Texas Business reports: Austin—The Red Dog Company, a wholesale marketer of products for retail pet supply stores, introduced Red’s Sheds Antler Treats, a chew treat harvested from the annual antler shedding of wild, free-range deer and elk.
Red’s Sheds Antler Treats come from deer that lose their antlers once a year as part of a natural process, after which the deer regrow another set.
Deer (and elk) are never harmed, touched or hunted in gathering operations, the company’s spokesperson said in a statement. Every spring antlers simply drop off from a deer’s head and are picked up from the ground where they fell.
Most dogs “find the wild, natural aroma and taste of deer antlers irresistible,” the company claims. Made of honeycombed true bone (in contrast to the hollow keratin horns of ungulate mammals like cattle, sheep, goats or antelopes), deer antlers are rich in minerals—high concentrations of calcium and phosphorus, with trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, sodium, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates.
“Bone marrow is full of vital nutrients, so Red’s Sheds Antler Treats are nutritious as well as tasty,” said Red Dog Company owner Allison Sims in a prepared statement. “And, unlike other popular chews, deer antlers don’t splinter, chip or crack. They’re nature’s oldest treat.”
Antlers are endorsed and recommended by veterinarians as chews because they contain no hormones, antibiotics, steroids or animal by-products.
Dogs living on ranches have been chewing on deer antlers for hundreds of years, noted Sims, who discovered the phenomenon while visiting a large ranch where she literally stumbled across the antlers.
“Little did we know at the time how much dogs love to chew on deer antlers,” she said. “We watched our canine friends develop a love for deer antlers they found lying on the ground, and we soon discovered the antlers were a huge hit with our friends’ dogs, too. I knew a good business idea when I saw it.”
Red’s Sheds Antler Treats are collected each spring on ranches in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Gathered from the ground for the Red Dog Company by ranch workers, deer antlers are transported to the company’s production facility. There the antlers are cleaned, cut to produce dog chews of various sizes, and then packaged for pricing and shipment.
Properly sized antlers should always be visible in a pet’s mouth, Sims advised. If an antler is not visible while the dog is chewing, use of the antler should be discontinued (or it should be donated to smaller dogs for their enjoyment). A dog’s natural chewing action can create a sharp point which, if it occurs, means that the chew should be discarded for safety purposes.
As part of its marketing efforts for Red’s Sheds Antler Treats, Red Dog has applied for product membership in GO TEXAN, a comprehensive marketing program for Texas-made products sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Membership benefits include listing in the GO TEXAN product directory, listing on the GO TEXAN website, and the right to display the distinctive GO TEXAN signature mark (a circle containing an outline of the state of Texas) on the company's website.