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How much exercise does your greyhound really need?

Exercising your greyhound is an essential part of ensuring their overall health and wellbeing. As with any dog, they require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.

Though greyhounds are typically known for sleeping 18 hours of the day, there are some that are more active so it will be a matter of gauging how much daily exercise your individual hound needs. Some of these typically ‘couch potato’ type hounds can even be trained, in time, to go for runs with their owners. Most commonly though we find a 20 minute walk once (or twice ideally) a day is enough to keep our hounds happy. Here are some of our top tips for exercising your hound:

Photo by Mark Galer on Unsplash

  1. Start slow

When first bringing your greyhound home, it is important to start slowly with exercise. Greyhounds coming from a racing background may not be accustomed to regular exercise or walking on a lead. Begin with short walks and gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise over time. This will allow your greyhound to build up their stamina and become comfortable with their new exercise routine.

We’ve said this before, but it’s super important to be patient when starting out with your hound, especially if they’re a recent adoption, and it may take time to get them used to walking on a lead and daily exercise, but once they figure it out the end result is so rewarding and will be a pleasure for all involved!

  1. Provide a safe, enclosed space

Greyhounds are known for their love of running and require ample space to stretch their legs. Providing a safe, enclosed space such as a fenced-in yard or dog park can give your rescue greyhound the opportunity to run and play without the risk of running into traffic or getting lost.

If a fenced-in area is not available, consider using a slightly longer lead to give your greyhound some freedom while still being able to get them back if you need to. I tend to avoid use of retractable leads as this can cause dogs to get tangled and become more complicated when we need to get our dogs back in a hurry! We’ve definitely had the odd foster dog get away from us by accident, and it is not a fun experience trying to get them back as they will outrun you any day of the week. Did you know that greyhounds can run up to 72 km/hr (45 miles/hr)? This is no easy speed to contend with, so we always err on the side of caution and keep them on-lead or use a safe, enclosed space to exercise them.

Please bear in mind that greyhounds have special restrictions about where they can be off-lead, and in most cases will need to be muzzled in off-lead public parks unless they have been approved to be muzzle-free. We recommend checking your local state laws around greyhounds in public before taking your hound out to these spaces, to avoid penalty. 

  1. Consider a daily walk or jog

In addition to providing a safe space to run, daily walks or jogs can be a great way to exercise your greyhound. As we’ve already mentioned, greyhounds require regular exercise to stay healthy, and a daily walk or jog can help fulfil their exercise needs. Make sure to use a properly fitting collar or harness and a leash to ensure their safety.

  1. Provide mental stimulation

Greyhounds are intelligent dogs that require both physical and mental stimulation. In addition to providing exercise, provide mental stimulation through training, puzzle toys, and other activities that challenge your greyhound’s mind. Mental stimulation can help prevent boredom and destructive behaviour, as well as improve overall well being.

  1. Consider off-leash exercise

If your greyhound is well-trained and has good recall, off-leash exercise can be a great way to provide exercise and freedom. However, it is important to only allow off-leash exercise in a safe, enclosed space where your greyhound is not at risk of getting lost or injured. Always supervise your greyhound during off-leash exercise and ensure that they have proper identification in case they become separated from you. We recommend checking your local state laws around greyhounds in public before taking your hound out to these spaces, to avoid penalty. 

  1. Monitor for signs of fatigue or injury

When exercising your greyhound, it is important to monitor for signs of fatigue or injury. Signs of fatigue include excessive panting, slowing down, and reluctance to continue exercising. If your greyhound shows any of these signs, provide them with water and a rest break. If you notice any limping, lameness, or other signs of injury, stop exercise and take them to your regular veterinarian.

  1. Provide proper nutrition and hydration

Regular exercise requires proper nutrition and hydration. Make sure your greyhound has access to clean water and is provided with a nutritionally balanced diet that meets their needs. Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations on the best diet for your greyhound.

Daily exercise can strengthen the bond between you and your greyhound and provide lots of opportunities for socialisation and further training, as well as helping to keep your hound happy and healthy. We hope you found this blog helpful, and please get in touch if there’s anything you’d like more info on.

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