I have often been asked what you should feed a racing greyhound so have decided to answer that question as best I know right here.
Most people who either own and or train greyhounds have a certain opinion on greyhound feeding.
This blog post is certainly not intended to advise you on what is best for your greyhounds and as usual when in doubt seek advise from an expert such as a feeding consultant.
The main thing with greyhounds is balance.
For example it is common practice in greyhound feeding to get a good balance of carbohydrates (bread, rice, weetbix etc), fat, proteins, essential oils, vitamins and minerals.
The idea based on macro nutrient intake is that a greyhound should eat around about 10% fat and 25% – 30% protein, which leaves the rest for carb’s veggies and of course supplements.
There is a lot of information online regarding what to feed and what not to feed greyhounds. The main point I believe is to do two things:
1. Feed the greyhound what it needs to be fit, healthy and happy. We all know a happy greyhound is a winning greyhound!
2. Feed what winners have been fed. Look at the top trainers, watch their videos, listen to their interviews and any tips hints or tricks that they give away, be sure to take it on board. The idea being ‘modelling’ if you want to have a winning dog, it might be a good idead to model other winning dogs.
A regular greyhounds feeding program might look something like this:
Feed #1 (Breakfast or early feed)
- Carbs such as weetbix x 2, toast x 2 or 1 x cup of boiled rice.
- Additional fat by way of vegetable oil, margerine or pig fat.
- B-vitamins (for energy) such as Vegemite and even honey. Honey is actually a bit of a secret in the industry, some people think dog’s cant have honey when in actual fact dogs can eat honey and it’s great for them!
- Supplements and vitamins such as a multi vitamin and mineral supplement and a calcium powder or tablet.
Feed #1 (Breakfast or early feed) Option #2
- 1 x Cup of high quality kibble (high protein)
- 1 x Cup of water
- 100 grams chicken or pig liver or alternatively 1 raw egg
- Supplements if required such as above
Feed #1 (Breakfast or early feed) Option #3
- 1 x Cup of high quality kibble (low protein, high fat)
- 1 c Cup of water
- Supplements if required such as above
Please note that winning trainers have been known to go for the first option where they will feed bread, weetbix or rice. We can speculate why but the general consensus is that it is a higher and richer source of carbohydrate energy as compared with kibble as the kibble has usually been put through more processing which kills of most of the nutrients and because of cost.
Feed #2 (Afternoon feed or dinner)
- 500 gram – 750 grams of cooked or raw meat. Good mix of fats v proteins. Be very careful as some meats are actually much higher in one or the other for example if you are buying chopped and minced chicken, lamb or pork it’s likely it may be very high in fat and lower in protein or if you are buying kangaroo it may be much higher in protein with almost no fat remember the value we gave above. If the meat is too lean throw a raw egg in or alternatively some pig fat (lard) or vegetable oil.
- 2 x cup of vegetables cooked or raw. Make sure there is not too much corn as your dog will not be able to break it down and it is therefore non essential and only used as a wasted filler. Go for frozen veggies as its usually cheaper. Anything green such as peas, string beans and broccoli is excellent as it contains lots of B-vitamins, carrots are good, spinach is OK and so are cauliflower. You should avoid Apple seed, avocado, potatoes and onions. A tiny amount of garlic is good but not too much.
- 1-2 cups of kibble or 1-2 slices toast bread or 1 cup of cooked rice.
- Calcium powder or tablet.
- Omega 3 fish oil. This is a must, its great for their joints, skin, coat, eyes etc.
- Electrolytes if required, usually in the hotter months or if the dog has had a spate of sickness.
- Vitamin C again only if required.
- Iron supplements.
Cooked or raw meat?
This debate has raged in communities of both owners of working dogs and racing dogs as well as pet owners. Here is my personal opinion; I believe that if you cook meat you take the nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of it. To the point where the more you cook it the more the meat is depleted of these essentials.
This is not up for debate, this is a scientific fact. However just the same as cooking will kill of nutrients it also kills off bacteria and hence the reason some people prefer to play it safe.
One other fact must also be taken into account and that is that dogs have a higher acid content to their guts and intestinal tracts which render the bacteria harmless.
I have never read nor heard of salmonella poisoning in canines. If someone can find me an article please submit it in the comments section as it would be a first for me to read. Here is a great article from the Canadian National Library of Medicine.
The way I see it dogs where intended to eat raw meat and until they evolve and can cook their own meat I think they should eat it raw It may sound comical, but that’s just the way I see it. And of course there are are risks to feeding raw, but this is an area where a vet or specialist needs to talk to you about your dogs needs.
Supplements, vitamins, minerals, oils and enzymes
Greyhound owners and trainers are well known for supplementing their dogs diet.
I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts of supplements as I believe all greyhounds where not created equal and while some may absorb and use certain chemical or minerals up others wont. It’s no different to humans.
I think the critical thing when it comes to greyhounds is to get a consultation for a VET or a feeding consultant.
In saying all this I do strongly believe in supplements.
Feed your greyhound good quality food, remember you are looking for wins and winners eat good food. If you don’t know whats in the food, ask. Its as simple as that. You can buy good quality kibbles and meats from most places in Australia and if you don’t have a specialist that sells greyhound feed in your area then head down to the local butcher and get him to make you something up.
Some further reading can be found here: