Hungry Hounds: Feeding Your Retired Racer

Oct 14, 2022

One of the most common questions we get asked from those considering adopting a greyhound is ‘how much do I need to feed them?’ – and this is no surprise. Greyhounds are large dogs, and concerns about food budgets and sourcing are valid! However, most hounds aren’t very picky – and we have so much information to share with you on this topic.

 

The Basics:
GAP SA recommends feeding your hound twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. Exactly how much to feed depends a lot on the size of your hound. Since greyhounds that come through the program can range from a tiny 22kg up to a whopping 45kg, you must check out the GAP feeding guide, which you can find here (hyperlink). As a rule, greyhounds should eat a mixture of wet and dry food – and should avoid commercial dog rolls and canned food, as these are often processed and full of chemicals.

Good quality dry food is a great base – and you can get this at any good pet shop. Choosing a bag of food can be overwhelming, but there are a few key things to look out for when making your selections. Look for dry food with high levels of protein (ideally over 40%), and watch out for empty fillers like wheat and soybean, which don’t offer much in the way of nutrition for your hound.

As far as wet food is – fresh is best. GAP recommends some good quality minced meat – but this doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive trip to the supermarket! Many pet food stores will sell fresh meat designed for pets. This meat has all the bits that humans don’t like, too, so you get a lot more bang for your buck. Pet food stores are often independent, but some chains can help you out with either raw or cooked minced meat. Greyhounds enjoy all kinds of meat (kangaroo, chicken, turkey, lamb, and beef) but some hounds will have preferences.

Treat Time:
Most hounds are pretty food-motivated, so treats are a fantastic training tool and reward system – in moderation of course! When training, use small soft treats that are easy to ration and get down. At other times, a special treat is warranted – I get these from my local pet food supply store. Some of my favourite treats for my girls include:

  • Raw chicken or turkey necks
  • Marrow bones
  • Pigs' ears and similar
  • Pet ‘jerky’ – dried meat strips
  • Liver Treats

When feeding treats, it is important to avoid anything too processed or too fatty, as well as anything that dogs can’t have (think chocolate, onion, nuts, and tomatoes to name a few). When it comes to bones, don’t feed anything weight-bearing as these can splinter, and ALWAYS feed raw bones, not cooked.

The Takeaways
All in all, when it comes to feeding, greyhounds are mostly just like any other dog. GAP recommends feeding from an elevated bowl to avoid bloat, and I have found this is also just a much more comfortable option for my hounds. Feeding a large dog can seem daunting, but GAP is here to support you – and it is nowhere near as hard as you might think!



Author: Charlie Jayde
Greyhound Owner for 4 years / GAP Volunteer
Experienced Dog Trainer

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