Majestic, graceful, and loving, Greyhounds are a gentle breed. Built for speed and agility, Greyhounds are prized pets. Known for their fast speed and racing abilities, these docile dogs are truly the best companions.
Aside from being exceptionally fast, Greyhounds are extremely well-behaved and obedient. Some consider Greyhounds the cheetah of dogs. Their slender body is full of energy, and these dogs require many exercises. Greyhounds love being outdoors and running around freely.
They are especially good at pursuing and catching prey. This is why Greyhounds make excellent hunt partners. This noble purebred dog has its roots in ancient Egypt. Pharaohs kept hunting dogs very similar to the modern Greyhounds.
Physical Characteristics of Greyhounds
Greyhounds have a slender build. They can grow up to 27 to 30 inches in height and weigh around 60 to 70 pounds.
Their body has an aerodynamic quality that allows them to run at great speeds when chasing. In addition to this, Greyhounds have muscular bodies with little fat. Greyhounds are track and field athletes of dogs.
The coat is smooth, short, and easy to maintain. Greyhounds do not shed much, and their fur requires limited grooming.
Most Greyhounds have a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years. All these physical characteristics indicate that Greyhounds are a resilient breed.
Watching Out For Symptoms in Aging Greyhounds
Aging brings major changes no matter how strong and healthy a dog is. Greyhounds are no different. As the dog’s body ages, it becomes fragile and more prone to diseases.
A nutritious diet, regular exercise, and a fulfilling environment can improve the quality of life and increase longevity; however, they cannot stop or reverse the aging process. Aging weakens the body. Here are some telltale signs of aging and health issues you need to be aware of for your Greyhound.
Dogs like discipline. They like to follow a routine as it is predictable and easy to follow. This is why your dog likely has a fixed schedule for sleep, meal times, and playtime.
Something is likely wrong if you start noticing your Greyhound deviate from the routine. Changing sleeping patterns, like sleeping in late, is a major sign.
Another one is a change in eating habits. Greyhounds usually require much nutrition as they are large dogs with a muscular build. With age or illness, your dog may experience a reduced appetite.
Increased inactivity and lethargy are also alarming. Greyhounds especially like to exercise and be active. Changing activity patterns need to be monitored and investigated.
Symptoms of health issues may appear in the form of changes in the physical appearance of your Greyhound. If you notice your dog is losing tone and gaining weight, it is best to consult the vet.
Greyhounds are naturally lean. However, age can cause them to lose or gain weight. Weight loss may occur due to a loss of appetite that accompanies aging. While weight gain may result from underlying conditions such as arthritis. Arthritis is common among Greyhounds, limiting their activity and ability to exercise greatly.
Changes to your dog’s physical appearance should be noted, no matter how insignificant. Major health issues may be detected early, which means corrective measures can be taken without delays.
Dogs are consistent in their behavior. Once habits are formed, they become part of your dog’s nature. A shift in these behaviors and habits is indicative of health issues. If your Greyhounds start having ‘accidents’ despite being potty trained.
Similarly, not following commands or instructions is a sign of cognitive decline. As dogs age, their mental capacities deteriorate.
Dogs may not be able to talk, but they are great at communicating pain and discomfort. Decreased physical activity, lack of pleasure during playtime, and vocal expression of discomfort are common signs of pain.
Greyhounds, in particular, experience joint pain. A study of 420 Greyhounds indicates that aging resulted in a loss of calcium, potassium, and inorganic phosphorus. Losing these minerals leads to weak bones and increases the chances of arthritis. Pain is the main symptom of arthritis.
Arthritis pain goes beyond discomfort. It may become so unbearable that your dog may stop performing basic physical tasks. So, look out for signs of pain before the condition progresses and forces your Greyhound to limit its movement.
Foul Breath or Bodily Odor
Regular brushing your Greyhound’s teeth is a basic requirement for oral hygiene. This is why your dog should not have bad breath. If you do notice bad breath, then chances are your dog has cavities or other dental issues.
Dental issues need to be addressed immediately. Delayed treatment can aggravate the situation and seriously impact your dog’s appetite.
With proper grooming and regular bathing, your dog should not smell bad. Unless they have been playing outside in the trash, the foul bodily odor should not be taken lightly. Investigate why your dog smells bad even though you regularly bathe them.
Aside from arthritis, Greyhounds are prone to cancer. Cancers can spread rapidly if not detected quickly. Even then, cancer treatment is quite painful.
Cancer cells multiply quickly and bunch together in an affected area. This is why lumps or bumps may form.
Part of your dog’s regular grooming is brushing its coat and giving them a massage. This allows you to take care of their coat and make them feel relaxed. It also helps to detect any unusual lumps that may form.
Aging in Greyhounds
Aging is a natural part of the development of all living organisms. It is no different in dogs. As Greyhounds grow older, they display the typical signs of aging, weakness, reduced cognitive functions, delayed reflexes, and a general mental and physical decline.
It is impossible to avoid aging. However, you can ensure your dog remains fairly healthy by closely monitoring their physical and mental health. Acting quickly and giving them timely attention can help improve their condition and make the process of aging less painful and difficult.
The most important thing you can do for your dog is to give them attention and care. This is especially true as they age; giving your dog a good quality of life is necessary to improve their well-being and make aging less difficult.