Although these suggestions may work for some greyhounds, remember that every dog has it's own personalities and physical differences. If you have a great concern over your pet's behavioral or physical problems, it is always best to consult your veterinarian.
Suggestions for Dog Beds
* You may want to stay away from foam "chips" or styrofoam peanuts as they are static magnets and a total disaster if your hound happens to chew a hole in the bed cover.
* Cedar chips or shavings can cause problems with dogs and people who are sensitive to the smell. They tend to compress rather quickly and make the beds unnecessarily heavy, as well as difficult to wash.
* Costco (or the Price Club) often have different dog beds at reasonable prices (between $20-$40).
* If you are interested in making your own, one GPAC member suggests making the cover of the dog bed with Polar Fleece and stuffing four standard pillows for inside padding (the Big Whale brand from WalMart). The cover is styled like a large overlapping envelope with the pillows tucked inside. The overlapping feature keeps the pillows from shifting and allows for easy removal for washing the outer cover. Because there aren't any zippers or Velcro, it is unlikely this sort of bed will irritate a greyhounds delicate skin
* Another GPAC member suggests egg crate foam, and if you can find it, hospital quality egg crate is ideal. You can make a bed with two layers of egg crate with regular foam in between, which will create a bed about 5" thick.
Information on Flea and Worm Medication
* Ask your veterinarian about what type of flea and / or worm medication your dog should be on. Common options are Heartgard, Revolution, Interceptor, and Sentinel. Some medications, like Sentinel, will protect your dog from fleas, heart worms, hookworms, roundworms and whip worms, where as others, such as Sentinel's counterpart, Interceptor, will protect against heart worm disease, roundworms, hookworms and whip worms, but not fleas. Heartgard protects against heart worms, roundworms and hookworms and Revolution works to protect against heart worms, fleas, mites, and American dog tick infestations. Your vet will be able to supply you with the information you need to determine which medication will work best with your dog.
Fly Repellents and Creams
* Try a tea tree oil spray for when your pup gets fly bites - it seems to help with the itch.
* Put Apple cider vinegar in an empty spray bottle and spray your pup all over but avoid his eyes. This makes for a very effective natural black fly repellent as well as being good for curing dandruff and itching. The flies may come around still but will likely not land and bite.
* Apple Cider Vinegar helps to maintain a healthy, shiny coat, works as a repellent for fleas, ticks and other insects, and alleviates hot spots. Feeding 1 -2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar along with regular food can prevent dog urine from yellowing lawns and can ease the pains of arthritis.
* Another effective bug spray for your greyhound is to mix 1/2 cup olive oil and 25 drops each of lemon grass oil and peppermint oil. This should work against both black flies and mosquitoes. Another option is to use OFF for Kids
* Be careful what you use on your greyhound's skin where he or she can lick it. Make sure that it is safe to be ingested.
* Tick-borne diseases can be misdiagnosed as other diseases. A full tick panel can determine whether a dog has a tick-borne disease.
* In Atlantic Canada, samples are sent to Prototek in Arizona by courier for analysis and generally take 2-3 weeks to determine. GPAC has held a clinic in the past so that the cost of shipping can be spread over a number of people. The cost for this type of clinic is about $115 Canadian which includes the blood collection, the Tick Titer Panel, and the courier fee (based on about 20 hounds). Tests that come back "negative" will show "0" from the Protatek facility in Arizona.
* One thing to be aware of is that if your dog has been on antibiotics or prednazone in the past 6 months, the test can be masked by these drugs, giving a negative response. It's always best to wait 6 months to take a tick titer test to be sure the test returns a reliable response.
Protecting Your Dog's Feet
An Atlantic Canada winter brings forth an abundance of salt and snow on sidewalks and roads. There are a few options you can take to protect your pup's feet.
* Winter boots will protect your dog's feet from both the cold snow and the salty roads, however, it often takes some time for your pup to get use to this additional outerwear. You may want to practice a few times in the house for him to get use to the feel and additional weight of the boots.
* A product called Invisible Boot is another option. This soft beeswax / soybean oil substance is applied onto the pads of your dog's feet and will at least protect his feet from the salt, as well as the ice and snow, to some extent. It also soothes and moisturizes the pads and is lickable due to the natural ingredients. This can be found at most pet stores.