Our furry friends have universal popularity, don’t they? We all love them and want the best for them. That’s why there are innumerable products in the market for them. The most popular category is, of course, the treats & chews.
Dogs love yummy treats and chews. They keep them occupied for hours at a stretch, and they would gladly just be left alone with them. As their guardians, though, it is important that we only choose the right ones for them. Today’s popular choices include antlers. They are known to be extremely satisfying and engaging at the same time. But, there are different antler types for you to pick from, and this is where the challenge lies.
The two most popular options are deer and elk, and most buyers get confused. Which one is better? Which one will your dog prefer? Are they the same, or do they have specific pros and cons? Answering all these questions will enable you to buy the best antlers for your dog because, please remember, they may not suit everyone.
In this article, we shall speak in depth to determine who wins the elk antlers vs deer antlers battle.
These antlers naturally shed from the animal. Thus, they are procured humanely. They are known to be hard, delicious, and large. They also come with a variety of benefits, such as the following:
- Elk antlers are rich in calcium, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, iron, etc.
- They are very long-lasting
- They don’t smell much
- They are completely natural and are excellent for dogs with allergies
- They have low density, making them easier to chew even for smaller dogs
- They don’t chip or splinter, making them very safe
- They help in keeping the teeth clean
Elk antlers are usually of two types: split antlers and whole antlers.
- Split elk antlers: These are ideal for beginners, senior dogs, and puppies. They are easier to chew because the marrow is already exposed. They are also smaller because they are literally split from the middle. The only thing to note here is that these antlers may not last very long.
- Whole elk antlers: As the name clarifies, these are whole. They are an ideal choice for large dogs and aggressive chewers. The marrow is still inside, and thus, it takes much longer to chew. This also ensures that the chews last long. Remember never to give these antlers to your puppies or senior dogs. They may have a hard time with them.
Deer antlers are for the pros. They are much harder than elk antlers and may not be suitable for any dog except the extremely heavy-duty chewing machines. Let’s find out some of their characteristics:
- They are quite dense and are incredibly hard
- They can cause tooth damage and fractures
- They don’t have much core marrow and thus, are low on nutrition when compared to elk antlers
- They are delicious
- They help in keeping the teeth clean
- They are not meant for small dogs, puppies, or senior dogs. In fact, we suggest that you keep them away from your dog unless he is a heavy-duty chewer and has a reputation for destroying everything he sees.
- Mule deer antlers are easier to chew than whitetail antlers. Whitetail antlers are the hardest.
Difference Between Elk and Deer Antlers
Many people have wondered whether antlers are safe for dogs. Now that you know the difference between elk and deer antlers, you should be able to answer this. Antlers are quite safe as long as you choose the right ones. Just follow the checklist below:
- Split elk antlers: For puppies, senior dogs, beginners
- Whole elk antlers: For aggressive chewers
- Deer antlers: For heavy-duty chewers ONLY.
To be on the safe side, you should avoid deer antlers completely and only stick to elk antlers. Make sure you compare and find out which the best brand is too so that you only buy natural, unprocessed, safe antler chews for your dog.
About Author: I am Tonya Hubbs. I am a veterinary doctor. I have a keen interest in the animal’s health and writing about a different aspect of there health. I write blogs on dogs, cats, and other pets to share my knowledge based on my experience. Find out more on my blog.