Are Deer Antlers Too Hard for Dogs?
If you have a dog, chances are you've heard of people giving their dogs deer antlers as a supplement.
This may encourage you to jump on the bandwagon and introduce your furry baby to this new chew. After all, they are a natural product and seem to be harmless enough.
But before you run out and buy a bag of antlers for your pooch, it's important to understand the risks and benefits.
Pet owners are often concerned that deer antlers may be too hard for dogs and can cause damage to their teeth. Many people negate this issue and confirm that antler dog chews are a safe and healthy product.
So, what's the truth?
Keep reading to find out!
Are Deer Antlers Too Hard for Dogs?
For centuries, dog owners have been giving their furry friends deer antlers to chew on to keep their teeth healthy and strong.
But is this really a safe practice? Or are we risking our dogs' dental health by having them gnaw on these hard objects? This is a question that many pet owners have, and it's a valid one, as the rugged texture and sharp edges of antlers can be a bit worrisome.
The truth is that deer antlers are not necessarily hard for canines, depending on the individual animal. Some dogs will have no problem chewing on a deer antler, while others may find them too tough.
Fortunately, you can treat whole antler dog chews to make them safe for your dog.
Important: Don’t give deer antlers to puppies below six months, as they have tender teeth that can get damaged due to the hard bone surface.
Do Deer Antlers Need to Be Treated for Dogs?
While it’s not necessary to treat deer antlers before giving them to your dog, you’d want to do it if your pup doesn’t like chewing hard surfaces or has sensitive teeth.
Treating antler dog chews the right way helps reduce the risk of gum ache and tooth damage in canines. Some dogs also enjoy gnawing on treated chews more than untreated ones since they have to use less force to reach the delicious marrow matter inside.
You can treat deer antlers in several ways, depending on your preferences. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, as it may result in splintering or the loss of nutritional value.
Treating Dog Chews: Can You Soak Antlers for Dogs?
Yes, you can.
In fact, soaking deer antlers is one of the best ways to make them safe and appealing to your dog.
Many pet owners follow this practice, as it has multiple benefits.
For one, it can soften the antler, making it easier for your dog to chew. It also helps remove tissue along with any dirt or debris on the antler. And, if you're using natural, whole antler dog chews, soaking can help release some nutrients that are good for your dog.
On the flip side, there are some drawbacks to soaking antlers for dogs. It can make the antler more susceptible to bacteria and mold and cause it to break down faster.
Hence, you must always keep an eye on your dog chewing deer antlers. Throw it away if it becomes small enough to fit into the dog’s mouth. Also, inspect the antler every time your pup is ready to gnaw on it and lookout for signs of mold.
With that said, soaking a synthetic antler is a big NO, as it can damage the material and compromise your pup’s health. It’s best to stick with natural antlers for the best results.
Ultimately, whether or not you soak your dog's antler is a personal decision. If you decide to soak it, be sure to do so in the right solutions.
What Do You Soak Deer Antlers In?
When it comes to deer antlers for dogs, most people soak them in clean water or chicken broth.
This section will discuss how to go about these methods and which one is right for your dog.
Soaking Antlers in Clean Water
Fill a bowl or bucket with clean, fresh water and let the antler dog chews soak for 24-48 hours. It’s also recommended to add a little bit of dish soap to the water if you’ve opened a new pack of whole antler dog chews to help remove any stubborn dirt or debris.
After soaking, you must rinse the antlers well with clean water. They’ll be soft enough for your dog to chew on comfortably.
This soaking method is recommended if you intend to clean and soften the antlers before offering your dog the nutritional treats.
Note: Avoid leaving deer antlers submerged in water for more than two days, as it’ll make them too soft. As a result, they’ll easily break into pieces and injure your dog’s mouth. In worse cases, the pup may ingest them and choke.
Soaking Antlers in Chicken/Beef Broth
If you want to make the deer antlers softer and tastier, soaking them in chicken or beef broth is the way to go.
You need to fill up a bowl or bucket with the broth and soak the deer antlers in it. Make sure they’re fully submerged. Leave them for 24-48 hours before offering them to your pup.
If your dog doesn’t like the natural taste of antler dog chews, try this soaking method. Canines are much more likely to enjoy deer antlers soaked in broth.
Can You Soften Deer Antlers Without Soaking Them?
Yes, deer antlers can be softened without soaking.
To get the job done faster, you can boil the whole antler dog chews in water. However, you must stay on your toes because the antlers may get too soft and start splintering like cooked bones.
If the antler splinters when your dog is gnawing on it, it’ll cause gastrointestinal blockage, requiring the furry baby to undergo surgery.
Considering the dangers associated with this method, it’s best to stick to soaking the antler dog chews in water or broth.
Antler dog chews have high nutritional value, but they can sometimes be too hard for dogs. There are also safety concerns surrounding the sharp edges of these bone structures.
Thankfully, soaking the antlers in water and broth makes it possible for canines to enjoy gnawing on their favorite treats comfortably.
To make the chewing experience safe for your dog, you must give antlers in moderation. Moreover, you must choose an appropriately-sized antler to ensure your furry baby can benefit from the protein and minerals without any health risks.
It’s also imperative to supervise your pup as he chews on them.
With these tips, you can rest assured that your pet will enjoy chewing on the antlers without harming itself.
So, what are you waiting for?
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