When presented with a plush toy, Maisie will rip it apart. She can eviscerate a tennis ball in record time. When I discovered teeth marks on the corners of my coffee table, I realized that this is a dog who loves to chew. Every so often, Maisie will gnaw on a toy made specifically for chewing. But that's kind of a rarity.
Maisie has a sensitive little tummy, so while bully sticks and marrow bones are special treats, I needed a rawhide alternative that she could have on a daily basis. I was thrilled to find something she really loves to chew that causes no intestinal distress...deer antlers!
These are actual antlers of a deer, which they apparently shed naturally and then regrow. People collect the shed antlers, clean and cut them, then sell them as dog chews. They have been a lifesaver for me and are a great energy outlet for Maisie, so I keep them everywhere. At home, there's always an antler or two downstairs...
A couple more upstairs...
And yet another one at work.
I even began keeping one in the backseat of the car after Maisie chewed halfway through her leash one day while I was driving. Though the antlers can be pricey, I came across the website for a local company called Grateful Shed (best name ever!) that sells three antlers for about the same cost as just one in most pet boutiques (but you have to call since they do not offer online ordering). Sometimes Maisie seems to lose interest in a particular antler, but I discovered that if I scratch the end of it on the sidewalk or another cement-like surface for a minute or so, it becomes "refreshed" and usually makes her want it again.
The antlers don't smell or stain or get slobbery like rawhide. They withstand serious power chewing and last a long time. Antlers not only preserve my shoes and furniture by giving Maisie an appropriate chewing device, they also help keep her teeth clean (especially important for a dog like Maisie who eats raw, wet food). And they seem to make her pretty happy too!