TRACIE HOTCHNER: EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ADOPTING A GREYHOUND…AND NEVER KNEW TO ASK

One of my listeners on CAT CHAT® on Sirius/XM satellite wrote to ask a question about one of her two cats and then asked – as an afterthought – if there was anything I wanted to let her know about Greyhounds, because she was about to adopt one. Yipes! I thought – the very first thing you need to know is that Greyhounds are highly prey-driven (it’s a mechanical rabbit they are chasing when they race) and can be dangerous in a home with cats.

I also knew that they tended to have some dental problems and were at risk for the life-threatening condition “bloat” (as are all deep-chested breeds, including my rescued Weimaraners). But just in case there was anything else, I dropped a line to my dear friend Rhiannon, who is an acupuncturist/chiropractor veterinarian and has had many rescued Greys (as well as a rescued Mastiff). Well my dear, I opened a Pandora’s box of issues – and discovered how much I never knew to tell potential adopters of these lovely animals.

I sincerely hope the long and extensive list of warnings I have put together with my friend’s help will not discourage anyone from adopting what are called the “the world’s fastest couch potato,” because they make such mellow companions, with many fewer demands on your time and energy than your average terrier! However, read on if you are considering adding a Grey to your family because you’ll want to have all this information first. I really wish I’d had all this valuable information and insight when I was researching THE DOG BIBLE – it would have been so valuable for people. Here it is: “ADVICE ABOUT ADOPTING GREYHOUNDS”.

Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible, guest blogs here every Thursday on healthy, natural choices for pets.

This entry was posted in Natural Dog Food, Natural Pet Food, pet adoption, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Shelters, Talk Radio, Tracie Hotchner and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to TRACIE HOTCHNER: EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ADOPTING A GREYHOUND…AND NEVER KNEW TO ASK

  1. Kristen says:

    In your “Advice About Adopting Greyhounds,” it says they should NOT be fed from a raised bowl. This is counter to what I have learned about dogs prone to bloat. Isn’t it better for them to eat from a raised bowl so it’s easier for them to eat in a natural position? I think that’s just a typo…

    Also, my parents have an adopted racing greyhound and one thing that might be good to add to the list is that they have very delicate skin and any deep scratch or puncture should be taken to the vet to be seen immediately. Because they have thin skin and low body weight, a little scratch can actually damage their internal organs/structure.

    Another thing that might be good to add is that these dogs tend to have naturally lower thyroid levels and pattern balding (i.e. chest).

    That being said, they are WONDERFUL, gorgeous dogs and make excellent family pets. My parents’ greyhound, Hannah, is one of the sweetest, most beautiful dogs. Even my dad who is not much of a “dog person” really loves her.

    • admin says:

      I am so glad that Kristin wrote in about my blog last week and worried about my advice against using a raised feeder (I was also delighted to know that her parents are proud Greyhound adopters and appreciate her added health advice for Greys).

      Kristin’s comment was: In your “Advice About Adopting Greyhounds,” it says they should NOT be fed from a raised bowl. This is counter to what I have learned about dogs prone to bloat. Isn’t it better for them to eat from a raised bowl so it’s easier for them to eat in a natural position? I think that’s just a typo.

      Nope, that was not a typo! That was exactly what I meant! There was a time when raised feeders were actually recommended for big breed, deep-chested dogs but that advice has since been reversed (this kind of reversal happens in the human medical sphere, too, for example even in the recommendations of what foods are high in cholesterol!). While some controversy lingers about whether raised feeders are good or bad, the issue was studied in a scientific way at a university veterinary department by Dr. Glickman – which showed that raised feeders are actually a danger for at-risk breeds of dogs (it is mentioned in the links below).

      A similar example is that there was also a time when horses were fed their grain in raised corner feeders in their stalls – until digestive problems emerged and with it the realization that an animal designed to eat with its head down on the ground. It is natural for a horse to eat and chew with her head down – where eating at chest level caused the intake of air and unnatural swallowing (I know this because I spent nearly twenty years competing at a top level in the horse show world and I even bred show jumpers). This would be the same issue with dogs, especially large dogs like Greyhounds: their bodies are designed to put their heads down to eat and drink – people made a mistake interfering with the natural position.

      Raised feeders are a poor idea except for dogs who have physical challenges like back, neck or hip problems – where putting their head to the ground (their natural normal eating position) is genuinely difficult for them. But those dogs need to be watched to make sure they don’t gulp and eat too fast, and someone should keep an eye on them for the hour after eating.

      Here are just the first few scientific links on the Internet about the dangers of raised feeders and the relationship to bloat:

      VetInc.com has an article titled “How an Elevated Dog Feeder Could Lead to Bloat”
      http://www.vetinfo.com/elevated-dog-feeder.html

      Raid the Wind, a Shiloh-Shepherd breeder website clearly recommends against a raised feeder: http://www.raidthewind.com/bloat.htm

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