Greyhounds are a member of the ‘Hound’ breed group. The Hound group include breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or sight. Despite their athletic appearance and ability, they don’t require a substantial amount of exercise. They can make wonderful pets.
Greyhounds are gentle, sensitive and very affectionate dogs, usually forming very close bonds with their owner. With the right socialisation as puppies, they can make good family pets, but will need to be appropriately socialised with smaller pets due to their strong chase instinct. They have a short coat which requires weekly grooming to keep it in good condition.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Greyhounds are prone to include:
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
- Periodontal disease – infection and inflammation of the periodontium (tissues that surround and support the teeth).
- Progressive retinal atrophy – gradual deterioration of the retina of the eye. Symptoms can start with night blindness and progress to total blindness.
- Osteosarcoma – bone cancer.
- Von Willebrand's disease – deficiency in blood platelet function resulting in excessive bleeding.
- Hyperthermia and rigid paralysis can sometimes occur following exercise.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Greyhounds aren't overly energetic, requiring about an hour of exercise daily. They prefer the opportunity for a good couple of runs rather than miles of walking so they are better suited to living in more rural areas. They do have a strong chase instinct and are extremely fast runners, so be aware of this if they are around other pets at home and when out and about. For this reason, exercising in a contained area is important, as once the chase instinct has kicked in, it can be hard to regain their attention – so bear this in mind when training, as even basic training – and especially recall – will not always be easy. To learn more about reward-based training for your dog, visit our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for a Greyhound are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Greyhound with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Greyhounds that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Greyhound with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.