Before You Adopt
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU ADOPT. . . .
There are several things to consider before you decide to adopt a greyhound. It is important to determine if a dog (any dog) is right for your lifestyle at this time, and more importantly, if a greyhound is a good fit for your lifestyle. Some dogs and situations may require a fenced yard.
If you live above the ground floor in a building without an elevator, call (813) 272-2332 about our policy regarding stairs.
Before you decide to adopt, here are some good questions to ask yourself:
Do I want an indoor pet?
Because greyhounds have low body fat and a very short hair coat with no under coat, they are very sensitive to extremes in heat and cold. They must be indoor pets only.
Do I want to have a perfectly clean house and perfect yard?
Even though greyhounds by nature are very clean and shed very little, they can still track mud into your house, have an occasional accident, or get sick. Greyhounds love a short run in their fenced yard daily and could create a running track on your manicured lawn.
Does everyone in my family want a dog?
Being especially sensitive dogs, greyhounds will be nervous and unhappy if there is tension in the house, or if a family member does not want them there. All family members must really want to have a greyhound and be dedicated to his or her care. Before deciding to adopt, please talk with everyone in the family and make sure they are in total agreement. When we do the home advisories prior to adoption, all family members need to be present so we can answer any questions you may have prior to adoption and make sure that a greyhound is a good fit for you. If you have small children, you need to be sure that you can supervise them when they are around your greyhound and teach them to be gentle with the dog. It is also an excellent idea for all members of the family to participate in choosing your greyhound.
Will a greyhound fit my lifestyle?
Please consider whether you and your family have time for a greyhound (or any dog). Your greyhound will do best if you can maintain a fairly regular schedule and you and your family have some time every day to devote to your greyhound. Although greyhounds have low to moderate exercise needs, they will still need time to play and romp in their fenced yard, or they will need an exercise walk every day.
Am I willing to keep my greyhound on a leash or in a fenced area?
Greyhounds are not the type of dogs that you can let loose to follow you around the neighborhood. They are “sight” hounds with tremendously good vision, and do not understand about the dangers of traffic. If left off leash, they may take off after something they see in the distance. Since a greyhound can almost instantly be at 35-40 miles per hour, you will not be able to catch a running greyhound. It would be very dangerous to let even the most docile and well mannered greyhound off leash when not in a fenced yard. Please make sure you are comfortable with having a dog that must always be on a leash when outdoors and not in a fenced area.
Am I willing to use a veterinarian who knows about the special medical needs of greyhounds?
Because of their body type and low body fat, greyhounds have different medical needs than other breeds. The heart rates and blood work of greyhounds are different than other types of dogs, and they are very sensitive to anesthesia. If is very important that you use a veterinarian for your greyhound that is familiar with the breed. Since there are now so many greyhound pets being adopted, many veterinarians in Florida are familiar with their special medical needs. However, the best vet for your greyhound may not be the closest vet to your home. (We can assist you in choosing a greyhound-savvy vet that is near you.)
Am I prepared for the expense of owning a greyhound?
Most greyhounds will need between 3 ½ – 4 ½ cups of good quality dry dog food per day. Your greyhound will also enjoy a little canned food with his meals, a little yogurt a couple of times per week, and treats such as dog biscuits every day if possible. You will need to consider the cost of providing monthly flea and heartworm prevention, routine vet visits for vaccines or minor illnesses, and the cost of monthly nail trimming (if you do not do your own). Another consideration is the cost of a possible emergency vet visit. (This can be alleviated somewhat by purchasing monthly pet insurance.) Do you travel frequently? If you cannot take your greyhound along, you need to consider the cost of boarding while you are away. Most boarding facilities charge $20-$30 per day for this service. All in all, you can expect to spend around $70 per month or more to properly care for your greyhound.
Am I willing to adopt my greyhound for life?
Adopting a greyhound, or any dog, is a long-term commitment. Job changes, divorces, new babies, relocation to new homes, working longer hours, less time to care for a dog, or other similar situations are frequent reasons given to adoption groups for returning pets. You can have peace of mind in knowing that one of our commitments to each greyhound is that BAGA will always take them back in and find a new home for them in the event their owner can no longer keep them. However, your intent must always be to keep your greyhound for life. Just because your lifestyle changes, your greyhound still loves you and deserves a good home. It is very difficult for your dog to be suddenly uprooted and placed in unfamiliar surroundings with people he or she does not know. Unless you are as sure as you can possibly be that you are adopting your greyhound for life, please do not adopt. If you are unsure that you can keep your greyhound for a number of years, you may wish to consider adopting a senior greyhound (over the age of 7 years). Many adopters are unwilling to adopt a senior dog. This is a mistake since senior greyhounds are already home acclimated, calm, and they need you most of all. You should consider that if you adopt a two-year old greyhound, you should plan on keeping that dog for 10 years or more.
If you have answered all of the above questions for yourself, and you have decided that you want to give a greyhound a loving home, please go to the section on this website entitled “About Greyhounds”. This will give you more information on greyhounds as pets.