Greyhounds make great pets! They are intelligent, affectionate, “laid back” and exceedingly clean.
Although they are classified as large dogs, they are relatively inobtrusive, polite, and easy to live with. Most do well with cats and other small animals. Some are also good with children.
- About 60% of ex-racing Greyhounds have no interest in cats.
- About 20% can easily be trained to be cat compatible.
- Only about 20% are not able to live with cats.
Greyhounds have virtually no “doggy” odor, even when wet. They have short hair, do not shed much (though they do shed a little), and do not require grooming (other than an occasional bath and nail clipping).
Greyhounds do not eat a lot, about 4 cups of dry kibble daily, but do need a premium dry dog food. A good quality lamb and rice formula without corn or soy is generally a good choice.
Greyhounds are generally very healthy dogs, and live for 12 to 15 years. Hip displaysia and other genetic defects are very rare in ex-racing Greyhounds. Health problems are absolutely minimal compared to other breeds, although tick borne diseases are a potential health risk.
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. 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 for sprinting short distances, but can easily be conditioned as ideal jogging companions.
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 makes it necessary to keep your Greyhound on leash when not inside a completely fenced area. Greyhounds hunt by sight, not by smell, and if they become lost are very unlikely to find their own way home.
Greyhounds have very little body fat (less than half that of other breeds), thin skin, and short fur. Thus, they are sensitive to heat and cold, making them strictly indoor dogs. Fortunately, their unusual cleanliness and lack of odor make them excellent indoor companions.