Greyhounds are elegant dogs with very low body fat levels and unique blood chemistry. They can be prone to obesity and the pups have very particular dietary requirements when it comes to protein. They do well on commercial dog foods but dried kibble of an exceptional quality is what suits them best.
There is a lot of choices when it comes to commercial dog food for Greyhounds. As an owner, you need to get used to reading and interpreting ingredients lists to make sure that you are buying the best for your dog. To help you choose, we’ve prepared a useful guide to the best dog food for Greyhounds.
Best Dog Food for Greyhounds Buying Guide & FAQ
Ingredients to Look for in Dog Food for Greyhounds
There are several ingredients that you should look out for in the best dog food for greyhounds
- Greyhounds need a high protein diet to make sure that their cells can grow and repair. Protein should be provided by high-quality meat or fish sources. A single source is useful if your dog has allergies.
- These give your Greyhound energy to run around. However, if they have too many of them, they can become obese and there can also be issues with allergies. Some dogs are allergic to wheat and corn. Preferable alternatives are sweet potatoes and peas.
- Probiotics. Some dogs suffer from digestive issues and will benefit from probiotics which promote healthy digestion.
- Fats are another essential source of energy. Special fats called omega acids are needed for a healthy metabolism and for skin and fur condition.
- Vitamins and minerals. A balance of vitamins and minerals is essential to keep your Greyhound healthy. Commercial dog foods are usually fortified with vitamins and minerals.
- Greyhounds are not usually greedy eaters. Senior dogs may need some persuasion to eat and taste will be important. Commercial dog foods can use herbs or meat or fish extract to make them even more delicious.
Greyhound Diet and Nutrition
Greyhound pups are very active and need a lot of calories in their diet to keep them going. An average adult Greyhound dog weighing 70 pounds will need around 1740 calories a day but a young adult needs 1876 calories per day. Pups are also growing and developing rapidly so they need a diet that has plenty of high-quality protein. The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that food for Greyhound pups contains a minimum of 22 % protein and food for adult dogs contains 18 % protein.
Fat is essential for energy and Greyhound pups need a diet that contains at least 8 % fat and adult dogs need at least 5 % fat. Greyhounds as a breed do well on a meat-based diet. This can be provided by a raw diet or by commercial dog food. Puppies can benefit from Docosahexaenoic acid which helps brain and eye development. Older dogs need medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil which helps them to act younger.
The best food for greyhounds is one that is formulated for larger breeds. A large breed puppy food is essential because the growth plates in Greyhound bones continue to grow for two years. They need a food that promotes slow growth to avoid joint problems. Greyhound pups need a diet that balances the calcium to phosphorus ratio and keeps the protein and calorie content slightly lower to slow down growth. Very high protein foods are not suitable for Greyhound pups.
Feeding cheap commercial dog food to a Greyhound is not advisable. They have special blood chemistry and very little body fat and are very sensitive to what their diet contains. A very high-quality food is required to keep them healthy.
Pups need three meals a day and adult dogs need two meals. Discard the food if it is not eaten after half an hour. Free feeding is not recommended as Greyhounds can become obese. However, Greyhounds that are racing competitively have special feeding schedules.
Food to Avoid Feeding Your Greyhound
There are a few ingredients that you should avoid in the best kibble for Greyhounds so read that ingredients list carefully.
- Low-quality protein. Some protein sources are better than others and Greyhounds will not be able to tolerate low quality protein. Whole meat (beef, chicken, lamb) or fish and meat meals are high-quality sources. Meat meals are a concentrated meat where the moisture has been removed and are protein-rich.
- Low-quality fats. Fats are essential and some vitamins are fat-soluble. However, if the fat source is not named you should be wary. Look for names such as ‘chicken fat’ on the ingredients list. Fish oils are another good source of fat and contain omega fatty acids.
- Grains. Many owners prefer to avoid corn, soy, and wheat in dog food because they can cause allergies. There are plenty of easily digestible alternative carbohydrates including peas and sweet potatoes.
- Additives and preservatives. These are usually artificial ingredients and are best avoided.
- These simple make up the bulk and give little nutritional benefit. These are best avoided.
Common Greyhound Health Problems
In the US, Greyhounds are either registered with the American Kennel Club or with the National Greyhound Association (NGA). NGA registered greyhounds are competitive racing dogs and tend to be shorter and have more pronounced musculature. They usually retire at around two to four years of age and become family pets.
In general, Greyhounds are a very healthy breed with a lifespan of 10 to 13 years. They can suffer from poor dental health and need their teeth to be brushed regularly. The breed can also suffer from osteosarcoma, esophageal achalasia, and gastric torsion. They are more likely to suffer from bloat (the stomach expanding with air) than other breeds. This is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate veterinary attention. They have higher rates of bone cancer and heart murmurs. They cannot tolerate barbiturate anesthesia but your vet will be aware of this
You should be on the lookout for obesity as they can be prone to it and they do better on two meals a day rather than one.
Wet Food vs Dry Food for Greyhounds
Many owners are confused about what is the best dog food for Greyhounds when it comes to wet or dry foods. Commercial wet dog food can upset a Greyhound’s stomach and they tend to do better on dried kibble. You can add a little-minced chicken or fish if you want to make it more exciting.
Also, Greyhounds are one of the breeds that are especially susceptible to dental health problems. The best dog food for Italian Greyhounds will be dried kibble which are good at helping with dental issues because they will scrape plaque off the teeth whilst your dog is eating. The build-up of plaque is avoided and gum disease is less likely.
Our Top Pick
The best dry dog food for greyhounds is a freeze-dried kibble made from fresh, regional ingredients. It contains no poor-quality poultry, fish or meat meal. The ingredients are 85% poultry, fish or eggs, and 15% vegetables, fruits or botanicals. We are talking about the Orijen Original Dry Dog Food.
The recipe is completely grain-free so allergic reactions can be avoided and there are no tapioca, potato or plant protein concentrates. The meat in this kibble Greyhound food is very high quality and is provided by free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish and nest-laid eggs.