Basic Greyhound Care
Things You Should Know Before You Bring Your New Friend Home
This section is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to Greyhound care. It just touches on some of the basics you should be aware of before you adopt your first Greyhound. You should make an effort to educate yourself as much as possible on the subject by reading a variety of web pages, articles and books. One of our most recommended books is Lee Livingood's Retired Racing Greyhound's For Dummies. The more you know the healthier and happier your dog should be.
Greyhounds, wonderful creatures that they are, are fairly simple to care for. But they're NOT just like any other dog! They are sort of oddballs in the dog community, but once you're aware of their idiosyncrasies you shouldn't find it any harder to care for a Greyhound than any other dog. However, it is vitally important that you and your vet are aware of these differences because ignorance of them can be deadly for your dog.
Preparation and a few things you should have on hand.
LEADS/FENCES - Repeat after me: "No Greyhound should EVER be allowed to run off lead in any area that is not securely fenced." Even if your Greyhound is an obedience champion, don't trust him off lead in an open area. With Greyhounds there is no such thing as 100% recall. He might come when you call him 99% of the time. But that one hundredth time can get him killed. Greyhounds have been bred and trained for thousands of years to chase. That instinct is stronger than anything you will ever be able to teach him. You cannot train out thousands of years of instinct! If you let him run loose and a rabbit (or a squirrel, bird, piece of paper, etc.) catches his eye, he's gone and no amount of calling or commanding him to come back will make him stop and come back to you. He won't stop until he's either caught his prey or lost sight of it. But by that time he may well have also lost sight of you, too. He can cover a lot of distance in less than a minute. Being a sighthound, he'll have no idea how to find his way back to you if he can't see you. He doesn't know how to retrace his own steps by scent. But even worse, that path in pursuit of his prey may lead him across roads, into traffic or other dangers. He won't see that oncoming car. All he sees is what he's chasing. So DON'T TRUST HIM! Trust has been called "a deadly disease" and with good reason.
A securely fenced yard is a blessing worth its weight in gold, but it's not an absolute necessity. Many apartment dwellers live successfully and happily with Greyhounds. But it takes a special commitment. If you don't have a fenced yard you (or somebody) will have to snap on that lead and walk your dog several times a day, no matter how rotten the weather is or how tired you are or even if either you or the dog is sick. You can't blow it off because you have a headache or because it's sleeting outside. If you're really too sick to walk your dog you must find someone else you trust to do it for you or be willing to clean up after "accidents" and do some remedial house training.
TOYS - A few Greyhounds seem to have no interest in toys at all, but most love them. Some have to "learn" to play. Their taste in toys varies as much as their other traits. But stuffed toys with squeakers are a favorite. If your dog becomes a squeaker eater, then we suggest rope toys.
By the way, if you have a Greyhound who just never develops an interest in toys, don't worry about it. He will almost surely make up for that "shortcoming" in many other ways, like unfailing devotion and understanding.
EQUIPMENT - In addition to the things already mentioned here and in other sections, these are some things you will, or at least might, need...
Collars - Because Greyhounds have muscular necks which end in relatively slender heads, they can back out of regular collars. For this reason we not only strongly recommend martingale collars, we provide one with each dog who is adopted from us. But a martingale is only safe and effective if it's fitted properly. Make sure you learn how. ID tags should also be kept on your dog's collar at ALL times. You will be provided with a Project Racing Home tag with the dogs name and emergency phone number. You should also get a tag with your name and number on it, double coverage is extra safe!
Crates - We recommend the use of a crate however; they it is not an absolute necessity, but they can be invaluable as training aids. Also many Greyhounds prefer having their own space and love their crates. After all, most of them have spent much of their lives in crates. For home purposes, the crate should be as large as you can get (and fit in your house). Measurements should be at least 42"l x 26"w x 28"h. If you need to use a crate for car travel, however, an airline crate that is just big enough for the dog to stand up and turn around in is best.
First aid kit - Greyhounds are pros at getting "owies". The great majority of cuts and scrapes are simple enough that most owners can treat them. You should learn as much as possible about animal first aid, but the most important thing to learn is when to let the vet handle it.
Your dogs first aid kit should contain:
- Vet wrap
- Gauze (rolled
- Non stick Gauze pads
- Cortisone cream
- Benedryl tablets
- Adhesive tape
- Super Glue
Muzzles - Muzzles are a must for most Greyhound owners. They're indispensable for keeping them safe from each other when two or more are turned out together. They're also very handy in the house, especially during the settling in stage. A muzzle will prevent your dog from chewing on the furniture (or the cat!) while you're not home. Greyhounds are used to wearing plastic basket muzzles, and an undamaged and properly adjusted muzzle will not be uncomfortable for them. They're simple and cheap insurance against any number of disasters. You will get a brand new muzzle with your dog.
My Muzzle My Friend!
When speaking of dogs, the word "muzzle" can create a mental picture of a vicious, snarling, slobbering, mean spirited dog.
Yet many of us can picture a Greyhound in full stride, blazing around the racetrack wearing a white racing muzzle. Are they wearing these muzzles because they're vicious, snarling and mean? Absolutely not. Racing Greyhounds wear the white muzzles to better determine which hounds nose is in front at the end of the race. This is very important when you have what is commonly know as a "photo finish."
The type of muzzle used when not racing is called a basket muzzle. Referred to as the "kennel" muzzle or the "turnout" muzzle. These are the muzzles worn by the Greyhounds when they are hanging out in turnout pens and stretching their legs. They also may use them for schooling (practice runs) the dogs. The Greyhound is used to wearing a muzzle. In fact he often associates the muzzle with going out to play or run with his buddies.
Though many adoptive parents cringe at the mere thought of using the muzzle. Greyhound owners must understand that the use of the muzzle may be the very best tool one could have. Greyhounds are just like any other dog, some chew on things and some don't. While a muzzle cannot stop ALL chewing, it can be a great deterrent for any mischievous behavior. Greyhounds love remote controls and cordless telephones, mainly because the smell of your hand is very prevalent on those items. But, it is not very amicable to have your Greyhound belch and the channel change on the TV! Not only that, but batteries would not be good things to eat or have explode all over your carpet! Window blinds can be easily chewed on, it would be best to keep the cord out of the dogs gut. A couple things can happen, the dog can die or you will spend a load of money on surgery to remove the cord and save your dogs life. You need to think about your new Greyhound as a baby and the muzzle is one of the tools for baby proofing your dog!
The muzzle is also thought of as a piece of sports equipment. Whenever large groups or even just as many as two Greyhounds are allowed to run in a large fenced in area, it is best to use muzzles on the dogs. One of the dogs is sure to get competitive and get pushy with the other. This is not a sign of aggression, its a sign of good training. For the first years of his life, the dog was taught to get out in front, lead the pack and get to the finish line first. When he is running free in a large group of dogs he will instantly go back to his race days and want to lead the pack. This is natural behavior for your Greyhound. When you see a group of Greyhounds playing in a field you will see lots of posturing, mouthing and bumping. Its easy for the dogs to get carried away when they play therefore the muzzle could be a lifesaver.
A few other uses for the muzzle would be introductions. Introducing new dogs, any breed, any size can be a bit tense. Since your Greyhound is used to the muzzle, let him wear it and save yourself any unforeseen nastiness. But please make sure the other dog is also properly restrained. It would not be a fair fight for the Greyhound if he cannot defend himself. Lets hope that never happens, but introductions do take time and patience.
Introducing your Greyhound to cats is another fine example of "muzzlery!" You would not want your new Greyhounds first meal to be Fluffy the family cat! Therefore a muzzled Greyhound can sniff the cat and get used to her without doing any harm. This is also a way to protect your dog from any wild paw punches the cat may want to throw at the Greyhound.
If your dog ever gets injured, the first thing you should do is get the muzzle on him. An injured dog is also a scared dog and he may decide to snap if he is messed with or if you touch what's hurting him. Muzzling is also a good idea when your snipping nails. Until you get the hang of nail trims, you may snip the quik a couple times. This is painful, but when muzzled, your dog will not hurt you and the only thing injured will be your pride. You will get the hang of nail trims, just practice!
Where can you get a muzzle? If you adopted a dog from PRH you were given a new muzzle. We also sell the basket muzzles for $10.00 each, they come in large and small. Typically the males get a large and females get smaller ones.
Cats and Critters
Cats and Critters and The "Test"
Every dog that comes through Project Racing Home is cat tested. What does "cat tested" mean? Well I suppose an explanation may be in order here, so here goes it. Greyhound adoption groups use various methods. Our method is to take the resident cat and the Greyhound, who is muzzled and on a short leash, into a safe neutral territory. This requires two people, one to hold the cat and be its protector and the other to hold the dog.
While one person sits down holding the cat and talking to the cat, the Greyhound is allowed to notice the cat. A dog with a high prey drive (desire to chase) will crouch down into a stalking position and focus single-mindedly on the cat. An attempt will be made to draw the dog's attention away from the cat. A high prey driven dog will not be drawn from his focus on the cat. If the dog appears over eager or exceptionally curious about the cat, its safe to say he is not going to do well with cats. The cat is never let out of the arms of the helper when we have a high prey driven dog.
A dog who can reside with cats behaves quite differently. Upon seeing the cat the dog may wag his tail, approach cautiously and sniff, ignore the cat or show some interest but is easily drawn away. Some greyhounds are even fearful of cats, and step away from cat entirely. In either case, no harm comes to the cats or the dogs. Occasionally the testing is not clear-cut. That is why all dogs are given repeated tests.
PRH does the best possible job of evaluating cat-comfortable dogs. Our method is a good one, but is not fool-proof. There are no guarantees. A word of caution. All adopters with cats are advised to follow special procedures and use caution when introducing their greyhound to a cat. The Greyhound should be wearing a muzzle during introductions. During the first couple days there needs to be a moderator in the room. If no one is present and the dog is not crated then you must use the muzzle to safe guard any unforeseen incidents from occurring. Greyhound - cat introductions should be done gradually and with great care. Failure to follow these special guidelines can result in tragic consequences for your cat or maybe even your dog. If done right, it is possible for greyhounds to share a home with cats. Outside cats are not advised when owning a Greyhound. Changing the dynamics of the circumstance, the outside cat is not safe in the yard with the Greyhound. Inside the house you set a controlled environment.
One thing must be made absolutely certain, most any dog will chase a cat, just like a cat will chase a mouse. It's the nature of the circle of life and just how things are. No matter what type of dog you bring into a cats castle, they will instinctively chase the cat and dependant on your cat, she may attack the dog! It is up to you, the owner and ruler of the castle to make for sure that rules are followed.
Here are some rules and how you can some situations...
RULE #1 OK, so we have to sniff behinds! Cats and dogs should be introduced in a confined neutral territory. The bathroom works best as no one really ever claims that as "their" turf, it's small and you can close the door. Muzzle your Greyhound, take the cat or dog into the bathroom with the Greyhound and allow them to sniff each other. The cat will probably be scared, its only natural for that to occur unless she is well versed in "dog". This allows both animals to meet each other and see what the other looks like. They may not be friends right away so just expect them to "observe" each other for the first week or more.
RULE #2 Cats are not squeaky toys and should not be treated as such. Do not allow your greyhound to chase the cat even in play. No doubt if you have a playful cat at some point the cat will initiate play by bopping the dog on the head and running! While this is cute behavior, its not necessarily the best behavior for the Greyhound. When you see the dog chasing the cat, use your firm deep chested all mighty "NO" and say cat..."NO CAT". You do not need to yell...just bark as if your the big dog! The dog will know what they did was not acceptable and the behavior should cease as the Greyhound wants nothing more than to please you. This rule also applies to small dogs. We would not want a Greyhound to step on the small dog and injure them. Supervised play and no outside alone together with out a muzzle until you are certain the dogs will get along. Even then, the muzzle is still your friend and may save a life. Please be sure to read the "Muzzle" page for help and reasons for using the muzzle.
RULE #3 The cat shall have a sanctuary of her own. In other words, the cat needs to have hiding places. This is just normal cat behavior but it is also vital to your cat accepting the dog. You will find that your cat will sit and watch the dog from its secret hiding place. She is figuring out what that big, long legged thing you just brought in the house is! This is easily established by the use of baby gates! If you can partition the house off or give the cat its own special room, you create a safe haven for the kitty! Your cat will be grateful.
RULE #4 The cat shall get extra treats and lots of "rubbies"! Do not get angry at your cat if she is mean towards your new dog. Again this is just the cats way of initiating the dog into the home, unless of course she attacks the dog like a rabid wolf, then we got a seriously upset kitty on our hands. Do not force your cat to come to you for its lovins you should go to them and let them know they are still the cat of the castle.
RULE #5 The cat needs to respect the dog. Unless you have an attack cat, this should not be a problem. But, if you allow your cat to hunt and stalk the dog then it needs to be stopped immediately.
This is just the PRH way of helping you acclimate your dog and cat. You may find more tips on other websites and that's great, we just ask that you use your best judgment and good old fashion common sense when introducing your Greyhound to cats, dogs and other critters. When in doubt, pick up the phone and call or email us.
The Adjustment Period / Separation Anxiety
The length of time it takes your Greyhound to become accustomed to and relaxed in your home can vary tremendously. Some will waltz in and act as if they had lived in your house all their lives. Some will be afraid of everything. Most fall somewhere in between. It has been said that bringing a retired racer into a home for the first time is like dropping you or me on top of a mountain in Tibet. They have a lot to learn, so naturally it can be a bit frightening. But in all except for the rare worst cases, a few weeks (often just a few days) of patience and understanding will get you and your hound through it. Adjustment seems to be hardest, as a rule, for the first Greyhound, especially if there are no other dogs and if the humans are away from home a good part of the day. Remember, Greyhounds have been surrounded by friends of their own kind and spent most of their days with humans for their whole lives. Very few of them like to be left alone. So separation anxiety is not uncommon for new/first Greyhounds. It can manifest itself in many undesirable ways, including howling and/or destructive behavior. The best "cure" is often (but not always) the addition of a second Greyhound to the family.
Many new adopters, whether it's their first or their tenth Greyhound, try to arrange picking up their Greyhound on a weekend. Some choose to take a few days off work when their new hound arrives so they can spend plenty of time with him the first few days.
Don't be surprised if a hound you were told was playful and friendly seems to be subdued for a while when he arrives in his new home. Greyhound personalities tend to "blossom" over the first few months at home, even if they seem perfectly relaxed right from the beginning. As they begin to relax and feel secure with you, they'll let more and more facets of their character shine through. This can be good and bad. A dog who started out on his best behavior in an effort to fit in may let his "rascally" side begin to show during this period. But if you have consistently but lovingly established from day one that YOU are the top dog and that there are rules he must learn and obey, you shouldn't have much trouble. Many Greyhound owners thoroughly enjoy watching their initially quiet dog turn into a bit of a scamp. Just be careful not to let it get out of hand.
Remember, there is a whole network of people willing and ready to help with whatever problems might arise. All you have to do is ask.
STRANGE THINGS - Because Greyhounds have lived in kennels and on farms all their lives, things we take for granted as "every day" will be new and sometimes scary to them. Few have ever had to negotiate stairs (though the ones who go through our kennel learn them). Ceiling fans, linoleum floors, sliding glass doors and any number of other things can present challenges to them. If you have sliding glass doors or solid glass storm doors you should get several vinyl decals or masking tape and stick them on the doors at the dog's eye level until he learns the glass is there. Many Greyhounds have been injured by trying to go through glass they didn't realize was there.
Call a Vet
Medical information that could save a life
Because Greyhounds have very little body fat, they absorb and metabolize many medications differently from other dogs.
- Anesthesia - A greyhound given the normal amount of anesthesia for another dog its size will almost certainly die as a result. As a rule of thumb, it only takes about one fourth of the dosage for a 70-lb. Greyhound that it would take for, say, a 70-lb. German Shepherd. Also, certain types of "standard" anesthesia medications should not be used on Greyhounds at all. Before having any surgery done on your dog, you MUST make sure your vet is aware of these things. Some veterinarians have an excellent reputation for being Greyhound-savvy. If you find out from friends that your vet has sufficient experience with them, that's fine. But don't just ask him/her and assume that a positive answer means the knowledge is really there. Educate yourself beforehand on what anesthesia protocols are recommended for sighthounds and then discuss them thoroughly with your vet. Far too many Greyhounds have been lost because of veterinarian's lack of experience with sighthounds. If your vet tries to tell you that there are no differences, look elsewhere!!!
You should find a good Greyhound vet (or at least one who is not just willing but anxious to learn) before you ever bring your first Greyhound home. You just never know when an emergency will come up and then it's a little late to be shopping around. Don't be afraid to ask your vet of his knowledge of Greyhounds.
- Flea and tick prevention - "Normal" flea and tick prevention products can be extremely dangerous to Greyhounds. Products containing permethrin (such as a flea collar) can be deadly. Products which contain pyrethrin as the active ingredient should be safe. We use and highly recommend Frontline (spray or drops) and Advantage (drops). Frontline is also effective on ticks. Advantage is not as effective on ticks, but if you have a serious infestation of fleas Advantage will get rid of them better. Frontline works fine for maintenance once you have the flea problem under control. Most of us use either one in the drops form. You simply open a small tube and squirt the drops between your dog's shoulder blades. It's a good idea to check the spot regularly for the next 24 hours and keep an eye on your dog because any dog can have an allergic reaction to any product. But most Greyhounds do just fine with these.
Frontline and/or Advantage should be available from your vet or from various veterinary supply catalogs, both printed and online.
Also keep in mind that insecticides used in your home or in your yard (as well as some weed killers) can be very dangerous for a Greyhound. Don't use them at all unless you absolutely have to. But if you do, check first to make sure that what you intend to use is reasonably safe for use around Greyhounds. If you use a lawn service, find out exactly what chemicals they use before they treat your yard.
- Heartworm prevention is a MUST! Since most heartworm preventatives also help control other internal parasites, you should keep your dog on it year round. But even if you do this, he should still be tested for Heartworms about every two years. Heartworms are very deadly to the large-chested, wind-sprinting Greyhound and heartworms can be spread by a simple mosquito bite.
Nutrition and Exercise
Proper Feeding , Weight, and Exercise………… the skinny about the skinny dogs!
FEEDING and WEIGHT - Feeding and weight are controversial subjects among Greyhound owners. The standard rule of thumb seems to be that you should allow your new hound to gain about five pounds over his racing weight. And some new owners will be in a big hurry to do this because they're not yet used to how a Greyhound should look. This almost invariably results in an overweight and unhealthy dog. My personal opinion is that you should take your time with this and consider the individual dog. Many dogs actually come from the track at a good pet weight. Few need to gain more than a couple of pounds. So don't just assume that your new dog needs to gain weight. He might look thin to you, but Greyhounds are supposed to be thin. They're Greyhounds! You should take into consideration that a dog in racing trim is extremely muscular. Muscle is dense and heavy. Unless your dog is getting a lot of hard exercise, he is naturally going to lose some of those muscles. If you try to add five pounds to your dog's weight you may actually be adding ten pounds of fat as it replaces the muscle weight. This is likely to be unhealthy for the dog. Excess weight and fat cause unnecessary strain on their hearts (shortening their life expectancy) and also may result in many forms of lameness. The more fit you can keep him, the safer he will be.
A good rule of thumb in determining the proper pet weight for a Greyhound is that you should be able to see two or three pairs of ribs. Not just feel them, actually see them, but not protruding an inch or so, either. You should typically be able to see three or four vertebrae along his spine. But again, Greyhound builds vary a lot. We have one whose back is built in such a way that he would have to be emaciated for his back bone to show. There is no sign of vertebrae anywhere on him but three sets of ribs are clearly visible.
What to feed your dog is another controversial area. Many owners swear by natural diets, including bones, raw meat and vegetables. There are some excellent diets along these lines, but you should educate yourself on them before you try them on your dog. They're not simple. As a rule, a good quality kibble is fine as a basic diet. Good quality does not necessarily mean outrageously expensive, nor does expensive necessarily mean good quality. Look for one with meat as the first ingredient and with no soy products.
Adding various veggies makes it more interesting and tastier for your dog and adds nutrients without adding a lot of calories. Cooked pasta is also a good additive which increases their energy level. Rice is good, also, and is especially useful for a dog with an upset tummy and maintaining proper hydration. Low fat yogurt (plain) and cottage cheese are excellent and yogurt has the added benefit of helping to reduce excess gas.
Greyhounds usually seem to have less stomach upsets if they are fed twice a day rather than once. Many do fine being fed once a day. Free feeding, in which a bowl of food is left out for the dog to munch on all day, is not recommended.
Many Greyhounds seem to do better with raised feeders. If you notice that your dog seems to choke a bit while he eats, a raised feeder might solve the problem. These can be purchased from many pet supply companies. We have come across plant stands that work well and cost under $10.00 each and we discovered the added advantage of being able to stack them. This can come in handy if you're feeding several dogs, so you can stack the stands out of the way between meals.
If you feed dry kibble, it should be moistened thoroughly. This helps prevent choking as the dog eats, and also helps prevent bloat afterwards when the dry food absorbs stomach fluids and expands. Also, to avoid deadly torsion, never let your dog run or play too hard right after eating. General rule, no play one hour before or one hour after eating.
Be careful with treats! Giving too many of them can be like giving your dog an extra meal without your realizing it. A couple crunchy milk bones each day are very good for their teeth and fun for the dogs. If you want to give more than a couple per day, be sure to cut back on meals a bit. By the way, some dogs really love raw carrots as a snack. These are loaded with nutrients and great for their teeth, so you can give these liberally as treats.
EXERCISE - Greyhounds, contrary to popular belief, don't need to run constantly. It's nice when they can, assuming they're fit enough to run without hurting themselves, and they do love it. But many live happily in apartments with several daily walks and maybe a weekly trip to a ball field to run as their only exercise. Greyhounds are bred for short bursts of speed and short runs. If they are provided a yard large enough for a few sprints, they're happy and will spend most of the rest of the day sleeping. Careful conditioning to develop stamina can sometimes turn a healthy hound into a distance jogger. -->Ideas For Dog Play<--
Snuggly soft stuff ~ the heat and the cold
SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS - Because of the way Greyhounds are built they need a soft place to sleep and nap. Hard floors, or even carpeted floors without good cushioning, can cause pressure sores. Of course your couch and your bed will usually be your hound's napping spot of choice, but even if you allow this (and most of us do, I'm afraid), he should still have a space/bed that he can call his own. You can spend anywhere from $5.00 to upwards of $100.00 on a dog bed. Or you can make your own. Here are a few ideas:
- Futon chair pads are very thick, large and round.
- Sleeping bags are great and wash easily in the washing machine.
- Twin size comforters are perfect size and wash easily.
- Thrift stores such as Salvation Army and Goodwill sell cheap used comforters.
HEAT and COLD - Again with the body fat (or lack thereof). Greyhounds carry very little "insulation". Therefore, they are more sensitive to extremes in both heat and cold than other dogs. This is not to imply that they can't live happily in a variety of climates. Thousands of Greyhounds are flourishing in homes from Canada to Florida. But you do need to be aware of their needs regarding the weather.
In the first place, Greyhounds are inside dogs. They should never be kept outdoors without shelter for extended periods of time. Racing kennels are usually carefully climate controlled, as should your Greyhound's environment be. In summer care must be taken not to let your hound overheat. Sometimes this might mean restricting his exercise on very hot days. Even though they may feel uncomfortable from the heat, they will still often want to run, not knowing it can hurt them. If you walk your dog, you should do it during the coolest parts of the day in summer. Basically, if it's uncomfortable for you, it will be even more uncomfortable and possibly dangerous for him. You should familiarize yourself with the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and be prepared to deal with it fast if you should see those signs in your dog. Even at rest a Greyhound can become dangerously overheated during extended periods of exposure to high temperatures. In hot weather your dog should always have access to a comfortable resting place in the shade. Air conditioning is nice, but a fan should be sufficient in all but the hottest weather. A spray bottle of cool water to be sprayed directly on the dog is also handy, especially on walks. Dehydration can be a quick and instant killer for the Greyhound. Stress-Dex is an excellent electrolyte restorer (I call it doggy Gatorade, its even orange!) and it can be found in most stores that sell horse supplies.
In winter many people dress their Greyhounds in special cold weather wardrobes. This can be a lot of fun, at least for the humans, but depending on your situation, may or may not be necessary. If you have a securely fenced yard in which your dog can stretch his legs and take care of business, he probably will not need to get dressed up for a quick trip outdoors. Just don't forget to let him back in quickly! But if you must (or just want to) walk your dog in cold weather, a warm coat becomes more of a necessity than a fashion statement. The rule of thumb is that if you'd be cold without a coat, your dog will be cold, too. Some Greyhounds are, of course, more sensitive to cold than others. Even if you feel comfortable, if your dog is shivering, he's cold. If you walk your dog in places where salt or other chemicals have been used to melt ice, you should invest in (or make) a set of booties for him. It may sound (and look) a bit silly, but those chemicals can burn his feet and also do internal damage if he licks them off. If you run across these chemicals unexpectedly, be sure to wash off your dog's feet in warm water as soon as you get home. In extremely cold weather you should take care that his sensitive ears are warmly covered, too.
A few Greyhounds, usually older ones or very small ones, can be uncomfortably cold even in the house. You don't want to turn up the heat so that it's uncomfortable for you. This is where a sweatshirt can come in handy. A medium or large sweatshirt, will fit most Greyhounds fairly well. You'll need to shorten the sleeves and put a drawstring or elastic in the waist so that it doesn't hang down loose. Maybe invest in some "Jammies" for your furry friend!
Info About Greyhounds
Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies by Lee Livingood. This is my favorite book for ALL adopters especially new ones. It's well written and enjoyable to read. This book is IT! Also available as an ebook for Kindle
Greyhounds - Everything about Adoption, Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Behavior, and Training by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D. Published in 1996 by Barrons. It doesn't go into great depth, but give an excellent overview of most aspects of living with Greyhounds.
Care of the Racing Greyhound by Linda L. Blythe, DVM, PhD; James R. Gannon, BVSc, FACVs; and A. Morrie Craig, PhD. This book is considered a bible by many Greyhound people, both professional and pet owners alike. The hardback version is about $60.00, but the NGA has reduced their price on the paperback version from $40.00 to $25.00. It's worth every penny.
Adopting the Racing Greyhound by Cynthia Branigan. For the most part an excellent resource. Also available as an ebook for Kindle
The Complete Book of Greyhounds by Julia Barnes. Another very good resource and a fascinating read.