Deer Antlers vs. Elk Antlers for Dogs: Key Differences

Antlers have gained popularity as natural chews for dogs due to their durability and dental benefits. In this blog, we aim to compare deer and elk antlers, two commonly available options, to help dog owners make informed decisions regarding their pet's chewing needs.

Antlers are natural, renewable chews that provide a long-lasting alternative to traditional dog chews. Unlike bones or rawhide, antlers are odorless, non-staining, and do not splinter, making them safer for dogs to chew on.

Deer Antlers for Dogs:

Deer antlers are known for their dense texture and durability. They come in various sizes and shapes, catering to dogs of different breeds and sizes. Pros include their long-lasting nature and dental benefits, but cons may include potential tooth wear and the risk of fracturing teeth. Deer antlers are generally smaller and more readily available compared to elk antlers. They are sourced from various deer species such as white-tail, roe, and mule deer, which are smaller in size, typically standing at around 3.5 feet tall, measuring 7 feet in length, and weighing a maximum of 300 pounds (source). Due to their smaller size, deer antlers are often preferred for smaller dogs, as they are easier for them to handle and pose less risk of choking or injury. 

Elk Antlers for Dogs:

Elk antlers come from larger animals that can grow over 5 feet in height, extend more than 9 feet in length, and weigh up to 800 pounds (source). Consequently, elk antlers tend to be larger, making them a more suitable choice for medium and large dogs. Additionally, elk antlers vary in density depending on the selected part of the antler, providing options that cater to dogs with different chewing preferences and habits. They also come in various sizes and shapes, offering options for dogs of all breeds. Pros include their durability and nutritional benefits, but cons may include higher cost and limited availability compared to deer antlers. 

The benefits of antlers for dogs:

Antlers offer numerous benefits for dogs as natural chews. They are rich in essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus, promoting dental health and bone strength. Additionally, antlers provide mental stimulation and help alleviate boredom, reducing destructive chewing behaviors. Their durable nature makes them long-lasting, providing hours of entertainment for dogs of all sizes. Moreover, antlers are odorless, non-staining, and do not splinter, making them a safe and healthy chew option for dogs. Incorporating antlers into your dog's routine can contribute to their overall well-being and happiness.

Key Differences:

Deer and elk antlers are both popular choices for dog chews, but understanding the key differences between them is crucial. These distinctions encompass factors such as size, density, and availability.

Nutritional Content:

Deer Antlers: Deer antlers typically contain lower levels of minerals like calcium and phosphorus compared to elk antlers. While they still offer some nutritional benefits, they may not provide as much support for bone health and dental strength.

Elk Antlers: Elk antlers are known to have higher concentrations of calcium and phosphorus, making them a more nutrient-rich option for dogs. These minerals play crucial roles in bone development, dental health, and overall well-being.

Durability and Safety:

Deer Antlers: Deer antlers are denser and harder than elk antlers, making them more suitable for aggressive chewers and dogs with strong jaws. The durability of deer antlers means they are less likely to splinter or break apart during chewing, reducing the risk of choking or ingestion of sharp pieces.

Elk Antlers: Elk antlers are slightly softer and more porous than deer antlers, offering a gentler chewing experience for dogs with sensitive teeth or lighter chewing habits. While still durable, elk antlers may not withstand heavy chewing as well as deer antlers, so they may not be ideal for very aggressive chewers.

Price and Availability:

Deer Antlers: Deer antlers are more widely available and tend to be more affordable than elk antlers. They can often be found in pet stores, online retailers, and even in natural settings where deer shed their antlers annually.

Elk Antlers: Elk antlers are less common and may be more expensive than deer antlers due to their higher nutritional content and potentially greater demand. They may be sourced from specialty pet stores, online suppliers, or hunting regions where elk are abundant.

Ultimately, the choice between deer and elk antlers for your dog depends on factors such as your dog's size, chewing habits, and dietary needs. Both types of antlers offer benefits as natural chews, but understanding their differences can help you select the best option for your furry friend's health and enjoyment.

Choosing the Right Type for Your Dog:

Choosing the right antlers for your dog involves considering several factors to ensure a safe and enjoyable chewing experience. Firstly, assess your dog's size, breed, and chewing habits to determine the appropriate size and density of the antler. For smaller dogs or light chewers, opt for smaller-sized or softer antlers to prevent dental issues or discomfort. Conversely, larger dogs or heavy chewers may require denser and more substantial antlers to withstand their chewing strength. Additionally, consider the source and quality of the antlers, opting for ethically sourced and inspected antlers from reputable suppliers. Look for antlers that are naturally shed and free from additives or preservatives to ensure the safety and health of your furry companion. Finally, supervise your dog during the initial introduction to antlers and monitor their chewing behavior to ensure they are comfortable and enjoying the experience. By carefully selecting the right antlers based on your dog's needs and preferences, you can provide them with a natural, durable, and enriching chew that supports their dental health and overall well-being.




Both deer and elk antlers offer unique benefits as natural chews for dogs. Consider factors like nutritional content, durability, and price when choosing the best option for your furry friend. With proper introduction and supervision, antlers can provide hours of entertainment and dental health benefits for dogs of all breeds and sizes.

peaksNpaws is committed to providing high-quality, ethically sourced elk antlers for dogs. Our elk antlers are sourced from naturally shed antlers found in regions where elk roam freely. This means that no animals are harmed in the process of obtaining the antlers, making them a sustainable and ethical choice for pet owners. Additionally, our elk antlers are carefully selected and inspected to ensure they meet our strict standards for quality and safety. By choosing peaksNpaws elk antlers, you can feel confident that you are offering your dog a natural, nutritious chew that supports their dental health and overall well-being while also promoting ethical and sustainable practices.

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