You should consider, though, that antlers and other excessively hard chews are a common cause of broken teeth in dogs. Broken teeth are extremely painful and can lead to abscesses and infections.
The short answer – yes, antlers are safe and dogs can chew on them! Deer andelk antlers are considered safer for dogs than rawhide, primarily due to the fact that they don't easily splinter and are an all-natural chew. Antlers are also an extremely long-lasting treat in comparison to other dog chews.
Antlers for dogs can last between six months to a year, making them long-lasting entertainment for your furry friend. However, during use, they might become damaged and weakened, at which point they should be discarded.
The dogs that appreciate chewing antlers the most are typically younger dogs that just love to chew. Chewing antlers is very good for dogs in many ways. It helps keep their teeth clean, expends energy, keeps dogs out of trouble and out from underfoot. Deer antlers for dogs are also full of nutrients such as calcium.
The main benefit of deer antlers is not only to keep your dog occupied - they also help to keep teeth clean by acting as a natural dental chew. Gnawing at the antler helps to remove plaque off your dog's teeth and therefore keep them clean and white.
The little round chunks of antler should be taken away from your dog if you notice one but because antlers are digestible, if swallowed they pose no health concern. Antlers are also much more durable than body bones meaning that your dog will ingest very little for the duration that they chew.
Always supervise your dog when he has an antler. Choose the right size – not one that is too small for your dog to swallow, yet not so large that they cannot chew on it easily. Remove the antler if he is becoming too aggressive with his gnawing to avoid dental fractures.
Do not give puppies any kind of antlers to chew on. (The high protein content can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.) And finally, if you do decide to give your dog an antler chew (or any other chew as well), always supervise them to keep them safe! No chew product is 100% safe and healthy for every dog.
Antlers are also high in protein, this too can cause stomach upset especially in young dogs.
Offer your dog some edible things to chew, like bully sticks, pig ears, rawhide bones, pig skin rolls or other natural chews. Dogs can sometimes choke on edible chews, especially if they bite off and swallow large hunks.
As a quick summary, one of the most common ways to soften a deer antler for your dog is to soak the antlers in water for 1 or 2 days, depending on how aggressive your dog chews. The longer that you soak the deer antler, the softer it will get.