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How Long Do Greyhounds Live?

How Long Do Greyhounds Live?

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When you bring a dog into your life, you want them to be around for as long as possible, but every breed has a different expected lifespan. If you’re looking to raise a Greyhound, you will want to know, how long do Greyhound live?

Greyhounds have quite a long lifespan for a larger dog, and most can be expected to live for between 10 and 14 years. There are many things that can affect how long a dog will live, including their lifestyle, unexpected illnesses, and hereditary diseases, so exected lifespans are always an estimate and some Greyhounds can live for much longer than the average.

Knowing how long you can expect your Greyhound to be with you is a great way to make sure that you are prepared for their future. This article will go into detail about the life expectancy of these incredible dogs, including the factors that might affect how long they live, so that you can be prepared to love your dog for as many years as possible

How Long Do Greyhounds Live on Average?

The question of how long any animal lives is a complicated one because it is far from an exact science, even when you are talking about life expectancy for specific breeds. An average life expectancy can help you to get some idea of how long your pet will live, but each individual will have a different body with different genetics and have different experiences throughout their life.

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Greyhounds have an average lifespan of between 10 and 14 years, meaning most healthy dogs will reach this age. Some Greyhounds will be around for many years more, and some, unfortunately, don’t survive as long if they face health problems or other complications.

10 to 14 years is a relatively long lifespan when compared to some other breeds, particularly considering that Greyhounds are considered “large” dogs and have faced a lot of selective breeding over the years.

How Long Do Sighthounds Live?

Greyhounds are part of a group of breeds known as Sighthounds, which were primarily bred to hunt with sight and speed rather than by scent of endurance. There are many different breeds that are very similar to the Greyhound, and each has a slightly different life expectancy.

  • Greyhound: 10 – 14 Years
  • Italian Greyhound: 12 – 15 Years
  • Whippet: 12 – 15 Years
  • Saluki: 12 – 14 Years
  • Afghan Hound: 13 – 17 Years
  • Irish Wolfhound: 6 – 10 Years
  • Borzoi: 7 – 10 Years
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Amongst the Sighthounds, the life expectancy of Greyhounds is relatively average but quite high for their size. These dogs often have large hearts and very efficient lungs, and their bodies are athletic and flexible, which are big benefits when moving into old age.

What Affects How Long Greyhounds Live For?

There are many factors that will affect the life expectancy of a Greyhound, and most of these are to do with their overall health. When raising a Greyhound, being aware of what might influence how long they live can help you to give your dog as much time as possible.

Exercise

Staying fit and healthy is important for any animal and studies have shown that overweight dogs live for an average of 2.5 fewer years than dogs that are a healthy weight. While Greyhounds are known for being quite lazy most of the time, they do have slim bodies that need to be regularly exercised to avoid weight gain and maintain cardiovascular health.

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It is no secret that Greyhound love to sprint, so short bursts of vigorous exercise are usually best for these slender animals. They should be getting out for at least an hour of exercise every day, which should also be supplemented by physical and mental stimulation in the home.

A well-exercised Greyhound will be relaxed and sleepy, so make sure that you are helping them to burn off their energy. Regular exercise will keep their joints strong and flexible, keep them mentally healthy and keep their hearts strong, as well as keep off the pounds.

Diet

A healthy, well-balanced diet is vital for all aspects of a dog’s wellbeing and will help to make sure that your Greyhound is feeling good and staying fit. Nutritious and well-formulated dog food is often more expensive because it is not packed with filler ingredients, additives, or excess fats and sugars.

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Greyhounds should be eating between 250 and 300 grams of meat per day, alongside healthy vegetables, fish oils for Omega 3, and dry food. There are many different dog food formulas out there that are specifically designed for Greyhounds and their needs.

Extra food throughout the day, like treats and snacks, can make have a big impact on your pet’s health, so make sure that you are monitoring them carefully. Greyhounds need to stay slim and sleek, and they are prone to digestive problems. Some foods are unhealthy or dangerous for Greyhounds to eat, so you need to make sure that you are avoiding things like:

  • Dairy Products.
  • Sugary Foods.
  • Caffeine.
  • Food with stones, like avocados and certain fruits.
  • Fat or excessively fatty foods.
  • Chocolate, Macadamia Nuts, and Raw Potatoes. These can be toxic or even fatal to dogs, so should be carefully avoided.
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Genetic Health

When you take lifestyle and unexpected problems out of the picture, most dogs will get their lifespan directly from their genetics. Most genetic health problems come from unethical breeding practices that encourage inbreeding and selective breeding for profit. In general, purebred dogs are more at risk of suffering from hereditary illnesses than other dogs. 

Greyhounds are genetically predisposed to suffer from:

  • Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma)
  • Gastric Torsion (Bloat)
  • Joint Disease (Osteochondritis)
  • Arthritis
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Epilepsy

Though these issues are more common among Greyhounds than other breeds, they are far from inevitable, and most can be managed with the right treatment and some lifestyle adjustments. It is really important that you pay close attention to your dog’s health and are in regular communication with your vet, no matter what breed they are.

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Just as with humans, cancer is a leading cause of death among elderly dogs, and Greyhounds are susceptible to bone cancer in particular. Early detection will give your dog a lot more time and a much better outlook, so paying attention to the signs is important. Limping, lameness, or unexpected leg pain can be indicators of bone cancer and should be looked into as soon as possible.

Illness

Sickness, like infections, viruses, or diseases, can happen to any animal so you should always be ready to call the vet if something is wrong. No matter how hard you try, you can’t protect your dog from everything, but you can be prepared and proactive. 

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Make sure that your dog is always up to date with their vaccinations and is living a healthy lifestyle so that they have a strong immune system. You should always follow your vet’s advice to give your dog the best chance at a healthy life.

How Long Do Retired Greyhounds Live For?

You might think that an ex-racing Greyhound will have led a hard life and perhaps be more vulnerable and have fewer years left to live, but that is not the case. Most retired racers have been kept active and had their health and wellbeing carefully monitored, so you can expect them to live as long as any other Greyhound, if not longer.

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The practice of racing Greyhounds is very questionable, and many dogs have suffered due to this industry over the years. Because of the racing industry, a lot of Greyhounds find themselves in need of loving homes at an older age and these dogs are generally healthy with a lot of happy years ahead of them.

Adopting a Greyhound, as a puppy or as an older dog, is a very rewarding experience and you will often have a better idea of the health and wellbeing of these dogs compared to buying from a breeder.

How Do You Care for an Older Greyhound?

When any dog gets older, their needs will change, and a senior Greyhound may need a bit more care and attention than a younger dog. 

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Joint supplements can help to prevent stiffness and reduce the effects of arthritis, and you may even be recommended prescription medications from a vet to reduce inflammation. To prevent dietary problems, you should take extra care over the nutrition of an older dog and potentially change their food to suit their changing needs. Senior Greyhounds may seem tired, but make sure that are staying fit and active.

You should pay close attention to the behavior and health of an older dog, and they should be visiting the vet at least every 6 months. Senior Greyhounds should be having routine lab tests and screens for diseases so that any issues are caught as early as possible.

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The Verdict: How Long Do Greyhounds Live?

So, how long do Greyhounds live? You can expect your Greyhound to live for around 10 to 14 years, but some may live for much longer.

The genetic health of your dog will usually determine how long they will live, but there are a lot of things that you can do to make sure that they live for as many years as possible. A healthy diet and an active lifestyle will keep your Greyhound fitter for longer, and preventative care and the right medical treatment can address any unfortunate ailments.

Greyhounds are dogs that can be around for many years, and their presence is a gift that keeps on giving. These dogs are a blessing, and it is our responsibility to make sure that they are happy and healthy for as long as they can be.

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