Bringing home a new pet is an exciting and rewarding experience. For the greyhound, adjusting to the life of a pet from that of a racer can take a few days. Following are a few suggestions to make the transition easier:
Once you get home, give your greyhound a chance to relieve itself. Walk your dog back and forth in a small area until it does so.
Allow the dog to explore its new home at its own speed, but always under your supervision. It will be much easier to establish good habits early than to correct bad ones.
Although your dog is used to living indoors, everything is new to him in your home. As he sniffs his way through the house, you can offer words of encouragement or discouragement.
Your dog may not know how to handle stairs when you first bring him/her home. Start slowly at first taking him up and down two to three steps. On the way down, he may try to take all the steps at once, so stay in front of him so he can only take one at a time. With some patience, your dog will learn quickly and soon he will be climbing stairs like an old pro.
Sliding glass doors and plate glass windows are new to your dog. He may not realize there is a pane of glass there. Take care to introduce your dog to these obstacles by tapping on the glass to let him know it’s there. You can also put tape or stickers on the glass at eye level.
Mirrors are also a new experience for your dog. he may think his reflections is another dog and try to play with it.
Take precautions when cooking. Your stove and counters are at eye level and your dog will be curious about the food smells. When cooking or baking, your stove will become hot and your dog does not realize he will get burned.
The patterns you set in the first few days are the ones you will live with the rest of your pet’s life. If you do not want your pet on the furniture, do not break down at 3 a.m. and cuddle him on the couch!
Verbal commands are generally enough to train your greyhound. He will know by the tone of your voice what is acceptable and what is not.
This will be a very stressful few days for your greyhound. It is best to keep things quiet – delay the welcome home party for a week or two.
It is not unusual for a new pet to refuse to eat for a day or two. He will probably drink more water than normal and consequently need to go out more often. Also, he will need more rest than usual.
The change of diet and excitement of this new home may cause your new pet to have diarrhea. Make sure your dog stays hydrated and has as many chances to relieve itself as necessary. If it continues for more than a day or two, consult your veterinarian.
Contact an HGA representative or your greyhound’s foster family if you have any questions during your dog’s transition.