Will Bones and Antler Treats Splinter?

February 12, 2019

When giving your dog a chew toy safety is key. Bones are a famous dog treat, but will they splinter? Are antlers safe? We’ve compiled a guide to help you figure out what is and what isn’t good for your dog to chew.


Bones are the most well-known dog chew. Dog bones can include femur bones, shin bones, knuckle bones, and more. Bones are safe to eat as a dog chew as long as they are not cooked. Poultry and pork bones of any kind should also be avoided. Once a bone is cooked (like in soup) its likelihood of splintering and becoming dangerous is magnified greatly. However, as long as the bone is a “raw” bone it is safe to chew As an additional measure of precaution, it is recommended to watch how your dog chews on the bone to make sure that they are gnawing as opposed to biting on it.

Avoid giving bones to dogs that have a predisposition to pancreatitis. Bone marrow is very rich and can cause diarrhea and a flare-up of pancreatitis. Also avoid giving bones to dogs who have had restorative dental work or crowns.


Antlers are a completely safe chew toy for dogs. They are different from bones as they are grown and shed annually on deer and elk. They are composed of many different rings of mineral deposits. The cross-section of the antlers looks like a tree trunk with many rings around its end. The antler wears down gradually over time from saliva and gnawing. An antler chew should last any dog between 4-12 weeks. They are an awesome chew and healthy and safe for your dogs!

With certain bones posing a safety hazard, antlers are a natural chew alternative for your dog. Antlers are also naturally shed every year, meaning no animals are harmed in the process. The antlers themselves also contain minerals and nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus that are good for your dog.

Because bones must be given to dogs raw, they may be contaminated with E Coli or salmonella. They also may spoil within a few days. Antlers are odorless and won’t leave residue on your carpet or furniture.

Overall, dogs can chew both bones and antlers, as long as precautions are taken. Because bones pose a greater risk of splintering and contamination, many dog owners prefer antlers. They are a cruelty-free, odorless chew for your dog to enjoy.

For more dog health tips and tricks, check out our blog.