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Deer Antlers: Tough Chews for Tough Dogs

Naturally shed deer antlers
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Male white-tailed deer (bucks) have antlers during spring, summer, and winter moths. The antlers naturally fall off, or "shed" in late winter, early spring, when mating season is over.

Antlers are made of dead bone - they are a great alternative to rawhide chews, especially for dogs who are aggressive chewers or who have a sensitive digestive system, disturbed by the fat and protein in rawhide chews.

Antlers on deer are bone material.

During growth they are covered with a skin that helps provide blood and nutrients to the antler.

When the antler growth stops due to testosterone-levels rising in the animal, the skin is rubbed off - this creates the colorization and "staining" of the antler.

The antlers carried by are "natural sheds," collected in the forests of Illinois. Deer have not been harmed to collect these antlers. Because they were gathered in the wild, we have washed them with a mild peroxide solution, just to be sure they are dirt and germ free.

Deer antlers are a clean, odorless, non-staining, non-greasy treat to keep active chewers busy. The antlers will not crumble or splinter and harm your dog.

In the wild, shed antlers are not around for too long - they are a favorite treat for wild animals - even squirrels and rodents love them because they are rich in minerals and calcium.

But not all dogs like antlers.

Just as some dogs aren't crazy about rawhide or pig ears, there are those who aren't attracted to antlers, either.

Because antlers are odorless, your dog might not be aware of their excellent chewability. Try rubbing on a little peanut butter or some beef juice left over from your steak dinner when introducing antlers for the first time.

As with all treats, please supervise your pet carefully, especially the first few times you're offering this new treat.

(Holly, pictured above, is a four-month old pup, who really, really likes deer antlers. She says they're much more enjoyable than the table legs she was chewing before.)

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