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    Nutrition for a Competitive Greyhound (Part 1)
Nutrition for a Competitive Greyhound (Part 1)
The Best Diet for a Healthy Greyhound. Source:Greyhound Racing History

Nutrition for a Competitive Greyhound (Part 1)

For Greyhounds participating in an arduous race, a diet rich in high-quality protein, vegetables, and moderate carbohydrates is crucial. The meal amount should align with the dog's mass, typically between 2-2.5% of their body mass. Adjustments might be necessary based on the dog's health, activity level, and overall energy consumption.

Components of a Balanced Nutrition

To maintain the best well-being and performance, a Greyhound's nutrition should be adjusted with:

- Best Protein Sources: Predominantly from meat sources like lamb, chicken, beef, or fish, constituting 50-65% of the diet.

- Vegetables and Fruits: Including items such as apples, carrots, broccoli, and peas, making up about 20-30% of the diet for fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

- Carbohydrates: Small amounts (10-20%) from whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, or sweet potatoes.

Meal Quantity and Adjustment Factors

The necessary quantity of food for a Greyhound is proportional to its weight, generally about 2-2.5% of their body weight daily. However, this can vary with age, lifestyle, and energy output. For instance, variations in weight or fur quality might indicate the need for dietary adjustments.

Pet Meal Quantity. Source: Schertz Animal Hospital
Pet Meal Quantity. Source: Schertz Animal Hospital

Monitoring and Adjusting the Diet

Adjusting a Greyhound's diet is crucial based on their behaviour and health. Regular weight checks can help determine if the food intake meets their energy needs. A dull coat or skin issues might suggest nutrient deficiencies, possibly necessitating more fatty acids. Energy levels should also be monitored, as lethargy may require increased protein or carbohydrates.

During training or competition seasons, Greyhounds might need dietary changes to match their higher energy needs. 

- Increased Caloric Intake: Adding more servings or high-calorie foods.

- Higher Protein: For muscle repair, increasing meat or adding supplements.

- High-Energy Snacks: Quick energy sources like bananas or rice cakes before events.

Feeding Schedule and Hydration

To optimise digestion and energy use, Greyhounds should have a specific feeding schedule, typically involving two meals per day.

- Regular Timings: Consistent feeding times improve digestion and energy management.

- Pre-training Meals: Feed at least 2-4 hours before training to ensure full digestion.

- Post-training Meals: High in protein, provided within 30 minutes post-exercise for muscle recovery.

Adequate hydration is as vital as a balanced diet. Greyhounds need at least an ounce of water per pound of body weight, with increased intake during hot weather or intense training. Ensuring water availability before and after workouts helps maintain hydration and recovery.

Pet Food. Source: Darwin's Pet Food
Pet Food. Source: Darwin's Pet Food

Supplement Intake for Enhanced Health

Certain supplements can be beneficial for competitive Greyhounds but should be administered under professional guidance.

- Glucosamine and Chondroitin: For joint health, especially in older dogs.

- Omega-3: Abundant fatty acids for skin, coat health, and cognitive function.

- Multivitamins: To cover any nutritional gaps.

Understanding and regularly evaluating a Greyhound's dietary requirements ensures they receive proper nutrition for optimal health and performance. Regular consultations with a vet or canine nutritionist are essential for creating a personalised diet plan tailored to the dog’s specific needs, including health status, age, weight, and activity level.

Greyhound. Source: Hypro Premium
Greyhound. Source: Hypro Premium

Individual Feeding for Greyhounds

Establishing distinct eating patterns for greyhounds is essential, particularly when two dogs share a kennel. Joint feeding can result in conflicts and makes it difficult to monitor each dog's food consumption accurately.

Placement of Food Bowls

To implement separate feeding areas, position one bowl outside the kennel and allow one dog to eat there while the other remains inside with its bowl. This setup is critical for maintaining distinct feeding zones.

Establishing Feeding Routines

With patience and commitment, dogs adapt to their feeding areas. Once a greyhound becomes accustomed to eating outside the kennel, it typically transitions to this routine without issues.

Introducing New Dogs

When introducing a new greyhound to the feeding territories, using a lead can be helpful. This approach allows for calmly guiding the dog out of the kennel and directing it to its food bowl.

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