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Such as you, I’m all the time in search of an ideal, protected sort of chew for my dogs. When selecting, I do some web research and ask the recommendation of my dog-loving friends and vet.
Antlers have turn out to be a very fashionable item and I used to be wondering: Are antlers for dogs protected?
Many pet parents give them to their dogs to assist clean their teeth and keep them occupied.
There haven’t been any clinical studies about whether antlers must be given to dogs, so it’s as much as us to make the choice.
A lot of my clients have given them to their dogs with success.
I’ve been an authorized pet dog trainer for a few years. So I investigated whether I wanted to offer them to my dogs or recommend the antlers to others.
In deciding, I weighed the risks versus the advantages.
I even have five dogs this present day. Some are more aggressive chewers than others.
Are Antlers For Dogs Protected?
In this text, I’ll inform you about what I’ve discovered about antlers for dogs and my conclusion.
Antlers For Dogs: The Basics
There are three forms of antlers in the marketplace which are popular: deer antlers, elk antlers, and moose antlers.
They’re naturally shed annually, and the animal regrows one other set. So no animals are harmed within the making of antlers.
Take a look at this video of a moose losing each his antlers at the identical time:
Sort of startled him. Are you able to imagine if that tremendous amount of weight was suddenly lifted out of your head? You’d be startled too 🙂
The outer layer is a really hard bone and the inner portion is a bit softer marrow.
Some wild animals within the wild even enjoy them.
They will help clean a dog’s teeth and stop boredom. And the inner marrow has some nutrients which are helpful.
The Hard Truth
Each sort of antler varies barely in how hard it’s.
Reindeer antlers are sometimes harder than other types.
Elk antlers are generally softer than deer antlers, but still have a really hard bony exterior. And moose antlers are said to be barely softer than other antler types.
You too can buy antlers which were slit in half lengthwise, exposing the marrow inside.
It’s easier for a dog to eat the marrow part within the split antlers but they still are chewing the harder bony exterior too.
Although they could vary barely in hardness of their bony exteriors, they’re all very hard on a dog’s teeth.
In addition they vary in sizes and shapes, as they’re natural items. They’re cut up into various sized pieces.
So, for those who resolve to make use of them, you could get a size that’s appropriate on your dog to chew. The antler must be large enough that your dog can’t ingest it or choke on it.
Advantages of Antlers
There are some advantages that recommend using antlers. After all these need to be weighed against the downside.
Antlers have the next advantages:
- Blissful dog! Most dogs love chewing on antlers. They love the taste and chewing keeps them from losing interest.
- Clean teeth! Chewing antlers will help remove tartar on a dog’s teeth.
- Nutrition! The antlers provide minerals, including calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.
- Low-fat! Unlike some dog chews, corresponding to pigs’ ears, antlers are a low-fat treat.
- Long-lasting! Antlers generally last a protracted time for many dogs if the suitable size is given to them.
- No allergies! As a single source of protein, most dogs with allergies can chew antlers.
- Sustainable and humane! Because they’re naturally shed, no animals are harmed in the method. They usually shouldn’t have any artificial ingredients or other harmful chemicals.
- Odor-free! Unlike some dog chews like bully sticks, antlers don’t smell.
Downside of Antlers
On first look, antlers look like the reply to a dog lover’s prayers. They last long, most dogs love them, and so they can result in dental health.
But there are lots of reasons that antlers aren’t as great as they at first appear, including the next reasons:
- Dental risk! Because all antlers have a really hard bony exterior, they could result in chipped or cracked teeth, abscesses, and infections. Even when a tooth isn’t damaged, chewing may cause your dog’s gums to bleed, resulting in potential infection. This may result in a whole lot of pain for the one that you love canine. And a whole lot of expense to you if a tooth must be removed under general anesthesia.
- Internal damage! Chunks or pieces of an antler may break off when your dog’s chewing it. Unfortunately, this could result in internal damages or blockages. Some owners even see pieces of their dog’s feces. If pieces break off, emergency surgery could also be needed.
- Choking hazard! As is true with any chew or toy, antlers can pose a choking hazard. This is particularly true if too small an antler is chosen or a bit breaks off.
- Intestinal Issues! Antlers may potentially cause diarrhea and other intestinal problems.
Should You Give Your Dog Antlers?
As a dog owner, I realize that it’s a difficult decision.
I’ve decided that I won’t give antlers to my dogs or recommend them to others.
Although there are lots of positive reasons to recommend them, I feel that the risks outweigh the advantages.
Many vets have come to the identical conclusion, including Dr. Marty Becker, a well-recognized veterinarian.
He believes that dogs shouldn’t be given anything that’s extremely hard–especially to aggressive chewers.
He cites hard plastic or nylon chews, sterilized bones, cow hooves, and antlers as all being too hard for dogs to securely chew.
And plenty of experts indicate that, even when someone decides to offer their dog antlers, they shouldn’t be given to puppies, seniors, or dogs with tooth decay or gum disease.
And for those who select to offer your dog antlers, it’s necessary to offer a high-quality antler that hasn’t been processed with harmful chemicals.
Many are being imported from other countries and so they could have been processed with harmful chemicals.
After all, if you might have a dog with dental issues, he must be checked out by your vet to find out whether any teeth must be pulled or other motion taken.
In truth, it’s necessary to have your dog check your dog’s teeth at the least yearly. And twice a yr for senior dogs.
Over 80 percent of dogs over the age of three show signs of dental disease. So what’s protected anymore to chew?
Alternatives to Antlers
After all dogs need a protected chew. But anything we give our dogs to chew–including antlers–must be given with supervision.
In truth, the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) has developed a listing of approved chews for dogs.
Many of the chews on this list are man-made for dental health.
What you ultimately select should depend upon your dog’s age, health (including dental health), and the way aggressive a chewer he’s.
Many individuals successfully use sterilized bones that don’t splinter or nylon bones. But, if you might have a really aggressive chewer, even they’ll potentially result in dental woes as they’re very hard.
Many experts don’t approve of using rawhide, as it could be processed with harmful chemicals. Or it could cause a blockage or choking hazard if a bit is chewed off.
I’ve used bully sticks with success. They soften from the dog’s saliva as he chews.
After all, you wish one which’s appropriately sized on your dog. They are available various lengths and thicknesses.
They must be thick and long enough that chunks cannot come off.
They’re meant to be worn away in order that they don’t cause problems like blockages.
They usually must be taken away after they get too small that they will be entirely put in a dog’s mouth. They even make holders for them so a dog can’t chew them to the tip.
Ensure that that the bully sticks you utilize aren’t processed with chemicals. A downside of bully sticks is that high-quality ones (which is all you need to use) are pretty expensive.
Himalayan chews have turn out to be popular too. After all, they need to be the right size and used with supervision too. They usually will be expensive.
It’s best to all the time supervise your dog chewing and take away any item that’s turn out to be unsafe.
As is true with anything we give to our beloved dogs, we’ve got to weigh the advantages against the risks.
I’ve decided that the potential risks of antlers outweigh any advantages for my dogs.
The choice’s as much as you for yours.
Have you ever given your dog antlers to chew?
What do you’re thinking that? Are antlers for dogs protected?
Please tell us about it within the comment section below.
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