In striving to keep the Longreen hounds healthy and hunting well in the field, I know that clean teeth are very important. Data has shown that dirty hound teeth can lead to poor scenting in the field much less health hazards for the hound.
Needless to say, we cannot afford to have each set of teeth professionally cleaned by the local veterinarian. In the wild, canines clean their teeth by pulling on raw meat with each other and gnawing on bones.
We feed kibble, not raw meat, so I make a trip to the meat packing company and pick up several boxes of bones for the pack a couple of times a month. Normally, these are knuckle bones and good lengths of leg bones or ribs. The hounds enjoy themselves for hours on end, meanwhile spotlessly cleaning their teeth! I always make sure that there are at least three bones per hound per yard. I stay around for about an hour to be sure each hound has settled to a bone without wanting its neighbor’s.
This trip, a ringer was hiding in the box and I missed it. Longreen Alto ‘09 found it and scared my kennel gal, Peggy, to death with the result. She recorded the incident with her phone and sent the pictures to me for a decision on what to do. While waiting on my reply, she called her husband to come to the rescue. Blake gently manipulated the bottom over Alto's lip and off it slipped! Alto was quite patient through this attention. She had been able to drink her water with the bone ring, but was ever so happy to have it off so she could enjoy her dinner!
Be sure the bones, if round, have sufficient length that they cannot slip over the lower jaw and get hung.