Antlers: Good for Reindeer, Bad for Dogs

shutterstock_529692208Hello there, I feel like I’ve had a year long case of writer’s block. One of the cures for that is to just sit down and write something, anything, so here goes. This may be easier for everyone if I try to keep these posts short and sweet. The topic of today is: antlers.

It’s the holiday season, kids all around are looking forward to a visit from jolly old Saint Nick and his merry band of eight (nine counting Rudolph) tiny reindeer. Reindeer have antlers, and so do pet stores. (Wasn’t that a nice segue? )

The impulse buy antler rack, by the checkout counter at the pet store makes me cringe each and every time I see it. Laypeople may see a wonderful display of delicious natural treats to satisfy their beloved dogs’ innate need to chew. I, on the other hand, see over priced, rock hard, teeth breakers.

To borrow from Forrest Gump: cleaning teeth is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. However, now, when I find multiple nasty fractures of the premolars of a dog, I know the culprit. I call the client up and ask if their dog chews antlers and 9 times out of 10, the answer is yes.

Subsequently, what started with a $15 antler, turns into a $600 plus dental with a sore dog and potentially multiple tooth extractions.

FYI: the rule of thumb for chew toys is: if it’s soft enough to indent with your finger nail, it won’t break teeth and is ok to give.

So the moral of the story is, avoid the temptation. Don’t buy the antlers! Don’t buy the bull penises (bully sticks), tracheas, or other parts either (I’ll cover that in another post).

Try a nice Kong or puzzle toy instead.

Yappy holidays!

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Antlers: Good for Reindeer, Bad for Dogs

  1. As a cat person, I didn’t know anything about dog chew stuff. Good to know and tuck into my memory: if it’s soft enough to indent with your finger nail, it won’t break teeth and is ok to give.

  2. One of my dogs actually broke bits off the antlers, and so I stopped giving them to the dogs right away and threw them into the forest where they belong!! (well, they came from a store, but presumably from a forest originally…)

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