Even seasoned dog owners can sometimes feel a little puzzled, when the new addition to the family is a greyhound.
Because greyhounds are bred as working dogs, as opposed to pets, patient, loving retraining is the key to transitioning them to retirement in the private home.
Below, you will find the largest collection of greyhound home tips to be organized into one easy-to-use resource.
Safety Tips for Retired Racing Greyhounds
- Always rinse him with clean water after being in a chlorinated pool, to prevent dry/irritated skin.
- Add some ice to the dog’s water in warm weather, to help stem bacteria growth.
- Avoid plastic water and food bowls. They scratch easily, and bacteria grows in the scratches.
- Run water bowl through dishwasher daily.
- Daily exercise: break in your newly-retired racer gradually.
- In warm weather, stay on the shady side of the street.
- During cleaning and painting, always place buckets up, off the floor. In racing kennels, the dogs’ drinking water is often located in similar buckets.
- Discourage your greyhound from chasing squirrels. Occasionally, you get one that’s crazy enough (and often rabid enough) to stay and fight, and they can inflict a surprising amount of damage on your dog.
- After each storm, pick up yard debris. Running over it can seriously wound your greyhound.
- Toxic to all dogs, but particularly to greyhounds: coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate.
- Relocate that lovely birdbath where your tall, curious greyhound will not be able to drink out of it. Even a small amount of bird droppings in the water is enough to cause him fatal illness. This means during cool weather, as well. For example, the CDC says that “Giardia survives much longer in moist, cool environments than in dry, warm environments that have direct sunlight.”
- For extra protection, you can make your birdbath water safer by dropping an inexpensive solar fountain disk into it.
Healthcare Tips for Greyhound Pets
- When brushing, put a little oil on your palms and rub it through his coat to help remove kennel coat.
- A greyhound’s thin coat and skin make him more susceptible to wounds and cuts.
- Spray water into your greyhound’s mouth, using a spray bottle, on hot days.
- Protect a bandaged toe or foot with an outdoor dog boot.
- Aloe vera gel works well on cracked or sore pads.
- Use aloe vera gel on areas where he is nibbling on himself.
- Topical use of aloe vera has been proven superior to antibiotics for staph skin infections in dogs, at the Department of Animal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, by their Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sadat City, Sadat City, Egypt.
- Baby gas drops (simethicone) can provide gas relief.
- Corn removal – Apply Burt’s Bees Hand Salve nightly to the affected pad. Corns have been said to drop off or be easily removed within 6-8 weeks.
- A brief, weekly nail-trimming with a nail grinder is easier than bigger, less-frequent trims.
Gear Tips for the Well-Appointed Retired Racer
- Keep an injured paw clean and give it a softer landing with a high-quality, therapeutic boot. Good ones are made by TheraPaw.
- If using a TheraPaw boot, check the bottom of it daily for scuffs. Apply a piece of DuckTape to any worn spots to prevent holes.
- Providing quilts & blankets allows them to enjoy nest-building without shredding their beds.
- Overnights – the visitor should have his muzzle. His own bed from home helps, too.
- A track muzzle can be a more comfortable alternative to an E collar. Strategically place a piece of duct tape, so he can drink, but can’t lick or chew his wound.
- Sharp edges on crate openings can be filed down, or softened with small dabs of hot glue to prevent knicked paws.
Crucial Behavior Tips for Greyhounds
- DAP (Dog-Appeasing Pheromone) diffusers and collars are good for anxiety.
- Eating p**p – Go out in the yard with him when he goes out, and say “no” if you see him try this behavior.
Feeding Tips for your Greyhound
- Poor drinkers – Add a cup of water to your dog’s meal, twice a day.
- Grapes and raisins can cause neurological problems in greyhounds.
- Some are sensitive to chicken.
- Check out my video featuring ten of the worst foods for your greyhound.
- Add a few sardines to his diet twice a week, for his coat.
- A teaspoon of olive oil added to the food encourages a shiny, healthy coat.
- Food with artificial coloring can produce nervous behavior and runny stools.
- Sticking to the same kibble provides a balanced diet and better BM’s.
- Too many treats can trigger diahrrea.
- Don’t feed them too late, or you may get a very early potty call!
- Giving two meals a day reduces the risk of bloat.
- Ice cubes make a good hot weather treat.
- Speed Eater Tip #1: If he eats too fast, put an upside-down cereal bowl in his food bowl.
- Speed Eater Tip #2: distribute his food in a muffin tin.
- Speed Eater Tip #3: spread his food out in a cookie pan.
First Days with Your New Hound and your Current Dogs
- First meeting – Have them meet on neutral territory and go for a walk.
- Never have your new hound and your other dogs together in a confined space (such as the car) for the first few weeks.
- Feed them in separate rooms for the first few weeks.
- Anytime they are alone in the house, be sure they are in separate rooms.
- Separate sleeping arrangements for the first few weeks; a large crate can help.
- Anything they become possessive (to the point of being aggressive) over should be removed.
- Watch them very carefully for any signs of one becoming annoyed with the other.
A Few More Tidbits of Greyhound Trivia
- Every NGA greyhound has a record, called a “bertillon card,” which IDs the dog by detailing the coloring of each of his toenails.
- The rarest greyhound color is dark brown.
Resources for Further Exploration
Learn more greyhound myths from Suzanne Stack, DVM.
Read the full Egyptian study on aloe vera vs. antibiotics for staph.
Wherein is related the droll way in which Don Quixote had himself dubbed a knight.