Whether you’re a seasoned greyhound parent or are considering adopting a greyhound for the first time, there are a few things you should ask yourself:
1. Does everyone in your family want a greyhound?
You are not just adopting a dog, you are bringing a new family member into your home. Everyone should WANT a greyhound as part of the family.
2. Do you have a fenced yard?
Typically, at least a five foot fence is desired. Greyhounds can jump suprisingly high, so a fence of an appropriate height is a must. Some greyhound rescues will allow you to adopt a greyhound if you do not have a fenced yard, but you must be willing to take her out on a leash for walks and bathroom breaks. Greyhounds are “sight hounds” and cannot be off-leash as the risk of them running off unexpectedly is just too high. And speaking of leashes, no retractable leashes! Additionally, martingale collars are a must.
3. Are you prepared for the expense of adopting a greyhound?
Consider your financial situation, and the cost of feeding your greyhound, providing routine and emergency veterinary care, boarding (if you travel), and of course, the necessary dog toys and stuffies (stuffed animals, preferably with squeakers).
4. Are you prepared to keep your greyhound indoors?
Greyhounds are not outside dogs. They have very little body fat, thin skin, and a very thin coat, and because of this, cannot be exposed to extreme temperatures. In colder climates, you may need to buy a coat for your pooch to take him out for walks, and you should be prepared to wash the salt off his sensitive paws in snowy or icy weather. Because greyhounds are indoor dogs, you must make room in your home for your new family member with items such as pet beds, toys, an elevated food bowl, and possibly a large crate, to name a few.
5. What is your lifestyle like?
Greyhounds do best in a family with a regular schedule, and with someone at home to provide quality play and cuddle time. While your greyhound will lounge around and sleep quite a bit, she will need that time outside when she gets the urge to run. Greyhounds also respond well to obedience training, and would benefit immensely from it since they’ve spent most of their time on the track without the need to learn doggie manners. Do you have the time and patience to train your greyhound?
6. Do you have a greyhound-savvy veterinarian?
Greyhounds are very different from most breeds, and require care from a veterinarian knowledgeable about their sensitivity to anesthesia and certain medicines.
7. Are you prepared for the life-long commitment?
Greyhounds can live up to fourteen years. They are not disposable pets, and should be treated like a member of your family. Your pup won’t understand being returned to the kennel if you have to move, downsize, or are not physically able to care for him.
Adopting a retired racer is very rewarding, but only if you are prepared for the commitment.
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