Antler dog chews or stag bars are a hot topic in the dog world these days. They revolutionized chews for dogs as we’ve known them up until now (ie. rawhide, Nylabones, bully stix, etc.)
Finding the perfect dog chew is a hard mission paved with numerous trials and errors. I know, we’ve all been there… They have to be healthy, safe, super long-lasting, and definitely can’t splinter or block your dog’s esophagus.
Well, don’t search anymore; we’ve found what you need!
What Are Antler Dog Chews?
Antler dog chews are chunks of one of an adult deer or elk branched horns, usually a male one (called a stag). Antlers originally start as cartilage and turn quickly into tough bones; they keep on growing annually. Once the antlers reach maturity, they simply fall off, commonly in autumn.
The antler dog chew is particularly tasty thanks to the dry marrow that dogs smell and taste after gnawing on the chew for a while.
Elk Antlers vs. Deer Antlers
Both elk and deer antlers contain high levels of nutrients that are good for your fur buddies, both of them are also suitable and safe to use as dog chews. The main difference between them is their outer core.
The outer core of deer antlers is harder making it more challenging to chew while the elk antlers feature a softer outer core which makes it easier to grind down. If you’ll be purchasing antler dog chews, make sure that they’re suitable for your dog.
Though the dog’s jaws are sturdy, you need to assure that you’ll choose the right type of antler dog chews. For breeds that chew aggressively, it’s better to have deer antlers while smaller breeds can benefit from elk antlers.
Benefits of Antler Chew for Dogs
Antler chew dogs have lots of health advantages besides their tasty dry marrow, it can also contain nearly no fat at all – which makes it healthier compared to other dog chews.
Antler dog chews do not splinter because they are uncooked bones. It is one of the best dog bones that you can give your dog. They wear down as your dog works the ends but I’ve so far never heard of a bad experience with these. An antler chew doesn’t chip either—they truly are perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Besides these, here are the best benefits your dogs can get when your purchase antler dog chews.
Antler dog chews are the best option for your pets since they’re all-natural and have no harmful chemicals. Compared to other dog chews, antler chews last longer, rarely chip or split, and are non-allergic.
Apart from these, antler dog chews are also known to improve dogs’ coats. No worries because they are very sustainable and humane since elk and deer naturally shed their antlers and don’t harm them at all.
Antler dog chews are a good source of protein that aids your dog’s body to grow healthy. It also has vital minerals such as zinc, iron, sulfur, magnesium, and potassium that boost your dog’s health.
For instance, zinc plays a huge role in your dog’s body since it helps with their immune system and thyroid function. Dogs need vitamins and minerals to keep their intestine healthy and keep their overall well-being strong.
Oral health improvement
The best advantage of antler dog chews is it makes your pet’s teeth and mouth clean. It can also remove plaque from your dog’s mouth and keep their gums in good condition.
It’s important to maintain the oral health of your dogs since it can prevent oral pain and organ damage. Bacterias found in plaque can possibly enter your pet’s bloodstream and spread to their heart, liver, and kidney – this can lead to bacteremia and damage dogs’ organs.
Strengthen dog’s bones
Since antler dog chews are a great source of calcium, they can strengthen your dog’s bones and teeth. It also has phosphorus that works well with calcium to maintain healthy and strong bones.
If your dog has low calcium levels or Hypocalcemia they can experience symptoms like loss of appetite, weakness, muscle twitching, and listlessness. On severe occasions, your dogs may have convulsions or seizures.
Do Antler Chews Splinter?
As per healthiness, stagbars contain important minerals but this is not really why dog owners love them. The real benefit is mental stimulation: they are amazing to excite your dog’s brain and keep them active. That way, they actually get rid of excess anxiety or stress while gnawing on a safe and long-lasting dog chew.
Compared to other dog chew toys, antlers don’t splinter easily – which makes them safer. Usually, antler dog chews can last for six months up to a year. But this still depends on the cut, size, and hardness of the antler chews. You should also base it on your dog’s breed size and chewing habits.
How Long Do Stagbars Last?
An antler chew for dogs virtually lasts forever! This is probably the only dog chew that lasts for so long. And I am not bullshitting you, I’ve had some of these and they all were looking very much the same six months down the line.
The reason behind that is simple: it is a tough bone that doesn’t wear down or chip easily at all. Evolution provided deers and elks with these to fight, defend themselves and thrive in the wilderness.
Are Antler Dog Chew Produced Ethically?
Many people are worried the companies behind deer and elk antler chews deal with wild hunters who simply kill these animals for their horns. People do it for elephants, so I understand the worries.
But rest assured, these horns are too cheap for these bad guys to make enough profit. You yield a lot more from a living deer than from a dead one. It’s a lot more profitable to keep a stag alive and annually pick their fallen horns up. Manufacturers simply gather these antlers, cut them into decent-sized chunks, then clean them properly and package them for distribution.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Antler Dog Chews
Now that you’re aware of the important benefits of antler dog chews, it’s time to know the factors to consider before buying the right antler chews for your fur buddies. These factors can help you determine what type of antler chew bone fits your dog’s needs.
Knowing the appropriate size of antler dog chews is important because it will prevent any choking incidents. Most antlers are manufactured in different sizes, if you have large dog breeds, it’s recommended to purchase tougher and larger antler chews while small breeds should have smaller and softer antler chews.
Take note that a dog’s chew should not be too large or too small for your pet’s size. Small antler dog chews can be accidentally swallowed by your dogs that can lead to choking. Thankfully, some dog care companies cut antlers, trim off extraneous pieces, and sand them down to ensure your dog’s safety.
Dog Antler Chew Grades
Antler dog chews have five different levels that can affect your pets. Before purchasing antler chews, it’s best to know the antler levels to understand them more.
- Grade A+ are obviously the highest quality and pristine products that you can purchase in the market – usually they’re used for crafts and artisan purposes.
- Grade A has 10 up to 15% of production yearly. They are mostly light brown meaning they’re freshly shed and are not too exposed to other elements.
- Grade B can be purchased in the market easily and used by high-end brands. They’re usually white since they’ve been dried through sun bleaching. Grade B antler chew dogs are usually shed about 1 to 2 years.
- Grade C and D are also white due to years of exposure to sun and other elements. It can also have a white powder surface since it has lost its moisture. These antlers usually break easily and are least appropriate for your dogs. But some pet stores sell this grade so you need to be mindful when giving it to your pets.
If you’re willing to invest in your antler dog chews, it’s best to purchase Grade A quality rating because they usually last longer and have better chew quality that has better minerals, nutrients, and vital vitamins.
Trimming and sanding
Giving your dog antler to your fur buddies is usually recommended by veterinarians since they are safer compared to bones. As mentioned before, some manufacturers make safer antler chews and usually cut them into appropriate sizes, trim, and sand them.
These processes will smoothen your dog’s chew and prevent any splitters from breaking off and avoid any damages to your dog’s mouth or lodged in their digestive tract. Make sure to purchase antlers that have been properly manufactured to ensure your dog’s safety and to prevent any choking incidents.
When browsing through online shops, some manufacturers may indicate the level of hardness to guide dog owners in the buying process. If it’s your pet’s first time to have an antler chew, it’s best to purchase a soft one like elk antlers. If they’ll wear out easily, then you can purchase a tougher one.
Take note that deer antlers are tougher compared to elk antlers. Make sure to read the description of each product to prevent any oral damage and scraping your dog’s gum.
Dog Chewing Habit
Of course, you must know the chewing habit of your dog – are they an aggressive chewer or do they just chew their toys from time to time? Dog’s chewing behavior is a natural way for them to play and enjoy so no worries if they chew too much.
If your dog usually chews and tends to break their chew toys, you must at least supervise them to prevent any accidents like breaking the antler chew and swallowing smaller parts.
Top 7 Best Antler Dog Chews
Here are our fair and thoroughly researched top 7 safe, healthy, and everlasting antler chews for dogs. Check them out and see if they’ll perfectly fit your dog’s needs.
1. Pet Parents Gnawtlers – Premium Elk Antlers
These small elk antler dog chews are perfect for dogs that weigh 5 to 20 lbs. like dachshunds, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, etc. It measures 4 inches and is perfect for aggressive chewers and can serve as a puppy teething toy.
These premium elk antlers have calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc, unlike other products that have been processed and dyed. They’ve meticulously selected from Grade A premium raw elk antlers for their density, color, shape, and weight. These elk antler chews are cut, sanded, inspected, vacuum-sealed, and labeled to preserve their quality.
Compared to other antler dog chews in the market, the Pet Parents Gnawtlers premium antlers are vacuum sealed to prevent contact contaminants to ensure your dog’s safety.
2. The Antler Box-Premium Elk Antler Dog Chews
The Antler Box Organic Dog Chews features premium-grade organic elk antler chews that are sealed in a box. Each box contains 1 lb of naturally shed antlers, the medium-mixed box has 4 to 5 whole and split antlers that your fur buddies will surely enjoy.
These healthy, all-natural, and organic chews for dogs are full of phosphorus, calcium, manganese, zinc, and glucosamine to nurture your dogs. It has no antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, or other kinds of preservatives.
And since they promote all-natural products, these premium antlers are packed in an eco box that’s composed of biodegradable and renewable materials to prevent any usage of plastics.
3. Barkworthies Naturally Shed Split & Whole Elk Antlers
The Barkworthies elk antler chews are hand-selected, cut, and sanded down to a premium and safe-sized for your fur buddies. This antler chews support healthy smiles and chewing action is required for your dogs to reach the flavorful marrow center that naturally scrapes plaque and tartar from your pet’s gumline.
It’s a naturally long-lasting, low-mess, and odor-free chew that is perfect for indoors. If your dogs are new to antler chews, you can purchase their split elk antler that’s perfect for teaching safe chewing habits. You can also choose the right size and hardness since they have antler chews for light chewer, medium chewer, hard chewer, and power chewer.
Their split antlers are recommended for mild chewer dogs and are great as a “starter” while their whole elk antlers are best for aggressive and power chewers since their outer core provides a dense barrier.
4. WhiteTail Naturals – Premium Deer Antlers for Dogs
These premium and natural deer antler dog chews are ideal for large breed dogs and heavy chewers. Their extra-large grade A antler chews are 8” in length – the perfect size for large dogs.
WhiteTails’ antlers are chosen by hand, washed, cut, trimmed, and sanded to make sure that they’re safe for your pets and their dental health. It features natural minerals, has a low odor, and is mess-free. These deer antlers are naturally shed and are free from preservatives, chemicals, and additives. A great investment since they’re long-lasting and can keep your pets occupied for hours.
It’s available in four sizes perfect for all dog breeds – small (5-20 lbs), medium (20-40 lbs), large (40-60 lbs), and extra-large (60 lbs and up).
5. Heartland Antlers Deer Antlers for Dogs
Heartland Antlers ensures that they produce high-quality and all-natural deer antlers chew that can serve as a great alternative to rubber or nylon dog chew toys.
Their deer antler dog chews are grade A and have no additives, preservatives, or other chemicals. It’s tastier and healthier than rawhide – a perfect treat for your fur buddies while maintaining their oral health.
It’s also unprocessed and picked from the heartland of the USA. These deer antler dog chews are long-lasting, naturally shed, have no odor, and have no mess that’s perfect for indoors and outdoors.
6. Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chew – Premium Elk Antlers
Each piece of the grade A Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chews is individually inspected, weighed, and measured to make sure that it meets their high standards. Compared to rawhide that’s dangerous to your pets and pig ears that can be messy and stinky, their elk antler dog chews are all-natural, clean, and odorless.
These elk antler chews are long-lasting and feature a higher quality that can keep your dogs physically and mentally stimulated day after day. It’s also a great source of essential nutrients to keep your dogs healthy and strong.
Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chews assure their buyers that they NEVER source from elk farms or hunters since all their antlers are wild sources from the Rocky Mountain region of the USA. When buying their products, you’re also helping to save dogs’ lives since a percentage of their every sale is given to rescue programs.
Take note that their elk antlers are a product of nature meaning that each piece is unique and will vary in shape, weight, size, density, and hue of color.
7. Jack&Pup Antlers for Dogs
This 6 inches premium grade whole elk antler is a great long-lasting treat for your dogs. It contains the ultimate combination of tasty marrow flavor coupled with a tough texture that will satisfy aggressive dog chewers. It’s perfect for large dog breeds and is naturally odor-free and mess-free that’s ideal as an indoor and outdoor treat.
These elk antler chews are sourced from wild elk that are naturally shed yearly and are collected, inspected, and trimmed to an appropriate size to serve as a high-quality, healthy, and tasty treat for your dogs.
Jack&Pup antlers chew features essential vitamins and minerals to help your fur buddies function well. It also has calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc to provide a strong and healthy body. It has no fillers, additives, chemicals, and additives that make it easier to digest. Recommended for dogs that have allergies and sensitive stomachs.
Besides these, the ridged and rough texture of this elk antler dog chew is an effective way to remove tartar build-ups and plaque. It also strengthens your dog’s gum and exercises their jaw.
Antler Dog Chews: FAQ
We gathered the top frequently asked questions about the best antler dog chews, below are the best answers to your inquiries.
For dogs that are new to antler chews, a whole elk antler is a great choice since they feature a softer outer core and easier to chew that’s perfect for puppies and beginners. But this type of antler is NOT recommended for all-day chewers and aggressive chewers since it can break easily and they may swallow smaller parts that can lead to choking.
Yes, antler chews are completely safe and good for your dogs. Antlers contain vital nutrients like zinc, iron, sulfur, magnesium, and potassium that boost your dog’s overall health. It can also keep your dogs physically and mentally stimulated and can maintain their oral health by removing plaque and tartar build-ups.
You can give your puppies some split antler chews if they’re 10 weeks of age or older. Antler chews are perfect for teething puppies to relieve oral irritation and since antlers have vital nutrients, they can also help your puppies to be healthier and stronger.
Generally, the lifespan of an antler chews is around six months to a year but keep in mind that this still depends on the hardness of the core, cut, and size of the antler. Apart from these, your dog’s chewing habit is also a factor in the longevity of your antler chews – are your dogs an aggressive chewer, a mild chewer, or an all-day chewer?
Since antlers are high in protein, it can cause stomach upset in young dogs but it’s very uncommon. The number one issue about antlers is when they break or splinter, if this happens it can lodge in your dog’s mouth, throat, or intestine that can cause blockage and organ damage that could require surgery.
You can throw away your antler chews once it’s worn down to small pieces which can fit entirely in your dog’s mouth. This is to prevent choking incidents and to prevent them from swallowing the antlers. You can also limit your dog’s chew time to less than an hour so you can at least monitor them and keep them safe.
Rawhide causes upset stomachs and is allegedly cleaned using chemicals before compression. Bully sticks are high in fats. Most Nylabones contain nylon and are not all-natural dog chews.
The antler chew for dogs is the best chew available on the market, sharing the top positions with ruff roots and Himalayan dog chews.
The price is a little higher than your average rawhide bone but it lasts so much longer (months…) and is a lot healthier. There are no added ingredients with weird names here, nor is there a recipe. It’s a natural raw bone that has been cleaned and packaged, that’s it!
Just get one antler dog chew if you haven’t tried these yet, and you will forget about rawhides, nylabones, and bully sticks!
WARNING: dog chews are usually very hard but try to not be too hard to avoid breaking dogs’ teeth; make sure you pick the right size of chew, regardless of the type of chew you buy!