Pet Problems Solved – Apartment pals and household companions – April is all about greyhounds

Dr Jo Righetti, Consultant animal behaviourist, has covered April is Adopt-a-greyhound month in depth on her blog. She also does a two-hour show called Talking Pets on 2UE each week. Many of her listeners also read her blog.

Pet Problems Solved likes to encourage potential pet owners to consider adopting a Greyhound and April is all about Greyhounds, as Greyhound Rescue tell us…

Sydney charity, Greyhound Rescue (GR) is again declaring April to be ‘Adopt-a-Greyhound Month’ and has over 50 dogs now in need of a loving home.

Macc, Greyhound adopted and living in a high-rise apartment

Apartment Pal

One GR greyhound called Macc got lucky with couple Nick and Jen on the 13th floor of a high rise building in Sydney. Nick and Jen adopted Macc from GR last year. They did their research about what pet would suit their lifestyle. A greyhound seemed like a good fit. They say Macc’s fantastic on the lead and ambivalent with other dogs. They’ve been amazed at how easily he’s settled in.

Like most greyhounds, Macc’s quiet and just needs two 20 minute walks a day, but like most dogs would be happy to do more. There’s been no trouble with neighbours as he doesn’t bark. Macc’s even slowed down the couple’s normal frenetic lives because they now sit down for cuddles with him, teach him recall and play hide and seek.

Interestingly, GR says male greyhounds are often overlooked as pets because they’re a bit bigger than the females, yet both genders are laidback and easy-going.

Macc with Nick and Jen

We asked Nick and Jen a few questions to test Macc’s adjustment to apartment living…

  1. Was it difficult getting permission to have Macc in your apartment?
    Not at all.
  2. How do you manage taking Macc for regular toilet breaks ?
    We take him out just before bed and he generally sleeps through the night. We give him a morning feed then take him for a 15–20 minute walk. He sleeps monitored via webcam during the day (it’s a Furbo and throws treats) and Jen’s work is not too far away.
  3. How long did it take Macc to get used to the stairs? Or the lift?
    He took to both readily
  4. Dogs can take a little while to get used to a new home. What issues did Macc have adjusting to your home?
    He can slip on the floor sometimes, so we’re considering non-slip socks or a big rug.
  5. Does Macc have any endearing or funny habits?
    We have a small car and he fits entirely across the back seat. He settles down there, all 38kg of him! We’re so pleased we found Macc.

So, if you’re living in an apartment and want a dog, a greyhound may be the way to go. Also, because it’s April, Greyhound Rescue (GR) is offering a discount until the end of the month – $250 instead of $350 per dog – which helps pay for these ex-racers to be desexed, vaccinated, heartworm tested and have a full health check.


Household companions

Meanwhile, if you live in a house with a backyard, there are two greyhounds in particular which have been living in GR’s rented kennels for over a year and need a home badly:

These two dogs are the flipside of the greyhound story and part of a minority arriving with problems which GR goes to great lengths to solve. It’s a no-kill charity run almost entirely by volunteers and started by Janet and Peter Flann from their backyard.

Janet said Zephyr had a rough start because he wasn’t socialised with humans, but now he loves the kennel volunteers. He’s fine with other dogs, but needs a kind, patient household. He also needs someone at home with him a lot, as he was left on his own too much in his prior life. So, someone who works from home or is retired would be the ideal owner for Zephyr. Unlike many greyhounds, he’s still quite active at five years, so he also needs a backyard for the occasional ‘zoomie’.

Greyhound Axel has also been in the kennels for over a year. Janet says he’s a playful eight-year-old. She says he’d suit a home without young kids as he might knock them over, but teenagers would be fine. Also, Axel needs to be an only dog because he wasn’t socialised well other animals and needs a backyard.

 

Adoption vs Fostering a Greyhound

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, you can foster then adopt, adopt straight out or become an ongoing foster carer.

Fostering means people can ‘try before they buy’. GR pays the full cost of necessary vet bills incurred when a dog is in foster, while also providing a muzzle, coat, collar and lead. Carers cover food, shelter and flea treatments and GR will help with costs if necessary.

How long a hound stays with foster carers depends on the number of adoption applications GR receives, but foster carers should be prepared to accommodate a dog for at least six months.

People become foster carers for various reasons such as they:

  • have lost a treasured pet and can’t face being an owner again
  • want the flexibility that comes with not having a pet for periods of time
  • want to help out rescue greyhounds adjust to home life

You can read about one person here who fosters for a special reason – www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/inner-west/newtown-woman-fosters-greyhounds-to-redress-familys-past-in-racing/news-story/dc05c36de780eb05a80ccc19500c4951

Foster greyhounds need simple training and carers must allow ‘meet and greets’ with adopters when the time comes. For most greyhounds, being fostered is the first time they will live as a pet, so they don’t know about household routines, stairs or beeping appliances.

Would-be foster carers don’t need to worry about the dog they’ll get to foster. GR carefully matches carers with greyhounds, while they also ensure compatibility with your family and other pets. GR’s re-homed over 1000 greyhounds since it began in 2009, with few returnees.

People who are interested in adopting or fostering should complete an application form. GR’s available greyhounds are listed here.

Muzzling Greyhounds

Finally, those interested in adopting should be aware that muzzling your pet greyhound in NSW is not needed if they obtain a Greenhound collar. Muzzle rules vary across Australia – greyhoundequality.org/laws.html  – with both the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association recommending against muzzles for pet greyhounds.

 

Read the blog here.  

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