Is it safe for dogs to eat elk antlers?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question “is it safe for dogs to eat elk antlers?”. As well, we will discuss what are elks and where are they from, what are elk antlers, what are the functions of the elk antlers, and other concerns about elk antlers. 

Is it safe for dogs to eat elk antlers?

Yes, it is safe for dogs to eat elk antlers, but with supervision. The elk antlers are hard and don’t splinter like bones. The elk antlers can last more than other toys for dogs.  

What are elks and where are they from? 

Elk is a mammal animal from North America, but also from East and Central Asia and belongs to the species Cervus canadensis, also called wapiti. The elk are from the deer family. The diet of these animals consists of plants, grasses, bark, and leaves in the forest.

What are elk antlers?

The deer family has their male animals with large antlers and every year, they lose and regrow them. The antlers are a prolongation of the elk’s skull and are composed of blood vessels, nerves, skin, fibrous tissue, cartilage, and bone. 

What are the functions of the elk antlers?

As only the male elks have the antlers therefore it has the function to attract the females, the larger the antlers, the more attractive the male becomes. The antlers also have the function of weapons for fighting to control harems against other males.

Why are the elk antlers so big?   

As the elk antlers have the functions of reproductive as sexual attraction and control of territories as weapons, it’s natural that the antlers can grow so much.    

How are the elk antlers developing?

The elk antlers grow from the pedicle, which is located on the skull. The elk antlers require nutrients and oxygen to grow, that’s why the antler is composed of a hugely vascular skin with the name velvet. The elk antlers develop very quickly. Below is more about the elk antlers.

  • At first, the growth is with cartilage tissue and then turns into bone tissue;
  • When the antler is full develop, the velvet around the antlers is strayed and the antler’s bone succumbs;
  • The antler’s bone when succumbed is the mature antler;
  • The mature antler is consumed by osteoclasts in the base and then the antler falls off;
  • The cycle of developing antler begins again, every year.   

Are elk antlers good for dogs to eat?

As the mature elk antler is made of bone tissue, the elk antler is hard and doesn’t splinter like other bones, avoiding digestive problems like perforation of the digestive system. Below are listed other good factors of elk antlers for dogs to eat. 

  • As the texture of the antler is hard, this product will last longer than other bones or toys;
  • Antler is a natural product and cruelty-free, as the elk antlers fall off every year from the elk;
  • Assist with the dental health of dogs, decreasing plaque of bacterias or tartar;
  • Help to control the anxiety of some dogs;
  • Elk antlers are nutritious, as are a source of protein, many amino acids, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium; 
  • Elk antlers have no odor but may have the odor from the saliva of the dog.

Are elk antlers bad for dogs to eat?

Besides the elk antlers don’t splinter like other bones, there is the possibility of splintering and if happens will have the chance of lodging in the digestive system, mouth, and throat, which can need immediate surgery for emergence. The hard texture can also contribute to broken teeth.

Do I need to supervise my dog while he is eating elk antlers?

Yes, as eating elk antlers has some risks, it’s better to supervise your dog while he is eating elk antlers. It’s also recommended that you choose the right size of elk antlers for your dog, a size that your dog can put the whole elk antler in the mouth or can’t chew, so, a medium size.   

Where can I buy elk antlers for dogs?

If you live in the US it will be easier to find elk antlers, but you also will find elk antlers online. There are many options when buying elk antlers online. If you click here, you will check online commerce.  

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question “is it safe for dogs to eat elk antlers?”. As well, we have discussed what are elks and where are they from, what are elk antlers, what are the functions of the elk antlers, and other concerns about elk antlers. 

References 

https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/diseases/elk-hoof Accessed: 05/01/2022

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antler Accessed: 05/01/2022

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk Accessed: 05/01/2022

https://www.bestbullysticks.com/blogs/bbs-blog/are-antlers-safe-for-dogs-to-chew Accessed: 05/01/2022

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