Antler chews for dogs have gained popularity over recent years, as pet owners seek out natural and healthy options for their dogs. A question that is often asked by those new to antler chews is "are antler chews healthy for dogs?" These durable and long-lasting dog chews can provide a range of potential health benefits. In this article, we'll explore in detail some of the top health benefits of antler chews for dogs, as well as tips for selecting and using these treats safely and effectively.
1. Dental Health
One of the primary benefits of antler chews for dogs is their potential to promote dental health. Dogs' teeth are prone to accumulating plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. Chewing on hard objects like antler chews can help to scrape away this buildup and keep teeth clean and healthy.
Antler chews are particularly effective for dental health because they are dense and durable, allowing dogs to gnaw on them for extended periods of time. This chewing action helps to remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas of the teeth and gums, promoting a cleaner and healthier mouth.
In addition to promoting dental health, antler chews can also help to strengthen dogs' jaw muscles and improve their bite force. This can be especially beneficial for dogs that are prone to dental issues or that have weaker jaw muscles, as it can help to prevent further problems and improve their overall oral health.
2. Nutritional Value
In addition to their dental benefits, antler chews also offer a range of nutritional benefits for dogs. Antlers are a natural source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, which are essential for strong bones, teeth, and overall health.
Unlike many commercial dog treats, which are often filled with artificial ingredients and preservatives, antler chews are a natural and healthy option for dogs. They contain no added chemicals or artificial flavors, making them a safer and healthier alternative to many processed treats.
Antlers also contain a variety of other nutrients and vitamins that can benefit dogs' health. For example, they are rich in glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen, which are natural compounds that can help to support joint and ligament health and reduce inflammation. This makes antler chews a great option for dogs that are prone to joint problems or that suffer from arthritis.
Another advantage of antler chews for dogs is their durability and longevity. Unlike soft or chewy treats, which can be devoured in seconds, antler chews are designed to last for weeks or even months, depending on the size and chewing habits of your dog.
This long-lasting quality makes antler chews a great option for dogs that are prone to boredom or destructive behavior. Chewing on an antler can provide hours of entertainment and mental stimulation, helping to keep dogs happy and engaged even when they're alone or bored.
In addition to promoting mental stimulation, antler chews can also help to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs. Chewing on hard objects like antlers can provide a sense of comfort and security, helping to calm nervous or anxious dogs and promote relaxation.
4. Safe for Digestion
Antler chews are made from an all-natural and renewable resource, making them a safe and eco-friendly option for dogs. They are also considered safe for digestion, provided they are used correctly and supervised appropriately. You will find guidelines on using antler chews safely and effectively below. Please be sure to follow these guidelines closely when giving your dog antler chews.
Another advantage of antler chews is that they are an allergen-free option for dogs. Many dogs suffer from food allergies or sensitivities, which can make it difficult to find appropriate treats or chews that won't cause digestive upset or allergic reactions.
Antler chews are a natural and hypoallergenic option for dogs, making them a great choice for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. They contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and are unlikely to cause allergic reactions or digestive issues in most dogs.
6. Mental Stimulation
In addition to their physical benefits, antler chews can also provide a range of mental benefits for dogs. Chewing on an antler can help to relieve stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and provide a sense of comfort and security.
Antler chews can also provide a valuable outlet for dogs to express their natural chewing instincts. Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and can help to relieve boredom, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote mental stimulation and engagement.
For dogs that are prone to destructive behavior or that struggle with separation anxiety, antler chews can provide a valuable tool for managing these issues. By providing a safe and healthy outlet for chewing, antler chews can help to redirect destructive behavior and provide dogs with a sense of comfort and security when left alone.
7. Odor-Free and Clean
Antler chews for dogs are odor-free and clean. You will never have to worry about cleaning up after a dog has been chewing on an antler and you will never have to worry about any bad smells created from the antler chew. They are an incredibly clean and odor-free chew option for dogs.
Antler chews come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, making them a versatile option for dogs of all sizes and chewing habits. Whether you have a small, medium, or large breed dog, or a dog with a strong or light chewing habit, there is an antler chew that is suitable for your dog.
Tips for Using Antler Chews Safely and Effectively
While antler chews offer a myriad of health benefits for dogs, it's important to use them safely and effectively to avoid any potential risks or issues. Also, if your dog has any dental problems or jaw issues, it may be best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing antler chews as a regular part of your dog’s diet. Here are some additional tips for using antler chews safely and effectively:
1. Choose the Right Size: It's important to choose an antler chew that is appropriate for your dog's size and chewing habits. An antler chew that is too small can pose a choking hazard, while a chew that is too large can be difficult for your dog to handle or chew effectively. Please reference the Mountain Wild antler chew sizing chart below to help select the right size antler chew for your dog.
2. Supervise Chewing: To prevent choking or other issues, it's important to supervise your dog while they are chewing on an antler. If an antler chew develops sharp edges, splinters or becomes small enough to swallow, you should discard it immediately for the safety of your dog.
3. Rotate Chews: To prevent boredom and maintain interest, it's a good idea to rotate your dog's antler chews regularly. This can help to keep them engaged and interested in their chews, and prevent them from becoming too attached to a particular chew.
4. Store Safely: When not in use, it's important to store antler chews in a safe and secure location, away from other pets or children. This can help to prevent your dog from obtaining the antler chew without you knowing.
As you can see, antler chews can provide a range of potential health benefits for dogs, including improved dental health, nutritional value, mental stimulation, and more. At Mountain Wild, we collect the naturally shed antlers from wild roaming elk and deer that we find throughout the Rocky Mountain Wilderness and hand cut and hand sand them into the highest quality dog antler chews. The extra effort we make in hand sanding all of the edges of the cut antlers provide your dog with the safest and most enjoyable antler chew experience. We offer both whole and split antler chews, which allow immediate access to the bone marrow that dogs love. We also offer a wide range of antler chew sizes for the safest and most enjoyable antler chew experience for your dog.