The Greyhound is a sighthound originally bred in Europe for hunting and coursing. Greyhound Racing became popular in the United States in the early 20th century. The breed is loyal, affectionate, and unaggressive in nature. Greyhounds are sensitive to environmental stresses and may refuse food in response to dietary changes or when they are anxious. Many dog owners panic when their dogs won't eat, but few dogs will starve themselves. With proper diet and training, a picky dog can learn to accept a variety of foods.
A sudden dietary change is a common reason for a picky dog's refusal to eat. Greyhounds are creatures of habit and may react to a new food by not eating. Stress is another common cause of finicky eating. Greyhounds who receive inadequate exercise, who are adapting to the presence of a new dog or person in the house, or who live in unstable environments may temporarily refuse food. Racing Greyhounds may eat less while training for races or immediately after a race.
Some health problems can cause dogs to stop eating. If your Greyhound suddenly becomes a picky eater, consult your veterinarian. Greyhounds are susceptible to bloat, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gases and in many cases twists. Greyhounds suffering from incipient bloat may refuse food. The breed is also prone to esophageal anomalies and bone cancer, which will cause a dog to cease eating. Dogs with food allergies may eat infrequently in an attempt to self-regulate bad reactions to food. If you notice that your dog develops diarrhea, skin and coat problems, or vomiting when fed certain foods, ask your vet to test your dog for allergies.
Healthy Diet Choices
When picky eating is caused by allergies or health problems, changing your Greyhound's diet may remedy the problem. Dogs under stress are also more likely to eat when the quality of their food improves, because they may find the food more palatable. Dogs are carnivores, and their food should be high in protein. Because Greyhounds are high-energy dogs, protein is especially important for the breed. The first ingredient listed on the label for your dog's food should be meat, not a grain such as wheat or corn. Some owners opt to feed their dogs a raw diet consisting of uncooked bones and meat. While this diet is controversial, some veterinarians endorse it, and some owners have good luck getting picky eaters to eat it. Consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog raw meat. Wash your hands after handling raw meat, and wash kitchen utensils and surfaces thoroughly to avoid bacterial contamination.
Training to Eat
Owners often inadvertently train their dogs to be finicky eaters. Avoid hand-feeding your dog or adding treats to food to persuade your Greyhound to eat, because this teaches your dog that not eating will get them attention and special treatment.
Because Greyhounds are susceptible to bloat, it is a good idea to divide the dog's ration into two or three scheduled feedings daily, with three is better than two. Feed your greyhound a normal, balanced ration at the scheduled time, and remove uneaten food after 15 minutes. Give no treats between meals, and repeat the process at the next scheduled feeding time. If it appears you have been overfeeding the dog, cut the quantity a bit. A dog who is not ill will quickly learn to eat while the food is available. A healthy, fit dog should be eager to eat at each meal.
Dogs are more likely to eat when food is not constantly available and is given to them on a regular schedule. Greyhounds who receive daily exercise burn more calories and thus are more likely to eat.
Don't stand over your greyhound at meals or scold the dog for not eating. Some dogs may not wish to start eating in their owner's presence, and scolding reinforces that tendency. You know why you're scolding; the dog doesn't. On the other hand, some dogs who receive attention, coddling, and added enticements to eat will quickly learn that not digging right in is an excellent way to get those rewards.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.