Ever since Wally was a tiny puppy we’ve had hooves around the house for his chewing pleasure (something I think was key to his overall lack of property destruction!). For his first Christmas I bought him a bulk box which is still supplying us almost 3 years later. I’ve also tried pork hides (I’ve gotten these at Costco), ears, and antlers for some variety, so I feel pretty qualified in saying that antlers are the best and I’ll be switching to them once the hooves are gone. Here’s why!
Smell: antlers are by far the least smelly of the chewies. Hooves can be downright offensive and the others definitely have an odor.
Goo: antlers don’t get soft and gooey after a vigorous chew session. All the others do and it’s pretty gross, particularly rawhide.
Debris: I’m not entirely sure how they breakdown, but antlers don’t flake. Maybe they crumble in microlayers? At any rate, hooves are the worst about leaving stabby little white flakes all over the place. Wally prefers chewing things on the bed or on a pile of clothes, so I have a lot of experience with this!
Longevity: antlers do cost the most, but they also last the longest. Ears disappear the same day, hides last a few days or a week, hooves last a few months. Antlers probably last about twice as long as hooves, if not longer.
I will grant that the antlers are probably the dogs’ least favorite for some of these very reasons. A stinky, gooey chew is just so much more enticing that a rock-hard mineral stick. But in the end they will chew any of them with vigor, and since I’m the one buying I get final say and I say antlers!