Dubbed the 40 mile per hour couch potato, this fastest breed of dog lives to run but loves to lounge.
The Greyhound's ancestors were popular with European nobility for the sport of the chase. Later, they were used for coursing a variety of animals in the American West. Even Buffalo Bill and General Custer hunted with them. In the 1920s, a mechanical lure was invented and they began to be bred as track sprinters.
Today most pet Greyhounds are retired track racers. Because most of them are registered with the racing association (the National Greyhound Association, or NGA) rather the AKC, they're much more popular than AKC's ranking suggests.
Retired track dogs make great family companions. They enjoy a quick sprint, a leisurely stroll and a long snooze on the furniture. They also love to play with toys, usually preferring softer ones. They really love chasing a toy tied to the end of a long buggy whip or line.
The Greyhound is a large dog. But unlike most large dogs, it is not prone to hip or elbow dysplasia. It can, however, have old track injuries. When possible, find out why your Greyhound was retired from the track. Joint supplements, such as glucosamine chondroitin, may help prevent arthritic changes from developing from old injuries.
For some reason, many Greyhounds have digestive upsets. We suggest administrating a probiotic with every meal to combat this.
The Greyhound is somewhat prone to bloat or gastric torsion, a condition in which the gases accumulate in the stomach and can't escape. The stomach may then twist, totally cutting off any ability for anything to leave the stomach. The dog's stomach enlarges as gases continue to accumulate, and the dog is restless and tries unsuccessfully to vomit. This is an extreme emergency that needs immediate veterinary attention to save the dog. Nobody knows exactly how to prevent it, but many veterinarians advocate feeding an anti-gas pill with every meal.
Greyhound coat care is easy. The coat requires weekly brushing to remove dead hair. Many Greyhounds have bald thighs; in fact, it's called bald thigh syndrome. You can try various treatments, but usually it's there to stay and has nothing to do with allergies or upkeep.
Check your Greyhound's ears weekly. Apply an ear cleanser any time the ears start to accumulate dark secretions. Some ear wax is healthy; a lot is not. If you must apply ear medication, use the ear cleanser first to remove thick secretions that would block the medication from reaching the surface of the canal.
Brush the teeth daily. Greyhounds have a tendency to develop a lot of tartar quickly.
Clip the nails every two weeks or so using a heavy-duty dog nail clipper.
Sometimes age-related arthritic changes make it tough. Besides any intervention recommended by your veterinarian, a soft cushion to lie on--as though he wasn't already insisting on one!-- and glucosamine chondroitin supplements added to the diet can help soothe aching joints, and keep him as young in body as he is in spirit.