Greyhounds may be thin, but make no mistake: These canines love to eat. Although your greyhound would happily eat virtually any foods available -- especially human food -- healthy eating is important. Keep the retired greyhound in your nest in "greyt" health with these best food guidelines.
Best Primary Food
Most greyhound adoption groups recommend feeding quality kibble as the dog's primary food. As Rocky Mountain Greyhound Adoption explains, "switching a retired racer to dry dog food helps to keep their teeth in healthy condition," since many dogs ate mainly soft food -- which is often a cause of faster tooth decay -- during their racing careers. A kibble with around 20 percent protein content is appropriate for greyhounds in retirement, according to the Retired Greyhound Trust, and the best foods will have chicken, beef, fish, lamb, buffalo or a similar protein as the number one listed food ingredient on the label.
Best Food Supplements
Food supplements include all the additions that you may add to your greyhound's kibble. Because greyhounds became accustomed to eating a varied diet including meat, veggies and kibble during their racing careers, they may become bored with plain kibble quickly. Some greyhound owners add supplements like white or brown rice, boiled ground beef, crumbled boiled egg, cheese shreds, green beans, carrots, cottage cheese, boiled pasta, plain yogurt or unsweetened canned pumpkin to entice their greyhound to eat more enthusiastically. Supplements are best added in small amounts -- one to two tablespoons of each is sufficient daily, and you need not use more than one or two supplements at a time.
Best Special Foods
In certain cases, your greyhound may need special prescribed foods. For example, if your greyhound has severe allergic reactions to most kibbles, your veterinarian may prescribe a food that is formulated for your dog's sensitivities. Many greyhound owners also feed their dog a special senior formula kibble when the dog reaches age 7. Senior formula kibbles are created to compensate for the changes that the senior dog's body will experience. For example, many senior kibbles add extra glucosamine and chondroitin to help with joint and mobility issues. Senior-specific formulas also tend to have an easy-to-digest protein such as chicken or beef, since richer protein sources like lamb may be too difficult for an older dog's digestive system to handle.
Best Way to Change Foods
There may be times when your greyhound will need a different food. Although it's not common, sometimes dogs who have done well with a particular type of food for years will suddenly start having trouble digesting the food smoothly and will exhibit gas, diarrhea or an stomach upset. It is always wise to check with your veterinarian first to rule out any health problems. If the vet feels the food could be the issue, you may want to make a change. Sometimes this can be as simple as a brand name change to a similar food with the same primary ingredients but different secondary ingredients, and other times you might want to make a more pronounced change by starting a food with a different primary protein source. It is best to make food changes gradually by slowly introducing more of the new food and less of the old food each day. Continue mixing the two foods to ease the transition, gradually eliminating the old food entirely.
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