Are Elk Antlers Safe for Dogs?

|7 min read

You must have heard all the buzz about elk antlers for dogs in pet circles. In case you don't know, elk antlers are basically chew bones.But have you ever wondered if it's safe for your dog to chew on elk antlers?

Well, you're not alone! Lots of pet owners are curious about this.

In this article, we'll discuss whether elk antlers are okay for dogs, looking at the good stuff, possible problems, and what makes them special as chew toys.

Let's determine if elk antlers are a safe and beneficial choice for your four-legged pals!

Are Elk Antlers Safe for Dogs?

Many people with pets often ask if it's okay to use Elk Antler Chews for Dogs. The good news is that elk antlers are usually safe for most dogs. They come with natural minerals like calcium and phosphorus, providing a tough and lasting chewing experience.

Unlike some chew toys, elk antlers typically don't splinter, reducing the risk of harm for your furry friend. So, in simple terms, giving your dog elk antlers to chew on is generally a safe and beneficial choice.

Benefits of Elk Antler Dog Chews

Along with being safe dog chew toys, elk antlers dog chew toys have several other benefits; let's dissect them:

  1. Dental Health

    Taking care of your dog's teeth is super important, and chewing on elk antlers can help with that. When dogs chew on these antlers, plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth is stopped. This is awesome because it means their gums stay healthy.

  2. Nutritional value

    Elk antlers aren't just good for chewing, they're packed with all the essential nutrients for your dog, too! These antlers are loaded with calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are super nutrients that your dog needs to stay strong and healthy.

    Calcium is good for their bones, phosphorus keeps their energy up, and magnesium helps with many important body functions. So, when your dog chews on elk antlers, it not only keeps them busy but also gives them a natural vitamin boost for their overall well-being!

  3. Long-lasting

    When it comes to chewing, elk antlers are like the champions of durability! They stick around much longer than many other things your dog might chew on, making them a smart choice for your wallet.

    Because they last so long, you won't have to keep buying new chews all the time. It's a cost-effective way to keep your pup happily entertained while also saving you money in the long run.

  4. Safe and Natural

    Elk antlers stand out as a safe and natural choice for your dog's chewing needs. They don't contain artificial colours, additives, or preservatives. This means your furry friend gets to enjoy a pure and wholesome chewing experience without unnecessary chemicals in their system.

    Choosing dog chew antlers is like giving your dog a natural and safe treat, free from all the extra stuff that might not be so good for them.

Types of Elk Antler Chews

There are two types of elk antler chews available at the pet store. Whole antler chews are naturally shed antlers in their actual form, while split antler chews are, as their name suggests, split for easy chewing. Let's look at their features, pros and cons, in detail:

Split Elk antler chews

Split elk antlers are like a special treat for your dog. They're split open, exposing the tasty marrow inside. This makes it super easy for your pup to munch on and enjoy the yummy marrow goodness.

These split antlers are awesome for puppies, older dogs, and those trying antler chews for the first time. They come in different sizes - Small (4 inches), Medium (4.5-5 inches), and Large (6-7 inches), so you can pick the right one for your furry friend.

Opting for split elk antlers makes a lot of sense for your dog if they are new to chewing antler treats, are in their puppy stage and going through teething, or are a senior dog.

These antlers are also a good choice if your furry friend has dental issues like periodontal disease or general oral problems.

Additionally, if your dog is a bit picky and they prefer to take their time nibbling, then split elk antlers are the go-to option. These antlers provide a softer and more accessible chewing experience, catering to a variety of needs for a range of dogs.


  • With the bone marrow exposed, dogs are drawn to it.


  • Split antlers are less durable than whole antlers. For larger and stronger dogs, a whole antler might be a better fit than a split one.

Whole elk antlers

If your dog is a regular, everyday chewer, whole elk antler chews are the way to go. These antlers themselves are not too tough, but they last, meeting your dog's daily chewing needs. You can get them in different sizes: Small (4 inches), Medium (4.5-5 inches), Large (6-7 inches), and Extra Large (7 inches and longer).

It's like finding the perfect chew toy that's gentle enough for your dog's routine chewing habits but durable enough to keep them happily gnawing away.

If your dog already knows how to chew antlers and is super active, likes a challenge, or chews really fast and hard, then going for whole deer, elk, or moose antlers is a great idea.

These antlers are tough, so they're perfect for dogs with intense chewing habits. It's like giving them a puzzle to solve while they chew. If your pup fits into these categories, these antlers will keep them happily chewing away for a long time.


  • It lasts longer compared to the split antler. So, if your dog's chewing habits are intense and they chew things up quickly, then whole antler is a better choice.


  • The most delicious and nutritious part of the antler is the marrow, making pickier dogs less likely to be interested in chewing on a whole antler.

Things to Consider Before Giving Your Dog Elk Antlers

When we're talking about how good elk antler chews are for dogs, we also need to think about the possible problems they can cause.

Here are some things you should consider before giving your dog elk, moose, or deer antler dog chews:

  1. Choking hazard

    Choking is a concern with elk antler dog chews, especially for certain dogs. It's crucial to give your dogs the right size of elk antler dog chews, though, considering their size and their chewing habits.

    This means choosing chews that match your dog's size and chewing style to help prevent any choking risks. Moreover, always keep an eye on your furry friends while they're enjoying their chew to ensure their safety, especially if your dogs are aggressive chewers.

  2. Dental fractures

    Even though elk antler dog chews are great for your dog's dental health, there's a small chance of your dog getting broken teeth, especially if you are dealing with senior dogs or small puppies with fragile teeth.

    It's important to be mindful of your dog's age and dental strength when giving them these chews. If you notice any signs of discomfort or dental issues, it's best to consult with your vet and possibly choose a softer chewing option to avoid potential dental damage.

  3. Gastrointestinal issues

    Antlers can cause gastrointestinal upset or gastrointestinal obstruction if your dog swallows a big piece, whether it's elk or deer antlers. Some vets aren't sure if a dog's stomach acids can break down antlers.

    Even if they can break down eventually, the antler can still cause problems while it's in one piece. It might stop food from leaving the stomach or stop things from moving through the intestines.

    So, it's something to be careful about if your dog likes chewing on antlers.

Final Words

To sum up, the short answer to whether elk antlers are safe for dogs to chew is yes; they are completely safe for dogs to chew. In fact, elk antlers can be a good and fun choice for your canine companion. These hard chews are a natural source of minerals and last a long time. They also help keep your dog's teeth clean.

But, we need to be careful because there's a chance of choking or causing dental issues, especially for older dogs or little puppies, as it can be extremely painful.

So, pick the antler of the right size and keep an eye on your dog while they chew. It's all about making sure they're happy and safe. If you're unsure, talk to your vet for advice. Overall, with a bit of caution, elk antlers can be an amazing treat for your furry friend.


Are split elk antlers safe for dogs?

Yes, split elk antlers are usually safe for dogs. They are a good choice, especially for puppies, older dogs, or those who haven't tried antler chews before. The split antlers expose the tasty part inside, making it easier for dogs to enjoy.

It's important to keep an eye on your dog while they're chewing to make sure they don't break off big pieces that could be a problem. If your dog chews really hard or has any health issues, it's a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about the safest options for them.

Do vets recommend elk antlers for dogs?

Although most veterinarians suggest avoiding antlers for dogs and recommend other chews, if you decide to give it to your canine companions, it's wise to watch over them while they chew on it.

Can dogs break teeth on elk antlers?

One of the major risks linked to antler chews is the risk of broken teeth. Antlers are extremely tough and dense, making them a primary cause of canine tooth issues in dogs.

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