Are Antlers Safe For Dogs To Chew On?

Updated: Feb 10, 2020


This is the number one question we get from potential customers- and for good reason! Who cares how much your dog loves a treat if it’s not good for them? Are antlers safe for dogs? The short answer is- YES! Antlers are great for dogs because they are all natural, do not splinter, long lasting, clean your dog’s teeth, and do not cause stomach upset.

For the details about why antlers are SO good for your dog and specific information on which dogs might not be the best candidates for antlers- keep reading.

Shop Our Antlers HERE

Naturally Shed

Our antlers are naturally shed from wild male elk, as females do not have antlers. This means that we do not harvest any elk for the purpose of obtaining their antlers. We also only use #1/Grade A elk antler. These two factors have two very important consequences that help ensure that our antlers are the safest possible.

First, antlers naturally grow very quickly and are initially soft, very vascular, and covered in skin called velvet. As the antler hardens at the base where it is connected to the skull, the velvet loses circulation, dies, and is sloughed off by the elk rubbing against trees. After the antlers harden they are used for sparing during mating season.

When companies use farmed elk for their antler source- those antlers are removed from the elk when they are still soft and covered in velvet- if the antlers were left on to harden, the farmer would risk their elk harming themselves and others when sparing. Giving your dog soft, velvet covered antlers poses a risk to your dog because they do not have the same durability and because the antler didn’t have time to have the blood supply cut off; the tissue (velvet) carries a much higher risk of contamination by bacteria that need the organic material to survive.

Secondly, using only the highest grade available ensures that our antlers are the freshest and most durable. Antlers that are left out in the elements (sun, wind, rain, and snow) start to break down and degrade. Old antlers are dull, chalky, white, and brittle. These antlers are not as durable, can more easily splinter, and lack the flavor your dog loves.

Using grade A naturally shed antlers is great for your dog because they are naturally very durable, are not easily degradable, carry a much smaller risk of contamination, and pose no impact to the elk who produce them.

Be informed about the source when choosing your antlers, opt for the highest quality naturally shed from wild elk like us, click HERE to shop. These will be the healthiest, longest lasting, and safest chews for your dog.

All Natural

Antlers are naturally delicious to dogs. They love the marrow on the inside of fresh antlers because all the vascularization that was present while the antlers were growing has dried up inside and the dog can smell/taste it as they chew. When antlers are left out in the wild, other animals will find them and chew on them- like wolves, mink, mice, and even birds.

We do not have to add any chemicals, dyes, or preservatives to make our antlers more enticing to dogs or to make them last longer.

Some companies have started using older antlers and adding flavorings to them. This introduces a contamination risk and increased liklihood of stomach upset as you dog will have a hard time digesting the preserves used.

Make sure that when you are choosing antlers that they are high quality without any additives to mask the deteriorated condition of the antler, your dog should ONLY chew grade A/#1 antlers.