Some dogs love to chew, gnaw, nibble. The supply of dog chew toys is plethoric and too often of poor quality.
In recent years, deer antlers given as chew toys are causing a sensation. They intrigue by their original form. They are sold as natural, ecological alternatives, with a toothbrush effect to fight against tartar and bad breath. Some claim that they fortify the jaws. Some even recommend them to replace more conventional chew toys, for their aesthetic side, and to spare your furniture feet.
Are these new generation natural chew toys really a good idea? Are they safe for your dog?
In fact, you should never give your dog a toy that is not soft enough, or which hardness does not allow you to deform it with nail pressure.
Deer antlers are hard enough to clash brutally when fighting between deer. They are so tough that unscrupulous antler sellers promise you hours of chewing for your dog, which would save you money on buying chew toys.
Let's be clear : Deer antlers are so hard that animal health experts agree that deer antlers should not be given as chew toys to your dog.
In recent years, dental veterinarians have been concerned by the alarming number of dental fractures seen in dogs that had access to deer antlers as chew toys.
The observation is unfortunately always the same: the antler does not break, and the pressure exerted by the jaw of the dog is such that it causes a fracture of the maxillary premolar 4ème (carnassial), one of the largest teeth in the dog, corresponding to the teeth at the back of the jaw.
The fracture of the tooth is then at the origin of strong pains for your dog (this one will not complain at the beginning in spite of the deterioration of his tooth), and the pulp of the exposed tooth is at the origin of a dental infection, which requires rapid endocanal care or unfortunately a definitive extraction of the tooth. These treatments, which require anesthesia and specialized equipment, are much more expensive than a chew toy. The economy promised by the sellers of antler on the durability of the toy, and on the health of your dog is therefore a lie!
Of course, not all dogs will break their teeth, and many dog owners will tell you that their dog eats deer antlers, without problem. Just as you can drive without a seatbelt and never have an accident.
Despite the benefits that seem to make it the perfect toy, deer antlers are a real danger to your dog. The rule is to avoid giving a toy that is too hard for the teeth. Finally, know that the action against dental plaque of this type of chew toys is minimal, and brushing your teeth daily remains the most effective way to maintain the oral hygiene of your dog.
By Benjamin BAYON, Veterinary Doctor
It is our duty to tell you that FURST refuses to sell chew toys, no matter how beautiful or eco-friendly, that are too hard and responsible for too many health problems for your dog. We will be keen to offer you high quality alternatives.