- Most greyhounds average about 19% body fat, whereas most other dogs average about 35% body fat. This classifies greyhounds as "special needs" dogs.
- Because greyhounds have less body fat, in addition to thin skin and extremely short coats, they cannot self-regulate their body temperatures; i.e., their body temps do not adapt well to extreme temperatures - neither heat nor cold. While some dogs can tolerate long periods of 40 degree or 80 degree temps, greyhounds cannot. Heatstroke easily affects greyhounds; they will easily freeze to death in winter weather, regardless if you stuff a dog house with hay and blankets. Dog houses are not for greyhounds.
- Also due to the greyhounds' low ratio of body fat, they metabolize anesthesia and medications differently than other dogs: their bodies are more sensitive and absorb it more readily. Be sure that you take your greyhounds to a vet very familiar with that breed; not all vets understand the special needs of a greyhound.
- Lastly, because greyhounds have such thin skins and low body fat, chemicals are also more easily absorbed through their skins and, again, metabolized differently than by other dogs. Giving a greyhound a flea or tick bath will probably throw the dog into convulsions or kill it. Flea collars will render the same results, as will many dog shampoos. What to do? Use a gentle oatmeal soap for shampoo or baths. See your vet if concerned about fleas.
detroit dog's advice: Do not leave your greyhound outdoors for extended periods of time, in either cold or heat. If you are concerned about your dog wreaking havoc indoors while you are away for a few hours, crate train them (most former racing greyhounds are very accepting of crates; they are a familiar part of life). Be sure your vet and your dog groomer are well aware of the special needs of greyhounds.