How to Prepare Deer Antlers for Dogs?

|6 min read

Finding the right chew toy is a big deal when it comes to keeping our pets happy,as most dogs love to chew. After all, we all need a distraction for our dogs to keep them from their destructive chewing habits.

All pet parents want something safe, long-lasting, and natural too. That's where deer antlers come into play. They can be the perfect chewy treat for your furry friend and best of all, they come with health benefits too!

But before you toss a deer antler to your pup, there's a bit of prep work involved. In this blog, we're going to break down the steps to get deer antlers chews ready for your dog.

We'll cover everything from picking the right and fresh deer antlers for dogs, to making sure it's clean and good to go. This guide is here to help you make sure your dog's chewing experience is both safe and tons of fun. So, let's get started on making deer antlers the ultimate chew for your canine pals.

How to clean Deer antlers for dogs?

To ensure your deer antlers are clean, start by giving them a good rub with a cloth. This helps remove any visible dirt or any surface contaminants. For those tougher spots, especially if there's hair clinging on, use a wire brush or a damp cloth to scrub it away, ensuring a more elaborate cleaning process.

While these initial cleaning steps effectively tackle visible stuff, it's important to note that they may not eliminate all layers of bacteria lurking on the antlers.

Despite these efforts, it's crucial to remember that these cleaning methods might not fully eliminate all bacteria. For a more comprehensive approach, consider additional sterilization methods or the boiling method, especially beneficial if you aim to provide your dog with a chew that's not only clean but also free from any potential health hazards.

How to Sterilize Deer Antlers for Dog Chews?

To get deer antlers ready for your dog, start by making sure they're clean and completely free of germs or any harmful bacteria.

If you are working with fresh antlers, you can soak them in alcohol, but be careful with the concentration. Or, play it safe and let professionals handle the sterilization.

Another option is using a mix of the over-the-counter bleach available at the pet store and water. Soak the antlers upside down for a couple of hours until the solution gets cloudy, showing it's working. After taking them out, give the antlers a good rub with a cloth or a scrub with a twig or metal piece for a thorough clean.

Next, soak the antlers in clean water for half an hour to get rid of any leftover bacteria and to wash off the bleach, as it might not be good for your dog's mouth.

Once the antlers are out of the soak, pat them dry with a towel and let them air-dry before sharing them with your dog.

If your pup isn't a fan of plain antlers, try adding some dog-friendly peanut butter or other spreads. You can also enhance the flavor by soaking them in beef or chicken broth before giving them to your dog as a tasty treat.

How to Soften Deer Antlers for Dogs?

Use the following steps to make deer antlers soft for your dogs with sensitive teeth.

  • Step 1: Grab a utensil

    Grab a large, clean pan, chop the antler into small pieces, and toss them in a pot. This way, you can make sure it fits just right. Whether you're using a pan or pot, the goal is to fit all the antler pieces to make things easy and efficient.

  • Step 2: Submerge in water

    Pour fresh water or some chicken or beef broth into the container, ensuring the antler becomes both clean and tasty. This simple step adds a touch of flavor to the deer antler itself, making it more appealing for your dog while keeping it nice and clean for a delightful chewing experience.

  • Step 3: Soak the antlers

    Dunk the antler bits into your liquid of choice. Making sure they're completely covered. Let them soak for a day or two, depending on how soft and squishy you want them. If your pup chews hard, aim for 24 or more hours. If not, a day should do the trick.

  • Step 4: Let it dry

    Take out the antler bits from the container and let them air-dry before giving them to your furry pal.

How to Boil Deer Antlers?

When you grab fresh deer antlers for dogs, they can carry dirt and germs. Boiling is a top-notch method to clear off anything harmful on the surface that might affect your dog's health. But before you start, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • Step 1: Fill the pot with water

    Start by filling a big pot with water and throwing in a bit of salt. This simple step sets the stage for the process, getting everything ready for boiling the deer antlers.

  • Step 2: Boil the water

    Put the pot on a stove or a fire pit and wait for the water to really bubble and steam.

  • Step 3: Cut the antler chews

    Cut the antlers into little bits so your dog can chew them without any trouble, and they are a manageable size. Make sure the antlers pieces aren't too small to avoid your pup swallowing them easily, which can also be a choking hazard.

    Make sure to trim off any parts that poke out oddly, and smooth down the any sharp points and edges using sandpaper for safety.

  • Step 4: Add the antlers

    Once the water is boiling, toss the antler pieces into boiling water in the pot, then turn down the heat so it's just simmering. Ensure all the antlers are fully underwater and stay that way. You can use prongs to push them down, ensuring they soak well.

  • Step 5: Simmer

    Let the antlers soak in the hot water for just up to 30 minutes. After that time is up, grab the prongs and lift them out. This is just enough to soften them and get them ready for your dog to enjoy.

  • Step 6: Air dry

    Allow the antlers to dry in the air for a whole day. This gives the antlers some time to dry off naturally, but make sure they don't stay in the sun too long to keep them looking good.

How Long to Boil Deer Antlers?

Boil the antlers for about 30 minutes. It's important to follow this time limit because boiling them for too long can make the bone break easily and create sharp pieces, which could be dangerous for your dog and can make the antler a choking hazard.

So, stick to the suggested time to keep things safe for your furry friend.

Final Words

In this blog post, we've learned how to make deer antlers safe and enjoyable for your dog to chew on. From cleaning them up to making them soft, each step helps your furry friend have a good time chewing on the deer antlers safely.

Just remember to be careful with the boiling time to avoid any problems. By doing this, you're giving your dog natural and strong dental chews that promote good dental health.

With your ready-to-go deer antlers, enjoy watching your pup happily chew away!


Are deer antlers safe for dogs? 

Yes, deer antlers are completely safe for dogs to chew on. They naturally contain essential nutrients like zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium, all of which offer numerous nutritional benefits for your furry friend.

However, always monitor your dog's teeth even during chewing. Discard any small or sharp pieces and consult your vet if you notice any adverse reactions.

Can I use bleach to sterilize deer antlers for dogs?

Yes, a bleach-water solution is an alternative. However, don't forget to rinse, rub, and air-dry before giving them to treat your dog.

Can I give my dog fresh, unprepared deer antlers?

Treating deer antlers is recommended to ensure they are free from dirt and bacteria. Cleaning and softening them make the chewing experience safer and more enjoyable for your dog.

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