4. Feeding Your Pet
Your new Greyhound must adjust from the special high calorie, high protein racing diet that was required as a professional athlete to a top quality, well balanced pet diet. Be prepared for a little ‘doggy gas’ at first.
Here are some mealtime DOs...
DO feed your Greyhound the same measured amount twice a day.Two to four cups of dry food (kibble) per meal, mixed with warm water is usually appropriate at first. You may need to reduce the amount after the first few weeks according to your dog’s activity level and age.
You should be able to feel the ribs, but only be able to see the outline of the last rib. Do not over feed your Greyhound. A fat Greyhound is an unhealthy Greyhound. You may mix in vegetables, boneless chicken, cottage cheese, yogurt, canned dog food to the kibble.
DO use a small chunk, ‘high-quality’ dry dog food.
Do not use generic dog food or grocery store food. Meat should be the first ingredient in the dog kibble. A poor grade food only allows for more waste product and less nutrition. Use senior food for dogs over six years of age.
DO leave your dog alone while feeding.
If you are using a crate, you should feed your dog in the crate. If you are not using a crate, pick a quiet corner of the room where he/she will not be disturbed.
Do not feed more than one dog in one area. You should separate your dogs when feeding in order to monitor how much food each dog is eating. Separate feeding also helps avoid disputes over food. Food can be a major motivator in dog fights.
DO feed your dog at the same time every day.
Greyhounds like consistency.
DO let your dog out soon after feeding to relieve himself/herself.
Pick a feeding time that is convenient for this routine.
DO monitor your dog’s eating habits.
It is not unusual for a new Greyhound to refuse to eat for a day or two. To encourage eating, you may want to substitute warm (low sodium) broth for water. This makes the dry kibble more appealing.
DO pick up any food not eaten after 20-30 minutes.
Repeat this routine at the next feeding and your Greyhound will quickly learn mealtime limitations.
DO watch for itchy, flaking skin.
Cold, dry weather can irritate a Greyhound’s skin. You may add one or two teaspoons of vegetable, olive or flaxseed oil to your dog’s food. Also, an Omega 3 Gelcap may be added to the food.
DON’T let your Greyhound eat everything in sight.
Greyhounds generally have excellent appetites and will eat anything. Unfortunately, everything doesn’t quite agree with them. Despite what advertisers would have us believe, your Greyhound will be happiest with the same food every meal. Remember the kibble should still be the main source of food.
DON’T let your Greyhound exercise strenuously immediately after eating.
Allow 60 minutes after eating before strenuous exercise. All deep-chested dogs, including Greyhounds are susceptible to bloat, a condition that can be fatal. To help prevent this condition, elevate the dog’s food and water dish.
DON’T be afraid to share your healthy treats.
If your new pet expects you to share your banana as you slice it for your cereal, don’t be surprised. Your Greyhound may have eaten bananas, apricots, pumpkin, applesauce, spinach, and even vanilla ice cream on a limited level as a racer.
A cooked egg in their food, ½ cup of cooked vegetables, cottage cheese or yogurt once in a while is perfectly acceptable. If you notice your dog eating grass in the yard, add some greens or V-8 juice to their food.
DON’T ever feed your dog chocolate.
Reactions to this tempting sweet vary from dog to dog, but none are good. Chocolate contains ingredients that can speed your dog’s heart rate, cause allergic reactions, and in some cases can be fatal.
DON’T feed your dog ‘people shaped’ treats.
Some dog treats, like miniature hot dogs or bacon, contain a lot of dyes and sugar. Stick to the basics of good quality hard biscuits.
DON’T feed your dog any food or treats containing red dye.
Also, NEVER give your dog:
- any beef-basted chews
- pigs’ ears
- cow hooves.
DON’T feed your dog from the table.
This will only encourage bad habits that are hard to break.
- fat from meat
- grapes or raisins (they are toxic).
DON’T leave alluring items on kitchen counters.
Greyhounds are curious by nature and may sample items left on the counter.
DON’T be alarmed by your Greyhound gulping down his/her meal.
Greyhounds generally ‘bolt’ their food without much, if any, chewing.