All about Antlers for Dogs – Source Story, Benefits & Doggo Dental Health

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Deer antler chews might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re deciding which dog treats to buy for your number one pal. We understand that you might have some questions – some common ones that we are often asked include are deer antler treats cruelty free? And if so, how are these dog treats sourced? In this article we will answer a few of your questions and provide a short introduction to the many benefits of deer antler dog chews for dogs.

Did you know that deer naturally shed their antlers? Our four legged friends – usually seen pulling santa’s sleigh complete with their impressive natural head gear – lose their antlers every year. Although it’s not something that the average person would encounter, our deer farmers often find their paddocks littered with these creepy looking exhibits. These naturally shed deer antlers are then collected from the paddock and that’s when the farmer – our treasured antler supplier – delivers them to Gully Road HQ. From here, we divide them into pieces and prepare them to send to doggo antler fanatics around Australia.

Antlers make the perfect treat to clean dogs’ teeth and if your dog has bad breath, a deer antler chew might be just the thing that you are after. In the wild – prior to becoming your pampered companion – dogs regularly ate bones and other hard chews, which clean the teeth and provide vitamins and minerals. Bones (such as beef bones, see Gully Road Raw) are great for dogs to chew on, however you may need to feed them to your pooch daily for optimum dental health benefits. One advantage of deer antler chews over beef bones is that they are longer lasting than bones. Depending on the size of your dog and the extent of their chewing, deer antlers can last from two to three months (for a large dog and a super long lasting dog chew we recommend gig-antlers as the most suitable choice).

Feeding treats that enable a long lasting chew for dogs can significantly improve bad breath, which is most often caused by a build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. This in turn is associated with a build up of bacteria in the mouth – these pesky little stinkers can make those sloppy kisses from your pooch a little less enjoyable.

It’s worth noting here that it’s very important to also have fresh drinking water available for your doggo at all times. If your doggo’s breathy pong persists after introducing deer antler chews or grass-fed beef bones to the diet, we recommend seeking veterinary advice.

Are deer antlers safe for dogs to chew?

Deer antlers are completely safe to chew and won’t splinter or cause any dangers for your doggo’s digestion. If a large enough chew is chosen for your dog’s size and breed (see the different types of antlers that we offer below) they will wear them down slowly after many hours of chewing. These pieces of ground antler are safe for your dog to digest and are full of nutrients. Deer antler chews are also low risk for choking and perfect for doggos that like to scoff their treats (and then immediately ask for another one).

Can I feed deer antlers to my puppy?

Deer antlers are great for puppies that love to chew (and might just save your new pair of shoes from being destroyed). Puppy teeth are delicate – even though they might not feel like it when your pupster is latched on to your hand – so softer Apple Cider Fallow Straps are the ideal treat for younger puppies. As your pup grows and reaches around six months of age their teeth will be strong enough for other antler chews.

The nutritional benefits of deer antlers for dogs

Deer antlers are highly nutritious and contain many vitamins and minerals. Interestingly, there are a range of deer antler supplements for humans on the market too and these are advertised as being advantageous for athletic performance as well as a natural remedy for treating high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, liver damage and anaemia.

Odourless deer antlers – an additional perk

Deer antlers are odourless, which makes them great for inside the house or snacking in the car. They did come from an animal, so they won’t smell like roses, however you won’t have to deal with the typical pong of treats like some of those from our seafood collection. So, if your doggo decides to hide an antler chunk in the couch you won’t get the same weird looks from guests when they wonder what the hell has been happening in the lounge room.

There is some batch variation between antlers and some may have a slight scent. In this case (if this is a problem – your doggo will probably think otherwise) we recommend soaking the antler in apple cider vinegar. Doggos love this extra flavour and the apple cider vinegar provides added nutritional benefit.

Deer antlers are hypo-allergenic dog treats

Deer antler chews are particularly good for dogs that are sensitive to alternative types of treats and are prone to experiencing allergic reactions. If this applies to your doggo, always introduce new treats with care.

What are fallow straps and what is the difference?

When we receive our deer antlers at Gully Road HQ we divide them into smaller pieces that are suitable for a range of different uses. All have the same great benefits, however some are harder and suitable for longer chewing (or bigger teef) than others. Fallow straps are the softer, flatter section of the antler and are better suited to smaller breeds or seniors.

The different Deer Antler products that we offer at Gully Road

Apple Cider Antlers

Dogs love the flavour of apple cider antlers and these are perfect for a fussy dog that might be lacking a little chewing enthusiasm. We soak these antlers in bone broth and raw apple cider vinegar, which gives them extra nutritional value while making them more palatable. This process also softens the antler slightly, which means that they are not as long lasting as standard antlers (however they are way more delish). Our apple cider bone broth concoction is great for balancing stomach pH and increases mineral bio-availability.

Apple Cider Fallow Straps

The fallow straps undergo the same soaking process as the apple cider-soaked antlers, however these are softer again. These sections of the antler make the perfect nutritious treat for puppies, seniors or smaller dogs that are more gentle chewers.

Small Fallow Straps

Selected from the softer, flatter section of the antler these are perfect for smaller breeds or youngsters. Small fallow straps last anywhere from one week to several months for small dogs.

Large Fallow Straps

These sections of antler weigh 100g+ and are ideal for larger breed puppies or senior dogs. As always, how long these treats last will depend on the ‘chewiness’ of your dog however these should take at least a week for your dog to chew through.

Antlers

Antlers – the harder part of the full deer antler – come in four sizes (small, medium, large and gig-antler). The size of the antler should correspond with the size of your dog and when the correct size is selected the antlers won’t splinter or break, but will instead be ground down over time. These chews are very hard and will last between two to three months as your dog slowly gnaws them down.

Gully Roadsters with their Deer Antler Dog Treats
Image from @amandamackinnell  on Instagram.

Gully Road for Dogs

Gully Road enables our friends to buy dog treats online, fresh from our farm to your doggo’s treat jar. We source all of our natural dog treats carefully to ensure that they are produced with the highest standards of animal welfare as the highest priority. We stock a range of grass fed beef dog treats, seafood products and wild rabbit for dogs and proudly deliver ethical dog treats Australia-wide from our little farm in Western Victoria.

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