatable and safe, soak them for a day or two in water or dog safe broth. 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. Deer antlers don’t make a mess, they don’t smell, and all dogs love to chew on them. Well done article, thank you for staying fact based! Why Do Dogs Eat Grass And Is Eating Grass Bad For Them? 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. But you can’t just sit a dog in the dentist’s chair and ask him to open wide. Some may think that it is OK to take off antlers while walking with children. Antler, the part of the animal that supplies warmth, is also the part that the animal has an appetite for. There is also the chance that the damage has extended to the tooth pulp and the gums. Elk or Deer Antlers. For example, moose antlers are softer than others (such as the hard elk antlers). And this problem can be made worse if your dog is an aggressive chewer. It’s also worth remembering that there are different types of antlers in the animal kingdom. They are a bony outgrowth of the animal’s skull and are quite unique in that respect. 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. Do Midges Bite Dogs? They don’t shard and splinter, so they seem to be safer than leftover bones from your cooked meat. But, antlers for dogs can cause more problems than they solve. They think if it occurs in nature it should be good for the dog to chew and consume. 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