New Greyhound Info
Preparing for your greyhound & the first weeks
Before your greyhound comes home… Study!
Purchase a copy of Adopting the Racing Greyhound by Cynthia Branigan or Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies by Lee Livingood. Livinggoods book has some poor information on page 52. Never tether or tie a greyhound! Read these books and keep them close by before you bring your Greyhound home. Always use common sense and call RDRP if in doubt!
“Toddler proof” your home so it is a safe and healthy environment.
Purchase the following before arrival –
- Nice comfy bed and pad or comforter for crate
- Raised feeder and water bowls
- Tough quality toys appropriate for large dogs
- Toothbrush & doggie toothpaste
- A nice coat if weather gets under 55
- Healthy quality food and a few nice treats
- A good harness if you has a small or overly strong hound
The Adjustment Period
Recognizing the adjustment period and managing it successfully is an important part of any Greyhound adoption. It must be remembered that being a companion instead of a racer involves a dramatic change in your dog’s routine and he must be given time to adjust to his new surroundings. In this regard, a quiet Greyhound may become fretful, a good eater reluctant to eat, a clean Greyhound may have an “accident.” Your love, patience and understanding will help your Greyhound through this adjustment period which may last from a few days to a many weeks.
The first few days
Most likely your greyhound will have just had his medical procedures (spay/neuter/dental) and will be groggy and sore for a few days. During this time it is important to let them rest comfortably in their crate and only go out for potty breaks and feeding times. You will have plenty of time to “show off” your new family member. Keep them close to home during post-op which is generally 14 days. Keep a pail of fresh purified water in their crate. There will be plenty of time for long walks and showing your new family member around later. His or her health depends on quiet, rest and recovery.
Try to bring your new greyhound into your home when you have plenty of time available to help them adjust. Everything… EVERYTHING will be new to them. It is a good idea to keep the house quite and don’t invite friends over right away. Living in a home for a new greyhound can be overwhelming.
Prepare your house
Dog proof the house as if a small child was moving in – Prepare your house for your new family member by removing any fragile knickknacks, checking your fencing for holes or weak spots, put away all potentially hazards objects, and placing clips or locks on your gates. You’ll also want to check the latches and locks on screen doors and mark large windows and sliding glass doors with a band of tape for easy visibility.
Prepare the sleeping area – Select his/her sleeping place. If your grey has just had their spay/neuter using the crate (which they are used to) would be the safest and most secure are. We suggest using the master bedroom with the door closed. If your grey is not immediately post-op, you may place his/her bed next to yours. This suggestion serves several purposes. The dog can tell you if he/she needs to go out. It reassures the dog to sleep with others in the room. Remember, the Greyhound has never slept alone in its entire life. Also, the dog should not roam the house at night. Sleeping in your room means you know what’s going on.
Your Greyhound was housed in a crate at the track and was let out in the pen four times a day to relieve himself. She then lived in the indoor/outdoor kennels at RDRP. To avoid accidents in the house, we recommend you keep him on his schedule initially and gradually get him used to sleeping in later if necessary.
If your dog has an accident in the house a verbal reprimand is enough (the dog must be caught in the act for this to work). Then take him outside and praise him when he relieves himself. DO-NOT hit your dog or put his nose in the “accident” as your dog will respond more quickly to kindness. Always be kind to your greyhound! Clean the spot immediately and rinse the area with an odor neutralizing solution (vinegar and water does not do the trick). This will neutralize the odor and discourage him from going in that spot again.
If your dog is a male he will lift his leg in a few places around the house to mark his new territory. Watch him carefully and try to catch him before he does it. Again, a verbal reprimand is sufficient. This is part of his adjustment period and usually only lasts a day or two.
Walk your dog as often as possible the first few days. This will teach him where he is supposed to “go” and will also help relieve the tension of being in new surroundings. We highly recommend the use of a crate during the adjustment/housebreaking period for a non-housebroken dog. It is what they’re used to. Crates to house a Greyhound should be 35″ wide x 48″ deep x 48″ high. When you leave the dog alone, put him in his crate and you won’t have to worry about coming home to any “accidents.” By the way, some Greyhounds are shy about relieving themselves while on a leash. Either let them go in a fully fenced area or be patient while they get used to it. For your information, the R.D.R.P. has crates to borrow.
Establish the House Rules & Boundaries – Discuss Greyhound pet rules with all family members, particularly children. This will ensure an easy transition period. If you don’t want the dog to get on the couch, decide now. Breaking a habit is much more difficult than training. After your Greyhound jumps on the couch or takes food from the table for the first time, he/she has immediately formed a new habit. Redirect them gently and with a firm no and always be consistent.
Provide your Greyhound with a very soft bed or thick quilt or comforter. Greyhounds have no padding on their elbows and can develop sores and/or a fluid condition if forced to sleep on a hard surface. Greyhounds love to sleep in the same room as you. Being near you is comforting to them and allows them to bond with you more quickly. If you insist on your Greyhound sleeping elsewhere, you may be in for many sleepless nights so be prepared!
A Greyhound’s diet consists of three to four cups of premium dog food per day depending on your brand. We feed Fromm at the Adoption Center, but any high-quality food is good. Avoid “supermarket” brands such as Gravy Train, Butcher’s Blend, or the semi-moist foods such as Gaines Burger, etc., as they tend to have little to no nutritional value. Retired racers do not need high protein dog food so get a food for regular adult maintenance. Boiled white rice, pure pumpkin or cooked pasta added to the food can help control loose stools. Be mindful of your greyhounds weight, in most cases 1-2 pounds is all they would ever need. Extra weight on a greyhound will shorten their lifespan.
Your dog will have been given the appropriate inoculations but booster shots need to be repeated yearly. Your dog’s teeth will also need cleaning by a vet as the soft diet at the track causes tartar buildup. In time, this can lead to gum disease, tooth loss or a systemic infection. Your Greyhound will have had his or her teeth cleaned at the time it was spayed or neutered, but depending on the dog, this may need to be redone periodically.
Your Greyhound has tested negative for heartworm. Year round heartworm prevention is a must in Florida. You should, however, take a fecal sample to your vet so he can check for parasites. Your Greyhound savvy Vet will know what to prescribe for any parasites should they occur. Never use the dewormer called Task as Greyhounds react adversely to it.
Greyhounds are extremely sensitive to anesthesia and require only a fraction of the amount used on other dogs. We strongly recommend that you find a veterinarian who uses Isoflurane Gasas an anesthesia. Also, make sure you give your vet our literature called “Research in Greyhound Anesthesia.” If you choose to use our veterinarian for the spay/neuter, you will not have to worry about these risks, since our veterinarian treats hundreds of Greyhounds in his practice.
Greyhounds are also sensitive to many flea preparations. They cannot tolerate flea collars. Flea sprays or shampoos should be made of natural ingredients such as pyrethrins and should be safe for use on puppies or kittens. Flea preventatives such as Frontline, Top Spot, Program and Advantage are all available from your veterinarian and are convenient and safe for use on your Greyhound. Adverse reactions to certain chemicals can cause convulsions, permanent liver damage or even death!
Greyhounds are strictly indoor dogs. If left outside in winter or summer they may die from exposure. Greyhounds also need to wear coats if they are outside for more than a few minutes and the temperature is below 32 degrees. Indoors means inside the house, not in the garage or on the lanai.
Discipline – Redirection
Greyhounds are extremely sensitive animals that cannot be disciplined roughly. A stern tone of voice is all that is needed to get a Greyhound to understand what you expect of him. The wrong disciplinary tactics will only teach your dog to be afraid of you.
An EXCELLENT article with good links on How To Help Your Greyhound Adjust – a MUST read!