One of the biggest concerns we see from pet owners new to antler chews is whether or not antlers will break their dogs teeth. We completely understand the concern, and we wanted to answer that question for everyone.
Yes, there is a possibility that antlers can break your dogs teeth. But that possibility lies with all hard chews, it is not just exclusive to antlers. The risk factor can depend on a few things, such as your dogs age, their chewing style, and their body size. This is why we categorize our antlers based on chewing style and weight, so you can choose the one that will work best for you.
One thing that is important to note is your dogs size compared to their chews size. The ratio we usually like to recommend is for every 5 pounds of your dogs body weight, correspond that with 1 ounce of antler. The easiest way to figure out this is to take your dogs weight, and divide it by 5. For example, if your dog is 50 pounds, you would divide the 50 pounds by 5, which will equal 10 ounces of antler. Choosing an appropriate size is important for 3 reasons
1) you want an antler that is proportional to your dog so that it is not to big to handle, but not to small that they can choke on it
2) an appropriate sized antler will give you a good amount of chew time. If you give a small antler to a large dog, the antler will not last as long as it should.
3) the right sized antler will help keep your dog safe from an antler to small or to large, decreasing their chances of injuring themselves.
Gnawing vs Biting
We usually illustrate it like this. You want an antler large enough for your dog that when they chew it, they are gnawing instead of biting. When a dog gnaws, they don’t build up as much force and momentum to bring down on whatever is in their mouth, as opposed to biting. When a dog bites, they put all the pressure and force they can into biting whatever they have, which is usually what leads to broken teeth.
“Will antlers break my dogs teeth?” The answer is yes they can, there is always a chance of that with any hard dog chew. But if you pick the right style and size of the antler, you significantly decrease the chances of that happening.
P.S. If you feel like your dog might accidentally hurt themselves with their antler, be sure to keep an eye on them. Only give it to them when your around and can make sure that nothing bad will happen.