Deluxe Naturals

Antler Nutrition & Grades

What’s in these things?

Antlers are unique to the deer family and are composed of a bone-like material which regenerates each year and “branches out”. The hardened antlers are excellent chews for your dog because it contains rich amount of calcium and phosphorus.

Calcium plays an important role in your dog’s bodily functions such as bone and teeth formation, blood clotting, milk production, muscle contraction, heart pumping, vision, and in the metabolism of hormones and enzymes.

There are other calcium products available in the market, but it is hard to find a100% natural product containing suitable amount of phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential mineral needing to combine with calcium in order for our dogs to absorb the calcium intake. Our lab test result shows that there is approximately 18.47% of calcium and 9.89% phosphorus in 100g of our grinded antler powder. This makes the calcium and phosphorus ratio to 1.85, which is in ideal calcium absorption range. In general, most veterinarians and pet journals recommend a range of 1.2 – 2.0 calcium and phosphorus ratio.    

We proudly sent our antlers to FDA recommend lab facility for nutrition testes and the same nutrition test has been conducted multiple times, which allows us to proudly put the nutrition results below in our label.

Ingredient: 100% natural antler

You can see the complete nutrition report here

Here is a list of what you WON’T find in our antler chew products:

NO preservatives

NO growth hormones

NO animal byproducts

NO additives

NO artificial coloring

NO flavor enhancers

Fussy or Overweight Dog? We’ve got you covered!

All-natural antler chews are excellent treats for dogs with sensitive stomachs to beef, pork, chicken etc. and those on fat-controlled diets. They contain only 159.68 calories per 100 g in our test result. We are talking about 159.68 calories consumption in a few weeks on average. Just a tasty, nutritious treat for your four-legged friend!

Where in the world do antlers come from?

Antlers are unique to cervids and found mostly on males. In fact, only caribou and reindeer have antlers on the females. They start growing in the spring time then are shed each winter.

The largest antlers may be 3-4 ft long and weigh around 40 pounds. Antlers are made of a tough bone which can grow at a rate of about 1 per day. While actively growing, the antlers are protected by a soft layer of highly vascularised skin known as “velvet”. The velvet is shed in the summer when the antlers have fully developed. Only then the antler formed.

There is more than one type of antler.

In fact, there are two types of antlers in the market. One is naturally shed antlers and picked up by locals. This type of antler is usually picked up in early spring after the winter shedding season.

The other type is hardened antlers cut by farmers in their ranches. The farmers remove antlers between August to December to minimize the risk of injury (reason being, bulls or bucks become aggressive during mating season).

Although neither approach harms the animals, in fact, the antlers regrow the following year; we at Deluxe Natural only sell naturally shed antlers.

What other than chews are antlers used for?

In the United States, hard antlers are mainly used for two purposes: food/chew purpose and arts/craft. Only 10% of antlers are suitable for craft uses. They’re selected for their artistic shapes and colors. Craft products range from chandeliers to simple knife handles, and all kinds of fancy home furnishings.

Making the Grade!

For food/chew purposes, antlers are generally divided into four grades:

Grate A--Hard Brown

Grade A describe recent antler drops, usually of elk that have a noticeable and sometimes pronounced brown color. Brown antlers have the highest moisture content and the most pleasing color!  They also have the most aroma, which is attractive to your dog. The chews are softer due to the moisture content.  Softer means a quicker chew time. So you may need to replace it sooner! 

Grade B--Hard Whites

Grade B antlers are usually one or two years old and have some moisture loss associated with the color loss. Grade B antlers are a bit harder and last longer as antler dog chews, even though it’s not quite as aromatic to your dog. These antlers have been partially bleached by exposure to the sun.  Sun-bleaching is the natural process whereby an antler is shed or cut and lays out in the sun becoming lighter in color until they are finally consumed. 

Grade C--Cracked White

These antlers have had a several years of sun or dry wind exposure and have lost enough moisture to allow cracking between the crystalline structure of the antler. These antler chews are lighter in color and in weight. The likelihood of splintering makes this grade not a suitable chew for dogs.

Grade D--Chalky

These antlers have been baked in the sun or in hot dry wind for many years.  These antlers will easily scratch off a white powder called calcium carbonate powder. Dogs have less interest in these antlers because they are lack of aroma and they have a chalky and gritty feel. More importantly, these antlers can be easily  crumble or splinter when consumed by dogs.

Grade our Promise!

 

We at Deluxe Naturals carry ONLY the A and B grades of antlers mentioned above! They are the top qualities in the market. It is worth mentioning these grades because now when you shop for your antler chews, you’ll have a good sense of what you are paying for!


Ready to select antler chew for you dog? See our antler selections.

See also Control Dog Chewing & Food Allergy Concern for Your Dog?