DID YOU KNOW? Antler sheds are not created equal! Density of the antler is impacted by many factors, including nutrition, animal habitat, climate and simply by animal. From strongest to softest generally: Moose (base); deer; elk, moose paddle.
I have two big dogs that I would consider to be “super chewers,” Bart and Biscuit. Bart is an American Staffordshire Terrier that loves to chew – I can’t buy stuffies because they last about five minutes – I’ve had good luck with synthetic rope, Kongs, Playology, and Westpaw brand toys. But none of those really clean a dog’s teeth and today this was my reasoning for buying a dense chew. I purchased a couple of antler chunks at my local doggie nutrition store. I didn’t think much about what kind of antler I was purchasing other than wanting something dense, that would last long enough for the boys to chew chew chew over the course of a couple of days or so that would scrape the plaque off their teefies. I simply looked over the different kinds available – moose, deer, elk antler from the baskets, picking up each one, feeling it’s weight and density, looking at its overall thickness and size. Of course, the price too – (they’re spendy!). I chose two chunks of “moose antler” ($25 each!) and headed home to surprise the boys.
Antler benefits –
- Dogs love to chew – it’s just natural
- Antlers provide important nutrients, help keep their teeth clean from plaque and promote gum health.
- Keeps them busy for hours, entertainment from boredom, teething puppies and super chewers, and it might even keep your shoes and furniture safe!
- Antlers will not stain carpet and will not interfere with a dogs natural digestion
- Replace the bone when it becomes small enough for them to swallow it and just get a new one. Don’t risk them choking on it please!
The boys loved them of course and immediately began gnawing on the antlers. A short hour later I checked on Biscuit – he had completely eaten his antler – only soft crumbly chunks resembling course sand/rocks remained on the floor. I was shocked to see that he’d eaten the entire 3x3x2 antler that fast. Dogs can’t eat an antler chunk in an hour! I was convinced of it! Moose paddle is very porous, which makes it lighter for the animal to carry, but also less dense. Less density means if you have a power chewer like I do, it’ll be gone in no time. Biscuit finished off his hunk of moose paddle in about an hour.
I dug the label from the trash and as it turns out, what I had purchased was a moose antler, but it wasn’t identified on the label what section of the antler I was purchasing – so buyer beware! The moose paddle section is the softest, more porous antler type you can buy. It was not the type of antler I wanted – and for $25 bucks I was disappointed it didn’t last longer.