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Why you should take home a dog during Adopt a Greyhound Month, celebrating National Pet Day

They may run like the wind on the track, but they’re snuggly couch potatoes when they retire.

Today we’re observing Adopt a Greyhound Month along with National Pet Day!

Tom Dock, Noah’s Animal Hospital director of communications, joined us Monday with everything we need to know.

Adopt a Greyhound Mont

Greyhounds are an easily recognizable breed of dog due to their long-leggedness and lean body.  Skeletal remains of a dog thought to be a Greyhound or similar sighthound have been found in the ancient Syrian city of Tell Brak and are thought to be more than 4,000 years old.  This is one of the oldest known dog breeds. 

Greyhounds are part of the sighthound grouping of dogs and include breeds that rely on sight and speed as a hunting strategy versus smell and endurance.  Other sighthounds include Borzoi’s, Scottish Deerhounds, Saluki, Afghan Hounds, and many others.

Historically, this breed was used to run down prey over long distances and, eventually, in racing.  Greyhounds can reach a top speed of 40-45 miles per hour! 

As we have learned more about our dogs’ needs and concern for animal welfare has taken precedent, the sport of greyhound racing has lost its allure.  Currently (2022), only 4 tracks are operational in the United States and two of those will close at the end of the season in 2022. 

This decline in popularity has led to an abundance of retired Greyhound racers available for adoption by the public.   The American Greyhound Council estimates that more than 95% of retired greyhounds are adopted.

Also, Greyhounds are very sensitive to a type of anesthetic agent known as barbituates.  Their liver is unable to effectively break down the compound which can lead to a longer state of anesthesia in these pets.  Thankfully, veterinary medicine has largely abandoned using these drugs for anesthesia and surgery. 

Anyone interested in learning more about adopting a retired Greyhound is encouraged to contact a reputable rescue group like USA Defenders of Greyhounds here locally, and, of course, talk with your veterinarian. 

National Pet Day

April 11th is National Pet Day and this day is a great reminder of how important all pets, not just dogs and cats, have become such an integral part of our families and our lives!  This year marks the 16th anniversary of National Pet Day and observances/special activities are found all over the globe.

Anyone who currently enjoys the companionship of any kind of pet knows that they hold a special place in our homes and our hearts.  This unconditional love that our pets share deserves to be celebrated, recognized, and protected.

Whatever your choice of pet, it is important that you understand the unique needs of your companion. This might be a special type of diet (especially important for some birds and reptiles), extraordinary exercise needs (some breeds of dogs), or even unique housing and enrichment requirements.

In short, do your research before obtaining a pet because you saw that type of animal in a movie, because someone you know has one, or you think it “looks cool”.  Talk to your veterinarian, breeders, and even rescue groups about your special pets’ needs. 

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