One of many retired Grehounds adoption NZ dogs with his owner

Retired Greyhounds Adoption in NZ


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Did you know New Zealand is one of only seven countries in the world that still allows greyhound racing? As you can imagine, this means there are several retired greyhounds adoption NZ programs. All of them are full of friendly ex-racer greyhound dogs needing to be rehomed – perhaps your next pet is there, waiting for your arms?

Like human athletes, a greyhound’s sporting career is short-lived and ends once they’re out of their prime. Most retire when they’re between two to four years old, which is very young! Once these kind-hearted hounds retire, they’re forced to find a new career path, ideally as the companion animal of a loving owner. Maybe you?

If like many others you thought these guys need lots of exercise, we’re here to break this myth wide open. Find out why this isn’t true and bunch more facts, right here…

Exercise for retired greyhounds up for adoption in NZ?

Because greyhounds run fast, it’s a popular misconception they love and need lots of exercise. In fact, these guys love nothing more than long naps, soft toys and indoor living.

Sure, they’re capable of short bursts of really fast sprinting, but that’s about it. That said, if you’re the sporty type, they’ll enjoy adapting to doing more exercise with you.

Greyhounds need between 30 and 60 mins of daily exercise and would prefer good fast runs over a long stroll. After one or two of these they’ll happily curl up under a blanky for the remainder of the day.

A retired Grehound adoption NZ dog lies on a sofa

Retired greyhounds as pets

Greyhounds are perfect indoor dogs and can easily enjoy apartment life. They have very short fur that barely sheds and, as a result, they get cold just like we do. Their minimal body fat makes them really sensitive to extreme chill or heat so winter warmers like dog jackets, jerseys and blankets are a must-have.

You’ll also be surprised to learn about these guys’ love of toys… Their rooms have been compared to “a little girl’s room” with many favourite fluffy toys!

Not only are they gentle, sweet and intelligent, they’re also clean and quiet – fairly novel for a dog. They are wonderful pets for singles and families. Plus, if you aren’t big on toilet training your puppy, a retired greyhound will have had basic training already.

In terms of other pets, they tend to get on with dogs but aren’t always keen on cats. This is probably because they’ve been bred to dash off after small animals. This is why you should never let them off-leash around small animals. Having said that, every greyhound is his or her own person so some will love cats.

Also, even though your greyhound might like their own cat sibling this won’t automatically endear them to the neighbour’s cat.

this pup was rehomed through retired greyhounds adoption NZ programs

Why consider retired greyhounds adoption in NZ?

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet, you really should consider a greyhound. They’re generally still very young when they stop racing, so you can have a long and loving companionship.

There are many retired greyhounds adoption NZ programs. Most will facilitate each greyhound’s transition from racer to companion animal. Often this will include training, health checks and family checks. This means they look for the perfect greyhound personality to match your family.

Here are some organisations working on retired greyhounds adoption in NZ (and you can Google more):

Watch this video that shares a success story from the retired greyhounds adoption NZ program run by Greyhounds as Pets:

Greyhound key facts and stats

A greyhound can run as fast as 72 km/h. You don’t want them dashing after someone’s cat, or into the street where there’s traffic. It’s very important to teach your dog good recall for situations like this and to keep them on a lead. If you’d like to rescue a dog from one of the retired greyhounds adoption NZ programs, read ‘bringing home an adopted dog‘ before you do.

Greyhounds have a small head-to-neck ratio making it easy for them to slip out of regular dog collars. Martingale collars are designed to prevent this and keep greyhounds comfortable and safe, so always choose this kind.

Here are some more greyhound facts:

Life span10–14 years
HeightMales71 to 76 cm
Females68 to 71 cm
WeightMales27 to 40 kg
Females25 to 34 kg
CoatShortLow shedding
ColoursRed, blue, brindle, white, brindle, black
(alone or in combination)
30 variations

Speaking of hounds, also learn about the Basset Hound dog breed.

a dog from the retired greyhounds adoption nz programs wears a jacket

Greyhound health issues

Greyhounds are considered to be one of the healthiest purebred dogs. They’ve been bred from a fairly large gene pool to keep them healthy and strong for racing, and as a result aren’t likely to have hereditary issues.

It’s advisable to find a vet that’s familiar with this breed as greyhounds can be sensitive to medicines other dogs aren’t. For example, they’re sensitive to some chemicals like tick and flea medicines. Have your vet recommend one that won’t cause irritation or allergies.

These guys are naturally lean and can get skin sores if they sleep on the bare ground. They’re designed to have soft bedding to keep in good shape. A furry-tale dog if ever there was one.

Pet insurance for a soft landing

Greyhounds need soft beds and a soft landing for all the expected and unforeseen. Dog insurance gives you all this: it helps cover health costs, is easy to use and fast to access. Our pet insurance plans can cover a large range of issues, from non-routine vet visits and medication to hospitalisation and dental.

Read our FAQ to find out everything you need to know about getting your pet insurance.

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