By Joan Martin 

Dogs, including Greyhounds, are not solely meat eaters, and require a balanced diet. At times a dog may go off its feed for any number of reasons. It could be due to heat, stress, palatability of the food or bad diet. 

Don't be alarmed unless it is prolonged. If it lasts more than a few days, consult a veterinarian. 

The best indication of a dog's general well-being is its weight and coat condition. Several factors need to be considered in deciding the best weight for any individual Greyhound. 

A highly conditioned dog will have more muscle mass, which is both denser and heavier, than the same size dog that is out of condition. Age, exercise, stress caused by both heat and cold, and general healthy all influence the best weight for an individual dog. Consult a qualified veterinarian, preferably one familiar with sighthounds, about the ideal weight of a Greyhound and try to maintain it.
A few additional tips for managing a Greyhound's weight include:

  1. Many dogs respond better to portion-controlled feeding twice a day. Smaller meals fed more frequently are generally recommended for large chested dogs that may be susceptible to bloat.
  2. Dog treats add calories. If trying to put weight on a dog, fine; but be careful the treats do not become a substitute for regular feeding. Include treats in the calory count along with all other food.
  3. Vitamin supplements may not be necessary, but they will not likely harm a dog either. The best policy is to consult a qualified veterinarian.
  4. Total caloric intake to maintain a good weight for a Greyhound will be influenced by the dog's age, the amount of regular exercise, in some areas, the time of year.
  5. A dog recovering from an injury or severe illness will need more calories than an otherwise healthy dog. 

Managing a dog's food and weight can be handled in different ways. For those interested in keeping track of calories, be sure to include ALL the food and treats given a dog, particularly the potentially high calorie "table scraps." 

The following chart shows the calories needed to maintain weight for dogs kept as pets getting moderate exercise:

weight(lbs) calories
50 1,350
57 1,482
66 1,650
88 2,112
118 2,832

A healthy Greyhound at the correct weight, will not look emaciated, but will still look sleek (and probably a tad thin to the untrained eye), said Sue Riegel, The Michigan Greyhound Quarterly.

Look for the following in a Greyhound that is "just right:"

  1. A few vertebrae visible
  2. One or two ribs showing (just slightly)
  3. Hip bones showing (just slightly)

Bear in mind these are just guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Vertebrae and ribs may disappear very quickly in some Greyhounds as they reach optimum weight, but you should be able to see just a hind of the hip bones, Riegel writes. If you can't see them at all, your dog is getting to be a little too "Well fed." If you can't even feel them, your Greyhound is becoming obese. 

From Speaking of Greyhounds, The Greyhound Project, Inc.