Elk (also known as wapiti) are one of the largest mammals in North America and Eastern Asia. As sociable and gentle herbivores, elk typically live near forest habitats in herds, feeding on grass, plants and leaves. The males (bulls) of this majestic species bear large antlers that they use to defend themselves and participate in mating competitions, and these beautiful formations of antler are shed naturally each fall/early winter, growing back completely within the next year. The inside of the antler, when harvested in the velvet stage is used for many health benefits, it has been used in traditional eastern medicine. That’s why pet owners across the nation utilize Elk Velvet Antler supplements to promote optimal strength, stamina and immunity in their canines and felines. However, there’s much more to elk antlers than the velvet they’re covered in.
Wapiti Labs takes pride in providing pet owners with all of the resources and counsel they need to help their animals thrive. That’s why we produce a variety of EVA supplements and elk antler products to keep cats and dogs in peak condition regardless of breed or age. Today, we’ll be discussing five things you may not know about elk antlers.
1. Elk Antler Retention is Testosterone-Driven
Elk antlers begin to form immediately after the last set is shed. Because elk antler grows faster than any other tissue in its body, a healthy bull can grow nearly one inch of antler every single day, leaving them with a fully formed set of antlers within the next few months. In many cases, disputes with predators or other bulls will cause these antlers to break off, but they’ll actually shed on their own if left undamaged. Why? Because an elk’s ability to retain its antlers is driven by its testosterone levels. After mating season ends, the level of doe pheromones in the air decreases, causing bull testosterone to drop as well. Once a bull loses enough testosterone, its body will pick up on the change and begin to shed its antlers in response.
2. Different Elk Populations Have Unique Antlers
There are many subspecies of elk, and at least six variants live in North America. Over time and multiple generations, elk adapt to their local environment through marked changes in behavior and appearance, and these changes can affect their antlers. Consequently, different populations of elk bear unique antler shapes and sizes. For example, Rocky Mountain elk have the largest antlers of all known elk subspecies!
3. Female Elk Favor Bulls With More Antler Points
Who knew that elk could count? Scientists researching the mating habits of elk have observed that females heavily favor suitors with the most antler points. This may be because doe are instinctually driven toward males with the highest levels of testosterone to ensure that their young grow up to be as strong and healthy as possible.
4. Dogs LOVE Them
It’s no secret that dogs love to chomp on things. Regrettably, many of our four-legged friends are so good at chewing that they bite through a majority of toys and chews within a few days. That’s why they love gnashing away at elk antlers for dogs. Elk antler chews are incredibly durable products that canines can’t resist, making them a fantastic tool to keep your pup entertained for countless hours while stimulating their inherent (and perfectly healthy) need to chew.
5. Antler Marrow Acts as a Natural Toothbrush
Elk antler chews contain tasty, nutritious marrow (a soft substance found in the cavities of bones) that dogs adore. When your canine chews on this substance, it acts as a natural toothbrush that wipes away plaque, ensuring that his or her teeth stay healthy and clean. This makes antler chews a great boon for owners who want to give their canine a snack that’s delicious and good for their health.
Contact Wapiti Labs Today
Now that you have a better understanding of elk antler and some of the incredible benefits its products can have on the health and happiness of animals, you might be interested in picking up a few for your own pet! If so, then be sure to call or message Wapiti Labs! We offer a huge variety of EVA supplements and elk antler chews for companion animals of all ages and breeds, allowing you to select products that meet your pet’s unique needs. (Just be sure to check in with your veterinarian before starting your cat or dog on any new supplement regimen.) You can also reach out to us with any questions you have about EVA, elk antlers for dogs or the health of your pet in general. We’d be more than happy to chat with you and discuss what Wapiti can do to help keep your companion in top form for many years to come.