The True Story about Deer Antlers - Are they good or bad for your Pet?
The Deer Antler Cycle
Antler shedding is an annual renewable resource for Deer which simply put means that the Deer sheds its antlers every year, this is due to hormone fluctuations which stimulate the shedding and once shed new ones start to re grow. A totally natural amazing process. Antler can grow in some cases up to 2 inches per day. The new antler is covered in a fuzzy skin which we call velvet. This eventually hardens usually at the end of summer. The Deer will rub against trees shrubs and rocks to help remove the velvet which is most sought after by the Asian market for its medicinal purposes.
Wild Dogs and Cats have been knawing on Deer Antler for hundreds of years, domesticated pets have just rediscovered their natural health benefits!
How do you tell the difference between naturally shed antler and killed deer antler?
In a lot of cases it may be very hard to tell, but this can only be done by looking at the end cap or bur of the antler. It should have a cauliflower look to it as pictured above the flat surface or underside of the cap/bur should be rough in texture. If it is not and it is smooth this might be cap or bur has bone entering the deer skull plate as pictured below. The antler has been cut from the skull plate. And then sanded.
Myths about Deer Antler
Cracking Teeth.. Truth or Not..
Deer Antler can Crack teeth yes….. BUT …… yes there’s a but they will only do this is there already an issue and weakness in the pet’s teeth to begin with. Just like human we need to look after our teeth if we don’t then decay sets in and the teeth weaken. This is true of our pet’s teeth also. If we eat hard nuts lollies or other tuff food stuffs and our teeth have been compromised through decay illness etc. our teeth will crack, so do our pets teeth. So the sooner we realise teeth health is important, the stronger whiter our pet’s teeth will be and this will lead to better overall health of your pet.
Deer Antler shards…..
Deer antler will not shard like cooked or uncooked bone if it is intact. Some Deer antler is cut vertically or commonly known as split antler. This compromises the antler, it weakens it. Thus the outer layer of the antler can and might just shard.
If you choose to give your pet split antler then do not leave pet alone with antler. Supervise chewing times to avoid choking hazards and ingestion of antler shards. Just like you would pigs ears other treats or toys.
Benefits of deer antlers for your pets.
Firstly choose the right size for your pet. Deer antler is sized in weight not length and size ranges are from:
XSMALL 20g -45g cat and tea cup breed dogs
SMALL 50g- 90g small breed dogs
MEDIUM 100g -140g medium breed dogs
LARGE 150g –190g Large breed dogs
Custom sized Giant breed dogs
If you have a pet that is a veracious chewer then go up in size.
Antlers make excellent chews for your pet as they are made up of marrow wrapped in a bony material . Just like bones, but the advantage with Antlers is
No meat on bone to get stuck in-between teeth and start rotting which in turn causes decay.
No Sharding (unless split antler)
No Smell therefore do not attract ants or other pests.
Pets Don’t normally want to bury
No Mess so great inside and outside chew
Long lasting weeks and months in some cases – being knawed and worn down
High in taste
Keeps dogs occupied in or outside -various shapes and sizes
High Nutritional Value - rich in calcium, zinc, phosphorous, iron, magnesium and potassium
So what are you waiting for go get an antler for your pet….