Antlers for dogs, whats the point?

Posted by Charlotte Wright on

When you think of antlers, what comes to mind? Is it Rudolph and his gang? Maybe it's a unique lamp fixture, or curtain tie backs found in a large country home.
For us here at The Innocent Pet, we think of dog chews.
We use 100% naturally shed British antlers, sourced from the Scottish Highlands. Deer will shed (or cast) their antlers from December through to late March, but why?
deer antler
Antlers go through a yearly life cycle. From Spring, the male deer will graze and forage the new plants, which helps their antlers to grow quickly over a two to four month period. As female deer begin to come into season over the Summer months, the high levels of testosterone in the males slows antler growth, and the veins and arteries in the antlers constrict and cut off blood and nutrient supply. The velvet coating that is found on antlers up to this time will fall off, revealing the mature antler's bone-type structure for mating in Autumn.
As mating season occurs, many bucks (males) will fight for dominance of land and does (females), during which time some antlers can break. The Winter season is when the antlers will naturally shed over a two to three week period. This happens due to the drop in testosterone following mating, and the tissue at the base of the antler weakens naturally and eventually falls off, causing no harm or discomfort to the deer. The cycle begins once more in the Spring, to prepare for the new mating season.

Why are antlers good for dogs?

There are many nutrients and a blood supply to help the antler grow during its cycle, which dry up inside the antler once it has naturally shed. Antlers are a great source of calcium, magnesium, fibre and iron for your dogs.
The structure of an antler is a hardened honeycomb bone-like tissue, meaning antler dog chews are long lasting, and low in fat. They are also odourless, and unlike many other dog treats, do not become slimy or out of date, meaning your dog can keep coming back to this tasty treat.


I've just taken delivery of a new antler from Innocent Pet Products @InnocentHound it looks great! @HearingDogs @HearingDogsYork


My dogs don't really like antlers, is there anything I can do?

As with any treat, all dogs have their own preferences. However there are ways you can make an antler chew seem more appealing.
Smell: Try boiling your dog's chew in hot water for up to 5 minutes. This rejuvenates the blood and nutrients inside the antler which will make it more fun to sniff and taste!
Taste: You can smear a little of your dog's favourite flavours like peanut butter into the honeycomb structure to add an extra treat.
Shape: Antlers aren't just a treat! Many dogs like to play, fetch and carry their antlers just as they do with any other dog toys. Why not pick a more unusual shaped antler for your dog to play with.


A post shared by Milo (@springerspanielmilo) on



The Innocent Antler

As we mentioned, all of our antlers are sourced from the Scottish Highlands. We cut all of our antlers to size right here in our Yorkshire factory, giving you plenty of choice when it comes to picking the perfect antler chew for your dog. 
We have four sizes of antler available, ranging from small, to extra large. We recommend choosing the appropriate size, depending on the size of your dog. However do take into consideration your dog's chewing habits, as you may want to size up your treat! You can shop antlers here. 
We want to provide your dogs with the best quality antlers, so we take into consideration your thoughts for the paw-fect chew. We cut the tips from the ends of the antlers, which are then handcrafted right here in Yorkshire to create our luxury antler whistles
The clear sound from an antler whistle can be heard through all weather conditions, and makes an excellent recall device for dog training. 


Do you use antlers in any interesting, unique ways? Let us know!




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