Some Common Questions about Greyhounds Answered
Please feel free to ask any questions we have not covered using the form below and we will answers to those.
I live in a flat, am I suitable to adopt a greyhound?
You may be suitable to adopt a greyhound, it depends on individual circumstances. A ground floor flat with a private, fenced garden, if owned/mortgaged to by you should not pose any problems, but a 2nd floor flat with no garden would be far less suitable and it’s likely we would turn your application down.
There are of course several variables between the above two examples so we would recommend that you contact us to discuss your individual situation. If you are a tenant in a flat (or a house) we reserve the right to ask for proof from your letting agent that dogs are permitted.
Why are greyhounds muzzled?
Racing regulations for active racing dogs require that muzzles be worn by the dogs when they are out exercising. Retired greyhounds have no such requirement. Having said that, most recently retired greyhounds have had little, if any contact with other breeds of dog. They are generally very sociable with their own kind, but many are confused by what is expected from them around unfamiliar breeds initially.
Some greyhounds find other breeds frightening, some are not bothered by them at all, some are interested only in running dogs (please bear in mind here that greyhounds have been bred and trained to chase small fluffy things throughout their racing career). A few greyhounds, given to opportunity would chase or even bite other dogs. For this reason we strongly recommend that you use a muzzle on your greyhound until you are 100% confident that it will be friendly and sociable with all other dogs of whatever shape and size that it meets.
Even when reliable on a lead with other dogs, please still consider this scenario – Would you be able to react quickly enough to prevent your on the lead dog from diving into a hedge and extracting a sleeping cat? With a greyhound the answer, realistically is no. When off lead exercise is given, again we strongly suggest that you use a muzzle on your dog. Even the best tempered greyhounds can still have their chase instinct triggered by squirrels, rabbits, deer and cats.
A 40mph dog is not one you will be able to catch! Please therefore help to protect the reputation of the greyhounds we are working to save from potential bad press and most importantly protect other animals from danger by being a responsible greyhound owner and choosing to use a muzzle on your dog.
I have a baby and a toddler, can I adopt?
We may be able to find greyhounds suitable to live with babies and toddlers, but your choice of dog will be severley limited and you may have to wait some time before the right dog is found. We are very conscious of the vulnerability of children and also that children do not always do as they are told.
Whilst most parents are sensible enough to understand that a child should never be left alone with a dog that is actually quite a hard thing to stick to. Consider this scenario: Your toddler is watching his/her favorite TV program, the dog is asleep in the same room as you and your child and you need to make a quick trip to the bathroom/answer the phone/make a cup of tea etc. Are you really going to take the child or the dog with you every time you leave the room to ensure that the dog and child are never alone together?
Greyhounds are generally calm, gentle and loving dogs, but a household with young children can be stressful for the people and the pets. We are therefore extremely cautious when homing in this situation.
How much does it cost to have a greyhound?
The costs involved in keeping a greyhound vary hugely depending on all sorts of things.
The initial costs would be the adoption donation of £150 which would also provide you with the leather collar, lead and a muzzle.
You’ll need to provide a bed, 2 bowls, a feeding stand (recommended), at least one winter coat, food (these costs vary depending on what you choose to feed but a mimimum of £7 per week is probably appropriate).
You’ll need an ID disc, poop bags and grooming equipment. There is the regular parasite control of wormers and flea treatment to consider along with the cost of annual vaccination.
Insurance is probably the biggest variable, with costs ranging from £5.75 per month for the most basic of covers up to perhaps in excess of £60 per month for an older animal with a “top notch” policy.
We strongly recommend pet insurance in some form, to cover third party liability as a minimum. Being a dog owner means you are legally responsible for the actions of your dog – It is your home and finances that are at risk if you are sued for the actions of your dog, but the question of whether you could provide several thousand pounds to pay for treatment of a severe accident is another where pet insurance needs thinking about.
I’ve heard that greyhounds can’t live with cats, is this true?
With the majority if greyhounds it is true, but not in all cases. If you have a cat and you are interested in adopting a greyhound then we can probably help. Having said that you will likely have to join a queue of like minded people and it is therefore unlikely that you’ll be able to adopt quickly.
Greyhound lifeline don’t like the term “cat friendly”, we consider it to be misleading. We prefer the term cat trainable which is more realistic. It’s extremely unlikely that your new dog and your cat will be safely living together from day 1.
We do regular cat testing, but even a dog that passes well will still require extreme caution and vigilance around the cat(s). Use of the muzzle and keeping the dog on the lead in the early days are essential for the safety of your cat(s).
Please only take on a greyhound with a cat if you are fully committed to making it succeed.
Do greyhounds need a special diet and how much should I feed?
Greyhounds don’t need a special diet, they are pretty straightforward to feed. At the end of the day the choice of feed is down to you, it’s a case of what suits you and your greyhound, but if you feed a complete dry you ought to be looking for a protein content of around 20% and for something with no (or very little) artificial colouring/flavours.
Higher protein levels may make your dog hyperactive, lower level may mean he/she cannot maintain a healthy weight and lacks energy generally. In the home a dry complete feed, plus a little something in the way of tinned meat/fish and some warm water will satisfy most greyhound palates. Some people choose a raw meat plus veg diet, others may cook their own. The important bit is to feed a diet that is suitably balanced for a dog’s needs. Complete dry with complete canned is the simplest solution for this.
The quantity to feed your greyhound will depend on your dogs personal metabolism and how much exercise he/she is given. In our kennels most of our smaller dogs get 1.5 mugs of dry feed twice daily and our bigger dogs get 2 mugs of dry feed twice daily plus canned food/meat juices. There are exceptions to every rule though and that is a vague guide only.
If your greyhound loses weight, increase the feed amount. If your dog is getting fat, reduce the quantity fed.
Have you got a question we have not covered?
If so please leave a message below and we will do our best to answer these in the main FAQ here.
Thanks Greyhound Lifeline.