Are Elk Antlers Safe for Dogs?

by Whitney Lowell
    Antlers make a great chew for dogs.

    Antlers make a great chew for dogs.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    Antlers are made of a bone-like material that regenerates and branches out more each year. Each summer they grow up to an inch longer, and every winter, the antlers fall off. These hardened antlers are composed of calcium, phosphorus and up to 50 percent water, making them a great chew for dogs.

    Dogs have been chewing on antlers for thousands of years, well before they were domesticated and brought into our homes. They're natural and the elk doesn't have to be killed for their antlers. Solid elk antlers won't splinter or shred while your dog is chewing, and they're composed of calcium and other minerals, making them a healthy choice for your dog. You'll also find that elk antlers don't stain or smell, and they last much longer than other bones and chew treats on the market.

    Whether your provide your dog an elk antler or another chew treat, you want to make sure your dog is safe. The main concerns with elk antlers is that dogs may break a tooth or choke. You can prevent any mishaps by supervising your dog. Don't allow him to bear down with his molars, and take the antler away when your dog has a piece that's small enough for him to try to swallow. Antlers wear down slowly, lasting weeks and months; keep an eye out as the antler wears down, and take it away if you notice too much wear.

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    About the Author

    Whitney Lowell has been writing online since 2007. She writes for a variety of online publications and researches a wide range of topics and niches. Lowell has experience with animal rescues, dog training, pet health, raising and breeding reptiles, as well as home businesses, inventory, accounting, and finance.

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