What’s so great about greyhounds?
Greyhounds make ideal companion animals for people in all kinds of situation and here’s why:
Low Exercise Requirement!
Yes, you read that right! People are often surprised to discover that as dogs go, greyhounds are one of the breeds that require the least amount of exercise. Built for speed and not stamina, your retired greyhound will return home exhausted after a 20 minute lap around the park and happily doze on the sofa for most of the day. Racing dogs are fed a much higher protein diet than their retired buddies so you’ll find that your pet grey will spend more time sleeping than he does awake and is happiest lazing about the house and not always in the most graceful manner.
Great Retirement Buddies
Retired greyhounds make great companions for older people. Having a dog is a great way to stay active in your community and an older greyhound will happily adjust to a routine of short, slow paced walks. Many older people are hesitant about adopting a dog, worried that the dog may outlive them or that they may find themselves unable to care for their pet or to pay expensive vet bills. The good news is that greyhounds are one of the most healthy dog breeds around. They are not genetically predisposed to illnesses like diabetes or epilepsy and have a very healthy life expectancy of 12-14 years. Greyhounds arrive in pounds and rescues at every stage of their life and there are often older greyhounds who are in need of a home for the final years of their lives. Their gentle, intuitive nature means that they won’t jump all over their owners or pull on the leash when you’re out for a walk. A good re-homing organisation will be able to match a greyhound to your particular circumstance, so check out our members page for rescues who adopt greyhounds to homes throughout Ireland. Giving a home to an older greyhound is a special gift for which they will repay you a thousand times over in love, companionship and affection.
Living in an apartment or a small house without a garden? No problem! A greyhound would far rather be inside than stuck in a garden where he may get his feet wet. Greyhounds are indoor pets and because of their low body fat, should never be left outside in cold or very hot weather. As long as you are happy to take your hound out for two short walks a day, there’s no reason why you can’t have a greyhound in an apartment. Greyhounds tend to be quiet dogs who don’t bark as much as other breeds so hound owners are less likely to get complaints from neighbours. A lot of people nowadays are away from home for most of the day, something which rules out many dog breeds as suitable pets. Many greyhounds however are content to be left alone for up to eight or nine hours and will greet their owners with delight at the end of the working day. Some lucky greyhounds like Phoebe, a permanent fixture at the offices of Lilliput Press in Dublin 7, are even allowed to come to work with their owner. Working with a good re-homing organisation is the best way to find a greyhound who will fit your particular lifestyle.
When we picture the ideal family pet, it isn’t always a greyhound that springs to mind. Greyhounds are very sensitive animals and many of them can live very happily with children. We always advise parents of young children to exercise caution when adopting any dog breed and children should always be supervised in the company of animals. We have many accounts of what wonderful family pets, retired greyhounds make. Greyhounds form very close bonds with their owners, both young and old and they are being used more and more as therapy dogs for both children and adults with conditions like PTSD, autism and anxiety.
Natural beauties, greyhounds require very little grooming. Most will need their nails clipped a few times per year and that should cover it. Greyhounds are considered hypoallergenic because they don’t have an undercoat, the short fine hair that causes allergies in some people. Although unlike poodles and other non-shed breeds, greyhounds do lose some hair, it is minimal and generally seasonal. Therefore the vacuum cleaner is less necessary in the greyhound household than it is in the homes of most other dog breeds.
If you are interested in adopting a greyhound, please take a look at the many greyhounds needing loving homes on the sites of our member organisations.