Pros and Cons of Antlers for Dogs

The deer family has a special type of bone-like structure that is called antler, which regrows each year and expands into branches. They can be seen on the heads of over sixty different deer species, notably moose, reindeer, caribou, and elk.

Antlers develop solely on males (with the exception of female caribou, which also develop antlers), who utilize them as weapons in competition with other males for herd leadership or possession of a partner. Antlers from deer and elk are commonly used as dog chews because of their strength and durability.

There are also moose antlers available, but due to the fact that they are so flat, they do not make an ideal dog chew. From the moment they are a year old, deer generate a new set of antlers every year.

Antlers begin as layers of cartilage that gradually harden and harden to become bone-like structures. Until they harden in the fall by the process of mineralization, they are delicate and susceptible to damage.

Antlers develop quicker than any other type of bone, up to 1 inch a day in the summer. They start to branch out as they grow bigger and are protected in a thin skin of fine fur known as velvet.

At this point, the blood circulation to the antlers is cut off, and they start to stiffen. When the antlers have grown to their maximum size, the outer velvet covering dries down, and the deer rubs it off on trees. Ultimately, by the end of winter, the antlers fall off. However, in each subsequent year, new growth occurs on the antlers, making each year's antlers grow into additional points, which is the deer's prime.

Calcium, phosphorus, and up to 50 % moisture make up the rigid antlers. Antlers are incredible structures. Biologists are researching antlers in the hopes of unlocking the secrets of rapid cell development, which could lead to cancer therapies.

Antler chews come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Each one is unique, and your dog will appreciate the variety in his chews. Which antler is best for your dog depends on their tastes and how long you want them to chew.

Pros and Cons of Antlers for Dogs

Pros of Antlers for Dogs:

Elk and deer antlers are rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which means your dog is getting a boost in minerals that will help to reinforce bones and teeth in the long run. Antlers are extremely strong, and chewing on them can aid in removing plaque buildup away from your dog's teeth, boosting oral hygiene and tooth health. Chewing is a good habit for dogs on their own as a natural stress reliever. 

It's preferable to give your dog something that will benefit him while he's chewing instead of something precious like your furniture. Furthermore, research is still going on to find out some hidden benefits of antlers due to their unique structure and composition.

Too many synthetic foods are bad for your dog's health. Antlers are a more rational choice for a treat or chew because they originate straight from a deer or elk, rather than being created in a factory.

Cons of Antlers for Dogs:

The most serious disadvantage of dog antlers is the risk of tooth injury. Dog antlers are incredibly tough, and whenever you give your dog anything hard to chew on, you risk damaging their teeth. Dog antlers are one of the most expensive chews in the marketplace, costing anywhere from $20 to $60 for a premium quality antler.

There's a chance that an antler can shatter and split into smaller pieces if your dog chews on it. Those tiny fragments can become trapped in their mouths or throats (posing a choking threat) or in their intestines if swallowed (which can cause internal complications).

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