Greyhounds As Pets
Weighing Up The Costs

People never used to see Greyhounds as pets. They were more of a commodity, used either as a hunting dog or a racer.

Fortunately things are changing and more and more of these amazing animals are finding their way into homes around the world.

As with any animal, taking on a Greyhound as a pet will take up a lot of your time, and a fair chunk of your money, so it's a good idea to know what the impact may be on your wallet before you adopt.

Radley 02/05/06 - 28/09/14Do you supposes we could rub noses?

We're not going to discuss actual figures on this page as they vary so much from area to area. The aim here is simply to point out all the things you need to think about that may cost money.

For instance, when I first inherited Radley I had no idea that raised feeders were even a thing.

The cost of Greyhounds as pets - What you need to know before you commit.

Adoption fees

Most re-homing groups will charge a fee for adoption. This is to recoup some of the cost of keeping the hound and ensuring s/he comes to you healthy and neutered.

I can't speak for every group but both Tia Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue and Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust provided us with a collar and lead, and a muzzle. LGT also gave us a winter coat for Yogi and Sunny came with two winter coats and a lovely leather martingale collar.

To insure, or not?

This is entirely up to you. Many adoption groups in the UK re-home with a free month of insurance.

It's usually with Pet Plan who will make a donation to the group if you choose to renew the policy when it expires.

Ammy and Radley GreyhoundRadley enjoying the sun with Ammy

Pet Plan is expensive but it is very good cover. They are also one of the few pet insurance companies that will cover dental work in Greyhounds.

Yogi was 10 when he went to the Rainbow Bridge and his insurance at the time was £26.39 a month with Animal Friends. This was for the Lifetime Superior Cover.

Sunny has the same cover and currently costs us £10.88 a month. Sunny is only 5 and it will go up, as it has every year. Even so, we think, for what you get, it's a good deal.

We've often thought about putting the money we pay out to one side rather than having the insurance, but we decided it's far too easy to just spend it on something else. 

As much as it would be great to have the money in the bank, I'd far rather have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that, should the worst happen, we won't have to fork out a fortune.

Animal Friends were brilliant when Radley was diagnosed with osteoscarcoma. 

Not only did they pay out for the x-rays and the euthanasia, they also reimbursed us for all the visits we'd made in the past that were related to his condition. Even though we'd paid each bill at the time of treatment as they came to less than the excess.

Insurance Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Peace of mind
  • A monthly fee makes budgeting for health care costs easier
  • Some companies include annual health checks in their premiums

Cons

  • Paying out money and possibly (hopefully) never making a claim
  • It can be very expensive and there's often a hefty excess
  • Few companies cover dental

Feeding Costs

Feeding your hound is about so much more than just money. It's important to ensure s/he has a good quality, balanced diet that meets the needs of a Greyhound as a pet. Racing Grey's have very different needs.

If you're unsure about feeding ask for advice when you go to meet the hounds. A good re-homing group should be able to help you out. Your vet may be able to advise you too, but be aware that food bought from a vet usually has a hefty mark-up.

Greys have a different physiology to other dogs and can be sensitive to certain ingredients commonly found in pet food. Wheat being one of them.

Radley was on a wheat free diet of pet's mince from the butcher, vegetables and wet dog food (Butcher's Tripe Mix), with the occasional tin of sardines. His meat and veg were cooked. This cost us about £1.80 per day but I was getting the dog food at cost as my sister owned the local shop at the time.

Sunny, as was Yogi, is fed raw meat at a ratio of 80% muscle meat/10% bone/10% organ meats. (Bulmers  Complete and Durham Animal Feeds). This works out at about £1.50 per day, including the occasional tin of sardines, and dried meat and raw chicken feet as treats.

The cost of feeding a pet varies enormously but the most important consideration is your hound's health. Always feed the best quality diet you can.

Raised Feeders

While we're on the subject of feeding let's talk about those raised feeders I'd never heard of. Greyhounds, like other deep chested dogs, can be prone to a condition known as bloat. Some vets recommend feeding from bowls raised off the ground to help prevent this.

You can buy some very snazzy raised feeders, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune to get things up off the floor. Yogi's food and water bowls sit in a couple of bathroom bins from Wilko at £2 each (at the time of writing). 

Yogi enjoying breakfastBreakfast, om nom nom

They're weighted with some old ankle weights I had kicking around the house, but you could use anything heavy enough to stop them tipping or moving while your houndie's enjoying his meal.

Health Care

While there are some insurance packages that cover annual health checks, vaccinations etc, most don't, so you need to budget for keeping your pet Greyhound healthy and parasite free.

The cost or de-worming and flea and tick medication can soon add up.

Happy, healthy Greyhounds as pets

Beds, Bedding and Toys

That's right, it doesn't stop with the obvious. Once you've had Greyhounds as pets you know they love their home comforts.

Beds

Sunny has a bed in the lounge, one in the kitchen and one in each of our bedrooms. He also has full access to the sofas and our beds. I know not everyone allows their pets on the furniture, but Greyhounds are rather bony and do need somewhere soft and comfortable to sleep.

Sleeping directly on the floor can cause pressure sores over time.

They're also used to sleeping on beds slightly raised off the ground which may explain why they love sofas so much. 

If your hound is not allowed on the furniture s/he will need a soft bed of some sort.

Yogi in his nestGreyhounds as pets - Nests are important!

Greyhounds are also great nesters. They love to dig up their bed and make a big pile of bedding.

This is why we always have layers on Yogi's beds. He has his basic bed with a duvet on top and a couple of blankets so he can pile things up as he likes.

Toys

Yes, toys! Greyhounds as pets need to be kept entertained

Some pet Greyhounds love to play and others not so much.

Radley had Harvey, his pink rabbit. He loved to play with him, sleep with him and carry him around.

He cost £1 from a local charity shop and he's still in one piece. In fact I still have him sitting on top of the wardrobe in my room.

Radley also had several quite expensive dog toys which he wrecked in no time. 

Some Greys love their toysRadley with Harvey

Yogi enjoying his Kong... ......... 

Yogi was never really one for toys. He had a lovely squeaky frog his friend Pippa gave him and a rope ball from his mate Alfie.

He would occasionally throw them in the air and jump on them, but they were soon forgotten.

One thing that did keep him busy for ages was his Kong. Especially when it had some dried meat wedged in it.

Sunny, on the other hand, is a real little toy boy.

He and his friend Banksy will play in the garden for ages with their stuffed snakes and, Banksy's favourite toy, Toucan.

Banksy playingGreyhounds as pets - Banksy with his snake

So, seeing all the things you have to think about on one page may make the cost of Greyhounds as pets seem a little daunting.

However, careful planning and an awareness of potential future expenses will ensure that life with your Greyhound is a rewarding experience.




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