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 Elk/deer antler

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TigerCzarina
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PostSubject: Elk/deer antler   Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:37 pm

Happy Saturday, all!

So our older dog, Mia, absolutely adores gnawing on elk antlers, but with Luka having been teething we've been very careful to keep the antlers out of reach of him. Last night Mia brought one up onto the bed while he was snuggling with me and watching tv. Usually they're pretty good about sharing... But I didn't want to let him chew the antler, and I didn't want to take it away from Mia since she hadn't done anything wrong. Spent 20 trying to play keep away and get him to chew on his teethy bone.

He seems to be finished with teething (he doesn't seem bothered by it anymore at least). He's 6.5 months now. When do y'all think it's safe for him to start chewing on elk or deer antler? We'd asked our vet when we got him, and she's in general not a fan of antler, so we never got a solid answer from her.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:00 pm

I've was never a fan of antlers, til last year when I finally bought my two some and they loved them. I bought elk antler which is supposed to be softer. There is a thread in here, possibly a few, where there were some people who boiled the antler in soup broth to make it softer as well...but I don't know exactly where the thread is. I'm not sure if Luka is still too young for them, but if you decide to let him, elk is less risky. IMO.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:37 pm

Misty used to bring home bones she'd picked up on the desert but steers don't have antlers and horns seem to disappear.

I googled this since my new member seems to like to chew and the nylabone just doesn't keep her interest.  Found some interesting information on Pawsitive Pup's web site.

From it and other sites, I noticed that when they say "boil" the antler what they really mean is to "simmer" (not a rolling boil) the antler for several minutes. Add broth if you feel so inclined, some dogs just like to chew and others want the flavour. There is the suggestion on a couple of web sites that an active "boil" might cause the bone structure to change and result in a splintering antler - much like most other bones.

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TigerCzarina
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:55 pm

Hmmm, I've heard that you can soak them to make them more flavorful, but I think I'd be concerned about the splintering like you pointed out.

I guess I'm just concerned that they'd shift his teeth? Maybe I'm just paranoid...ill check that link out and read up some.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:58 pm

I just did a really quick search, back in August 2014 a thread called "safe chew bones", Renee recommended short ribs for young dogs, pups, saying they are smaller and softer. Just throwing it out there.


Last edited by aljones on Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Inserted url for the link //al)
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:28 am

Dev, yep Jimmy found a good thread Smile I will add, both Miya and Sofie have had bones and antlers since day one. In fact Sofie's teething was so bad she lived off of Cow ears and Elk (moose antlers are fine too, I would avoid deer antlers from white tails, they are too hard) antlers. I gave the elk straight outta the bag, no need to boil, I felt unsure of safety with doing that. To be honest they tend to lick and mouth the antlers and then all of a sudden they are more like a cow ear or a chewy. Sofie likes ears and antlers better than Miya, she will sit for hours to work on one. Miya gets bored too quick. as far as raw meaty bones, yes the short ribs (beef) are softer, but with Sofie she has a tremendous bite, and literally could split them so you do have to watch them. Miya chews bones and never had the issue. I also use the t-bone, which imho is probably the softest bone on the cow I give the whole t and once they get to the thicker top end I will take it away. As far as bones, you need to feed non weight bearing bones. I have shied away from pork, if you do try pork do not use the baby back rib and the country style bone in, they are cut in a way that will splinter even raw. Another way to try bones is feeding a chicken drumstick or thigh. Chicken bones are very soft, same with turkey. I would avoid chicken breast bones, they are pointy. Lastly many people start out feeding raw bones with chicken wings, if he is a chewer you're fine, but if he tends to chew until small enough to swallow then avoid wings. It is funny the difference between my two, Miya is a chewer, she even chews cheese, Sofie is a gulper, so I have to watch Sofie more closely than Miya with bones and antlers. Miya will chew up a bone nicely, and once it's too hard to chew she leaves it alone. Where as Sofie will break apart until she can swallow it, luckily Sofie will give up a bone when I tell her to, Miya is not as easy. Smile
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Mark Grubbs
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:24 pm

Zhukov has had antlers from an early age. I tend to buy the bigger ones that are cut in half to expose the soft inside. He loves them and they seem to last a while with him versus bones.
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RedFlashFire05
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:03 pm

Leo has always had elk antlers, i buy the split ones as big as i can find them. he loves them they last for a long time. although i think its time for me to order a new one Laughing .
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TigerCzarina
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:41 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys! Very Happy We bit the bullet so to speak and let him have the elk horns we have at the house (all are split). He is in heaven right now. He's been gnawing on them since 10  this morning. He can't decide which one is his favorite to chew. I think my husband has stashed about 7 or 8 around the house by now. We only have the elk, I don't think we've seen moose antlers readily available in stores around here (could be wrong though). We haven't used deer since they tend to be too small.

As far as bones go, I've always been afraid to use them-we had a poodle growing up that stole a piece of chicken and chocked on a bone (she survived and lived to a ripe old age of 13). Mama paranoia strikes again!


As a side note, Mia is thrilled. She's had a whole day of peace and quiet, puppy free!!!!
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HuskyMom09
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PostSubject: Re: Elk/deer antler   Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:52 pm

I stay away from deer antlers, they are so dense and hard....very easy to break teeth on. Elk on occasion, just not the tines. Primarily we use Moose, it's the softest of antler varieties and the dogs just love them. They last a very long time.
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