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Pet Column: Deer antlers make great chew toys

Olive enjoys a deer antler. Photo by Elle Williams.

By Elle Williams   
Pet Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider  

Many of us dog owners know the frustration of finding a chew toy that lasts. Some dogs show no interest in chew toys, while others go through even the toughest chew toy in a matter of minutes.

So what if I told you there’s a toy that takes my two pit bulls months to chew through? Let me introduce you to naturally shed, un-cooked deer antlers!

Deer antlers are one of the toughest materials that are healthy for a dog to chew. Because they are naturally shed, no deer is harmed in the collection of its antlers. The best part is that they are filled with super yummy bone marrow, dogs go crazy for the opportunity to get some of that tasty goodness.

Because the marrow is so tempting, dogs will spend hours at a time chewing away at the antler’s tough outsides in order to receive that ultimate reward. Another plus, it’s good for keeping their teeth clean.

From my experience, the average 7-inch antler lasts two to three months. The cost per antler is roughly $20, and well worth it. Clients of mine who thought they would never find a match for their dogs love of chewing have given me nothing but positive feedback in regards to their dog’s experience with deer antlers. So if you’re looking for the ultimate chew toy, consider buying a deer antler for your super chewer.

Antlers are recommended for younger to middle aged dogs with healthy teeth. Breeds that are known for having issues with their teeth are also advised not to chew antlers. Consult with your vet if you have any concerns regarding giving your dog antlers as a chew toy.

Elle Williams is a local in-home dog trainer and the owner of Give a Sit Dog Training. She is certified in dog psychology, nutrition, and grooming, and specializes in basic and advanced obedience, puppy prep, and behavior adjustment training.

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