Luna loves to chew. When she first rescued us, she would purloin various items out of my office with the intent to chew them into oblivion. She was particularly fond of the mellow, aged 2009 Sharpie with a note of cherry. We wanted Luna to be able to use her energy on something substantial because she blows through bully sticks, and with her dietary restrictions, we didn’t want to give her something that could potentially upset her stomach. Plus, we wanted her to focus chewing on her own things, and not ours (like my Vans). Ultimately, we found split elk antler.
I had known about elk antlers, and had seen that the Rescue from where we got her gave them to their greyhounds. Initially, I bought an uncut antler for Luna, and that was just a bust because she couldn’t get to the marrow. Then, by happenstance, on one of our many trips to the pet store, I allowed Luna to pick out a “chewy”. She picked the quartered elk antler, and from that day on, “Boney James” has made the top of the list as one of her favorite chewies.
While my research did uncover one negative point about elk antler (chewing them may cause fractured teeth for some dogs), the overwhelming majority of veterinarians and pet parents speak highly of their benefits:
- they help keep teeth clean and gums healthy
- elk antlers are naturally shed from elk so there is no harm caused by sourcing, with new antlers grown by the elk every year
- they are high in healthy minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus
- elk antlers last weeks or months, as opposed to one day or one half hour (hello bully sticks, I’m talking to you)
- all natural – not made with harmful chemicals
- they don’t leave a mess behind
- they have no odor
As with any chew toy or bone, a responsible pet parent will monitor their dog during its use, and be sure to check for sharp edges (which can be smoothed out with sandpaper, or by rubbing it on concrete). Dental hygiene is of utmost importance to your fur baby’s overall health, so use your daily brushing as an opportunity to check your greyhound’s teeth and gums to make sure the antler (or any chew toy, for that matter) is not causing any damage.
Thanks to BlogPaws for hosting this blog hop, and thanks for indulging me with my Not-So-Wordless-Wednesday post.