Greyhound Care

Food, Care and Training

Greyhounds have needs similar to most dog breeds but there are many things unique due to the exclusion in their environment prior to retirement.  For example, many Greyhounds have never seen a different breed of dog.  Most have never seen stairs or glass windows. Imagine the wonder and perhaps fear they may experience when getting out into the big world for the first time.  Your understanding of this will be most useful in helping your Greyhound adapt and become a well balanced pet.

Here is a list recommendations for your Greyhound we hope you find useful:

1. Water: Provide access to fresh, clean water at all times. Parasites can be transferred from pet to pet if water is not kept clean at all times.

2. Food: Feed a high-quality, premium dog food to your greyhound. Recommended brands are ProPlan, Science Diet, Nature’s Recipe, Iams, and Nutro as well as fresh meats and vegetables. Onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins and some other foods are toxic to all breeds of dogs and can be especially harmful to greyhounds due to their hyper-sensitive systems.

3. Feeding Times: When feeding your greyhound, never do so close to other dog(s). They may be protective of their food bowls. Feed in the crate and always reinforce the pecking order at feeding time: the top dog should be fed first, then the next dog, and so on. Watch for food aggression and correct bad behavior immediately. Over a short period of time, you should learn what limitations, if any, you will need to consider at feeding time.

4. Health Care: Check your greyhound frequently for cuts, scrapes, fleas and ticks. Provide necessary treatment immediately. Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment is safe for small scrapes.  Before giving prescription medications or allowing anesthesia, check with your vet to be certain they understand the hyper-sensitive nature of greyhounds to medications and chemicals.

5. Grooming: Brush your greyhound periodically with a brush, grooming mitt, or glove. New greyhounds will shed more than your other pets but typically shed less and have fewer allergens  (though no dog is truly hypoallergenic) than other dogs.

6. Socialization: Your greyhound has needs to be socialized with other greyhounds, dogs, cats and children. Remember that your dog needs to be supervised while your family is getting acquainted. Never leave your greyhound alone with other pets and children until you are completely sure they will get along.  This, however, is not specific to greyhounds.  The same care should be given with any new dog.

7. Coping: Greyhounds have not had substantial exposure to glass doors, tile floors, televisions, stairs, other animals, mirrors, alarm clocks, etc. A greyhound will need some time to adjust to life in a new home. Greyhounds are fast learners so they should adjust quickly.

8. Housebreaking: Most greyhounds are already crate-trained and house-trained. During the adjustment process, keep the dog within your sight so you can catch him/her in the act. Correct the dog with a firm command and take the dog outside. When he/she goes to the bathroom outside, praise the dog profusely. Never discipline the dog for messing in the house after the fact! Dogs are not able to connect your correction with an action that took place five minutes before.

9. Walks: Take your greyhound for walks. The exercise is good for them and like any dog, greyhounds love to get out and experience the simulations of their senses.

10. Play: Teach your greyhound to play! Greyhounds tend to prefer soft toys such as stuffed animals. Throw a small stuffed animal in the air a few feet from them; the urge to pounce on it is almost irresistible for a greyhound. Many toys should only be played with during supervised times.  Be sure to immediately discard toys that have damage to avoid dangerous ingestion of filling and small parts..

11. Training: You may wish to begin teaching your greyhound basic obedience commands.  Many of these command may already be known to them after completing a foster program with your adoption organization. Bear in mind that many greyhounds, due to their physical structure, find sitting uncomfortable. Begin with simple commands such as ‘come’, ‘down’, and ‘stay’.

12. Dog Parks: There is a potential for harm to other dogs because some greyhounds are not safe with smaller animals. High prey greyhounds could injure or kill a small dog before action could be taken. Also, because of their thin skin, greyhounds are susceptible to injury that might otherwise be superficial on other breeds.  For these reasons, dog parks may not be the best place to exercise your greyhound.

13. Blood Donors: Greyhound make great blood donors due to a high likelihood that their blood is compatible with any other dog breed.  Ask your adoption coordinator about blood donor programs in your area.

In the event your greyhound is lost

Make sure all gates and doors are secure. If you should lose your greyhound and cannot find him/her within 15 minutes, contact your local adoption organization, the Humane Society, animal shelters and vet clinics. A squawker is a great investment in this situation. Most greyhounds will respond to the squawker and run towards you to investigate. Good luck chasing a greyhound – you will not catch him/her.

Your greyhound should have a identifying tags on him or her at all times.  Keep your microchip information up to date.  Spreading the word to friends, neighbors and social media will do well to contribute to finding a lost greyhound.

If you have any questions about greyhounds not answered here, contact us and we will do our best to get you the information you need.