A Place for Us Greyhounds
Recommended Supplies for When You Adopt Your Greyhound
1. Feeding and watering bowls--size at least 2-3 quarts. Some prefer elevated feeders, but it's not mandatory. I would recommend elevated feeders for very tall dogs or seniors.
2. A good quality dry dog food. Avoid feeding your Greyhound from the table unless you're prepared to set an extra place! Be sure your dog does not have access to chocolate, artificial sweeteners, raisins, grapes, or avocados. The amount of kibble required for most Greyhounds is 3-4 cups a day--if you use a scoop--be sure and measure how much it holds to prevent over-feeding. If they seem hungry--slowly add to the amount you feed by 1/2 cup per day. Over-feeding can result in loose stools and GI distress. Some of the larger dogs may require up to 6 cups a day--but this is unusual. Dry food is less likely to aggravate dental issues. If you are concerned about your Greyhound's weight, most guidelines state that being able to see the outline of the last three ribs while the dog is standing is ideal. Most dogs in a home situation will gain a few pounds when compared to their racing weight.
3. A sturdy crate. Opinions vary as to whether to purchase a wire or plastic crate. The portability of the wire crate and better view of the surroundings seem to win out. You might consider partially draping the wire crate to make it feel more den-like for the dog. Plastic crates are touted as more sturdy and making it less likely that the Greyhound can break out. For the largest dogs--usually males--the 48 x 30 x 33 inches or size X-Large is a good choice. Most female Greyhounds can easily rest in a size Large crate--42 x 28 x 30 inches. Your adoption coordinator can help you decide which size crate would work best for the dog you are adopting.
4. Plan ahead regarding the placement of the crate in your home. Do not isolate your Greyhound alone in a room. Never close off a Greyhound in a bathroom or laundry room, unless you are using a baby gate for the door opening. If you wish to crate your Greyhound for bedtime--placing the crate in the room where you sleep has the advantages of being aware if your dog needs to go out at night. Also, some evidence seems to point to the fact that they find comfort in knowing you are nearby. Many Greyhounds might just hop into bed with you! Remember, this habit may be hard one to break once it has started. If you don't plan to crate your Greyhound at night, consider placing a comfy dog bed near your bed and get them into the habit of sleeping there.
When placing the crate in a room other than the bedroom--you might try and find a spot that is near the action--but not in the middle of it. For example, a corner in the family room; if you spend most of the time using the computer in a certain room, perhaps in that room. Many Greyhounds enjoy lounging in their crates and if you leave the door open, you may find them hanging out there--just as if it were their own bedroom. Decide about crating in advance--there are many advantages to acclimating a Greyhound to your home by using this training method.
5. A comfy dog bed--or two! Some Greyhounds like to dig and fluff up their beds--so memory foam beds might take a beating. Be sure that your bed is a good-sized one. A bed that is 42 x 30 inches is a good guideline as is a 40-inch round bed. Go big--the beds that are 42 x 30 inches work well for any Greyhound.
6. An enzyme-based carpet/floor cleaner--keep the receipt--you may never use it!
7. If your newly adopted Greyhound is balky to eat their kibble--remember that many of them have been fed a diet that is at least part raw meat. When your present them with kibble--it's like eating dry cereal without the milk. For the transition time, you might consider adding water or broth to the kibble and gradually changing to strictly kibble. Canned food is less healthy for dental health. Keep in mind that if your Greyhound has just had their surgery, they may exhibit a poor appetite for a couple of days. Feeding a Greyhound twice a day is easier on their digestion system. They might do okay with free-feeding; if they are an only dog. If you decide to free-feed and leave food out for them, be sure that they are taking in an adequate amount per day. If they aren't maintaining their weight on the free-feeding method--you might need to re-think this idea.
Some have added plain yogurt--a couple of tablespoons to the kibble as a digestive aid. Canned pumpkin in a similar amount has helped add fiber to firm up stools. If the appearance of their stools changes--consider if your Greyhound might be over-eating or eating non-digestibles such as grass. Did they overdo their rawhide consumption and fail to chew it up? These are just a few explanations for loose stools which differs from the condition of diarrhea. Diarrhea is harder to control and will be more liquid and indicates an illness. Loose stools, on the other hand, are not more frequent--they are passed on the usual schedule--only once or twice a day. If your Greyhound develops diarrhea--they should to be seen by a veterinarian. Diarrhea can result in serious electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. DO NOT GIVE PEPTO-BISMSAL TO YOUR DOG--IT CONTAINS A DANGEROUS ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER THAT CAN CAUSE SEIZURES AND EVEN DEATH.
If your Greyhound is "gassy"--it may be caused by eating too fast. An elevated feeder helps them eat--even faster! So eliminate the elevated feeder, get a feeding bowl with a larger circumference, and if that doesn't work--purchase a feeding bowl that is designed to make the dog eat slower--this website features several examples.
Leave fresh water available for them and also in their crate, if you are confining them while you are away from home.
8. Greyhounds will need regular applications of products to prevent flea and tick infestations. Frontline or Nexgard are more expensive but will not harm your Greyhound. Other formulations that do not have the same chemical properties as these have caused neurological damage to the dogs. Do not allow anyone to "dip" your Greyhound--it is neuro-toxic. Most of the commercial flea collars will cause skin irritation. Adams products are safe to use as a medicated shampoo and also to spray on bedding and other areas--do not spray Adams products directly on your dog. Be thorough if there is a tick or flea infestation--treat all bedding, vacuum, and treat the yard. Do not allow your dog outside until the chemical treatment has dried after treating the yard. Along the same vein, when gardening--do not use cocoa mulch since it has the same properties as chocolate.
Don't neglect giving heartworm preventative on a monthly basis--even Greyhounds that lounge on the couch for most of the day can be infected by mosquitoes. Be aware of breeding sites for mosquitoes such as standing water, high grass or weeds, and nearby playa lakes.
9. Extra's--stuffed toys, kongs, or rawhides to keep them busy. Tasty treats to reward your Greyhound and lots of praise is a good training method.
10. Safety--Martingale collars are recommended to use while on walks and not while they are in an unsupervised situation. Some of the same features that prevent the dog from backing out of their martingale collar might get them hung up on their crate or similar structures. There are break-away collars that might be a good investment for the Greyhound to wear when not on walks. Some Greyhounds have done well with using a harness for walks if they are prone to pulling too hard with their martingale. Retractable leashes are a poor excuse for a lead and should never be used while walking the large and powerful Greyhound who might decide to sprint after a squirrel and get hung up in it or pull it loose from your grasp.