Skip to Content

Tasty Tuesday: Rack ‘Em Up

As a member of the Etsy affiliate program and an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I, Kolchak T Puggle, LOVE to chew. I love it. I love getting some great snack all up in my teeth and just gnawing on it. For a paw like me, a good chew is nothing short of pure joy.

But it’s tough to be Kolchak. On the flip side of having a Mama who knows what treats we should have, is that she knows what treats we SHOULDN’T have – and there are a whole lot of treats on the DO NOT CHEW list at out house.

Public Enemy#1 at our house is rawhide. I’ve never even HAD ONE. The whole rawhide thing has never made sense to me anyways. How did it even come up. “Hey! Here’s an idea,” some guy thought. “We’ll take the same tough chewy practically indestructible material that we use to make leather shoes and our leashes, then we’ll make it taste good and feed it to the dog. What a great idea!” Um, I’m sorry, but that sounds awful, thankyouverymuch. 

Mama is equally intolerant of other popular chews like pig’s ears and pork hide. She tried giving us real bones – like the smoked femur bones you get at the butcher – but after Felix’s broken tooth and having the dental surgeon tell her that since these smoked bones are actually HARDER than canine teeth that was OVER. A crapload of research later – and we now have a few chews that Mom considers safe and we consider delicious.

High on our list of A-OK chews are deer and elk antlers.

See how much I love them?

IMHO, antler chews get MAJOR bonus points for being

Deer and elk naturally shed their antlers every spring. The antlers are harvested, cleaned, polished for sharp edges and sold to lucky pets like us. Many brands are certified “cruelty free”. I like that.

Deer antler velvet has been long used in Chinese medicine as an essential health and energy tonic. It is believed to boost blood cell production, which is believed to help with everything from muscle recovery after exercise to supporting the immune system to helping with joint structure and function.

Antlers don’t splinter – and in the year we’ve been getting them, we’ve never been able to bite a piece off. They also do not retain disgusting bacteria, the way a skin-based chew can, so there is less chance that one will make us sick.

These suckers last FOREVER. Usually one will last us around three months, with frequent chewing.

They sound like dream chews eh? I bet you’re thinking, so what’s the down side? Well, first, they are a little pricey. Unless you are lucky enough to live in deer country and you can forage for your own, these chews will run you anywhere from $5 to $25 per piece depending on size. A hefty price tag, unless you take into account how long they last, which is a darn long time.

Some dogs (who are crazy!) don’t take to antler chews right of the bat. You have to remember that if they are used to getting skin chews, they may not initially find antlers as interesting to chew, as they will not have that same (awful) smell. There are a few things you can do if your pup is initially disinterested – have the antler sawed in half – of buy the ones with deer antler marrow exposed. If you already have a chew, consider soaking it overnight in chicken stock or lightly coating it with peanut butter before giving it to your pup. After a few times, most are happy to get it back!
A note from Mom: Like with all hard chews, antlers should be picked up between chewing and put away – for your pup’s safety and for yours. Ever stepped on a Lego? Well a deer antler chew to the foot at 2 AM is JUST as PAINFUL.

Kolchak’s Dream?

A whole rack!

Rack ‘Em Up!
All posts are the property of Kolchak’s Kitchen and Kolchak Puggle/Jodi Chick. Please ask before reposting content. All reposts must link back to our site. Thank you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Saturday 7th of May 2011

Oscar's a crazy chewer. We give him bully sticks, but we also got him a couple of antler chews. At first, he didn't seem so interested, since they don't smell like much. After he hit his second chewing phase though, he's been gnawing on his antler non-stop! I love how long it's lasted. It's been weeks and there's still a big piece of antler left, while he can go through a bully stick in an hour if we let him. They're well worth the cost, if you ask me!

AJ of PupLove

Tuesday 3rd of May 2011

Hi! Just making the rounds to remind all my bookmarked dog-bloggin' friends that the Tricks For Treats contest ends this Friday at 11:59 pm EST. Grab your video camera and get your submission in ASAP! <a href="<br />AJ

Kolchak Puggle

Tuesday 3rd of May 2011

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, we love that Kristine thinks we have it all figured out. *YES, I SOUND LIKE I HAVE IT FIGURED OUT!* In all honesty, the reason I can confidently recommend chews now is because once upon a time, Felix got all the wrong chews - and he got sick. Salmonella from a pig's ear, a fractured molar on a beef shank bone - and a friend of ours lost her beautiful dog Precious when she choked on a rawhide bone. I can not imagine the pain of losing a pup while you watch, helpless to save her. And let's face it - the best information is always changing. Just as today, based on everything I had read and studied I love to give deer antler chews, doesn't mean that tomorrow I won't read some new study and decide to stop giving them. Nutrition and safety is always a changing science - and we all have to change with it. I live in fear of the day the scientists tell me that salad has been fattening all along ;) ♥Kolchak's Mom - Jodi

Kolchak Puggle

Tuesday 3rd of May 2011

Yes, I would say that deer antlers are safe for yorkies - Foley had a recent dental and she didn't have any breaks or fractures, if I recall right? Make sure you choose an appropriate size I would look for ones that are around an 3/4" to 1" in diameter, and around 4" to 5" long, when they get down to a piece small enough to choke on, I take them away and throw them out. What I would avoid is any bone make from a "weight bearing" limb, such as beef shank (leg) bones. These are harder than canine teeth and you risk a tooth breakage. I also hate anything made from animal hide (raw hide, pork skin etc) as it is indigestible and often treated with scary chemicals. If you are reluctant to give a hard chew like an antler, for a yorkie a thick bully or pizzle stick might be a good option. Since it is 100% muscle meat (DO NOT ask which muscle), it is fully digestible and soft enough that tooth breakage is not a concern, but a thick one would be hearty enough for a good solid chew.

Foley Monster and Pocket

Tuesday 3rd of May 2011

We get concerned with any chews like this because we have such small dogs. Would you say that they are safe for Yorkies. We haven't let them chew anything else like this. You know where to find us. Love Foley and Pocket

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.