If you’re looking for an all-natural, non-GMO, preservative-free treat for your dog, look no further than elk antlers chews.
Yes, you read that right: chews made out of elk antlers. It sounds kind of crazy right? Believe it or not, elk antlers can serve as fantastic dog chews for your four-legged pal. Give your dog one of these natural chews, and just watch how bananas he goes!
If you’re not familiar with these natural dog chews, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions and answers to help you get acquainted. We’ve also detailed some of the best selling elk antler chews available on Amazon to purchase for your pup.
First and foremost, elk antlers are used as dog chews because there are actually quite a few of them laying around n nature!
Every year, wild elk shed their antlers due to seasonal and hormonal changes. It’s completely natural; it’s just what elk do, similar to how a snake sheds its skin. The shed antlers sit on the ground until something or someone comes along and picks them up.
Someone, somewhere discovered that these elk antlers could serve as a great alternative to plastic bones or mysterious dog chews made from unknown ingredients, and dogs agree!
Elk antlers are thick and strong, making them a fun challenge for dogs that love to chomp and chew. Elk antlers also tap into your dog’s deep-rooted animal instincts to investigate and chew on things found in nature.
Premium elk antler chews (like the ones reviewed in this article), come from wild elk living in the United States. The elk roam in the wild, shed their antlers annually, and the antlers are collected by companies that package and market them as chews for dogs.
The best and most trusted sources of elk antler chews never harm or farm elk in order to make these treats. These companies simply know where the elk live (mostly in the northwestern parts of the US, like Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon), and when to look for the shed antlers (in the winter).
It’s best to always confirm that the chews you purchase are from “naturally shed” elk antlers. This way, you know that the antlers came from happy, wild elk.
Once the antlers are collected, they are examined to determine their quality. “Premium” elk antlers are extremely hard and dark in color on the outside. The best quality antlers are then cut and split into a variety of shapes and sizes that dogs love to chew. It’s a simple process that results in a very clean, natural product for your pooch’s enjoyment.
The short answer? Yes! Elk antler dog chews that are made from premium quality antlers, and have not been artificially flavored or colored, should be perfectly safe for your dog to consume.
Just like any other bone or chew toy, you should take the elk antler chew from your dog when it gets very small, at which point it could become a choking hazard.
In terms of general safety, you should consider the alternatives: if you don’t give your dog something good to chew on, he may resort to chewing on something unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
A happy dog is an occupied dog, and elk antler dog chews are one great way to keep your dog challenged and engaged (this can also be done through treat-dispensing dog toys). A dog can wear himself out chewing on a good treat, which will keep him out of trouble and prevent him from getting bored.
You can feel great about giving these chews to your dog because elk antler are naturally full of nutrients which can benefit Fido! Antlers are made of bone-like material; they actually begin growing as layers of cartilage.
To be strong and healthy, cartilage and bones need a lot of nutrients, which is what you’ll find elk antlers packed nutrients like:
These, plus other vitamins and minerals found in the antlers, are great for a dog’s coat, bones, teeth, gums, and general health.
We understand your fear – I think plenty of us have gotten a little squeamish around pig ear dog chews and bully sticks (if you don’t know what bully sticks are made out of, maybe it’s for the best)
Out of all the dog food and dog treat products on the market, elk antler chews are probably the least likely to gross you out. They are similar to a clean bone, are not sticky or greasy, and most do not have a strong odor.
Let your dog run around the house with his elk antler chew; he won’t even have terrible dog breath when he’s finished with it, and you may find that incorporating elk antlers into your dog’s diet can even cut down on how often you have to clean your dog’s teeth, since the antlers can naturally help scrub away plaque.
Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of elk antler dog chews, let’s review some of the best recommended chews on the market!
Jim Hodges Dog Training, located in North Carolina, promotes 100% naturally shed elk antlers from the USA. These split antlers are thinner than a standard chew. Key benefits include:
These elk chew treats are made by Buck Bone Organics, which states that their antlers originate from naturally-shed elk antlers from New Mexico to Montana. Key features include:
These antler chews from Best Bully Sticks are sourced from elk in the Rocky Mountains. They come in size Medium (5 to 6 inches) and Large (6 to 7 inches).
Have you ever given your dog antler chews for a snack? Did he or she enjoy them? Share your experience in the comments!
Meg Marrs is the Founder and Senior Editor at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!