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When Is It Safe for Puppies to Chew on Antlers? Introducing Organic Antler Dog Chews to Puppies

Written by: Michelle Toma Olson



Time to read 6 min

Just like with human babies, fur babies go through a phase when they chew on practically anything and everything. Thankfully, it is fleeting in both cases, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn't take appropriate steps to manage teething – for the teether’s comfort as well as our own! So when and how do puppies teethe, how can we help them in the process with healthy chew toys or edible dog chew options, and when can they graduate to organic antler dog chews like ours? Let’s take a look at the canine urge to chew, the puppy teething timeline, and the ideal healthy chews for dogs over their lifetimes to answer when it is safe for puppies to chew on antlers.

Why Dogs Love to Chew

As long as there have been dogs, they have exhibited an innate desire to chew, from exhibiting their primal instincts to relishing the crunch of a Farm to Pet Chicken Chip! Before they were domesticated, dogs hunted for their food. Strong healthy teeth and jaws gave them a leg up to that end, as well as showed dominance and provided satisfaction at being able to catch and eat their dinner.

While most dogs don’t have the need to hunt meals much anymore, their instincts remain. Many dogs get that same sense of accomplishment from tenaciously gnawing down a healthy antler dog chew to reach its inner marrow. On the flip side, ignoring these instincts can manifest in boredom, stress, and anxiety if left pent up and unresolved. Providing a healthy outlet for the urge to chew in age-appropriate ways throughout his life is critical to a dog’s overall wellbeing, especially for those pups with lifelong prolific chewing tendencies. 

The Milk Teeth Months: No Dog Chews for You!

According to veterinarians, puppies’ first set of teeth begin to emerge between two and four weeks of age and number a total of 28. These milk teeth are deciduous, or temporary, and have usually completely erupted by three to four months, at which time permanent teeth start replacing them. By the time pups have passed the age of six months, they should have a full set of 42 adult choppers – the same ones they will chomp with their whole lives, so it’s important to take good care of them!

While milk teeth are appearing and disappearing, puppies should steer clear of tough, hard chews, even healthy ones like antler chews for dogs. Even as puppies, dogs who are prolific chewers can damage their baby teeth or gums by going to town something too hard, chewy or durable. Puppies could break off teeth, cause bleeding, or worse, so best to avoid adult-dog-appropriate chews altogether until after the six-month mark

Better alternatives are to train your puppy not to bite or chew inappropriately, as addressed in this recent blog post, and substitute super hard or strong chews with ingestible homemade “pupsicles” or frozen treats! Check out these more creative recipes from, or simply blend and freeze in ice cube trays any of the dog-safe foods below – singly or in any combination you choose!

  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Yogurt – unsweetened plain
  • Peanut butter – creamy all-natural options, only
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe

Remember to blend prior to freezing to minimize any choking hazard from swallowing a piece of frozen fruit whole.

Be Chewsy: Puppy Chews from Adolescence to Early Adulthood

After the short first six months of a puppo’s life, dog chew options multiply. Now, their teeth are permanent and their jaws are strengthening every day, so it’s is a great time to introduce more challenging chews – as long as they are safe and healthy! First, let’s take a look at a few chews that may not be, so should be avoided.

  • Bones: Most animal bones should be avoided for dogs of all ages, and all cooked bones are a definite no-no. When cooked, even large beef bones are downright dangerous splintering hazards that a powerful chewer could crunch and ingest, leading to potential intestinal damage during digestion. Even raw bones can break and splinter, so the best course of action is to simply steer clear altogether.
  • Balls with one hole or squeakers: Balls can be great fetch toys, but if they have a single hole on one end, a dog’s mouth can become suctioned and attached to it, risking tissue damage. Similarly, a squeaker that becomes dislodged from a ball can quickly become a choking hazard. Any dog chew toy that is small enough to be swallowed – including pieces of antler – should never be given to a dog of any age to chew.
  • Rawhide chews: While some dogs can just gnaw on rawhide, many dogs actually eat it. Rawhide expands with moisture in the body and can cause bloating and discomfort, or worse, become an intestinal blockage. And this is not to mention the unpleasant smell! Better to choose an odorless, fully digestible dog chew such as an antler that will not cause any digestive distress as it is gnawed away. 

When it comes to chews, it is best to create good habits with your puppy that can endure throughout his life. By letting her know what is good and appropriate to chew on and making positive associations with them – and vice versa – she’ll be less likely to chew on things she shouldn’t. And by giving your pup an organic antler dog chew for supervised chew time, he’ll learn not to even ask (read: beg!) for other things when he already has something he loves to satisfy that need to gnaw!

Our recommendation for a puppy or adolescent dog is to start with a split elk antler dog chew. These hard, durable chews have the marrow exposed so a dog can immediately enjoy the flavor and nutrition it provides. Not only is the marrow inside an antler shed for dogs filled with protein, the outer layer is made of fully-digestible minerals and nutrients that promote healthy bones, joints, skin and coat. And although still very tough, elk antler has a little more “give” than other antler varieties to provide the teeth cleaning benefits without it being overly hard on young gums.

If your puppy shows signs of being an avid chewer, chances are these tendencies will remain, so this will put you on the right path to choosing healthy dog chews from the start!

Chew This: Antler Dog Chews at Full Maturity and Beyond

A large pile of Farm to Pet Antler dog chews waiting to be cleaned and cut down for each dog.

When your chew-loving dog reaches adulthood, you can expand the dog chew repertoire to other options to see what he prefers, such as whole elk antler chews or antler sheds from reindeer or whitetail deer for even tougher chewing styles and large breeds. These other antlers feature the same nutritional benefits but their exteriors are even harder, and whole chews present a bigger challenge to reach the inner marrow reward. Like all of our organic antler chews, these are also mess-free, odor-free and low-calorie options, making them a healthy and nutritious way to satisfy the canine instinct to chew that both you and your fur baby will appreciate!

When your puppy-turned-adult becomes a senior – and periodically throughout life, for that matter – you should reassess chewing style and dental health to be sure the toughness of a hard chew like an antler shed for dogs is still appropriate. Missing teeth or sensitive gums might mean it’s time to revert back to softer chews, such as the frozen options mentioned for puppies above.

And remember to always supervise dogs while chewing, no matter what their age, and inspect antlers or any chews for signs of wear, breakage, splintering so you can replace it as soon as it becomes necessary.


So at what age is it safe for puppies to chew on antlers? Our research into the evidence suggests over six months of age is best. This is when your puppy’s teeth and natural chewing style will have become permanent, so if your fur baby is a power chewer, introduce a Split Elk Antler Dog Chew from Farm to Pet to start down a lifelong path of healthy, nutritious chewing. After graduating from the frozen and edible options of puppyhood, our adolescent fur-friends can continue to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of safely satisfying their urge to chew for a lifetime with our long-lasting natural dog chew options, guided along the way by us watchful pet parents!

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