Those considering adopting a retired greyhound can buy supplies in advance to help their grey feel right at home. HGA recommends having the following prior to adopting your greyhound.
Racers spend most of their time at the track in a kennel crate and it can be a comfort to them as they transition to their new home. A crate should be used for the adjustment period and sleeping. HGA recommends using a crate when leaving the dog on its own to keep it safe and out of trouble. For some dogs, the crate can be phased out over time. The crate needs to be large enough for your dog to stand up, with its head up, and turn around. A 42-inch or 48-inch crate will typically do well accommodating a greyhound. Put a washable blanket, a pillow, and a favorite toy in the crate to help your dog feel comfortable.
Greyhounds are sleek, slender dogs that need a soft bed to rest comfortably. Greyhounds are big dogs, so buy a dog bed at least 36x36.
Purchase a premium food such as Diamond Naturals, Hill’s, Blue Buffalo, Nutro, or Purina ProPlan. If your grey has been at a foster home, check to see what it has been fed there. Cheap brands of dog food contain corn and wheat products that tend to give greyhounds gas and allergies. Greyhounds tend to do best eating dog food that has meat as the first ingredient, and when there are no corn, wheat, or soy products in the first five ingredients.
It is a good idea to buy a garbage can or large, plastic container with a lid to store your dog’s food. A tight-fitting lid will prevent your dog from gaining surprise access to its food.
Metal bowls with a wide bottom are best; clay or plastic bowls may contain lead or cause and allergic reaction in your dog. Food stands can be purchased to raise up greyhound’s food and water bowls. Elevated bowls are recommended to prevent digestive upset, bloat, and choking in greyhounds. There are food stands specifically for this purpose, but many greyhound owners use other methods to elevate dishes (example: simple plant stands).
Greyhounds have small heads and can easily slip out of regular collars, regardless of how tightly they are fitted. Special nylon sighthound collars and leashes are provided with each retired racer adopted through Heartland Greyhound Adoption.
Good dog toys include Nylabones, Gumabones, hard rubber balls, tennis balls, soft fleece toys, rubber or squeaky toys, and large Kong toys. Make sure that the toy is sturdily made and not too small, or your grey could choke on it. Avoid overly processed chews like rawhide. Bully sticks, yak’s milk chews, and antlers are safer choices for chew toys for greyhounds.
Greyhounds love treats and some will need them to put on weight. Dog biscuits and patties are common treats, but you also can give your grey small quantities of vegetables, marshmallows, peanut butter, cheese, rice, and fruit.
Greyhounds do not require frequent grooming. When you want to get rid of excess hair, a soft rubber brush will do nicely, not a metal brush with hard teeth. Greyhounds are lean dogs with thin coats and a metal brush is too harsh for them. If your greyhound needs a bath, basic dog shampoo will work well.
Brushing your dog’s teeth helps prevent tarter build-up. Doggie toothbrushes and toothpaste are available from your veterinarian or pet store. Do not use human toothpaste.
Since greyhounds have a thin coat of fur and very little body fat, they require a coat to keep warm when going out in the winter. There are several people within our group and many shops online that make winter coats specifically for greyhounds and their unique body shape. Most winter coats available in pet stores do not fit these long, slender dogs very well.