This is a very good question! And a complicated one to answer... keep reading!
The short answer is- yes, antlers can go bad. If left in the sun, in moisture, or otherwise contaminated in the elements an antler can go bad- especially a split.
Alternatively- an antler itself is naturally well preserved and never really 'goes bad'. Like those trophy antler mounts you'd see in a rustic lodge from many many years ago- the antlers are the same as the day they hung that up on the wall!
At summit antler chews- we cut all of our antlers to order, it takes a little bit longer but it is worth it to us to make sure that your dog is getting the freshest antler dog chews available.
Once you receive your antler- it should last your dog weeks and maybe even months without noticing much change, other than your dogs chew marks! If you notice an odor or some other indicator that the antler has been contaminated- please discard, its time for a new one!
To prevent possible contaminations- keep the antlers dry and out of direct sun! I keep my dogs antlers in his toy basket in our living room. It keeps it off the floor so I don't step on them, and he has fun digging through his toys to find it! For dogs that chew outdoors- make sure that you retrieve your antler from the yard before it bakes in the sun or is hit with sprinklers for extended periods of time!
Happy chewing! And as always- please supervise your dog while he chews!
To shop our selection of grade A, fresh cut antlers- please click the button below