Retired greyhound advice please!(66 Posts)
Previous thread here - https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_doghouse/3245669-Considering-rehoming-a-dog-from-a-rescue-any-tips-Advice
Our new friend comes home on Saturday and I’ve got some questions I can’t seem to find the answers to anywhere....! Help.
Do I need to brush him? What brush would I need?
How often do you give them a bath?
Do I just feed him complete dry dog food and treats etc or does he need wet food / bran as my mum keeps banging on about (she has 3 small dogs and says bran flakes with hot water is really important for their bowels...!)
Do I need to brush his teeth?
Sorry if any of these seem daft but I’m new to all this and would like the ins and outs!
Lovely dogs! Owned several ! Be prepared for the fact that he will regard your sofa as his by right.
Ours enjoyed being brushed with a soft bristle brush, but it's not essential. All three HATED baths, so really as infrequently as possible. Greyhounds are prone to, ahem, sensitive stomachs, so nothing too rich. To begin with, keep him on whatever he was having in the shelter. We didn't brush our dogs'teeth, but gave them regular hard chews and that seemed to do the job. Good luck!
Can you get advice from wherever you are getting him from?
You need to be careful about changing the food from what doggy has been eating as it can upset their stomachs. They can also have skin conditions which are related to food?
Being a bigger dog a raised bowl helps prevent wind.
Only bath if they are dirty or have a skin issue.
Short haired dog, might like brushing but it won’t be ‘needed’ like long haired breeds.
Teeth- you’ll have to build up trust first unless they are already used to it.
Ex racers need to be retrained on what a walk is for. They tend not to poo on a walk but save it for home. Walking was for being paraded from the kennel to the track and they are completely unaware of the joy of a walk- plus side they walk to heel beautifully.
I was never brave enough to let one of the lead as if they see something they want to chase they are gone.
Can be horrendous food thieves. My siblings greyhound could open the oven, fridge, bin,microwave and dishwasher. Never allowed unsupervised access to the kitchen.
Once ate a lasagne,dish and all and required emergency surgery to remove pieces of dish!
Best dogs in the world though.
Thank you for the replies. I am at the comment about opening the fridge and oven! I planned to have his bed in the kitchen / diner so I’ll have to be wary of that!!
He is coming to us from Dogs Trust and they’ve been wonderful with answering questions but you know what it’s like it’s when you get home and you start to think about these things that you think “oh I should have asked that” and I want to be prepared before he comes home!
Interesting about the walk / toilet thing too. I am hopeful as I’ve walked him 3 times now and he always wees and poos on the walk so that’s a good starting point...!
I use a cactus mitt on my fine coated lurchers and it is brilliant for getting mud and scurf off without scratching them, and makes their coats super shiny.
I bath them when they have rolled in something stinky. Fortunatly most mud falls off as soon as it dries.
Mine are fed on Vitalin sensitive or Burns sensitive plus a bit of wet food to make it interesting as one is a bit of a special snowflake about his food. They love dried sprats as treats
Brushing their teeth is good if they will tolerate it
Have you chosen some collars yet? Not that I am obsessed with collars at all...
I have 2 retired racers. Brilliant dogs but each have their own quirks. Seriously, they are all quirky in their own way.
One needs something to make their food interesting (dried food plus coconut oil, tomato sardines, wet food), the other is easier in some ways (food) but needs more positive affirmation.
Your sofa/bed/soft furnishings will never be your own. You cannot leave any food out, no matter how 'out the way' you think it is. My hounds can reach the back of our kitchen worktops.
No real grooming. Only bathed one of ours as she came straight from kennels. Thinking our other needs a freshen up but that's after 3 years and has only just begun to smell 'doggie', sometimes.
Teeth are a nightmare, but that's inherited from their racing days. One has had 2 dentals and 6+ teeth removed. The other has been luckier.
They are all a joy, bit you'll have to wait for yours to come out its shell to see the real hound 🐕🐕
Ask what they're currently feeding him on and slowly switch him from that onto your preferred dog food option so as to avoid upsetting his stomach.
The quality of "complete" dog foods does vary enormously, from those which are packed full of meat and nutrition to those which are full of cereals and cheap fillers to those which are good quality. AllAboutDogFood.co.uk is an excellent website for differentiating between them
Bran mash is a new one on me for dogs. It sounds like a bit of old people dog lore that's not actually based in any science.
Thanks. I thought that about my mums bran thing but I thought I was ask as she is so adamant about it!
Listen to Avocados. Massive difference in the quality of dried food and wet food. I was feeding mine Arden Grange, but they've recently lost interest so trying new things. Avoid anything easy to get at the supermarket. Pets at home stocks some okay brands but better off online.
The main things to start off with are raised bowl stands and special greyhound collars. The weathers nice so need need to worry about coats yet.
Not much bruising is required at all. You'll learn everything else as you go along, don't panic, it will be fine 👍. Greyhounds adapt so quickly and easily, they really are amazing. You'll soon suss out if he's a good eater, 2 of ours have been food obsessed, the other one needs to be hand fed and tempted as she will easily go a day without eating if she can't be arsed.
I would disagree with the not needing to brush. Ours came with a horrible kennel coat and we were told to brush her. We got a zoom-groom which is like a massage brush and our hound loves it. Her coat is now gleaming My proudest moment was when she won a rosette for shiniest coat in the local dog show!
Yes to teeth - they are renown for having bad teeth problems. Build it up slowly so the first time you just give them a bit of toothpaste on the end of your finger, then just put the toothbrush a tiny bit in the mouth etc etc. We now give ours a proper good scrub every night.
We've also only bathed ours once when she came to us as she stank of kennels. Beware, the back end often goes - no idea why it is but I've looked it up and it's quite common when you're bathing them for them to collapse at the rear - very odd! Just use warm water, not too hot, not too cold.
And finally CONGRATULATIONS! Our d-hound is the best thing we've ever done - and I include marriage and kids in that! Also, be aware that you might have "buyer's remorse" or whatever it's called for a week or so. I was so anxious after we got her I couldn't believe it, was within a whisker of sending her back, had a massive sob one night and the next day it suddenly all slotted in to place.
One of our girls was so bald there was no fur to brush!! Used to love blowing raspberries on her stomach - I know immature ;-)
Think bran maybe used as roughage to unblock anal glads, not an issue ever had with my various greyhounds over the years.
Some racing kennels do walk the dogs for exercise but these are often based rurally so can be bit like a new puppy socialising in a busier urban environment, how they cope depends on the dogs character some find it all adventure others little more wary and need time/space to adjust. Not sure how much work dogs trust do with socialising but worth bearing in mind often racers have only mixed with other greyhounds & not know that dogs come in other shapes/sizes, they do adjust all mine have been dog friendly but do need to be cautious early on & why greyhound rescues send a muzzle home with new adopted dogs (can get some great lightweight full mesh ones).
I use a horse body brush and a cheapo version of the Kong zoom groom which is great for getting loose hair out, don't need much grooming apart from shed twice yearly. I never bath mine unless necessary although all have been no bother.
You may need to brush teeth depending if will chew, dry food doesn't really help as most fling it down the hatch but their narrow mouth shape & genetics has effect on teeth. You may also need to clip nails, but is advise online FB/YouTube on best way to introduce.
I've had a pair of dogs that any poultry based kibble caused soft poo & toxic farts so I now stick to fish based, currently autarky salmon & rice (similar to skinners)and all of my 5 dogs have had no issues with these. It depends on the dog. I always add some water to the dry food, if you leave it to soak it will go soft which some prefer as tends to be what they do in racing to keep hydration levels up.
When you bring your new hound home if they tremble, pant & drool a lot its quite normal & are just bit stressed at change , the sensitive routine loving souls. They may refuse to eat but they won't starve if miss a few meals. New dogs may not want to toilet away from home at first as its leaving a mark of their presence in the neighborhood but will once settled.
About 2-4 weeks in you may find your hound getting a little naughtier than before as settled, confidence grown & testing out what the house rules are. Greyhounds aren't awake long enough to cause some real mayhem like some other breeds
Oh yes, what Flippety said about buyer's remorse. I found it comparable to PND - barely ate or slept for the first couple of days, and took a good few weeks before I could relax and enjoy her properly.
Thank you everyone. I will take your advice on board.
As Saturday gets closer I am getting so nervous and anxious, which is crazy but I think it’s just I want this to be as positive an experience for us and for the dog as possible... fingers crossed. I’m sure I’ll have moments of “what on Earth have I done?!” But I have been so desperate for a dog for such a long time I am hopeful that will pass!
Can you post a pic when your furbaby arrives?! Please!
Rescue survival thread for you OP. Good luck!
My greyhound loves raw carrot (but only straight after her dinner for some reason) and has one most days. It's brilliant for helping keep her teeth clean and pretty neutral nutrition-wise. It seems to just go straight through (her poo is the proof )
She arrived with a routine of one big meal a day at midday. I gradually changed this so she went to breakfast and dinner.
As PPs have said, about 3 days in I wondered what the hell I'd done and really regretted it. But we were all just finding our feet. I followed the rescue's advice at first and shut her in her crate at night but she absolutely hated it. In the end I stopped trying, and took the door off it and left her with access to the kitchen and the hall. Once she had all her exits covered she was fine. It's a balancing act between gently imposing the house rules and being flexible if they're really not happy about something.
Beware stairs as greyhounds are built all wrong for them and may need some help at first (mine has never been upstairs and hates stairs in general). Also glass doors like patios.
They're all different - mine never steals food and never tries to get on the sofa, will only drink water if it has a splash of milk added, and has, without a doubt, the softest most velvety ears in the whole wide world. She's ace.
What a beautiful dog, he looks like he's really settled in well!
Beautiful dog! I love that he’s settled on the sofa already. We’ve had our grey 18months and he has never gone up on the sofa!
Your post saying you wanted it to be a positive experience for the dog and you resonated with me, I was super nervous about getting things right for him and making sure it worked out.
I spend a lot of time on greyhound groups on Facebook and greyhound gap. But I think the most important thing was giving the dog time to settle, he was good right from the start (no accidents inside or whining at night) but had a wobble a few weeks in. We just kept everything as “light” as possible no big tellings off but massive (perhaps excessive) praise when he did the right thing.
They are such great pets, they’re worth the work in the beginning!
Also to add, if you’ve not already been warned, they are BIG fans of eating grass. Spring and summer turns the park into a salad buffet. It’s normal, not a sign of upset tummy. The big problem is it takes so long for the dog to choose which blade of grass he wants to eat!
Oh and ours loves sardines! He had them with his dinner once a week in kennels, we’ve kept it up. He is wild about them, for a dog that’s normal pretty sedate, he becomes a dancing jumping loon at the sight of the tin.
He’s been eating some grass already today!
We originally said we would never let him on the sofas but he was having trouble settling down and was pacing about looking a bit unsure about where to go - we have his bed in the kitchen and he wanted to stay with us, so in the end we just let him go with it...
Lucky dog. Hmmm!
He is very chilled and affectionate. I was super surprised when we had dinner. I expected him to be leaping at us all over the table but although he sniffed us all a bit at first he didn’t go for the food and then went and laid in his bed!
I expect as he becomes more relaxed from now on we may see a naughtier / more pushing boundaries side to him but it’s certainly been an amazing first day.
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