Greyhounds as Pets

Greyhounds make great pets! They are intelligent, affectionate, “laid back” and exceedingly clean. Although they are classified as large dogs, they are relatively unobtrusive, polite, and easy to live with. Male greyhounds average between 65 and 80 pounds; females are a little lighter and shorter at 50 to 65 pounds. Some greyhounds do well with cats and other small animals, while some need to be the only dog or animal in the home. Most are also good with children. Most greyhounds are not natural barkers, but can pick up a barking habit if another dog in your house is a frequent barker.

Greyhounds have virtually no “doggy” odor, even when wet. They have short hair, do not shed much, and do not require grooming other than an occasional bath, brushing and nail clipping. Greyhounds do not require large amounts of food and typically eat about 4 cups of dry kibble daily, although they do need a premium dry dog food. A good quality lamb and rice formula without corn or soy is generally a good choice.

Greyhounds and health

Greyhounds are generally very healthy dogs and live for 12 to 15 years. Hip dysplaysia and other genetic defects are very rare in ex-racing greyhounds, due to their careful, selective breeding for speed and stamina. Health problems are minimal compared to other breeds, although tick-borne diseases are a potential health risk due to greyhjounds’ nationwide travels as racing dogs. However, the biggest adjustment any potential adopter should be aware of is that, due to their low body fat, greyhounds require special anesthesia procedures whenever called for.

Greyhounds and exercise

Greyhounds do not need a lot of exercise but will enjoy as much as you have time to give them. A good run in a fully fenced field once a week will help keep your greyhound fit and happy. By learning good leash manners during their racing career, your greyhound will love to go for walks, and both you and your dog will benefit from walking as often as possible. Racing greyhounds are trained to sprint short distances but can easily be conditioned as ideal jogging companions.

Again, greyhounds are not overly hyperactive dogs and will be content to follow you from room to room in your house, as well as snooze for up to 18 hours a day and be a companion on walks.

Greyhounds and leashes and fences

Greyhounds are members of the sighthound group, and have exceedingly keen eyesight: They can see clearly for up to one-half mile! They also have a genetic chase instinct and a love for running. This combination of genetic traits, plus their racing training, makes it necessary to keep your greyhound on leash when not inside a completely fenced area. Greyhounds hunt by sight and not smell, and if they become lost, are very unlikely to find their own way home.

Greyhounds and varying temperatures

Greyhounds have very little body fat — in fact, less than half that of other breeds, as well as thin skin and short fur. Thus, they are sensitive to heat and cold, making them strictly indoor dogs. Fortunately, their unusual sense of cleanliness and lack of odor make them excellent indoor canine companions.