So, you’ve made the fantastic decision to adopt a greyhound.
It’s truly an amazing thing you’re doing – you’re saving a life. Never forget that.
But WHOA! Slow down there, hound lover! There are some things you’ll need before greyhound adoption.
I totally understand the excitement. Someone has already matched you with a grey. You’ll imagine it lounging around on the couch. Roaching outside in the sun. I know – I did it too. I got caught out on a few things though, so read on and don’t make the same mistakes I did.
Before Greyhound Adoption – Check Your Fences & Gates.
This may sound obvious, but I actually know a couple this happened to. Their fence was behind thick hedging, which had become rotten over time and they didn’t realise. A few weeks after adoption, their grey grew more adventurous and explored the garden.
Result: Greyhound 1 – Fence – 0.
Thankfully, a very kind member of the neighbourhood found him and took him to the local vets, who checked his microchip and reunited the greyhound and his frantic owners. Remember, greys are sighthounds and can see as far as half a mile away. Something as small as a plastic bag blowing in the wind will cause them to bolt with a focus so strong very few can be recalled.
Gates are the same. I’ve been the victim of a quick greyhound (Miss Lottie) who I thought was ten steps behind me, but darted through as I carried the bin bags out. Luckily, we live in a cul-de-sac, and she’s VERY food driven, so I coaxed her back with her favourite liver treats. Be extra vigil and know where your greyhound is in the garden.
It’s also a good idea to fix a ‘Please Close The Gate’ sign on BOTH sides of the gate. We’ve had friends and family not quite latching the gate properly on arrival. All it takes is a gust of wind and they’re off.
Elevated Water & Food Bowls – Be VERY Careful!
When I first researched greyhound adoption, the opinion of all the greyhound groups on Facebook was unanimous. Greys need raised bowls to avoid the dreaded life-threatening condition, Bloat. My greys each had their own elevated bowls for that very reason.
It was only recently an article caught my eye which reported elevated bowls can actually cause bloat in dogs. More and more articles backed this conclusion and I must admit I was confused. A fact which was drummed into me for eight months was now taking a U-turn.
The further I researched, the more evidence I found. Do your own research on this one. I am certainly no veterinarian, and I cannot give advice. Just beware of any ‘advice’ on Facebook groups from well-meaning members who may not have heard of the change of opinion of the professionals regarding these bowls. I would hate for this to happen to your pup.
Warn The Children.
Greyhounds have lived a very different life from any other breed of dog. They have mostly only had the company of other greyhounds and their trainers. Most have never even been inside a house. If you have children, please explain according to their age, to give your greyhound a lot of space in its first few weeks at home with you. You’ll need to make sure everyone is comfortable and things stand a good chance of your greyhound adoption going smoothly.
Sudden noises and appliances such as:
1. Washing Machines
3. Vacuum Cleaners
5. Telephones etc.
are all new, and may leave your greyhound feeling overwhelmed and stressed. The last thing it needs is a small human trying to cuddle it and in its face.
After a few weeks, or even days, you will see your grey relax and grow more confident in its new surroundings. Some adopted greyhounds aren’t tested with young children (speak to your adoption contact regarding this).
Please never leave your toddler and grey together on their own until you are completely confident your child won’t approach the dog on their own. If they have space aggression or are resource guarders, it could lead to a growl of warning at best and a nasty bite at worst.
Things You’ll Need – Buy A Comfy Hound-Sized Bed
You’ll need an extra-large bed for your greyhound, remember they love to roach! We currently have two beds inside and two elevated beds outside in the shade for daytime use. Our greys are allowed to sleep on the sofa, but not on our bed. This is purely a personal choice and one you’ll need to think about from day one.
There are heaps of dog beds on the market. I particularly like this one in XXL as it’s orthopaedic. I always try and buy beds with removable covers to pop in the washing machine. You’ll need a size of around 30-40 inches for a greyhound bed.
Good Quality Kibble
Ask your adoption agency what kind of kibble they normally feed their dogs. I’d recommend continuing feeding this, at least for a few weeks to a month. This gives them familiar food at a very unfamiliar time, and you are less likely to be battling upset stomachs while trying to settle in your new pup.
There are some foods you should NEVER feed your grey – some foods are highly toxic to dogs.
If you decide to change their kibble, you’ll need to do it over around a week. Most bags give directions on how much new food is to be added to their old kibble. I prefer grain-free kibble, as it seems to be kinder on their delicate stomachs.
Martingale Collars & Leash
**Handsome boy Jaz modelling a rather snazzy martingale collar**
As greyhounds’ heads are smaller than their necks, a conventional dog collar shouldn’t be used. A grey can easily slip out of a normal dog collar.
A purpose-made collar called a Martingale is usually provided by the adoption agency, along with a leash. The collar should be loosened to fit over the grey’s head and tightened, leaving a three-finger gap. NEVER use a retractable lead with your greyhound when out on walks.
Because martingales tighten when pulled, they should always wear them under supervision. If a greyhound catches the collar jumping up on a fence, it could tragically choke to death.
Toys & Chews
This is the fun part!
In my experience, greyhounds love anything with a squeak. We’ve had a squeaky octopus, chicken, bone, pig and the current favourite is a big brown hedgehog. I buy most of mine from cut-price stores as they don’t seem to last long and and are cheap to replace.
Greyhounds love cuddly things too, like big teddies and cushions. I’ve managed to get my hands on the phenomenon that is the Cuddlepillar. There are more photos of greys cuddled up in adorable poses with them on Social Media than you can shake a stick at.
You’ll need some chews too. I love Dentaflex chews which clean their teeth as they bite, keeping them happy while keeping the vets away.
Coats and Clothes
Depending on what time of year your greyhound adoption is you will probably need some housecoats, pyjamas and waterproof raincoats. Remember, greys only have one coat and don’t carry fat so they feel the cold more than us.
So, there you have it, a few things to think about before collecting your lovely new greyhound. Please share any more in the comments section below.
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