Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Treat Tuesday: Antlers!

Deer antler are natural, unprocessed chews that are long-lasting and safe. They are available from many different manufacturers in many different sizes and shapes. Availability varies based on your location. If you live in a place where deer hunting is common, you might be able to buy them at a farmer's market or from your neighbors. If you live on the beach in California where hunters (and deer) are few and far between, you may have to actually go to a pet store.
Photo by Erin Koski

I bought an antler for Brisbane when he was a tiny, evil puppy. He chewed it off and on before finally ignoring it. I paid $20 for that 6" chunk of deer, so I kept it around even when I donated many other unloved dog toys.

Ru has occasionally discovered the antler and given a good chew before burying it in the couch. Ulysses also enjoyed chewing it. It's worth noting that the original antler is now almost a decade old. Up until the foster puppies got a hold of it, the original antler showed very little wear.
Photo by Erin Koski

The antler in these pictures is one I got from a local pet store that sells them by the pound. Here on Planet California, deer antlers can be very expensive. This one was $6, which is crazy cheap.

I'm told the best antlers come from elk. The softest have large porous marrow centers, which makes them softer and less likely to crack teeth. The soft ones get eaten faster.

Good For: Puppies. Dogs that like to chew for fun. Dogs that like novel toys.

Not Good For: Dogs that only chew things they can eat (including Brisbane, who was bribed with peanut butter to get these pictures. Dogs that chew really, really hard.

How Much We Like Them: I only bought one in ten years because it lasted ten years. I'll be looking for even softer antlers now.


  1. I heard Moose is the softest of the Deer, Elk and Moose types of antlers, however they are crazy expensive (at least in CA that I've seen anyway)

  2. I've never even seen moose antlers for sale down here!