EverythingDogBlog: A is for Antler (Guest Blog, by Hannah and Mia, Labs Extraordinaire!)
“If 40 is the new 30, then antlers are the new bones.”
Translated from the canine language by Skye Anderson, MS
“Can you keep a secret?
“OK, this is the bestest dog treat ever in the whole wide world – antlers!
“Our person Skye visited her old home in Idaho (and didn’t take us!), found a couple antlers on the back hill, and brought them back to us in merry Maryland. They were wild antlers so one of us (Big Ol’ Hannah) was afraid at first – they smelled scary but exciting. Finally she tried chewing on one and hasn’t been the same pooch since – we love ‘em, love ‘em, love ‘em!
(Here is a photo of Puppy Zuma wondering what to do with an antler [first photo.] On the other hand, in the second photo, Puppy Cosmo knows what to do with an antler at 8 weeks - and at a year and a half!)
“And so does Skye, our person. Now she buys us antlers every year (they last and last). I especially like a chew-session for dessert.
“Skye says they supply us with vitamins, calcium, sodium, and minerals, whatever they are. Antlers don’t splinter or shred. They don’t stain like some dog chews that are artificially colored to appeal to the human in your family. Antlers have no odor that humans can detect, but to us canines, the superior species, they smell and taste delicious-scrumptious. They have no antibiotics, hormones or added fillers: they can’t – they are naturally shed by deer, elk or moose.
“However, anyone who tells you they are organic is spoofing you unless he can vouch that the animal never ever left his sight.
“Deer antlers are the softest but they still last a long long time so if any of you canines reading this are not really chew-hounds like us labs, you might want to try a deer antler first. Or a button*.
“Elk antlers are harder and moose antlers are the hardest. We love ‘em all – we’re not particular as long as they are antlers. Hmmm, I wonder about reindeer antlers. . . .
“You may get one that already has some chew marks on it: in the woods, after they are shed in the fall, they serve as food for small animals like rodents who like them as much as we do. (Horns, on the other hand, are not shed.)
“Folks who hunt for shed antlers are called shed-hunters! Often they are forest personnel who spy antlers in their daily work, mark the spot and then return in the time off to collect them. Love those shed-hunters!