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How To Sterilize Deer Antlers For Dog Chews – 3 Practical Tips For Dog Owners

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Every dog owner is always looking for a chewing dog toy for their furry pets. Even as a new puppy owner, everyone will recommend that you get some chewing toy. Apart from the store-bought chewing toys, dogs seem to have a liking to other chewing stuff, like deer antler.

But, how safe are deer antlers for dogs? And, how to sterilize deer antlers for dog chews if you come across one when hunting?

Related: Dog Nail Grinder

Why do dogs chew?

While it looks like fun for a dog to keep chewing, there are more benefits to it. For starters, your dog will keep off your stuff like the couch, carpets, and shoes, among others. Many dog owners have come home to a chaotic house where the dog chewed everything on the way. To avoid this, you need to get your dog chewing toys or bones.  

Second, chewing is healthy for your dog. It helps clean the dog’s teeth by removing plaque from the teeth and preventing the build-up of tartar. All of this ensures your dog is less exposed to contracting periodontal disease. It also helps in ensuring your dog does not have bad breath. 

Last but not least, chewing will provide your dog with nutrients, depending on what your dog is chewing. In this case, antler chews will provide your dog with nutrients like phosphates and calcium.

How To Sterilize Deer Antlers For Dog Chews – 3 Simple Steps

We would recommend that you buy deer antlers from a reputable brand. However, there are times one needs to sterilize deer antlers for their dogs and save time and money of buying them. Here is how you can go about this;

  1. Research on where to buy – wild antlers are not the best in the sense that you do not know if the deer had health issues. Look for a reservation, sanctuary, or a farm that sells antlers. With these, you at least know they animals undergo regular health checks and also taken care of.
  2. How fresh is it? – the younger and fresher the antler, the better. Old antlers tend to be dry and splinter a lot, which will harm your dog. An old antler will have a yellow-ish bone marrow compared to a younger one.
  3. Get it ready for chewing – once you have the right antler for your dog, get your power and tools ready for some trimming. Get rid of the pointy edges and sand down any rough surfaces. It will ensure there are no sharp or rough parts on the antler that will harm your dog’s teeth, gums, and jaws. Then, boil water and a pot and simmer the antler for about 30 minutes. By doing this, you will be sterilizing the antler to get rid of any bacteria.    

Best antlers for dogs

  1. Deer antlers – these tend to be harder than others and come in different sizes. 
  2. Elk antlers – are softer than deer antlers, and easier for the dog to chew
  3. Moose antlers – these are softer than deer and elk antlers 

If you are going for something softer, moose antlers or the elk antlers are the best antlers to get. You can also seek recommendations from your dog’s vet to know how strong your dog’s teeth are to handle the different types of antlers.

How long do deer antlers last for dogs? After trimming and sanding, you will need to boil the antler for 30 minutes or so. And how long do deer antlers last for dogs? Most last up to 3 years, and might not have any greasiness or smell. However, depending on how often your dog is chewing the antler, you might notice some smell due to the dog’s saliva. 

Hopefully, you’ve learnt How To Sterilize Deer Antlers For Dog Chews. It’s a simple process and your dog will love you, even more, when you get it right!

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