The Short Answer is:
It is possible to soften deer antlers a little bit by soaking them in water for 48 hours to a week. A dog-safe broth can also be used to soften them. As a result, your dog will be able to chew on them much easier, and it will also prevent gum bleeding or tooth fractures, especially if your dog chews aggressively.
The purpose of this article is to explain the “How To Soften Deer Antlers For Dogs“.
- How to soften deer antlers for dogs?
- Should you soften deer antlers?
- Can I give my dog a deer antler I found in the woods?
- Can dogs eat the whole antler?
- How long do deer antlers last for dogs?
- Why do dogs like antlers?
- At what age can puppies chew antlers?
- Can dogs be allergic to deer antlers?
- Alternative to antlers for dogs
- How To Soften Deer Antlers For Dogs? (Watch Video)
About 8.1 million people hunt deer every year according to the 2016 National Survey of Fishing Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
When it comes to big game deer is the most popular.
It is possible that you are a hunter yourself and wonder whether the deer antlers you gather would benefit your dog too.
Antlers are better than bones but are they better than deer bones? We can safely say that both dogs and antlers are loved by dogs.
Although the materials are similar antlers are usually more durable than bones. They do not splinter as easily.
You would not need to buy chews for your pet again for a long time saving you money. There are however some disadvantages to antlers. Due to their hardness they may cause your dogs gums to bleed and may even fracture his teeth. In addition they may contain dangerous bacteria.
As well as enjoying chewing on bones your furry friend may also encounter some issues. Your pets mouth throat and intestines could suffer serious damage if the pieces splinter.
How to soften deer antlers for dogs?
It is possible to soften deer antlers a little bit by soaking them in water for 48 hours to a week. A dog-safe broth can also be used to soften them. As a result your dog will be able to chew on them much easier and it will also prevent gum bleeding or tooth fractures especially if your dog chews aggressively.
Should you soften deer antlers?
In the same way that we have stated above softening deer antlers would make it easier for your dog to chew on them. In any case it is not recommended to get the antlers too soft as this will only lead to other problems.
When your dog bites or chews on them they may splinter like cooked bones. These can also break apart. By accident your pet could swallow a huge piece and develop intestinal blockage which is very dangerous.
Can I give my dog a deer antler I found in the woods?
Deer naturally lose their antlers. It is for this reason that they are often seen in the woods. Wild-shed antlers should not be given to your dog because they may already be old and may have bacteria on them. They can cause disease and be extremely expensive to treat. In some cases your dog might even die from it.
It would be best if you provided your dog with an antler from a freshly-harvested deer if you are a hunter yourself. Alternatively you can purchase one from It is still wise to sanitize the antlers yourself by soaking them in boiling water for about an hour and then transferring them to cold water before giving them to
Can dogs eat the whole antler?
The whole antler should never be fed to your dog. The antler is very nutrient-rich containing a lot of proteins and amino acids.
This can upset your dogs stomach and cause him to have diarrhea. If you see that the antler is getting smaller and smaller to the point where your pet could swallow it it is highly recommended that you discard it.
If your pooch swallows a huge chunk of bone that could cause choking as well as blockage or perforation of the esophagus. It can also damage the digestive tract.
Consider the size of the antler when purchasing one for your pooch. The split antler will work just fine on a small-breed dog. You can give your large dog a whole antler if hes large.
How long do deer antlers last for dogs?
The answer depends on several factors including the size and cut of the antler the hardness of its core and of course the size and aggression of your dog.
The lifespan of a deer antler is typically between six months and a year. On the other hand your dog may recover in just a few days or weeks if they are aggressive chewers. Therefore when purchasing an antler for your furry friend you should consider the factors listed above.
Why do dogs like antlers?
Chewing machines are dogs in general. Especially when they are teething they would chew on just about anything they could get their teeth into. Chewing relieves the discomfort and pain of teething. Antlers are loved by dogs for this reason. Not only do they provide nutrients but they also last for a long time. A dogs craving for chewing is satisfied by antlers. Antlers are fascinating to dogs since they last for an extended period of time.
Dogs also enjoy antlers because they come in varying sizes shapes and textures. To be on the safe side never give your pet something that is too small for his size so he would not swallow the whole thing. It is also essential that you monitor your puppy when he chews on antlers.
At what age can puppies chew antlers?
A teething puppy might feel tempted to chew on an antler but that isnot a good idea. The hard deer antler which is hard could cause various problems for your dog if he still has baby teeth or if he has not fully erupted his adult teeth. He could suffer tooth and gum damage. Considering this you should wait until your dog is at least six months old. His adult teeth which are stronger should be in place by then.
If you’re giving your puppy an antler for the first time watch and see how he responds to it. How does he react? Do you see him grab it right away? Do you see him being aggressive with it? Then you need to closely monitor your dog if all of these apply to him. Why? Since he might not take long to reduce the size of the antler if hes chewing on it non-stop. Replace the antler with a larger one if that happens.
Can dogs be allergic to deer antlers?
The good news is that deer antlers are not considered allergenic. This type of treatment has not been shown to cause allergies in dogs. Its not necessary to worry about your dog getting allergies from antlers. Antler which is a bone is perfectly safe for your puppy even if he is allergic to venison. One thing you should watch out for is when the antler becomes small enough for your dog to swallow it. At this point antlers could be hazardous. As your dog chews on his threat it is extremely important to pay close attention to him.
Alternative to antlers for dogs
Although a deer antler is safe for dogs in general there is always an exemption. What if your dog doesn’t want it? What if he already had it for a few months and he still hasn’t touched it? Then you have to look for another option.
Likewise antlers come with disadvantages as well just as rawhide and bones. Most of the time its their hardness that can cause problems. As a dog owner if you feel like your pet is not safe chewing on one (especially if he is still teething) you need to find an alternative. There are numerous products available on the market that have a little bit more flexibility than antlers. Buy bully sticks milk chews edible dental chews trachea chews fish skin sticks tail bones and beef lamb or pig ears. All of these are good but each has its own disadvantages.
It would be best to pick a chew treat that would not fit all the way into your dogs mouth when choosing the best chew treat for your dog. Choking and obstruction risks should be reduced especially for dogs that are too aggressive. Contact your veterinarian for advice. He will be able to make a recommendation.
Antlers are a great treat for dogs. Since they are harder than bones they would last longer. They are also a good source of protein. Additionally they can address a dogs annoying habit of chewing on almost anything around the house.
However just like everything else they have their drawbacks as well. So if your dog chews on an antler keep an eye on him. Make sure the antler has been sanitized. In case your dog swallows it throw it away.