How Much Does it Cost to Adopt Greyhounds? Complete Analysis


Who can resist a 40 mph couch potato???  The word is out about what great pets greyhounds make, but how much does it cost to obtain one of these dogs?  For a pure-bred dog, not as much as you’d think!

The average adoption fee for a retired racing greyhound is between $300 – $500 dollars.  Expect to pay an additional $100 – $200 if the dog is younger than 2 years, has tested “cat-friendly,” or has been imported from another country.  On the other hand, you are likely to be charged $100 – $200 less for a senior greyhound or special-needs greyhound.

Let’s take a look at: 

  • adoption fees, 
  • what they include, 
  • what you’ll need to buy up front,
  • and the average cost-per-year.

How Much are Greyhound Adoption Fees?

Of course, we adopt greyhounds because they are absolutely adorable; but the fact is that you are getting quite the bargain when you choose a greyhound over a pure-bred dog from a breeder.  Greyhounds are only a fraction of the cost! 

Why?  

Greyhounds are Adopted as Adults

The most obvious reason is that you’re not getting a puppy.  My only regret in having greyhounds, is that I’ve missed their puppyhood.   If you bought a young sapling greyhound, ready to em-bark (awful pun, sorry!) on his racing career, you would pay several times that amount!

Greyhounds are Not Bred to be Pets

Another reason is that they are not bred to be pets.  I know that’s hard for some people to hear, but that is the truth.  Greyhounds are purpose-bred dogs.  I read someplace that the fact that they adapt so perfectly to being pets is just another testament to their easy-going nature.   Greyhound adoption programs are the ultimate win-win – The original owner of a fine dog is ready to add up-and-coming racers, and you are ready to add a loving pal to your home, to share the next decade of your life!

Greyhound Pros Donate Their Time and Talent

What may come as the greatest surprise is that the adoption agency pays double or triple that, to get your dog ready for you take the dog home.  The difference in the cost is paid for by gracious donors, and often includes generous donations from the owners of the racers themselves.  The cost would be even higher, if it wasn’t for volunteers who tend to the dogs, vets who donate their skills, and – in some programs – professional racing trainers who give their time after a long day of work to feed dogs, do another turn-out, and expertly tend to all the little things that a dog may need.

What’s Included When You Adopt a Greyhound

Typically Included

Full Vet Check-Up – A veterinarian, often donating his time, will give your greyhound a full work-up.  It certainly makes it much easier, knowing where things stand right from the day your greyhound comes home.

Spay or Neuter – this weeds out prospective “adopters” who really only want to adopt greyhounds to breed and sell.

Required shots – in many areas, some shots, such as rabies, are required by law, so it’s good that they get this out of the way for you.

Collar with Tags – in addition to the rabies certification tag, you usually get a tag listing the adoption agency’s phone number, in case your greyhound gets loose before you can get one with your own phone number and address on it.  The collar is, typically, a Martingale-style collar.

Leash – usually provided with the collar is a matching, 6′ leash.

Parasite Treatment – your greyhound will come to you dewormed (hopefully), and flea-free.

Dental Cleaning –  racing greyhounds are notorious for having not-the-best teeth, especially older ones.  While a few trainers care for the dogs teeth, many don’t.  During the dental treatment, your greyhound will be sedated, so the vet can give those choppers a good scrub, removing any tartar build-up.

Follow-up Support – If you have any questions or issues concerning your new pet, experienced volunteers are just a phone call away, and always eager to share their experience with you.  

Any Existing Records – when I got my first two greyhounds, I received only the info from his vet work-up.  With Lily, however, I got all of her records, including her ID certificate, that shows the color of every toenail.

Sometimes Included

Microchip – smart racing owners get the dogs chipped right from the start.  Other times, this may be done by the adoption program.  

Dental Work – Not to be confused with dental cleaning.  While your greyhound is anesthetized, getting fixed and having his teeth cleaned, some vets will extract any problem teeth, and clean up their gums; while others will only clean and scale the teeth.

Muzzle –  this is a good thing to have, and comes in handy when you least expect it.  If you have to take a car-hating sick dog to the vet, it’s nice to not worry about getting bitten, while you’re trying to stuff 70 lbs. of stubborn into your car.  It comes in handy if you go visiting to a home with smaller pets, or get invited to hang out with some other greyhounds.  

Coat – you may end up with a few of these, so it’s great if your dog starts out with one.  My other greyhounds were pretty fluffy, but Lily is very thin-coated.  I put at least a light coat on her any time it drops below 50 degrees (F).  

Housetraining – I was sooo spoiled: my first greyhound was housetrained!  She’d been bounced back to the adoption kennel from a home, where she…um…didn’t relate well to the cat.  She was all trained up when I got her, though.  My next two came right from the adoption kennel, which was more of a challange.  Might want to add a Bissell carpet cleaner to your shopping list.

What to Buy When You Adopt a Greyhound

Heartworm Meds $105 – Ivermectin, for those of you who are in mosquito-populated areas.

Flea and Tick Treatment $115 (get from adoption group) – these work great!  Use the prescription kind.  I swear, between this and the heartworm meds, you’ll have very little trouble, if any, with parasites of any kind.  I’ve noticed that if I slide on these meds, my greyhound’s tail begins to get a little mangy.  No, the meds don’t grow hair, but there may be some microscopic parasite at work there.

Large Dog Bed  $40 – for the next few things, you may have hand-me-downs from another dog.  I think my new greyhounds have always found this comforting to get stuff that is all nice and broken-in. It makes them feel welcome and at-home.  

Blanket(s) $10 each – A blanket and a quilt are great for your greyhound’s nesting instinct.  You may have old ones around the house that you can pass on to him.  Mine likes to have one to lay on, and another to paw into a ball and use as a pillow or cuddle tightly under his chest.  I always keep a third one to cover the dog on a cold night.  They really appreciate that, and it’s a good way to bond with a new dog (always approach your sleeping greyhound with caution!). A thin, fleece blanket makes a nice cover.  A good way to save money on these is to buy fleece fabric at any store that sells fabric by the yard.  I just saw this one on Walmart.com for an unheard-of $3.25/yard.  Two yards of that would make a dandy little greyhound cover for about $8.  And because of the nature of this particular fabric, there is no sewing involved.  If you go to the store to get it, you can ask the lady who is doing the cutting to please do it neatly, so it’s ready to use.

Quilt $30 – your greyhound will have different uses for a quilt than he does for his blankets.  He’ll roll it into a bolster (especially nice in a crate).  He may even hide stuff in it!  Most of all, he will enjoy digging at it and pushing it around his bed.  This will save you some serious wear-and-tear on his bed, as he scratches at it with those talons of his.  Nobody can shred a bed like a greyhound!

Crate $120 – This is for the 48″ wire crate with two doors.  Do not get the plastic shell type of crate.  Those are foreign to greyhounds; stick with the kind he is used to.  

Food $55 – This is what I pay, but it can go higher or lower, depending on what you use.

Feeding station with bowls  $40 – this is a healthier way for your greyhound to eat.  Greyhounds digest better with raised feeding, saving you on vet bills, and from having to listen to a lot of concerning gagging and coughing from your pet.  Plus, once you have one, it lasts forever.

Cookies $5 – the best way to make fast friends with your new greyhound!

Toothbrush $1 – I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your greyhound’s teeth brushed.  This will reduce your vet bills DRAMATICALLY.  Your dog will be happier.  He won’t be knocking you over with his breath.  Best of all, it will likely give you more years with your buddy.  You will never regret this investment of your time (and dollar).

Toothpaste $5 – Full disclosure here – After the first tube of chicken-flavored dog toothpaste, I switched to people toothpaste for my greyhounds!  Whatever risk is incurred in using flouride toothpaste is more than compensated for by the sparkling good health of a dog with a clean mouth.  I use a very small amount.  At our last home, the water was treated with flouride, so they were getting it, anyway.  Our first grey came with awful teeth!  We cleaned them up, with some help from the vet, and she lived to be 12.  We were more pro-active with our next greyhound, and he almost made it to 15, so we must be doing something right!

Toy $7 – your greyhound will be thrilled with a cute, stuffed toy of his very own.  They really do love them.  If you’re concerned about it getting shredded, buy something that isn’t too life-like.

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain Your Greyhound, per Year?

The expenses in this section are comperable to, or even less than, those for any large dog; but here it is, anyway:

Vet Bills under $500, in an uneventful year

Heartworm Meds $105

Flea and Tick Treatment $115

Dog bed Inner Replacement Pad  $20 – I buy an egg-crate style, King-sized foam mattress topper (for people), and cut it into fours.  In this way, the pad costs about $80.  I replace it once a year, and I have pads for the next 4 years!

Food $500

Cookies  $120

Toothbrush $1 (yes, replace at least once a year)

Toothpaste $1 – This price is for Pepsodent, which costs only a dollar!  With the little amount I use, the tube lasts for months.

Toy $7 

Other Financial Considerations with Greyhounds

As with any pet, medical emergencies can crop up? An article from the folks at the Greyhounds Only, Inc. website provides food for thought, when they say…

 “Besides the yearly exams and inoculation, your dog may experience sickness and injury, which can require a visit to the nearest veterinary emergency clinic. Are you going to be able to get your dog to a vet when your dog needs to go?”

You can save money by checking out “tips” articles aimed at dogs, in general.  One of my favorite money-saving tips is instead of buying expensive Pill Pockets, to put the dog’s pill in a mini-marshmallow!  That one comes from Dr. Pinney of the Mobile Petcare Clinic of Texas.  I’ve linked to his tips article at the bottom of the page.

Personally, I always like to set aside a bit in my greyhound budget to help out the greyt people who make it possible to have a greyhound in our lives, the adoption groups.  there are many ways to do this; but one idea I love is annual Celebrating Greyhounds calendar.  the Greyhound Project Inc. (linked below) produces a gorgeous calendar every year, which is sold as a fundraiser around the US by many adoption groups.  If you can’t give a lot, this is a perfect way to give some.

Resources for Further Exploration

Enjoy my companion video for this post. The prices may reflect 2020, but the things you need, and how much they cost relative to each other should be about the same.

Who can resist a 40 mph couch potato??? The word is out about what great pets greyhounds make, but how much does it cost to obtain one of these dogs? For a pure-bred dog, not as much as you’d think!

The average adoption fee for a retired racing greyhound is between $300 – $500 dollars. Expect to pay an additional $100 – $200 if the dog is younger than 2 years, has tested “cat-friendly,” or has been imported from another country. On the other hand, you are likely to be charged $100 – $200 less for a senior greyhound or special-needs greyhound.

Let’s take a look at:

– adoption fees,
– what they include,
– what you’ll need to buy up front,
– and the average cost-per-year.

Adoption Fees

Of course, we adopt greyhounds because they are absolutely adorable; but the fact is that you are getting quite the bargain when you choose a greyhound over a pure-bred dog from a breeder. Greyhounds are only a fraction of the cost!

Why?

The most obvious reason is that you’re not getting a puppy. My only regret in having greyhounds, is that I’ve missed their puppyhood. If you bought a young sapling greyhound, ready to em-bark (awful pun, sorry!) on his racing career, you would pay several times that amount!

Another reason is that they are not bred to be pets. I know that’s hard for some people to hear, but that is the truth. Greyhounds are purpose-bred dogs. I read someplace that the fact that they adapt so perfectly to being pets is just another testament to their easy-going nature. Greyhound adoption programs are the ultimate win-win – The original owner of a fine dog is ready to add up-and-coming racers, and you are ready to add a loving pal to your home, to share the next decade of your life!

What may come as the greatest surprise is that the adoption agency pays double or triple that, to get your dog ready for you take the dog home. The difference in the cost is paid for by gracious donors, and often includes generous donations from the owners of the racers themselves. The cost would be even higher, if it wasn’t for volunteers who tend to the dogs, vets who donate their skills, and – in some programs – professional racing trainers who give their time after a long day of work to feed dogs, do another turn-out, and expertly tend to all the little things that a dog may need.

What’s Included

Full Vet Check-Up – A veterinarian, often donating his time, will give your greyhound a full work-up. It certainly makes it much easier, knowing where things stand right from the day your greyhound comes home.

Spay or Neuter – this weeds out prospective “adopters” who really only want to adopt greyhounds to breed and sell.

Required shots – in many areas, some shots, such as rabies, are required by law, so it’s good that they get this out of the way for you.

Collar with Tags – in addition to the rabies certification tag, you usually get a tag listing the adoption agency’s phone number, in case your greyhound gets loose before you can get one with your own phone number and address on it. The collar is, typically, a Martingale-style collar.

Leash – usually provided with the collar is a matching, 6′ leash.

Parasite Treatment – your greyhound will come to you dewormed (hopefully), and flea-free.

Dental Cleaning – racing greyhounds are notorious for having not-the-best teeth, especially older ones. While a few trainers care for the dogs teeth, many don’t. During the dental treatment, your greyhound will be sedated, so the vet can give those choppers a good scrub, removing any tartar build-up.

Follow-up Support – If you have any questions or issues concerning your new pet, experienced volunteers are just a phone call away, and always eager to share their experience with you.

Any Existing Records – when I got my first two greyhounds, I received only the info from his vet work-up. With Lily, however, I got all of her records, including her ID certificate, that shows the color of every toenail.

Sometimes Included

Microchip – smart racing owners get the dogs chipped right from the start. Other times, this may be done by the adoption program.

Dental Work – Not to be confused with dental cleaning. While your greyhound is anesthetized, getting fixed and having his teeth cleaned, some vets will extract any problem teeth, and clean up their gums; while others will only clean and scale the teeth.

Muzzle – this is a good thing to have, and comes in handy when you least expect it. If you have to take a car-hating sick dog to the vet, it’s nice to not worry about getting bitten, while you’re trying to stuff 70 lbs. of stubborn into your car. It comes in handy if you go visiting to a home with smaller pets, or get invited to hang out with some other greyhounds.

Coat – you may end up with a few of these, so it’s great if your dog starts out with one. My other greyhounds were pretty fluffy, but Lily is very thin-coated. I put at least a light coat on her any time it drops below 50 degrees (F).

Housetraining – I was sooo spoiled: my first greyhound was housetrained! She’d been bounced back to the adoption kennel from a home, where she…um…didn’t relate well to the cat. She was all trained up when I got her, though. My next two came right from the adoption kennel, which was more of a challange. Might want to add a Bissell carpet cleaner to your shopping list.

You Have To Buy:

Heartworm Meds $105 – Ivermectin, for those of you who are in mosquito-populated areas.

Flea and Tick Treatment $115 (get from adoption group) – these work great! Use the prescription kind. I swear, between this and the heartworm meds, you’ll have very little trouble, if any, with parasites of any kind. I’ve noticed that if I slide on these meds, my greyhound’s tail begins to get a little mangy. No, the meds don’t grow hair, but there may be some microscopic parasite at work there.

Large Dog Bed $40 – for the next few things, you may have hand-me-downs from another dog. I think my new greyhounds have always found this comforting to get stuff that is all nice and broken-in. It makes them feel welcome and at-home.

Blanket(s) $10 each – A blanket and a quilt are great for your greyhound’s nesting instinct. You may have old ones around the house that you can pass on to him. Mine likes to have one to lay on, and another to paw into a ball and use as a pillow or cuddle tightly under his chest. I always keep a third one to cover the dog on a cold night. They really appreciate that, and it’s a good way to bond with a new dog (always approach your sleeping greyhound with caution!). A thin, fleece blanket makes a nice cover. A good way to save money on these is to buy fleece fabric at any store that sells fabric by the yard. I just saw this one on Walmart.com for an unheard-of $3.25/yard. Two yards of that would make a dandy little greyhound cover for about $8. And because of the nature of this particular fabric, there is no sewing involved. If you go to the store to get it, you can ask the lady who is doing the cutting to please do it neatly, so it’s ready to use.

Quilt $30 – your greyhound will have different uses for a quilt than he does for his blankets. He’ll roll it into a bolster (especially nice in a crate). He may even hide stuff in it! Most of all, he will enjoy digging at it and pushing it around his bed. This will save you some serious wear-and-tear on his bed, as he scratches at it with those talons of his. Nobody can shred a bed like a greyhound!

Crate $120 – This is for the 48″ wire crate with two doors. Do not get the plastic shell type of crate. Those are foreign to greyhounds; stick with the kind he is used to.

Food $55 – This is what I pay, but it can go higher or lower, depending on what you use.

Feeding station with bowls $40 – this is a healthier way for your greyhound to eat. Greyhounds digest better with raised feeding, saving you on vet bills, and from having to listen to a lot of concerning gagging and coughing from your pet. Plus, once you have one, it lasts forever.

Cookies $5 – the best way to make fast friends with your new greyhound!

Toothbrush $1 – I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your greyhound’s teeth brushed. This will reduce your vet bills DRAMATICALLY. Your dog will be happier. He won’t be knocking you over with his breath. Best of all, it will likely give you more years with your buddy. You will never regret this investment of your time (and dollar).

Toothpaste $5 – Full disclosure here – After the first tube of chicken-flavored dog toothpaste, I switched to people toothpaste for my greyhounds! Whatever risk is incurred in using flouride toothpaste is more than compensated for by the sparkling good health of a dog with a clean mouth. I use a very small amount. At our last home, the water was treated with flouride, so they were getting it, anyway. Our first grey came with awful teeth! We cleaned them up, with some help from the vet, and she lived to be 12. We were more pro-active with our next greyhound, and he almost made it to 15, so we must be doing something right!

Toy $7 – your greyhound will be thrilled with a cute, stuffed toy of his very own. They really do love them. If you’re concerned about it getting shredded, buy something that isn’t too life-like.

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain Your Greyhound, per Year?

The expenses in this section are comperable to, or even less than, those for any large dog; but here it is, anyway:

Vet Bills under $500, in an uneventful year
Heartworm Meds $105
Flea and Tick Treatment $115
Dog bed Inner Replacement Pad $20 – I buy an egg-crate style, King-sized foam mattress topper (for people), and cut it into fours. In this way, the pad costs about $80. I replace it once a year, and I have pads for the next 4 years!
Food $500
Cookies $120
Toothbrush $1 (yes, replace at least once a year)
Toothpaste $1 – This price is for Pepsodent, which costs only a dollar! With the little amount I use, the tube lasts about a year.
Toy $7

Gail McGaffigan

The owner of the Greyhound Homecare website and YouTube channel, Gail has had retired racing greyhounds as pets since 1997. Please visit our channel, too! https://www.youtube.com/c/GreyhoundHomecare

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