Why Antlers Make Great Dog Chews
Dogs have been gnawing on bones for nearly as long as dogs have existed. Antlers are one of the best types of bones you can give to your dog chewing. Not all antlers are equal, and it is probably a good idea to know the differences between different types before buying.
Antlers come from many different animals, but only males grow them. Different types of antlers that make good dog chews are deer, elk, and caribou. Other antlers that can be used as dog chews include reindeer and moose antlers, but those that come from moose are quite flat and your dog may lose interest them quickly or have difficulties gnawing on them.
Antlers have similar oral care benefits as other items, such as rawhide or artificially shaped bones that are designed for canine teeth care. The difference is that antlers also provide certain substances that can be difficult to properly introduce into a dogs diet without feeding them meats.
Such substances include phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium. In addition to these, the marrow inside an antler is a great source of protein for your dog. Those that prefer to give their dogs a diet that is, if not vegan, mostly vegetarian. However, just like with people, protein is important for dogs and antlers come with a cruelty level of zero.
While a small number of antlers are obtained from hunters, the majority are collected during the season when they naturally fall off. Generally speaking, most antlers will come from wild animals so it is impossible to give them the organic label. Those that come from elk or deer farms that have had their animals certified as organic may sell their antlers as such.
Generally speaking, antlers are a far more cost effective way to help your dogs dental hygiene, protein and calcium intake and its love of chewing than choosing a commercially made product. In fact, if you happen to live in an area known for antler-bearing wildlife, you could harvest your own antlers in the autumn at no cost except a little effort spent in walking.
Some dogs, usually older ones, may be a little picky when presented with an antler for chewing if theyve never seen them before. Most dogs, however, love them and will stick to chewing only the antler instead of other items, like your shoes.
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