Adopting a Greyhound

Greyhounds make lovely pets but they are a little different from other dogs and so they have particular needs. It’s important to understand the needs of a greyhound before you bring one into your home.

Greyhounds can get stressed easily so you may find your greyhound doesn’t eat well for a few days after you bring him home, or he may suffer from diarrhoea. This can be distressing for a new owner, especially when greyhounds are naturally skinny looking and so you can easily think he’s wasting away, but it’s fairly normal. You should find this passes after a few days when he starts to settle in. If it continues longer than this however, it’s wise to consult your vet in case he is ill rather than just stressed.

Because of their unique dietary requirements you should feed your greyhound a food created just for their breed. However, you shouldn’t immediately switch their food over as it can cause stomach upset, especially in those early days when the stress of a new home can have an impact on their stomach too. Find out what food he has been used to, and feed this to him, gradually introducing the new food in increasingly large amounts mixed in with the old food. This will minimise the chances of an upset stomach as your dogs’ digestive system will have time to adjust to the new food more slowly. A dry greyhound food is best for your dog. It’s wise to avoid the usual tinned foods you find in the supermarket. Many greyhounds cannot stomach them.

Greyhounds have a very high metabolism and tinned food goes through their system too fast causing diarrhoea. Because greyhounds don’t have a lot of body fat, a bout of diarrhoea can be dangerous as they’re not getting the nutrients they need from their food. They don’t have the reserves of chunkier dogs and so can deteriorate quickly. For a treat you can offer your greyhound fresh meat and oily fish such as pilchards or tinned tuna. A little cheese crumbled on top of their greyhound food can also make for a very delicious treat, but shouldn’t be given too often.

Ex-racing greyhounds often have bad teeth due to being fed a diet of soft food, so cleaning your pets’ teeth is very important to help maintain their teeth and to prevent bad breath. Get him accustomed to having his teeth brushed early and give him raw bones to chew on which will help remove plaque and tartar. They will also love to chew on rawhide and pigs ears which are also good for keeping their teeth clean.

A racing greyhound will most likely have been used to having his nails clipped during his racing career so you shouldn’t have trouble keeping his nails nice and short. It is necessary as greyhound nails tend to grow longer than those of other breeds of dog.

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