Water is the source of life
All dogs should have unrestricted access to fresh, clean water at all times. The water should be topped up throughout the day and should be completely refreshed at least once a day. The water bowl should also be washed regularly – even if it doesn’t look dirty bacteria still builds up.
Your Italian Greyhound should have its own feeding bowl. Many Italian Greyhound owners use raised feeding bowls which creates a more comfortable eating position for this long-legged breed. Stooping down to a bowl on the floor can lead to them gulping down air with their food which can cause tummy problems. Raised bowls are commonly available from pet stores – aim for one which is approximately 8″ off the ground, or simply place your Italian Greyhound’s bowl on top of a small box or container!
Italian Greyhounds in general don’t have any particular dietary needs beyond a good quality, balanced ‘complete’ dog food. Unless you have particular knowledge of dog nutrition it is best to stick to feeding complete foods rather than trying to ‘make it up’ with bits of this and bits of that as it’s unlikely you will cover all of your dog’s nutritional needs.
A good start point is what your breeder feeds their Italian Greyhounds. And if you do decide to change the food type then introduce the new feed gradually over time – seek advice from your vet on how best to do this as sudden changes in diet can lead to digestive problems for any dog.
Most Italian Greyhound owners feed their Italian Greyhounds twice a day – once in the morning and once in the early evening.
Never exercise your dog immediately after feeding – always wait at least an hour before setting off on a walk after your Italian Greyhound has eaten.
Most Italian Greyhounds are greedy guzzlers despite their skinny appearance! Like most dogs they enjoy treats but treats should be given occasionally as opposed to becoming part of the regular feeding routine throughout the day.
If you are training your dog then it may be that they are receiving a large number of treats – make sure you deduct this as “food” from their normal food allowance.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Italian Greyhounds are built to be lean and well-muscled. It is really important that you help your dog maintain a healthy weight – neither overly thin or obese.
As a general rule you should just be able to see the pin bones on the rear of your Italian Greyhound, and the ribs should be lightly covered.
If your Italian Greyhound is very thin and you have problems getting them to eat, or if your dog is obese and needs to lose weight, contact your vet for advice as it is always worth checking whether or not there are any other health issues lurking.