Antlers are made of a bone-like material that regenerates each year. Each summer, an elk's antlers grow up to an inch longer, and every winter, the antlers fall off naturally, so no elk are harmed in the process of obtaining them for the pet industry. These hardened antlers are composed of calcium, phosphorus and up to 50 percent water, making them a great chew for dogs.
Are Elk Antlers Safe for Dogs?
Dogs Love Antlers
Well before they were domesticated and brought into our homes, dogs have been chewing on antlers. Solid elk antlers won't splinter or shred while your dog is chewing, and they're composed of calcium and other minerals, making them a healthy choice for your dog. You'll also find that elk antlers don't stain or smell, and they last much longer than other bones and chew treats on the market.
Keep Your Dog Safe
Whether you provide your dog an elk antler or another chew treat, you want to make sure your dog is safe. The main concern with elk antlers is that dogs may break a tooth or choke. You can prevent any mishaps by supervising your dog. Don't allow him to bear down with his molars, and take the antler away when your dog has a piece that's small enough for him to try to swallow. Antlers wear down slowly, lasting weeks and months; keep an eye out as the antler wears down, and take it away and replace it if you notice too much wear.
By Whitney Lowell
About the Author
Whitney Lowell has been writing online since 2007. She writes for a variety of online publications and across a wide range of topics and niches. She has experience with animal rescue, dog training, pet health and breeding reptiles.