How to Choose the Best Antler Chews for Your Best Furry Friend

Updated: July 12, 2022

Have you been hearing more about antler dog chews and seeing them pop up on pet store shelves in your local town or city? Knowing that other dog chews are not safe for pets, like rawhide chews, are you wondering if it’s okay to give antler dog chews to your best furry friend?

Yes, it is more than okay… PROVIDED YOU GIVE THEM THE RIGHT ONES! In this article I want to talk about which antler chews are high quality and very safe for your dog, and which should be avoided at all costs.

best elk antlers for dogs

Do You Know Your Cervids?

Cervids are a group of mammals that include elk, whitetail deer, caribou, moose and mule deer, among others. You will instantly recognize that all of these animals have antlers! But, not all of these antlers are created equally. And this is really important to understand when it comes time to select a quality and safe dog chew.

The two most common antler chews you will see on the market are made from either whitetail deer or elk. Pet Parents® sells only premium elk antler chews and deer antlers for good reason. 

Certain antlers can be too hard for pets and pose more danger in terms of chipping a tooth. You will also want to make sure that your antlers are raw, rather than cooked to prevent splintering. Do not give your dogs cooked antlers as they can chip into pieces much easier and become dangerous.

"Elk antlers are only as good (and as SAFE) as the grade they are."

Elk antler chews are softer and offer nutritious core marrow. These raw antlers are far less likely to splinter or break your dog’s teeth, so are worry-free chews that are likely to last a long time. That is, if they are processed correctly.

best antlers for dogs

Understand What Grade of Elk Antler You Are Buying

Elk antlers are only as good (and as SAFE) as the grade they are. It’s awful to think about, but there are some unscrupulous characters in the pet products industry that are more than happy to pass off low quality products for high quality products in order to pocket the cash.

Elk antlers that are only grade B/C/D are often passed off as premium. But these lesser quality chews are typically weathered white and are often cracked and prone to splintering. They are also generally devoid of any nutritional benefits.

Lesser grade antler chews are always a cheaper choice. Buyer beware of any chew that claims to be premium elk antlers but is priced super low. That should always be a red flag for you that these chews are most likely either an overly processed elk antler or worse, a deer antler.

The higher the grade of antler, the more expensive, because the fewer antlers of this quality are available. Understand that premium elk antlers are rather hard to come by. Each year, only so many elk in the United States will naturally shed their antlers. It is premium Grade A antlers that are derived from these fresh, brown antler sheds, these are the best antlers for dogs to chew on in terms of elk antlers.

But only about 10-15% of the antlers on the market are actually from this premium group. These elk antlers offer peace of mind because they are softer and also offer a lot of the beneficial minerals that antler chews are known for.

Grade B antlers are obviously of a lesser quality, but these make up a bulk of the so-called “high-end” antler chews that you’ll currently find on the market. Grade B antlers are typically known as “hard white” chews and are not fresh, but usually two-year-old weathered antlers. These will be dried out and easily splinter. They most likely have also been exposed to some kind of outside rodent activity (other critters besides your dog love to chew on these). But thanks to good marketing, these lesser grade chews are passed off each year as “premium”.

And don’t even get us started on Grades C and D antler chews. Sadly, these chews are absolutely the worst for your furry best friend, yet you can find many of these on store shelves at some of the biggest pet chain stores in the country. These lesser quality chews are so old, they can look and feel chalky white and easily crack and splinter, making them dangerous for your dog.

Trust Pet Parents® Gnawtlers® for your Pet

We are pet parents ourselves. We would never DREAM of selling anything that could potentially harm someone’s family members. That is why we offer only the highest quality of elk antlers.

Our Gnawtlers® elk and deer antlers are specially selected from Grade A premium raw elk and deer 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 Gnawtlers® are up to Gnawtlers® standards.

And, all of our products are given to our pets before production, so we know they will hold up to actual use by your pets. We only want the best antlers for dogs, our and yours. That is why we follow meticulous safety standards to provide a safe chewing experience.

We hope this gives you peace of mind.

Have any other questions about our elk antler chews? Give us a shout. We are always more than happy to help our customers make the absolute best choices for their pets.

"Our Gnawtlers® elk and deer antlers are specially selected from Grade A premium raw elk antler for their weight, density, color, & shape."