top of page

Deer Antlers for Dogs, What's the Point?

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

When you think of antlers, what do you instantly think of? Is it Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer and his mates? Maybe it's a unique lamp fixture, or curtain tie backs found in a large country manor home.

For us here at Harris Hounds, we think of quality dog chews.

Harris Hounds stocks 100% naturally shed British antlers, sourced from the Scottish Highlands. Deer will shed (or cast) their antlers from December through to late March, but why?

Antlers go through a yearly life cycle. From Spring, the male deer will graze and forage the new plants, which helps their antlers to grow quickly over a two to four month period. As female deer begin to come into season over the Summer months, the high levels of testosterone in the males slows antler growth, and the veins and arteries in the antlers constrict and cut off blood and nutrient supply. The velvet coating that is found on antlers up to this time will fall off, revealing the mature antler's bone-type structure for mating in Autumn.

As mating season occurs, many bucks (males) will fight for dominance of land and does (females), during which time some antlers can break. The Winter season is when the antlers will naturally shed over a two to three week period. This happens due to the drop in testosterone following mating, and the tissue at the base of the antler weakens naturally and eventually falls off, causing no harm or discomfort to the deer. The cycle begins once more in the Spring, to prepare for the new mating season.

Why are Deer Antlers good for Dogs?

There are many nutrients and a blood supply to help the antler grow during its cycle, which dry up inside the antler once it has naturally she