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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I live in an area with many deer and elk. They leave their shed antlers and we may pick them up. Is there any direction for making my own antler chews for free? I would assume: don't use really old, brittle ones, cut up the rack into manageable pieces, and sand or cut off sharp areas. am I missing anything? We have our first puppy, and she loves to chew!
One other thing-if I want to get meaty raw bones from the butcher, what are the best ones to ask for?
Thanks for your advice!
 

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"Make" an antler chew? I dunno, I just gave the whole thing to my dog. I suppose if you have a smaller dog, cutting it up would be a good idea.

I like beef ribs as recreational chews. For eating you want something smaller and softer like chicken legs or rabbit bones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks Willowy. Just giving her the whole thing sounds simple enough :) Just the ones I searched online all showed cut up pieces, that's why i asked. She is definitely a big puppy already, and going into teething so just looking for some good options that will save a little money. She goes through the store chewies in no time.
 

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thanks Willowy. Just giving her the whole thing sounds simple enough :) Just the ones I searched online all showed cut up pieces, that's why i asked. She is definitely a big puppy already, and going into teething so just looking for some good options that will save a little money. She goes through the store chewies in no time.
This is an interesting thread, i look fed to hearing what everyone has to say in it
 

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I personally would sand the sharper areas down, but that is me. I don't like the idea of my dogs chewing on things with sharp points.
 

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I just spent like $30 on XL deer antlers this weekend. I think they're each a little over a foot long. What I wouldn't give to be able to just find them lying around! The individual points are usually cut off, I presume to make them more manageable for chewing. Not sure why cutting off "sharp" parts is really necessary, unless they were fractured. My dogs like to make shanks out of the antlers. If I cut off the sharp parts that they create, I'd end up throwing half of them out.
 

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Try to get antlers that were shed this past season, older ones "foliate" and get brittle and flake/crumble which isn't so good. We got a small antler from a hunter last year. The only thing you might want to cut off is the "tines" (dunno what else to call them). The size of the antler we have, when Caeda holds it, quite often leaves the tines sticking straight up into her face....scary if she tries to run around with it, plus she LOVES to ram it into our legs. A bigger rack would definitely need to be cut up too!
Be careful cutting them, and be sure to wear a face mask, sand the sharp cuts and clean it off well before giving it to your dog. Bone dust of any kind is VERY bad for the respiratory system of humans, and I would assume dogs.
We live in a fairly rural area as well and I want to do some shed hunting, and I've heard tell of people who scent train their dogs to find them (there's even scent training products for this!). A little late to train it for this year, but I'm thinking next year. Just thought I'd share that....some of you might find it fun (and save a ton on store bought antlers!).

BTW, does anybody know why Moose antlers aren't ever used? Just curious.....
 

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BTW, does anybody know why Moose antlers aren't ever used? Just curious.....
I don't use moose because they are really expensive (more so than deer or elk), and I don't live anywhere where I could find moose sheds lol.
 

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I've seen moose antler chews in the stores. I would assume they aren't as popular because they're harder to cut up, probably.
 

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Moose antlers are used! You can buy them on Amazon. They're more expensive than elk or deer antlers, though. Not as many moose roaming around, I guess.
 

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I live in an area that has lots of rocks....
My dog likes collecting rocks and giving them to me..and chewing and sucking on them.

I have tried introducing products like Antlers and Kong toys and marrow bones and also rawhide.

Her favorite toy is always a Rock or a Log....we have them in our backyard!
 

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I get my own antlers.... I have long since before very many people were using them. I take them right off the deer. My and the dogs favorites are the antlers RIGHT after they come out of velvet. They love early season deer..

I also have a buddy that guides out west. He manages to bring me back a couple of Elk Antlers each year.
 

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We come across these on the ground sometimes here... I have been wondering if they were safe. Is there a risk of parasites or anything from the antlers?
 

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Elk Antlers are a great Chew as well as treat. Normally no smell or mess like Bully Sticks or other organ based products. With Elk Antlers, you want to make sure that all the rough edges are smoothed out. Also make sure that the elk Antler treat is large enough so that there will be no choking hazard. You can find quality ones on line and the best prices I have seen are from http://elkantlerstreats.com/elkantlerstore/ in the $17.80 range. I got mine the other day and "Bella" took right to it.
 
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