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What you need to know about re-homing racing greyhounds

Every year, in Britain, thousands of greyhounds retire from racing: through age, through injury, or simply through not being fast enough to be competitive. Not only are there a large number of greyhounds that desperately need new homes, but they actually make wonderful family pets. So what is it about greyhounds that makes them special?

The best thing about them is their character. Their 'smaller cousins' – whippets, Italian greyhounds, and so on – may have a reputation for being feisty, but in general, this is not true for greyhounds themselves. You could hardly hope to meet calmer, more relaxed, more 'chilled out' dogs than your typical greyhounds. Except when they see a squirrel, or cat, or rat, or other 'small, hairy running thing', of course. Then they go bonkers, but that ultimately is what they've been bred and trained to do.

Don't they need huge amounts of exercise?

No, they don't. Greyhounds are incredibly fast and athletic dogs and many people think this means they will need to be walked all day. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Greyhounds are sprinters, not distance runners, so they exercise in short bursts and then sleep. They are quite happy with two, half-hour walks during the day. Yes, of course, you can walk them further if you wish, but it isn't actually necessary for either their welfare or their happiness.

Are they fussy eaters?

Actually, they're not. Feeding ex-racing greyhounds is astonishingly easy. They will have spent their 'working lives' in racing kennels, being fed simple but nutritious 'complete' dog food, and this makes them remarkably easy going. A good, relatively low protein meal twice a day – they have somewhat small stomachs for their size, so two smaller meals is better than one large – will keep them both content and in excellent condition. The only thing you need to watch is that they don't put on weight.

Honestly, so many greyhounds need new homes, and they are such delightful dogs. We can't recommend re-homing a greyhound enough, so if you're looking for a new member of your own, get in touch with us at Universe of Pets to learn more.