Chewing is a natural, relaxing habit for dogs that can also help encourage healthy teeth and gums. As a result, many dog owners are keen to provide chewing material to their four-legged friends in order to encourage the habit (and protect their household furniture!)
For many years, plastic chew toys have been the most common choice, but such toys are far from ideal. The environmental impact of constant plastic production is undeniably troubling, and chew toys are prone to fragment, potentially leading to harmful ingestion. What modern dog owners need is an eco-friendly dog chew that lasts - and deer antlers are the best possible option.
Introducing deer antlers as dog chews
Like most people, your first reaction to the idea of deer antler dog chews is likely to be one of surprise - the idea just sounds strange. However, deer antlers genuinely do make for excellent chew toys, as they are robust, durable, and - as we will soon discuss in more detail - incredibly beneficial for the environment.
It’s worth noting that wild animals have long relied on deer antlers for chewing purposes, so deer antler dog chews simply build on this natural propensity in order to offer the same great chewing experience to domestic, household dogs.
Do dogs like deer antlers?
Absolutely! Dogs respond very well to deer antlers, readily accepting them as a chew toy. It is believed that the reason for this acceptance is that deer antlers are actually rather tasty, which allows them to compare favourably to dull, tasteless plastic toys.
Are deer antlers cruelty-free?
Upon hearing that an animal product is being utilised for a non-standard purpose, many people immediately assume that the product has been sourced via unethical means. As a result, you may have immediately winced at the idea of deer antlers being used for dog chews, fearing for the safety of the deer who supply the raw materials.
However, there’s no need to worry; unlike many animal products, deer antlers are 100% cruelty-free. Using deer antlers as dog chews is merely finding another use for a natural process; deer shed their antlers each year, with a replacement set subsequently growing in place. In producing dog chews, the shed antlers are simply collected when they have shed naturally, so deer are completely unharmed - and unaware of the entire process.
Are deer antlers sustainable?
Yes, deer antlers are an extremely sustainable choice of dog chew. As we touched on above, deer shed their antlers annually, with replacement growth swiftly following; the replacement antlers are then shed the next year, and so on. Due to this natural cycle, there will always be a ready supply of deer antlers that replenishes itself every 12 months.
Sustainability is a particularly noteworthy benefit of deer antler dog toys when compared to their plastic counterparts. The production of plastic relies on fossil fuels, which are inherently finite, and thus far from sustainable. Deer antler chew toys therefore perform well in contrast; for as long as there are deer, they will be antlers available to use as dog chew toys!
Are deer antler dog chews good for the environment?
They are indeed, for a number of reasons:
- Deer antlers are a more-than-suitable replacement for the standard plastic dog chew toys, helping to remove a source of plastic from everyday life. The need to reduce the world’s reliance on plastics cannot be exaggerated, with waste a particular concern; plastic waste can damage natural environments, with the ocean particularly vulnerable.
- When it comes to plastic, waste is not the only issue. The production of plastic is incredibly polluting; for example, the manufacture of 1kg of plastic is thought to release 6kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, a shocking 91% of plastic is not recycled, so reducing the reliance on continual plastic production is an important component in the fight against climate change.
- Deer antlers are usually locally sourced, which helps to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation. Many modern dog toys are actually made in the Far East and are then shipped to the UK to be sold. Deer antlers, however, are already in the UK, making them a far more environmentally-friendly choice.
How are deer antlers turned into dog chews?
The process is refreshingly simple. When deer shed their antlers, the antlers are collected from the ground, cut into dog-friendly sizes, and then offered for sale. The process really is that simple: no chemicals are added and there’s no need to worry about preservatives.
Are deer antlers good for dogs?
Deer antlers are extremely good for dogs, for two reasons in particular:
- Deer antlers are extremely tough. It is often assumed that deer antlers are made from keratin, the same substance found in bull’s horns, but deer antlers are actually made from bone. Due to this, deer antlers can handle a huge amount of chewing, lasting for months and ensuring your dog always has a healthy outlet for one of their favourite pastimes.
- As they are natural, unmodified products, deer antler dog chews also serve as a source of a number of vital minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Furthermore, deer antlers are also a source of amino acids and prostaglandins, with the latter a particularly effective anti-inflammatory. As a result, deer antler dog chews can help to complement your dog’s diet and boost their health as a result.
Are deer antlers suitable for all dogs?
Dogs of all ages and breeds can use deer antler dog chews, though caution is advised in cases of known tooth disease or oral health problems - though this is true of any kind of chew, of course.
If you are buying deer antler chews for a puppy, then it’s usually best to opt for smaller sizes in order to ensure optimal chewing comfort. As your puppy grows, you can then progress to the larger, adult sizes as required.
Deer antlers are sustainable, eco-friendly, completely cruelty-free, and dogs seem to really enjoy the taste, so making the switch from plastic chew toys to this fantastic all-natural option is definitely the right choice for you and your dog.
Buy your deer antler dog chews today from us.