Antler chews are popular dog treats and you’ve probably seen them sold in your local pet store. But what exactly are antler dog chews? Are they good for your dog? What is the difference between split and whole antler chews?
We’re glad you asked!
What are Antler Chews Exactly?
Antler chews are exactly what they sound like. Made from the antlers of either deer or elk, these particular dog chews provide hours of entertainment for your dog along with nutrition, as the middle of the antler is filled with mineral-rich marrow, much like in bones.
And don't worry, no animals are harmed when harvesting antlers. Each year deer and elk shed their antlers naturally, and people then go out into forests all around the country collecting them for processing.
Are Antler Chews Good for Your Dog?
The quick answer is yes – the longer answer is – as long as you select the right one. Not all antlers are created equal, and while some chews are safe and nutritious for your furry best friend, others are bereft of any nutrients and downright dangerous for your dog.
There are two common antler chews on the market - elk and deer antler chews. Of the two, Pet Parents® sells only the chews made from elk antlers, and here’s why:
Whitetail deer antlers are incredibly hard. Like, teeth-breaking hard. Because of this hardness, these deer antlers can not only potentially chip or crack your dog’s teeth, but also splinter, causing your dog to swallow shards of bone. In this way, whitetail antler chews are much like cooked chicken or beef bones, something you NEVER want to give your pets because of the splintering and choking hazard.
Beyond this, deer antler chews offer very little of the beneficial core marrow we mentioned earlier.
Elk antler chews are very different. Not only are they much softer and gentler on your dog’s teeth (and much less likely to splinter,) they also offer a very nutritious core marrow.
But, while elk antler chews are the far superior choice, it’s important that you choose premium grade elk antlers. Sadly, there are plenty of shady companies in the pet industry that try and pass off low quality antlers for high quality. While they pocket the cash, your pet suffers from ingredients that are harmful.
Most elk antler chews on the market are only grade B, C or even D. These lower quality chews are typically weathered white and are often cracked and prone to splintering. They are also generally devoid of any nutritional benefits.
Be very wary when shopping for antler chews for your dog. If you see one that is marked “premium” yet is priced very low, you can almost bet your bottom dollar that it is either an overly-processed elk antler or worse, a deer antler. Yes, premium elk antlers are more expensive, and they should be. They are a superior choice for your dog and one that is safer and more nutritious.
Whole VS Split Antler Chews – Which are Better?
As far as being better or healthier for your dog, there is no real difference. You may find your dog takes faster to a split antler chew, because that delicious marrow core is exposed, so dogs tend to dig right in. Having said that, split chews won’t last as long as whole chews, for obvious reasons, and whole chews are a bit more durable than splits.
The bottom line is, to determine which antler chews – split or whole – will be better for you dog, you have to know your dog very well. If your dog is a small breed that only chews a little bit here and there, then split chews will be more than adequate. If, on the other hand, you have a larger breed that is an aggressive chewer and can go long sessions working the antler, you will definitely want to go with a whole elk antler.
Why Buy Your Antler Chews from Pet Parents®?
Pet Parents® is a company made up of pet parents just like you. We strive to design & create products that make our pets happy & in addition make yours happy as well.
Our elk antlers are not your average elk antlers. To begin with, our elk antlers are specially selected from Grade A premium raw elk antler for their weight, density, color, & shape. From there, they are meticulously sorted, weighed, cut, sanded, vacuum sealed, & labeled becoming Gnawtlers®. Our pieces are scrutinized from their original raw form laying on the forest ground all the way to your home & your pup to ensure your Gnawtler® is up to Gnawtler® standards.
Beyond this, all of our products are given to our pets before production, so we know they will hold up to actual use by your pets. Because of this, all of our products are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.
This means you can feel good about giving your dog our elk antler chews because they are safe, delicious, and nutritious.
Have any other questions? We’d be more than happy to answer them, so get in touch with us today.