Health and Wellness

Here is the place to find out about health and wellness for your Greyhound.

Disclaimer: The articles on this page are for educational purposes only. We are not attempting to diagnose, treat or cure any disease(s) or ailment(s).

The information found here is as current and accurate as possible. It is not meant to be a substitute for taking your dog to your veterinarian and/or health care provider. If your dogis having a health issue, please feel free to share with your vet any of this information that you think may aid in the treatment of your pet.



Signs of Heat Stroke

Signs of heatstroke.

 The Greyhound Heart

The greyhound heart is normally much bigger than the heart of other dogs.

There is a huge left ventricular hypertrophy (thickening of wall). Same with marathon runners. An ultrasound can differentiate normal from diseased if in doubt.

The greyhound’s heart rate is slower than other dogs due to their athleticism.
60-90 beats per minute is normal at rest. It may be faster if excited (like at the vet’s office).

Suzanne Stack, D.V.M.

 Cutting Your Dog’s Nails


 Greyhound Blood Values


Fruits and Vegetables – What You Can and Cannot Feed Your Greyhounds


  • Apples (remove the seeds)
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Canary melon
  • Cherries (remove the pit)
  • Clementines
  • Cranberries
  • Coconut (fresh or dry, non-sweetened, shredded)
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos (remove the pit)
  • Nectarines (remove the pit)
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peaches (remove the pit)
  • Pears (remove the seeds)
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Thimbleberries
  • Tomatoes (ripe)
  • Watermelon

  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Beetroots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Green or red leaf lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Squash
  • Sweet peppers (green, yellow, orange and purple)Sweet potatoes
  • Yellow beans (wax beans)
  • Zucchini


  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Apple Seeds
  • Apricot Pits
  • Avocados
  • Cherry Pits
  • Chocolate and Candy
  • Coffee
  • Garlic (can use in small amounts)
  • Grapes
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Moldy Foods
  • Mushroom Plants
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Onions and Onion Powder
  • Peach Pits
  • Potato Leave and Stems (green parts)
  • Raisins


  • Rhubarb
  • Salt
  • Tea (because it contains caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Tomatoes that are unripe (green are not safe)
  • Walnuts
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
  • Yeast Dough



Dewclaw injuries tend to be the type of injury you can treat at home. It’s important to keep the area clean, prevent the dog from licking it and just generally leave it alone as much as possible. It’s better not to wrap it in any way as often the wrap will irritate it and end up doing more harm than good. While the injury is healing you should limit the dog to walks, no running.

If there is swelling with any type of claw or digit injury, some trainers suggest taking the nail off at its base. This reduces the pressure and swelling which in turn will accelerate the healing. Other people suggest cutting the nail off just below the break to prevent further injury.

You’ll want see your vet if there is infection, persistent bleeding and swelling.

Dewclaw Removal?

Removing dewclaws is controversial. They are removed in many breeds, not just racing greyhounds. Some people remove them because they consider the dewclaw to be a useless appendage that just gets in the way.

Others keep them because they feel that dewclaws are important, even necessary. One reason for this is that dogs use the dewclaws to hold and grip things. Another reason is that they feel that the dewclaws help to reduce the torque on the leg when the dogs are running and turning which will help to prevent injuries.

Breeders have different opinions on whether or not you should remove the dewclaws. The vast majority of racing greyhounds have their dewclaws. But, if the breeder feels they should be removed, it is done shortly after birth (at 2-5 days). This is why you may adopt one retired racer who has dewclaws and another who doesn’t.

Dogs Who Need to Gain Weight But Won’t

by Jey Flick ©2014

Before you begin:  Are you sure your dog needs to gain weight?  If in doubt, review Greyhound Crossroads’ How To Know If Your Greyhound Is At The Proper Weight. Remember that a retired dog can drop below racing weight without being too thin, and that body type can contribute to a bony appearance. Please click the link below to be taken to the article, Dogs Who Need to Gain Weight But Won’t.

Greyhounds and Overheating

By Rachel Hogue © 2014

Overheating is a common problem in both racing and pet greyhounds. They overheat easily because they have such a thin hair coat and very little body fat. Dogs don’t sweat like we do, and a greyhound’s small amount of insulation makes temperature regulation that much more difficult.

The very best method to help a dog with heat exhaustion is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you’re exercising in hot weather, be very aware of your dog and how he or she handles it. Stop and take frequent water breaks and cool off with water as often as possible.

Lee Lee

Mascot Lee Lee wears his Chill Out bandana when he is out and about on hot days.

Overheating is a problem that should be dealt with immediately. Cooling the dog down is top priority. Signs to look for are forceful panting, noisy breathing, glassy eyes, and a wobbly gait. Any one of these should be cause to stop exercise, get out of the sun, and get the dog cooled down.

The best way to cool a dog down immediately is water. Water hose, bathtub, lake, stream, anything. Whatever is most readily available is the best option.

At Derby Lane, a greyhound cool down pool is available for the hounds post-race.

At Derby Lane, a greyhound cool down pool is available for the hounds post-race.

Run water over the dog’s legs, entire underside, neck, and top of the head. Avoid wetting the dog’s back unless you’re able to get out of direct sun immediately. Focus on the three most important areas until the dog has cooled down: the chest, between the back legs, and the top of the head. Offer a small amount of water, but don’t overdo it.


Cool down tub.

At Bluff’s Run, greyhounds have a big water tub to enjoy a cool-down soak after a race.



Rubbing alcohol can be poured on the dog as well, but only as a last resort. It evaporates quickly and is therefore more efficient at cooling than water alone.

If the dog hasn’t shown improvement after 4-5 minutes, it’s time to get to a vet.



Stay safe and have fun!