Greyhound Haven Tasmania

Greyhound Rescue and Education

Shopping for your new hound

Below is a list of some of the things you may need for your new greyhound. Not all of these items are necessary but it's a good idea to know at least where to source them from in the event you may need them. Note that some of these items are supplied with adoption (marked with an asterisk).

Martingale collar*-
We use and recommend BlackDog martingales and these are available to purchase from our store here. Kumalong also make martingales (although these are narrower than the Black Dog collar) and several other rescue groups (all available on the Links page) sell fabric martingales but for basics, a Black Dog martingale is all you really need (and probably the best constructed and most secure).
There are several different varieties of muzzles, some appropriate only for certain things. Nylon muzzles (the sort sold in pet shops) are inappropriate for anything other than restraint during difficult handling or grooming which the dog reacts poorly to (nail cutting, for example). The construction of this sort of muzzle prevents the dog from panting properly and many greyhounds will rub very vigorously to try to remove them so this sort of muzzle is definitely not appropriate for exercise or general use. The next type of muzzle is the wire racing muzzle (also available in a somewhat lighter nylon variety)- these muzzles are lightly constructed and are safe for walking and other exercise and good for initial introductions. The downside to these muzzles is that due to the width between the wires, the dog could still possibly pick up a smaller animal by the fur or a child could stick their fingers through the muzzle and into the dog's mouth. An alternative to the wire muzzle is either the American yard muzzle or the British racing muzzle- both are constructed of plastic, have less spacing and have the added benefit of usually being adjustable, meaning you don't have to know you dog's exact head size. Many can also be fitted with stool guards to prevent the dog eating things from the ground. The final type of muzzle is the bark muzzle- these are available in either a wire/leather style (which physically holds the dog's mouth and prevents them from barking or the elastic style (which has elastic panels at each side of the muzzle- meaning the dog can bark but opening its mouth requires considerable effort, tiring the dog out). Bark muzzles are most effective when combined with training and treatment of the cause of barking- a bark muzzle should not be a long-term solution.
The more appropriate sorts of muzzle can be a little harder to source; most pet shops do not sell greyhound muzzles, usually only the nylon sort or basket muzzles (which are usually designed to fit breeds with shorter muzzles such as German shepherds or cattle dogs) although Ebay does turn up the occasional greyhound muzzle and there are several online stores that sell to the public (all listed on our Links page). Alternatively, many tracks have a small store that sells greyhound supplies for trainers and owners and generally, these stores will also sell to the public. In Launceston, the track is in Mowbray (behind the Woolworths supermarket) and the track store is located on the ground floor of the main building.
Greyhounds can lose weight and condition if they get too cold in winter so a couple of decent coats are a good idea. In our experience, coats made to suit "all breeds" are generally not great for greyhounds (owing the their much deeper chests) and often, proper greyhound coats are far cheaper anyway. Greyhound coats are available to buy in our online store here.
Although they can be a little tricky to get on to start with, greyhound pajamas can be a good alternative to coats. Although a little bit thinner, they do cover more of the dog and also tend to keep dropped fur in (although regular grooming and time with the coat off to allow skin to air out is very important). They do also seem to last very well so for the price, one or two pairs is a good investment for your hound.
In Tasmania, it's the law that your greyhound always be leashed when out in public so two leads (one as a spare) are a must. Bear in mind that beside always being on lead, the law also states the the lead must be no longer than two (2) metres long and the person controlling the greyhound must be over sixteen (16) years of age. Although that does seem a little unfair given the greyhound's good nature, there is actually sound reasoning behind these laws- a greyhound that spots a moving object may lunge forward suddenly and in the hands of a child, the lead may be dropped or, in the case of a lead longer than two metres, the greyhound will be pulled up sharply , putting it at risk of injuries to its neck and spine.
It's also important to be sure that your leads are a decent quality and are suitable for the weight they will be taking. A leash made for smaller dogs (dogs under 10kg) may not be strong enough to safely restrain a dog that weighs 30kg.
A large wire crate is an invaluable tool for training and it provides your dog with a safe, enclosed place to sleep- the cost of a decent quality crate can be quite high but for how long they last and all the use it will get, a decent wire crate is a great investment. Wire crates are available from Animal Tuckerbox but can also be purchased online (Ebay often has crates of the appropriate size- 48 inches in length is about what you want- for under $100).
Zoom Groom-
Probably one of the easiest ways to effectively groom a greyhound. The prices on these seem to vary very widely between retailers and often, Ebay is the least expensive place to purchase them.
Nail clippers-
There are two types of nail clippers available; the guillotine type (a single blade which is pushed down to cut through the nail) and the scissor type (two sharpened blades that come together). For most greyhounds, the guillotine type simply isn't strong enough or sharp enough to smoothly cut through the nail. We recommend only the scissor type (which are available from most pet shops or Ebay- again, something you might need to shop around for to get a decent price).
Although it does need to be used carefully and in moderation, the Furminator is a good way of stripping out the kennel coat that some greyhounds develop as a result of poor diet or living outside. Furminators can be upwards of $50 in most pet stores so we highly recommend you shop around. Many online retailers can also be quite expensive but Ebay often has Furminators for under $20 with free postage.
ID tag-
Ideally, an ID tag needs to be waterproof and reasonably resistant to the rough wear it may get if you keep it on your dog's primary collar. For this reason, we do not recommend the variety often sold in pet shops (the ones they engrave while you wait) as the depth of the engraving often isn't enough to keep the information clear as the tag ages. In our experience, the best tag is the metal and plastic coated tag sold by some stores on Ebay (the sort of tag that can be printed on both sides) as these seem to last longer and provide you with more space for details- such as home and mobile number, dog's name, a note to indicate that the dog is microchipped (although not the chip number itself- we recommend that this be kept private).
Dog shampoo-
There is a huge variety of these available and but from our experience, Fido's is probably one of the better ones in terms of value for money. We usually use the White and Bright shampoo for all colours.
Washing mitt-
Although not entirely necessary, a washing mitt does make it quicker to actually get the dog thoroughly wet and to distribute soap evenly. In a pinch, a Zoom Groom can do the same job (although much harder to hang onto when it gets soapy) so for the fairly low price, they are something worth getting. They're usually fairly easy to find on Ebay but the prices are fairly similar to what you'd pay in a pet shop.
Dog towels-
These don't need to be fancy pet towels purchased from a boutique dog site- a couple of decently thick towels (and maybe on or two smaller, thinner dogs towels that can be folded up and taken places) from Kmart will be suitable. Having a couple of towels set aside for your dog is a good idea and they can be used for everything from lining crates and beds (as they absorb more moisture than most blankets), protecting car seats from sharp hound claws, keeping near the door to dry wet hounds off before they come inside and putting under food bowls of messy eaters (if they can't be fed outside for some reason). Additionally, it's a good idea for hygiene reasons to keep these things separate from your own towels as dogs can pick up and transmit parasites before you may know they're present on/in your dog.
Because of their thin fur and lower body fat, greyhounds need a soft, warm bed, preferably not kept on concrete (although we recommend greyhounds sleep indoors anyway). Commercially produced pet beds often don't come in sizes large enough for greyhounds and generally, theses beds are too thin to protect the dog's joints from sore spots caused by pressure. A cheap and very effective alternative is to use one half of a clamshell paddling pool (available from Kmart or most toys stores, usually for under $20), lined with an absorbent towel and filled with blankets (greyhounds seem to enjoy digging around and nesting in their bedding and blankets make this easier for them). This also means the bedding is easier to keep clean (the blankets can be washed and the clamshell pool can be wiped down with disinfectant) and bedding can be changed to suit the weather.
Although most greyhounds will travel quietly in the car, many tend to stand (for a few reasons) and this can be an issue if you brake or corner suddenly. A car harness can also be used for walks and minimises the risk of your greyhound injuring itself if it gets thrown forward suddenly and also prevents your greyhound jumping out of the car as soon as the door is opened. BlackDog harnesses are available from our web store.
Flea treatment-
Although greyhounds don't seem prone to fleas (likely owing to their thin coats), it's still very important to prevent fleas as their presence can result in far more serious and costly conditions in your dog (such as fleas allergy dermatitis). The flea treatment product we recommend is Advocate and this treats and prevents fleas, heartworm (although this is not present in Tasmania), hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, mites (including ear mites and the mites that cause sarcoptic mange) and lice. Some spot-on products (the products you apply between the dog's shoulders) are not safe for use on greyhounds. We recommend that when purchasing flea treatments of any sort, buy from veterinary clinics where possible- the advice is likely to be far more accurate than what you'd get in a pet shop (where employees receive minimal training and often have little to no experience in the varying medical issues of individual breeds).
Many online retailers (such as Vet-n-Pet Direct) sell bulk bottles of wormers suitable for greyhounds and are far cheaper than buying single use worming treatments from pet stores. We highly recommend that you maintain a regular schedule of worming for your greyhound, especially if the dog is in regular contact with other dogs (dog parks, training classes, etc) or boarded (we've found that greyhounds can pick up fairly severe cases of worms in boarding in very short spaces of time). Worms can severely effect your greyhound's condition so having wormers on hand is advisable. When you pick up your greyhound from us, he or she will be have been recently treated and in addition to that, we will provide you with the tablets required for the dog's next treatment.
There's a huge variety of dog toys available but it's really trial and error to find the sort that is really going to interest your dog. A lot of greyhound adoption sites recommend kongs but we've yet to have a dog who displayed any real interest in having to work for their food that way- most would lick at the contents for a few minutes before giving up- but they are worth trying, if you can pick up the right size for a decent price.
Tug toys are another thing most greyhounds don't seem overly interested in. In our experience, when you tug back at the toy, the greyhound will just let go. The same often goes for rope and rubber toys, there's just not much interest.
We've had the most success with plush, squeaky toys. These are soft on the dog's mouth, provide the added excitement of the squeak and for a lot of greyhounds, also something to cuddle. We've tried quite a few brands and many are very easy for even a lazy greyhound to deconstruct (which will often leave you with a mess of stuffing to clean up) so there's really only two brands we've have any success with- Zanies brand toys and the FuzzYard brand Scratchy Fleas. Neither are overly expensive, both are available on Ebay and in the case of Zanies, there's heaps of styles available (including toys with up to six squeakers in each toy).
Portable water bowl or a dog water bottle with tray-
Although the summer heat in Tasmania is less severe than other states, it's important to have clean water available when walking your greyhound as they can suffer heat stress faster and more seriously than other breeds (many dog parks in Launceston no longer have working taps- the tap heads have been removed by the council, presumably to prevent vandalism or water wasteage). A folding portable bowl and a bottle of tap water or a drinking bottle with attached tray (both available from pets shops or Ebay for under $20) are a good idea to ensure your greyhound has access to clean, safe water if needed. The cost of prevention is far less than the cost of having dehydration or heat stroke treated by a vet.

Things not to buy for your greyhound
Extender leads-
Extender leads, while initially seeming like a safe, easy way to allow your dog some freedom without the risk of running offlead, are actually quite dangerous; not just for greyhounds but for almost all dogs. The lines used are rarely sufficient for most weight ranges and in the case of breakage, injury may be caused by the clip flying back towards the handle. That aside, using an extender lead for your greyhound is illegal in Tasmania, unless the lead is kept no longer than two metres (in which case, you'd be better off just buying a decent quality lead of that length).
As a training aid, halters can be effective but for greyhounds (with their long, thin necks), halters can pose a serious risk if your greyhound lunges forward suddenly. With a martingale collar and a few weeks of consistant training, most greyhounds will walk nicely on lead- halters are too often used as a long-term bandaid for a problem that can generally be easily resolved in greyhounds. We recommend that greyhounds only be walked on a martingale collar (with a harness, if extra restraint is needed). If you have ongoing problems with lead training, please contact us for advice.


Almost all commercially produced dog foods are advertised as being nutritionally complete (ie, the dog needs no other food or supplements) and initially, it can be a bit daunting to pick a food when faced with differing recommendations for quantity of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and the huge variations between brands. When buying food for your greyhound, we recommend that you read the nutritional information very carefully and educate yourself as to what the terms and wording on the labels mean. Below is a rough guide to things you should be looking for.
Meat content- When buying food, the first ingredient should always be meat. Many companies get around the issue of price by using very low quality byproducts of the meat industry and listing it on packaging as "meat and/or meat byproducts". Another trick is to simply not specify the source. "Meat" or "poultry" can be almost anything so it's important to look for products that list the source of the meat, for example, "beef" or "chicken".
Grains- A lot of dog foods have a very heavy grain content and generally speaking (from our experience), greyhounds do not digest this very well (meaning loose stools and a lot of it). Some grains are better than others and can have quite an effect on the overall quality of the food.
For more information on commerical dog foods, please visit this site.

Although some dogs do well on supermarket brands of dog food (for example, Pedigree Pal, Beneful, Supercoat, etc), we would not feed it to our dogs (or our foster hounds) and would never recommend supermarket brands to adopters. We feel the quality is far too low and that it is not sufficient nutritionally for greyhounds to live on.

Although it may be tempting to fatten up your greyhound (as most people are used to dogs with far more body fat), it is very important that you do not overfeed your greyhound. Greyhounds are not built to carry excessive weight and being overweight increases their chances of suffering from arthritis, an illness that can be crippling in greyhounds.
A good way to check your greyhound's body fat is to count the easily visible ribs. If you can see the last two ribs only, the dog is probably at the right weight. It's also a good idea (where possible) to find your greyhound's racing weight. Ideally, your greyhound's retired weight should not be more than five kilograms heavier than their racing weight.

Dangerous foods list (listed in alphabetical order)
It should be noted that some of these foods are safe for dogs if prepared correctly or eaten in moderation. Please read entire entries to ensure you fully understand the risks and how to avoid them. The products that are safe in moderation or safe with correct preparation are marked with an asterisk.
If you suspect your greyhound has eaten something poisonous, call your veterinarian immediately for advice. The correct first aid may be the difference in whether or not the dog survives.

Alcohol- Alcohol causes similar physical effects in dogs as it does in humans- it is a diuretic and a central nervous system depressant, causing coordination problems and dehydration, amongst other things. Never allow your dog access to alcoholic beverages.
Apple*- The seed/pit contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause poisoning if consumed in larger amounts. The flesh of this fruit is generally safe to feed to your greyhound in moderation.
Apricot*- The seed/pit contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause poisoning if consumed in larger amounts. The flesh of this fruit is generally safe to feed to your greyhound in moderation.
Avocado- Avocado contains persin which can cause organ damage in some animals. The seed also presents a choking or obstruction hazard if swallowed. Additionally, avocado flesh is also quite high in fat, making them a somewhat unhealthy food for most greyhounds, regardless of the toxicity risk.
Baby Food- Many savoury baby foods contain onion powder as a flavouring, making them unsafe due to the risk of anemia caused by the compound sodium thiosulphate. Additionally, baby foods are formulated to meet the nutrition needs of human babies, not dogs- and as such, feeding of baby food to dogs can result in malnutrition.
Bones*- Raw bones (fed in moderation- excessive feeding of bones may lead to constipation in the dog) can provide your greyhound not only with a source of calcium but also help keep their teeth clean and prevent conditions caused by tartar build-up in the mouth. However, cooked bones (of any sort) should never be fed to dogs. Cooking changes the structure of the bone, making it almost impossible to digest and making the bones brittle (which facilitates breakage, leading to splintering when the dog eats them).
Bread Dough- Due to the processes that occur as bread rises, allowing your dog to eat dough places the dog at risk of bloat (a condition in which the stomach becomes overstretched and then twists, trapping gas and often leading to death). Additionally, many bread doughs consist mainly of wheat flour, a grain which has few nutrients of any benefit to your greyhound.
Caffeine- Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic and consumption can lead to dehydration,irregular heart beat, disorientation, rhabdomyolysis and insomnia. Caffeine is present in many carbonated beverages so care should be taken not to allow dogs access.
Cat Food- Cat food is formulated for cats and nutritionally, the very high protein content makes it unsuitable as a food for dogs. Your dog will likely not become ill if it occasionally steals some cat food but actively feeding cat food to your greyhound is not recommended.
Cherries*- The seed/pit contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause poisoning if consumed in larger amounts. The flesh of this fruit is generally safe to feed to your greyhound in moderation.
Chocolate- Chocolate contains the compound theobromine (also known as xantheose), a substance that is both a stimulant and a diuretic. While very small amount are unlikely to permanently harm your dog, all chocolates and chocolate products (cocoa powder, etc) should be stored securely and well out of reach of your dog as there is a substantial risk of death at higher doses (a greyhound of about 30kg would likely die after 900grams of milk chocolate, for example- this quantity decreases considerably for types of chocolate with higher theobromine levels).
Corn Cobs- Corn kernels are fine in moderation but the cobs should never be given to dogs as they present a choking/obstruction risk.
Dairy Products*- Lactose is generally poorly digested by dogs and larger quantities of dairy products in the diet can result in gastrointestinal upset, leading to severe diarrhea. Small amount of cheese (lower fat varieties if possible) and natural yoghurt (again, fat reduced where possible) can be fed in moderation.
Eggs (Raw)*- Raw egg whites contain the protein avidin (about 1.8 mg per egg), a biotin-binding protein (biotin is a B vitamin) that can cause a deficiency, leading to growth and health problems. Cooking destroys avidin so cooked eggs are of no risk. Additionally, raw eggs are a risk for bacteria such as salmonella, a bacteria which often leads to severe food poisoning. Feeding your greyhound the occasional egg yolk (or a small amount of shell) is reasonably safe but should be done in moderation.
Garlic*- Garlic, like onion, contains the sulphur compound sodium thiosulphate- although the concentration appears to be far less, making garlic safe to feed in moderation (no more than a teaspoon per day).
Grapes or Raisins- Although the exact chemical remains unknown, grapes contain something which causes renal damage in dogs- presumed to be more concentrated in raisins, owing the removal of water. Toxicity seems to occur in similar levels to those of chocolate consumption (although the amounts needed to cause toxicity are far lower in dried grape products, owing to the concentrated levels) so while your greyhound stealing a grape or two is unlikely to be a risk, grapes and raisins should not be actively fed to your dog.
Liver*- In small quantities, liver is great for your greyhound's health, providing a source of vitamin A that many greyhounds really seem to enjoy. However, in larger amounts, liver can create a risk of hypervitaminosis A- essentially an overdose of vitamin A, a condition that can cause osteoporosis, bone growths, hair loss and liver dysfunction.
Macadamia Nuts- Although the actual chemical that causes this toxicity remain unknown , macadamia nuts have been proven to cause muscle weakness and severe distress in dogs. No fatalities have been recorded and dogs affected seem to recover however it remains a high risk food, owing to the severity of symptoms.
Mouldy or Spoiled Foods- Just as in humans, the consumption of mouldy or spoiled foods can lead to food poisoning and even death in dogs. A good rule of thumb is.. if you wouldn't eat it yourself, don't feed it to your dog. It's also important to ensure your garbage bins are secured to prevent your greyhound from dumpster diving for its own snacks.
Mushrooms*- Mushrooms that are safe for human consumption are generally considered safe for dogs (feed in moderation). The risk comes from eating wild mushrooms or mushrooms that have not been identified as being safe for human consumption. More detailed information on mushroom poisoning is available here.
Nutmeg- Nutmeg is considered to be a hallucinogenic when consumed in large amounts- although given the small amounts used in most foods and its fairly unpalatable texture and taste, the risk it presents is generally fairly minimal. Ensuring nutmeg is stored properly and not allowing your dog to consume foods with large amounts of nutmeg eliminates virtually all risk- it is not a food that many dogs will seek out.
Onions- Onions contain sodium thiosulphate, a compound that while harmless to humans, causes severe hemolytic anemia in dogs, resulting in death at higher concentrations. The preparation of the onion does not seem to effect toxicity so all forms of onion should be avoided. Small amounts fed accidentally are unlikely to cause permanent harm however care should be taken to ensure consumption does not continue.
Peaches*- The seed/pit contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause poisoning if consumed in larger amounts. The flesh of this fruit is generally safe to feed to your greyhound in moderation.
Pears*- The seed/pit contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause poisoning if consumed in larger amounts. The flesh of this fruit is generally safe to feed to your greyhound in moderation.
Plums*- The seed/pit contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause poisoning if consumed in larger amounts. The flesh of this fruit is generally safe to feed to your greyhound in moderation.
Play-Doh- Dogs may be attracted to this owing to the salty flavour but ingestion may lead to severe electrolyte imbalances or even death. Care should be taken to remove all Play-Doh after children have finished playing with it (and be sure to store it somewhere out of the dog's reach).
Potatoes*- While things like mashed potato are fine for your greyhound in moderation, sprouted stems and green patches on potatoes contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid poison. Poisoning usually causes gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms, including dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting and paralysis. Solanine poisoning is very unusual however care should still be taken when feeding dogs potatoes that have green patches or shoots.
Salt*- There are two risks with salt, one being iodine poisoning (obviously only in iodised salt), the other is electrolyte imbalance (which can lead to death, if severe enough). Iodised salt should never be used in your dog's food and when salting its meals, use less than you'd use for yourself. Many dog treats and prepared foods already contain a very high level of sodium so there is not real need to supplement your dog's salt intake.
Sugarfree lollies or gum- Sweets containing xylitol can cause liver damage and poisoning in dogs and should never be given. Additionally, chewing gum presents a choking hazard to dogs.
Table Scraps*- Greyhounds cannot survive on table scraps alone and generally speaking, table scraps are insufficient nutritionally to be fed as anything other than way of supplementing the amount your dog eats daily. A small amount of table scraps is great to add variety and keep your dog interested in its regular food but to be safe and ensure your dog's health, no more than 15% of the dog's diet should consist of table scraps.
Tinned food- Many other breeds of dog can cope well with tinned food but generally speaking, greyhounds do not. Tinned food has a very high water content which can lead to stomach upsets and weight loss. We do not feed tinned food to our foster hounds and we do not recommend our adopters feed it to their dogs.
Tomatoes* and Tomato Plants- While red, ripe tomatoes are safe if fed in moderation, green parts of tomatoes (like in potatoes) can cause health risks. Many dogs will not seek these out to eat anyway however dogs should be watched around tomato plants, regardless.
Water*- Although not a high risk food in itself (except in the case of excessive consumption where it can lead to water intoxication), water that is dirty or contains certain chemicals can be very harmful to your dog. Dirty or stagnant water can contain harmful bacteria or algae so it is important not to allow your dog to drink from puddles, still water (such as fish ponds, rain water that has been caught in old tyres, etc) or running water unless you are entirely sure that the water is safe for at least human consumption. When walking your dog, a bottle of water and a folding water bowl (these are quite small and most can easily fit in a pocket) are always a good idea- especially in summer when your dog may be tempted by thirst to drink water it would normally steer clear of.

Raw vs Commercial
There has been a great deal of debate over the Raw vs Commercial issue (the Dogz Online forums have many topics that cover the various advantages/disadvantages of both sides) and although we feed our dogs raw food and recommend that adopters give it a try (we've had great success with it), we understand that every dog is an individual and there is no correct answer to the raw vs commercial debate. Some dogs may do better on commercial food or have medical issues that make raw feeding impossible. Raw feeding does also require a bit of learning and some adjustments to help work out what is best for the individual dog.
Where needed, we are always willing to help new owners learn to raw feed but if owners chose to feed commercially prepared dog food, our advice and help are still always available, without any judgement or pushing of opinions. "The best food for your dog is the food your dog does best on" is something we firmly believe in.


Generally speaking, greyhounds are very easy to keep clean. Brushing with the Zoom Groom, once or twice a week, is usually enough to remove loose hairs and keep the dog's coat looking nice. The furminator (no more than once or twice a month) can also be used to thin the coat back out if undercoat begins to grow.
Because of their thin fur and the lower amounts of oil in it, greyhounds should not be washed (using soap) any more frequently than once a month as otherwise, their skin may become excessively dry and dandruff will occur. We recommend that adopters select a shampoo suitable for the greyhound skin type as products designed for dogs with heavier oils (such as labradors) may strip out too much oil and dry the skin (leaving the fur dull and brittle).

We recommend that nails be done weekly and when cutting, to focus more on removal of the tougher outter layers (the areas that do not wear down well) rather than trying to just keep them short- overly short nails are not necessarily the best thing for the dog and may still grow incorrectly, leaving the dog with very hard nails that take longer to correct. When you adopt a greyhound from us, we will demonstrate (on an actual greyhound) the methods we use for cutting as well as discuss the differences in clippers and how to use them.
For information on cutting your greyhound's nails, see here.

Many greyhounds have poor teeth, even at younger ages so proper oral hygiene is very important for greyhounds. Although there are products designed for teeth cleaning (everything from toothbrushes and pastes through to chew products that claim to clean the teeth), in our experience, bones are the best way to keep a greyhound's mouth clean and fresh. Bones do carry with them risks (such as choking) but these risks are also present in other chew products and can be minimised by supervision.
Bones also provide your greyhound with mental stimulation, they work the muscles of the jaw and they provide a good source calcium, making it not only a better way of keeping teeth clean but also one that your greyhound will likely enjoy far more than the foreign taste of toothpaste and your fingers in its mouth.


Occasionally, despite best efforts to correctly match a dog to the right family, problems can come up and in our experience, the sooner these problems are addressed, the easier they are to fix and the less serious they are.
If you have serious concerns regarding your greyhound's behaviour or if you greyhound bites anyone (or attempts to), please contact us immediately.

Children or other family members
Sometimes, even when the greyhound is well behaved, other members of the family may not get along as well with the dog as hoped. Small children may initially be keen on the idea of getting a dog but find themselves scared by the large, skinny dog with the wire muzzle on its face or older people may be concerned about being knocked over by the dog if the dog is overly boisterous.
When dealing with other members of the family it's very important to take concerns seriously and discuss any issues to ensure all parties feel heard- ignoring concerns can lead to resentment of the dog, something that can ultimately lead to the dog being returned. That said, it's also worth discovering whether or not these concerns are realistic and if so, what can be done to minimise any risks or make the concerned party more comfortable.
Many smaller children find the wire muzzle to be a little unnerving so it may be helpful to change the child's perception of the muzzle; rather than telling the child that the muzzle is there to stop the dog from biting, perhaps instead refer to the muzzle as the dog's "nose protector", maintaining emphasis on the importance of the muzzle being on when the dog goes out without implying the the dog is something to be scared of.
For more information regarding greyhounds and children, click here.

Other pets
In some cases, the greyhound may be sociable with other dogs or animals but the existing pets may not be. In cases such as this, we feel it's important to rectify issues before the environment causes the greyhound any negative experiences that may effect the dog's ability to cope with other animals.
In the case of livestock, many greyhounds are wary of bigger animals anyway and will not approach them. However, not all greyhounds seem to be aware of the risks of approaching livestock so careful introductions should be made to assess any risk and if the greyhound seems interested in approaching livestock that may react poorly, provisions should be made to ensure the greyhound does not have unsupervised access.
If the problem is the other dog/s, things can be a little more complicated. Although Greyhound Haven can assess the greyhounds rehomed to ensure suitability, we have no control over existing pets and in some cases, lack of correct socialisation or training can mean that, realistically, no dog is going to be suitable for that home until the owners address the existing problems with their own pets.
In these cases, while we are happy to offer some basic advice if problems are minor, without knowing the dog's history or temperament, we highly recommend that treatment is sought with a professional behaviourist.

The behavioural assessments carried out while a greyhound is in foster care with us are thorough enough to pick up almost all problems although in younger dogs, sometimes things will slip past.
Generally, the concern stems from greyhounds chasing other dogs when offlead and while our standard advice is "The greyhound should not be offlead in public", people tend to do what they feel is right so it's more productive to warn but also offer advice. Greyhounds (being sighthounds) love to chase and often, they'll even chase each other and this behaviour is generally quite safe. That said, when smaller dogs are involved (especially when they display fearful behaviour) the risks of an accident increase considerably.
We strongly recommend that dog owners (not just greyhound owners) only socialise their dogs with dogs of known temperaments and predictable behaviour to minimise the risk of accidents or fights.
If you have any concerns about your greyhound's behaviour, please contact us to discuss it. Often problems are far easier to fix than people realise.

Basic health and first aid information

Temperature: 37.9 - 39.9 (rectal)
Resting Respiration Rate: 18-25 (sleeping), 20-34 (standing, rest)
Heart Rate: 70-120 beats/min
Capillary Refill Time: less than or equal to 2 seconds

These parameters may vary slightly between individuals so it is always a good idea to check these while your dog is healthy to establish your dog's baseline for your records- something very useful to have in the event of illness or injury.

Never give ibuprofen (found in products such as Nurofen and Advil), paracetamol (found in products such as Panadol), aspirin (found in products such as Aspro Clear), or codeine (found in preparations such as Panadeine Forte) to your greyhound. If your greyhound appears to in pain, contact your vet for an appointment, often they will be able to advise you over the phone regarding which pain medications can be given safely in the interim.

Treatment of minor allergic reactions-
If you believe your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction, it's always a good idea to take the dog to a vet to confirm this before attempting to treat the problem yourself. However, if you have confirmation that it is an allergy, the following antihistamines can be used to treat.
Polaramine (dexchlorhenrinamine) - Greyhounds up to 30kg give 4mg, greyhounds over 30kg give 6mg.
Phenergan (promethazine) - Give 1mg per 10kg of bodyweight.
Telfast (fexofenadine) - Give 2mg per kg bodyweight.
Clarytyne (Ioratadine) - For greyhounds, give 1 tablet.
Zyrtec (Cetirizne) - For greyhounds, give 10mg.

To treat dehydration-
Although Hydralyte (available from chemists) can be used to treat if nothing more appropriate is available, Lectade (available from Vet-n-PetDirect or most vets) is inexpensive and far more suitable. If using Hydralyte, use half of one packet or half of one Hydralyte ice block and mix with extra water.
In cases of severe dehydration or suspected heat stroke, you greyhound should be taken to a vet immediately- greyhounds are more prone to these things for a number of reasons and proper treatment can literally be the difference between life and death for your greyhound.

Ticks- Paralysis ticks, although more common on the mainland, are found in northern Tasmania and usually live in long grass, especially in coastal areas (see here for distribution map).
For more information on ticks, click here or here.
If you find a tick on your dog, we recommend that you see a veterinarian immediately to identify the species and treat the dog if necessary. Paralysis ticks (if not removed) can kill a dog in under a week- another reason why parasite prevention products are very important.

Although many vets will recommend vaccinating annually, there is substantial evidence to suggest that dogs maintain immunity for up to three to seven years after vaccination and that more frequent vaccination may not be in the best interests of the dog. Considering this, we vaccinate our dogs (C5) on a three-yearly schedule and recommend this for adopters (unless additional vaccinations are required- such as for boarding, training classes, etc).
When having your dog vaccinated, it's important to know what is being used and what it protects against.
As a general rule, most vets will offer either a C3 or a C5 vaccination. The C3 vaccination will cover parvovirus, distemper and infectious hepatisis, the C5 protects against those and kennel cough (both parts- parainfluenza virus[C4] and Bordatella br. bacteria[C5]. Adenovirus is sometimes included in this vaccine or may be part of the C3 vaccination).
Additional to these vaccinaes are the vaccines to prevent Corona virus and Leptospirosis.
Vaccines to treat giardia, tetanus and Lyme disease are also available but not generally recommended by vets as being necessary.