Are Antler's Safe? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Question Are Antler's Safe?

Hi everyone,

My boy, Bailey, is 13 weeks old today & getting into EVERYTHING and chewing most everything too. Tonight at the pet store I decided to get him a deer antler just to see if he'd be interested in it. Seriously, I've had him a month now & it's the longest he's ever sat still! He's been under my desk for almost 2 hours now chewing to his little hearts content.

My question is, are they safe? I keep seeing conflicting information. Some dogs have used them for years with no problems and others end up breaking teeth or grinding them down.

Can someone give me some advice? Is it worth the risk? I hate to take it away from him since he's loving it so much, but if he's going to hurt himself I don't want him using it and we'll just try something else.

Thanks in advance for any help.

~ Joey
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 02:21 AM
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Congratulations on your addition! Bailey is very cute! I have never given my two antlers. When Scout teeth were cleaned I was told antlers could cause a tooth fracture. I have just stayed away from them because of that reason.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 06:02 AM
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Java gets bully sticks and moose antlers. She prefers the bully because it gets softer over time. The moose antler is hard. Some boil the antlers to soften them up. I've tried that as well, but she will chew for a minute and then leave it alone to go find her bully stick. She hasn't broken any teeth on the antler, though. I check her teeth almost everyday and we do a full cleaning once a week. I do try to dab some enzymatic toothpaste on her periodically as well. So I'm pretty familiar with her teeth and mouth and stuff. We've had the moose antler in the house for about 2 months now.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 06:18 AM
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I don't know how we would have gotten through our first year with Ruby without the antlers. It is the only toy she really likes and she spends a lot of her day chewing on every version of them. So far no problem with her teeth.



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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 08:11 AM
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Yes it is POSSIBLE for a dog to break a tooth on an antler. Some are harder chewers than other. I know dogs who have worn their teeth to nubs on tennis balls! (mostly Goldens and GSD's)

OTOH, dogs need a way to satisfy their natural urge to chew or they are likely to be destructive. Bully sticks may sound like the ideal answer, but they aren't without problems either. There HAVE been cases of dogs chipping teeth on those too, and they can carry unwanted bacteria. They are also quite high in calories, and some dogs consume them quickly. Finally, if you have a beef intolerant dog like Kodi, they are off the menu for everyone in the family. (the others would leave them around for him to steal)

Himalaya Chews (a very hard cheese made of mostly yaks milk) are similar in problems to the bully sticks, though I've never heard of a bacterial problem with them.

My guys don't have much interest in the harder antlers, like deer or elk. Their favorites, by far, are the flavored moose slices from Acadia Antlers. these are boiled in flavor, so are softer then plain antlers, and because they are sliced, it's easier for small dogs to get at the tasty inner part of the antler. Is it possible that they could crack a tooth on one? Probably. Has it happened in our house? No, over 7 years of using them. They ARE soft enough to be consumable... they get smaller over time, and I replace them before they get dangerously small. To me, if the dog can soften and grind material off the antler, it is unlikely to be hard enough to hurt them.

YMMV, but these have been, for me, the most satisfactory chews. They like them, they are low (or no) calorie, they last a LONG time, no one has gotten hurt chewing them and none of my dogs has a food sensitivity to them.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 10:21 AM
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Yes, what Karen said.

She shared about the flavored "Tasters" from Acadia Moos Antlers on here and I ordered some. Tucker is not a chewer, but I believe that the dog's teeth and jaws are strengthened by chewing, to help the teeth stay healthier longer. I may be the one you heard about that soaks one end in and inch or so of boiling water to get the scent and softness going.

Tucker's teeth have gotten much cleaner since I started giving him these.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 11:58 AM
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I'd skip the antlers How to Select Non-Toxic Dog Bones and Chews
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by articshark View Post
Java gets bully sticks and moose antlers. She prefers the bully because it gets softer over time. The moose antler is hard. Some boil the antlers to soften them up. I've tried that as well, but she will chew for a minute and then leave it alone to go find her bully stick. She hasn't broken any teeth on the antler, though. I check her teeth almost everyday and we do a full cleaning once a week. I do try to dab some enzymatic toothpaste on her periodically as well. So I'm pretty familiar with her teeth and mouth and stuff. We've had the moose antler in the house for about 2 months now.
Just had to mention tooth fractures can happen below the gum line too. Some can only be seen on an x-ray. Scout had x-rays done with his cleaning. My friends Westie just had his teeth cleaned and x-rayed. He was found to have two teeth fractured that need to be pulled. Like Karen mentioned bully sticks can also cause damage. My two love bully sticks so I hope we don't have any problems.

Heather, Scout, Truffles & Sparky
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 01:09 PM
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The way Tucker chews his moose antlers is what I feel safest about. Safer than having him put under anesthesia to have his teeth cleaned. He is very chemically sensitive and his digestive system easily sent out of balance.

You do have to do your research, weigh the options, and make your best choice. There is no one right or wrong way, I don't think. Every dog, person, and situation is different.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 01:15 PM
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Oh, I didn't know that about below the gum line. But seriously, she chews on the moose slices for a few minutes every couple to several days. And even with the bully sticks, it takes her several weeks to even chew one 6" stick down.
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