When you buy or adopt a greyhound, the svelte creature becomes a loyal companion and part of your family. Not only will you work on developing and maintaining a strong bond with your pet but also providing your greyhound with the best of care. Most pet parents take the time to learn more about the dog breed as well as understand their furry friend’s personality. One of the factors you should consider when deciding whether to own a greyhound is whether you can meet the dog’s exercise demands.
These dogs have unique physical characteristics, distinct personalities, and special needs that inform you of how they should be handled. By providing the right amount and intensity of exercise daily, your greyhound will be strong, healthy, and happy.
How much exercise does a greyhound need?
Exercise is important for the physical and mental well-being of dogs. Physical activity recommendations for dogs vary by breed, with some dogs having greater exercise demands than others. Greyhounds will spend most of their time indoors relaxing and lying around, making it necessary to help them burn off some of the conserved energy with physical activities. However, despite their lean bodies and excellent athletic ability, greyhound exercise needs are relatively modest. You will also need to give your greyhound time to physiologically adapt to exercise and build stamina, making sure you control the intensity and duration of the activities to avoid over-exercising your dog. With their short endurance, greyhounds will require about an hour of exercise every day.
A daily walk that lasts between 20 and 30 minutes will not only be an excellent way to release the pent up energy but also provide an opportunity to train your greyhound. It will also be great for building a bond with each other and provide your dog with mental stimulation. Releasing pent up energy can be achieved through social interaction with other dogs, as well as the sights, smells, and sounds they come across along the way. The walks should be at a pace that is comfortable for the greyhound and be at most two miles long. After a while, you can gradually make the activity longer to have a balanced exercise program.
Although your greyhound will be happy with one long walk a day for exercise and a few outings to relieve themselves, they will also enjoy a good run. Due to their incredibly high speed and strong chase instinct, you will want to ensure that your greyhound takes on the regular runs in an enclosed fenced area. If you would want to have him jog around the neighborhood, you should remember that the dogs usually sprint at top speeds over short distances. As such, the exercise should be done at a leisurely pace and include time for resting.
Greyhounds are jovial, loving, and playful. The dogs will enjoy engaging in games with people, other dogs, or even by themselves. Making free play part of their exercise program will keep them happy while providing the benefits associated with physical activity. Some suggestions for exciting greyhound play include fetch, Frisbee toss, and stair climbing exercises. When it comes to toys, you can provide your dog with plush toys for chewing, dog toys that move about on their own, and self-playing dog toys. Considering that greyhounds are bred to hunt prey, these types of toys will be appealing to them.
Just like physical exercise, mental stimulation, and enrichment can also help to burn a significant amount of energy. Several activities can help to provide the mental stimulation and enrichment that will promote the well-being of your dog. For instance, you can use puzzle toys for dogs to test your greyhound’s intelligence and improve their problem-solving skills. Making their environment interesting and engaging, turning mealtimes into a time to get a mental challenge, and teaching new tricks and commands are other options you can explore.
The age, condition, and unique personality of your greyhound will also influence how much exercise they need. For a greyhound puppy, the best exercise would be free play with age-appropriate toys as well as social interaction with other puppies. With their lower energy levels, older dogs tend to become less active. Greyhound exercises should be designed to help them manage weight and remain active without being overly strenuous.
Reasons why you should exercise your greyhound
Although it may appear like your furry friend loves spending time curled up on the couch, regular physical exercise will offer them numerous benefits. No matter the age, fitness level, or condition of your greyhound, regular exercise will support longevity and quality of life.
Overall health improvement
While this may sound like an obvious benefit, it’s not that obvious to some dog owners. Physical exercise is one of the least costly and most effective ways of reducing the risk of heart disease and fighting infections. Exercising your greyhound also helps to prevent premature aging and regulate the digestive tract. In the end, keeping your dog active and healthy will reduce your trips to the vet.
Helps with arthritis
Greyhounds are prone to developing arthritis, a condition that will require the use of many treatments. In case your furry companion is struggling with arthritis, exercise can help a great deal. Physical activity will keep the stiff arthritic joints moving and help with managing pain. During the early days, you should start with short and slow walks before moving to steady walks up and down hills as the dog tolerates the exercise. This will help in increasing muscle strength and stability.
While greyhounds will not normally get themselves into trouble, they may develop various behavioral issues if not allowed to work off excess energy. Lack of adequate physical exercise can cause boredom and frustration, leading to aggressive tendencies like excessive chewing, digging, barking, and escaping. Daily walks and a bit of free play will keep your greyhound occupied and will induce a lengthy nap. Keeping your dog busy leaves him with little time to look for other things to do.
Daily walks allow your greyhound to sniff, stop, investigate, mark a spot, and get to know their surroundings better. Such indulgences provide the proper mental stimulation that your dog needs to keep their brain active and prevent boredom. For older dogs, mental stimulation goes a long way in helping to fight the effects of dementia. Exploring the outdoors will ensure not only exposure to the world but also lower stress and keep your dog happy.
Build’s confidence and trust
Physical exercises and games can also help to build up your dog’s confidence and get them to trust the world more. Through enrichment activities, you can ensure your dog is more comfortable when around new people and situations. A confident and self-assured dog will have more positive energy and make for great company. Such a dog will be more responsive to commands and will be in a better position to interact with people and other animals properly.
Creates a stronger bond between the two of you
As a pet parent, your greyhound craves for your attention. Spending quality time with the canine companion while exercising or playing will deter attention-seeking behaviors and strengthen the bond you share with your greyhound. Getting out and about with the dog will also create a new level of trust, making your four-legged friend more comfortable around you. At the end of the day, a stronger bond will contribute to the dog’s improved emotional health.
Even as you work on fulfilling the various greyhound exercise needs, you must prioritize safety. With their unique qualities, greyhounds need to be protected from injuries, extreme weather, and strenuous activities. This is why you should get an appropriate exercise plan that fits your lifestyle and accommodates your dog’s needs. You should also feed the dog and let him drink water so as to replenish their energy and stay hydrated.
Interactive dog toys for physical exercise
Just like humans, dogs get bored sometimes and will need other things to help them keep their minds happy and bodies healthy. Interactive dog toys provide not only fun physical exercise but also mental stimulation. Here are some toys that will benefit your greyhound, both when spending time indoors and exploring the outdoors.
Throwing dog toys
Since these dogs love chasing moving objects, fetching can be an enjoyable part of greyhound play. There are dog toys that are designed to make this game even better by allowing you to throw balls further when playing outside. The iFetch interactive ball launcher for dogs lets you change distance settings to keep your pet guessing. Bringing the ball and dropping it in for the toy to relaunch will be a good exercise for the canine.
Greyhounds are intelligent dogs with a relaxed and calm demeanor. Puzzle toys are made of wood or plastic, and solving them will help to exercise the dog’s brain. The Nina Ottosson dog puzzle will keep your furry friend engaged and provide mental stimulation. The dog puzzle is a great indoor toy for when a dog is recovering from injury, or the weather is too hot to go outside.
Dog chew toys
Typically, chewing helps greyhounds to massage their gums, clean their teeth, and relieve stress. If you want your canine companion to exercise their jaw muscles, you can provide them with durable chewing toys. Consider making this activity more fun by getting a toy with other toys hidden inside. The Tuffy Dinosaur Destructosaurus is a soft but sturdy dog toy, making it perfect for interactive greyhound play.
Every dog undoubtedly loves treats. Treat-dispensing toys are designed to release treats the more your pet plays, effectively encouraging mental stimulation and keeping the canine occupied. You should fill the openings with your dog’s favorite treats so that they work harder for the treats to release. Planet Dog’s GuRu treat-dispensing toy would be a great option to consider for your greyhound.
Greyhounds have excellent eyesight and can spot a moving object from far. Glowing toys are ideal for late nights out in the yard since it will not be easy to lose the toys in the dark. You will also have an easy time spotting your pet when they are holding the toys in their mouth. The Spunky Pup glow stick is a durable fetch toy that will promote extended playtime even after sundown.
Talking dog toys
Talking dog toys can feature a wide range of sounds, including recorded messages from you to your dog, quacking ducks, mooing cows, and hilarious giggles. These sounds will ensure imaginative play for the greyhound, presenting an opportunity to chase and play with the sounds. By simulating prey, the toys will ignite the pet’s natural hunting instincts, effectively providing a fun way to play and exercise.
High-tech dog toys
Thanks to advances in technology, today there are dog toys that feature sound activation, video recording, and automatic treat dispensing functions. Some of the toys let you interact with your furry friend remotely, allowing you to meet the dog’s exercise demands even with a busy schedule. Petcube Play is an ingenious indoor home pet camera for pet owners. The toy allows you to watch, talk, and play with your pet from your smartphone.
Tug-of-war dog toys
Playing tug-of-war is an excellent way for your greyhound to burn off excess energy. You can either play the game with your dog or get two dogs that get along regularly to play. However, the game requires supervision to ensure it is played safely and does not lead to aggressive behavior. Rope toys, knotted fleece, ropes with tennis balls, and tugs with fur ends would be great for tugging with your greyhound.
Tips for exercising your greyhound
With their unique characteristics and personalities, exercising your greyhound will be a balancing act. However, this vital part of pet care does not have to be complicated. Here are a number of tips to guide you on how to do it correctly.
Choose the right exercise program.
A dog’s breed influences the level of physical activity that he needs. When exercising your greyhound, it is important to keep in mind their energy levels. Generally, greyhounds are sprinters and not distance runners. As such, the right exercise program should take into account the limitations of the dog with regard to distance and duration. You may want to start with short jogs and increase the range gradually over time as the dog gets conditioned.
Early evenings and mornings are the best times to walk your pet.
Greyhounds have thin skin, very little body fat, and not much fur. Since the dogs should not be exposed to extreme heat or cold, you will have to choose the safest times to walk your canine companion. When the weather is warm, walk him in the morning and evening to keep him safe from the hot sidewalk. You may also want to apply gentle sunscreen on the dog’s skin to protect them from sunburn.
Wait at least an hour after the dog has eaten to engage in physical exercise.
Proper timing is of great importance when it comes to greyhound exercises. Before engaging the dog in any form of physical activity, you should wait at least one hour after they have eaten. This will help to prevent bloating and indigestion, conditions that can cause great discomfort and require emergency veterinary care. A short leash-walk at a comfortable pace would be great after a meal.
Use a leash when exercising outdoors.
Greyhounds have a high prey drive, meaning they can easily get distracted and chase after a moving object or small animal. When exercising outdoors, you must use a leash to keep them from running off and hurting themselves or causing damage. The only time when the dog should be allowed to run off-leash is when they are exercising in a completely fenced area.
Monitor your greyhound for signs of fatigue.
Irrespective of the type of exercise you are engaging in, you should always monitor your greyhound for signs of exhaustion. When you expose the dog to a new environment, they can get excited and end up overdoing the exercise. This may result in heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. In addition to regulating how the dog exercises, you should carry a bottle of water to help reduce the dog’s temperature and keep him hydrated. It would also be important to allow for periods of rest after each activity.
Make mental stimulation part of the exercise regimen.
In addition to physical activities, greyhound exercises must include mental stimulation and enrichment. Mental stimulation can be achieved by allowing them to explore their surroundings when out on a walk or providing them with dog toys that help to keep their brains active. Mental stimulation will contribute to the burning off of excess energy and help to prevent boredom.
Gauge what your individual dog needs
Not every greyhound wants a lot of exercise. Therefore you should evaluate the individual needs of your dog when choosing the right physical activities and exercise regimen. Usually, 30 minutes of exercise every day will be fine, with a short walk in the morning and night making the routine. You should remember that these dogs are built for sprinting and do not have much stamina. As such, you will need to condition them gradually if you want a jogging partner.
FAQs about greyhound exercise
In terms of greyhound exercise needs, there is a lot that pet parents should familiarize themselves with. Here is a Q&A to provide you with part of the information you need.
Do greyhounds need a lot of exercise or room?
Although thy have lean bodies and great athletic abilities, greyhounds do not require much exercise. A daily 30-minute walk is enough to keep your dog healthy and happy. Compared to other breeds of a similar size, greyhounds also require much less room.
Can greyhounds go on long walks?
Generally, greyhounds do not have a lot of stamina. These dogs are built to be sprinters and will usually let you know when they have had enough. While they are likely to stop when they reach their limit, anything beyond two miles will be too far for this breed of dog.
When should I start exercising my greyhound puppy?
Greyhounds will need more exercise when they are younger. However, you should only start exercising your greyhound puppy when he is 3 to 3 ½ months old. Since you do not want to affect their growing joints and muscles, you should consider starting with short walks and gradually increasing the range from the time the pup is over 12 months old.
How much exercise does a greyhound puppy require?
Overly strenuous walks and exercises can cause harm to puppies. To avoid this, exercise for the young greyhounds should comprise of social interaction with other puppies and free play with appropriate toys. As a general rule of thumb, a greyhound puppy should be walked for about five minutes for every month of age.
What are some good exercise ideas for greyhounds?
Numerous physical activities can help to keep your greyhound active, healthy, and happy. Some of the options you can consider are walking, jogging, fetch, hide-and-seek, going to a dog park, canine sports, and hiking.
What precautions should I take when exercising my dog?
When exercising with your greyhound, make sure you protect them from rough environments and harsh weather. Also, remember that these are extremely fast dogs with a high prey drive. Lastly, take time to examine your dog after intense physical activity and provide them with some form of shelter to take a nap after strenuous exercises.
Can my greyhound keep up with my active lifestyle?
While they are couch potatoes, greyhounds can easily keep up with an active lifestyle when the need arises. However, you should build their strength and stamina and strength gradually, giving them time to get conditioned.
A great way to ensure your greyhound is having fun and making the most of the exercise regimen is to include the activities they enjoy. Spending time exercising with your furry friend will help to strengthen the bond you have, keeping them looking forward to the next exercise session.