Greyhounds are known for their large, slender, long legs and docile and affectionate attitude. A lengthier skull and an elongated muzzle are the differentiating features of a Greyhound, contrasting them from other breeds. Greyhounds are found in various color combinations such as white, brindle, fawn, black, red, and blue (gray). They are an ancient breed with an excellent temperament and are highly intelligent and independent. These friendly, gentle giants blend well into families.
Further, they are good with well-mannered kids and enjoy the company of other dogs and cats. They are well-known for their tall, thin, and muscular build. Therefore, fat Greyhounds are those canines that are overweight or obese.
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Can Greyhounds be Overweight?
Yes, Greyhounds can become overweight as they are prone to gain weight when overfed. When fit and trim, Greyhounds are blessed with the ability to sprint at 45 miles per hour due to their aerodynamic build, narrow head, and long legs. However, contrary to their high energy levels, these dogs are known to be indoor couch potatoes, increasing their risk for obesity. To prevent your pet from becoming obese, you have to understand why they are thin and how thin they are.
How to Know if Your Greyhound is Overweight?
Here are a few ways to find out if your pet is overweight:
Their weight is higher than usual: To know if your pet is more than his average weight, you must measure him on a weighing scale. Further, you will have to get a chart from your vet to know if your pet falls on the ideal weight.
You cannot feel their ribs: Alternatively, you can check your canine’s ribs to know if he is in the perfect weight range. For this purpose, please put your hands over his flanks and abdomen. If you cannot feel your pet’s ribs, he is overweight. On the contrary, he is too thin if you can see his ribs.
Excessive panting: If your pet is overweight, the excess flabs he adds will accumulate in his chest region. This will obstruct his lungs while he exhales. Consequently, he finds it challenging to breathe. This difficulty will be especially evident through excessive panting, even if your pet exerts himself for light physical activity. Hence, if you notice your pet struggling to breathe after a physical exercise, it is time for you to evaluate his body weight.
Lack of interest in physical activities: Although Greyhounds are known to be couch potatoes, they are pretty excited when you return home after a short break. They enjoy indulging themselves in fetching toys and other physical activities, especially during exercise. On the contrary, if your pet is overweight, the extra flabs he gains will discourage him from participating in any physical activity.
Digestive problems and constipation: Greyhounds who consume more than they burn are predisposed to health conditions such as liver issues, pancreatitis, and diabetes. The prevalence of these conditions hampers their ability to digest and defecate. As a result, they begin to experience constipation or other digestive complications.
Reduced stamina: Greyhounds are not built to have stamina. However, if you feel your pet is doing his regular chores for an extended period, you will have to evaluate him for weight gain.
Difficulty doing simple tasks: Your pet’s stamina decreases when he spends more time on a specific activity he used to do in a breeze. This will slowly begin to reflect on the simple tasks he performs. This is again a warning sign to evaluate his weight gain.
Excessively lengthy naps: You can expect your Greyhounds to nap immediately after an exercise session or playtime. However, if he takes frequent excessive naps, you need to consider the possibility of weight gain.
What Causes Obesity in Greyhounds?
Unhealthy eating habits: Your pet becomes obese when he consumes more calories than he burns through exercise. His high caloric consumption can be attributed to unhealthy and irregular eating habits such as:
- Consuming more meals per day
- Consuming a high-fatty diet
- Consuming table scraps
- Frequently treated
- Frequent variation in diet.
- Inadequate exercise
Greyhounds are couch potatoes when indoors. When this attitude is combined with a lack of exercise, they do not burn their excessively consumed calories. This will make them susceptible to accumulating adipose tissues, leading to obesity. Hence, it is vital to keep up your pet’s daily exercise routines to ensure he remains physically active and fit.
Chronic Illness: When your Greyhound is suffering from the below-mentioned health conditions, he will be predisposed to obesity. These include:
1.Cushing’s syndrome, also known as hypercortisolism: Your dog’s adrenal glands produce cortisol hormones. When this hormone is produced excessively, it disturbs the normal functioning of this hormone as it helps to
- Control your pet’s weight
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Fight infections
- Respond to stress
As a result, your Greyhound experiences weight gain.
2. Hypothyroidism: Like cortisol, your dog’s thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones. When there is a deficiency in the secretion of thyroid hormones, your pet will add up extra flabs leading to weight g
Old age: With age, your Greyhound’s metabolic rate decreases, decreasing the amount of energy his body produces. Consequently, your pet will become physically inactive. This physical inactivity should proportionately reduce his intake. However, when this balance doesn’t happen, your pet is at risk of developing obesity.
Neutering: When your dog’s ability to reproduce is surgically hampered, it leads to a deficiency in the sex hormones they produce. As a result, they expend less energy. When this factor combines with their inability to intake less food, the excess energy is stored as fat leading to weight gain or obesity.
Medications: Certain medications are prescribed when your dog suffers convulsions, allergies, or immune-mediated diseases like phenobarbital and glucocorticoids. These medications can cause obesity in dogs. Hence, never medicate your dogs without a vet’s recommendation. Further, if you notice your pet gaining weight after being treated with the above medicines, mention it to your vet.
Overweight or obese owners: Greyhounds are pretty versatile pets who adapt to your lifestyle. Therefore, if you are a physically inactive person, it can profoundly impact your pet as he will get accustomed to your life. This will prevent him from burning his extra calories, eventually leading to obesity. Obesity is a major problem when it comes to Greyhounds. This is because they are designed to be thin. Hence, gaining weight predisposes your pet to specific health issues, which include:
Obesity health problems
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Trouble Breathing
- Skeletal problems/Lameness
- Inactivity/Low energy/Lethargy
- Non-allergic skin conditions
- Stress on the organs
- Kidney disease
- Fatty tumors
Hence, it is vital to reverse your pet’s obesity if he has gained considerable weight. Here are some steps to carry out in this regard.
How to Get the Weight Off?
Cut back on his food: If you find your pet reaching the obese line, it is time to get strict with him despite his pleading eyes. Most male Greyhounds thrive well on 2 cups of food fed twice daily. On the contrary, a male who exercises rigorously will need more food than required. If your pet has gained weight, you must provide him with less than this amount. However, ensure to cut down his food slowly so that you don’t let him starve. This way, you can make him lose his extra pounds while stopping his ability to add weight. Once he regains his optimal weight, you can check on his hip bones and ribs to know if he needs to cut back on food further.
Refrain from free feeding: Greyhounds are prone to temptations. Hence, when you leave out food for the whole day, they will feed as and when tempted. Therefore, keep their food away from their sight to avoid temptations.
Manage your dog’s treats: If you are treating your dog, ensure to cut back on his food proportionately. For example, if you’re feeding yogurt or a large milk bone, then you need to minimize his regular kibble. Alternatively, you can prefer to serve low-calorie snacks like carrot sticks to help them maintain their weight.
Ensure you serve the right type of food: Always prefer a high-protein diet in place of a high-carb diet laden with fewer calories. This is because protein will boost your pup’s lean muscle mass, whereas carbohydrates will add to his weight. Further, you can add low-salt canned green beans or canned pumpkin to your pet’s diet to help your dog feel fuller for a long time.
Exercise: Exercising is the best way to build your dog’s muscles and keep them mentally stimulated. Since this process consumes more calories, it is one of the best ways to help your pup maintain his weight. Further, Greyhounds will quickly gain weight when they are indoors.
What Should I Feed My Overweight Greyhound?
Once you know your Greyhound is over his ideal weight, you must change his diet. Apart from a well-balanced diet, you must take care to exercise your pet enough to keep off weight gain.
Commercial weight-loss dog food
You can always avail the option of feeding your pet a commercially available dog food tailored to promote a healthy weight. These diets are complete with added essential nutrients. Further, ensure to select a food with a nutrient profile consisting of above-average protein, below-average fat, and below-average calories. However, take care of foods filled with filler.
Homemade Greyhound Dog Food
Sometimes you must resort to a homemade raw or cooked diet with natural ingredients.
- Raw diet: His raw diet must feature a portion of meat like liver and beef along with vegetables such as collard greens, carrots, peas, celery, and potatoes. Take care to bake or boil the potatoes before using them.
- Cooked diet: His cooked diet can consist of cooked vegetables and meats. You must cook them separately before combining them with whole grain rice and unsweetened curd.
- Customized diet: Alternatively, you can opt for a customized diet plan addressing your pet’s specific needs. For this, you can consider your pet’s particular likes and dislikes and his nutritional requirements, offering you a personalized way to deal with his diet.
- Make sure the diet is well-rounded: The diet you choose for your pet must always contain meat ingredients and a grain. This will aid in meeting his daily nutritional requirements.
- Feed your pet twice daily, limiting their meals to morning and night.
- Ensure you divide their daily requirement into two and don’t overfeed at a specific time.
- Ensure to remove his bowl from sight to prevent his temptation to eat once your pet is done with his meal.
- Limit feeding table scraps and treats.
- Ensure cleanliness. Keep fresh water always accessible to your pet.
Why Are Greyhounds So Skinny?
Here are some reasons why Greyhounds look so skinny:
Skin Thickness: Greyhounds are endowed with fragile skin enabling them to be aerodynamic. They have a thin and light fur to sprint. In addition, their delicate skin allows them to stay cool while in flight. On the contrary, they can freeze when not racing.
Lungs: Greyhounds are entitled to enormous lungs to breathe in more air. This makes them light and propels them forward when they are in motion. As a result, their rib cage is pretty prominent compared to other canines.
Muscle Strength: Greyhounds are blessed with extraordinary muscle strength. This helps them move their joints and legs forward with enormous force.
Fast Metabolism: Since Greyhounds are meant to race, they have a faster metabolic rate. Therefore, they lose the extra calories they consume while racing. However, when they retire, they must undergo rigorous exercise to burn their calories because their metabolic rate remains high.
A healthy male Greyhound weighs around 60-88 lbs, whereas a female weighs between 57-75 lbs. Although beneficial, Greyhounds usually look thinner due to the factors mentioned above. Therefore, it is vital to know if your Greyhound has piled up some flabs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered obese for a Greyhound?
Your Greyhound is obese if he weighs more than 20 percent of his ideal body weight.
Can my dog die from being overweight?
Weight gain or obesity leads to certain health complications like diabetes, heart disease, increased blood pressure, etc., in dogs. If left untreated, these complications can become life-threatening.
How can I prevent obesity in dogs?
To prevent obesity in dogs:
1.Follow a well-balanced, low-calorie diet.
2.Maintain an excellent physical exercise routine for your dog.
When must I take my overweight Greyhound to the vet?
If your Greyhound does not respond to your diet changes, you must take him to a vet.
What kind of exercise is good for my Greyhound?
As Greyhounds are athletic dogs, you can try ball retrieving, walking, running, and swimming.
My Greyhound begs all the time. What should I do?
Firstly, ensure your pet meets his daily calorie intake. Further, ensure your dog has a well-balanced, nutritional diet.