Are Greyhounds good pets for seniors? A Greyhound might just be the opportunity seniors are looking for. There are plenty of greyhounds in need of adoption, they have very minimal grooming needs, and a friendly and gentle demeanor. However, Greyhounds are not always a good match for seniors, because they’re big dogs who need to sprint.
In general, greyhounds are best for seniors who:
- Have large fenced properties where the Greyhound can run, or regular access to a dog park
- Have experience with dogs who might have behavioral issues, or are willing to adopt a puppy
If you’re a senior considering adopting a Greyhound, here are a few things you need to consider.
Adopting a Greyhound
Many seniors would love to be dog owners but want to skip the puppy stage. For many, it’s no longer a joy to think of housetraining a dog or teaching it to walk on a leash. But that’s fine because there are many adult dogs out there who need to be adopted. Certainly, there are a ton of adult Greyhounds who used to be racing dogs now in need of a family.
Adopting a Greyhound can a difficult process. Many former racing dogs have behavioral issues that may make them unsuitable as a companion for a senior. Few, if any, former racing dogs will be able to resist chasing things, as that’s all they did in their former life. Therefore, a Greyhound cannot be allowed off-leash unless it is in a fenced area. While many racing dogs were properly socialized, a few many have never been exposed to kids, so that may be a concern for seniors with grandkids.
Greyhound Exercise Needs
Greyhounds are tall dogs, but they are also very thin, and therefore they may be the right fit for a senior who likes the idea of a very big dog but doesn’t want to be easily dragged around on a leash. Greyhounds will require regular walks, of roughly 30 minutes a day.
They will also need access to a large area where they can sprint. Either you should have access to a large, securely fenced, backyard, or to a dog park. Greyhounds may need to get out their excess energy with a sprint once or twice per week. If you’re adopting a retired racing Greyhound, the former owner or rescue organization should be able to tell you what it’s energy needs are.
Grooming a Greyhound
One of the best things about a Greyhound from a senior’s perspective is that they have very minimal grooming needs. As they are built for speed, they have exceptionally short fur. They also don’t shed as much as many other dog breeds. That means that when you own a Greyhound, you are saved the hassle of taking your dog to the groomers for a clip, and the hassle of pulling out a vacuum every day. Of course, Greyhounds still do shed a bit and will need an occasional brushing.
Overall, with a friendly attitude and low-maintenance coat, a Greyhound is a great choice for a senior who can meet their needs to sprint and who has a fondness for big dogs. Just be cautious about the specific dog you adopt, as former racing dogs can have quirks or downright issues that need to be addressed.