Saturday, 16 March 2019

2 Simple Herbs that benefit Greyhounds & Whippets

Few dogs today have the ability to select their diet. They take what we present to them, and mostly they will eat whatever they are given. Like people, when they are hungry, they will eat, and often, regardless of the content. Particularly when they know it's this or nothing at all.
Food, as we all know, benefits us and our hounds in several ways:
  • to satisfy hunger
  • to enjoy (particularly as humans) but dogs also love to enjoy food. t
  • to heal to repair and maintain tissue and body chemistry at it's optimum
  • In other words – maintain homeostasis – or equilibrium
Dogs are inherently omnivores, which means they can and and will eat a variety of foods from plant and animal sources.

You may have noticed when out walking your greyhounds and/or whippets, they will often stop and graze on grass or herbs in the hedgerows.

However, many people refuse to allow their hounds to graze in this way.
If the verge is on a busy roadside, it may not be ideal to let them graze there, as fumes and gases from traffic may have contaminated the vegetation.

But away from roads this is perfectly acceptable, and even a good thing.
There are countless beneficial herbs that help and heal, if the hound is given the option to select for him or herself.

One such herb is the Cleavers plant, often called the 'sticky plant' characterized by small sticky burrs that will stick to your clothes if you pass by them.

One of our hounds a lady in her 12th year, who makes a bee line for this plant when it is in season (March onwards in the UK). She has suffered with some spay related incontinence in the past, and this is her way of treating herself, but naturally. Who can argue with her inherent knowing that this will help her. condition?

Another easy to find and cheap herb for greyhounds and whippets is parsley. If you add a few sprigs to their evening or morning meals, it will add iron, caretenoids, and vitamins B, C* & K to their diets.
(*Dogs manufacture their own vitamins C)

As a firm believer in natural healing, I would never prevent any dog from 'browsing' the verges, providing it is clean and clear of debris. They have their own sense of what's good for their bodies, as we all do. If we listen.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Teeth Brushing for Greyhounds & Whippets

Greyhounds are not known for their bone chewing abilities, which is inherent in some breeds - who use it to their advantage. The bone gnawing process acts as a good teeth cleaning exercise removing plaque and debris, as well as massaging the gums which also adds to the health of the teeth, keeping them firm and sharp. In ancient times, dogs would naturally gnaw at raw bones after consuming the meat from the carcass after the kill.

Greyhounds should ideally have their teeth cleaned daily if possible, or at the very least weekly.  After food is eaten, food not swallowed will sit around the teeth finding a nice warm gap to nestle into, the environment is perfect for breeding fellow bacteria, helping to create tartar plaque and with it, unpleasant breath.

The next meal will dislodge the stored rubbish around the mouth and it will be sent down to the gut with the next meal, creating upset stomachs and poor digestive health. So it really is important to work on those teeth and start brushing.

How to clean a Greyhound's Teeth

It isn't advisable to go bounding up to your dog brandishing your toothbrush weapon and burst in on their mouths with gusto, expecting co-operation. Greyhounds (and many other dogs) won't be too agreeable to this approach. The best start if you're new to cleaning your dog's teeth, is ......gently.

Start with a regular human toothbrush, choosing the softest version. If you've got two dogs, male and female, choose a pink and blue, so you can distinguish one from the other when you put them away later. Here's my methods, which works.

Get ready: Ideally choose a time when the dog is lying down peacefully, after a meal or later at night when they are relaxed and dozy.

Get a pyrex type bowl 3/4 full with warm (not cold, nor hot) water. Get a towel and place it under your dog's neck.

Starting very gently, dip the toothbrush into the water and take the least intrusive area of your dog's mouth, e.g. lift the lip and very slowly introduce the soft brush to the mouth and focus brushing this one area until the hound is completely comfortable you being there. As s/he relaxes you can move a little further into the mouth and gently brush away. After a minute or two, dip the brush into the water to freshen and clean the brush and return to the teeth again. The hound will like the freshness of the clean water and helps them tolerate a bit more of the invasion.

If there is any plaque at all on the teeth, after 5-10 minutes of gentle brushing you will find this loosens, and you can either crack it off the teeth with your nail or a scaler.

Keep going as long as he will tolerate the invasion, and if s/he objects, leave it and come back to it again next day or later the same day. That way your dog will become used to this routine and will find it quite pleasing.

If you want to use a toothpaste this helps not only with breath freshening, but also the cleaning itself. Here's a simple recipe that can be made cheaply and easily at home. It can be kept for a few months.

Dog Toothpaste - Home Made - Super Simple

2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (softened slightly)
2-3 drops of Essential Peppermint oil


Mix the first two ingredients together fully, then when completely combined, add a few drops of
peppermint oil.

There is nothing harmful or unpleasant tasting for the dog, and it is simple, cheap and effective.

It can be stored in a cool dark cupboard at home in a jam jar or any sealed top jar or container.

WARNING: Please see note below.

NB: Baking Soda and Baking Powder are different

Here's a quick video explaining the difference: Click the link below.

Baking Powder Versus Baking Soda

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Greyhounds - What's good about them?

Adopting or sharing your home with a beautiful new Greyhound companion is a pleasure and a joy, as all Greyhound adopters will know. But what do we know about these dogs prior to sharing our lives with them. 
I came across a website the other day which I'd like to share. I think it sums up precisely the 'way' of these wonderful animals. Here's excerpt...
"With his quiet dignity and independence, the Greyhound is often likened to a cat.
Once past the puppy stage, he is calm and quiet indoors, moving lightly and gracefully, not toppling your lamps and fulfilling his role as couch potato quite admirably.
Though he needs a safe, enclosed area in which to sprint all-out a couple of times a week, he is built for sheer speed rather than endurance and doesn't require hours of exercise.
The fastest of all breeds (he can outrun a horse in a sprint), once he has exploded into his powerful driving gallop for a short time, he is content to sleep for the rest of the day.
This sensitive breed prefers peace and quiet and soft-spoken people. He does not do well in an environment with frequent tension or loud voices.
Most Greyhounds are politely reserved with strangers, and prefer to lean against their owner's leg rather than approaching people they don't know.
Greyhounds are peaceful with other dogs who are medium to large in size, but because of their heritage, they can be a serious chaser of cats and tiny dogs. However, many individuals can learn to coexist with these smaller pets. If you acquire your Greyhound from a Rescue League (who specialize in adoptions of ex-racing dogs), your dog will have been carefully screened for "cat compatibility."
Greyhounds are non aggressive (they tend to freeze when challenged or attacked) and they can be touch-sensitive (startling when touched unexpectedly). Because they are so docile, they must be trained with a very light hand and much more praise than correction"
Here's the rest of the article here.

Friday, 4 November 2016

A little bit of history and 'Shoebox'

A few months ago we opted in to a piece of software for saving images. It's called Shoebox, they're based in Canada, a bit like Dropbox, (which most people will be familiar with). One distinct difference about Shoebox is that they automatically send (as often, or as infrequently as you choose), an image from the past - it's pretty random - in email format. When you open the email, you never know what you're going to get (as Forrest Gump would say) and you're presented with the image they've chosen from no particular time in the past.

Today's image was from 2010, which was a bit surprising, as we'd forgotten how long it was that we'd started the Lily Peeps idea. It started from a desire to find a coat for one beautiful Greyhound. Ellie. (seen here), who was adopted from Daybreaks Kennels (Perry Barr RGT) in 2007. Her kennel name is Tully Mully Chloe from Ireland. She's as beautiful now as she was then, if not more so. An angel hound, like no other.

The first prototype coat worn by the perfect model - she'd look good in an old bath towel. :)

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Understanding Greyhounds Part Two

I'd like to introduce Mary Jane Fox who contacted us recently. 

She is an American lady who has lived in Ireland for the past 14 years. For 10 of those years she ran a Greyhound rescue called Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary. Here is a glimpse of her life with Greyhounds, and her work subsequent to the sanctuary years. 

..." I ran it like no other rescues at that time. The dogs lived in small groups and each group had their own living space. All the groups took turns having the run of 2+ grassy acres and had loads of personal attentions. I specialized in bad cases.....and there were plenty.

...."I had to stop running the sanctuary for my own health reasons, and now I am helping Greyhounds in other ways...Last year I published a book on pet greyhounds that was unlike most other Greyhound books out there. It is called Understanding Greyhounds. Our Companions through the Ages (available on Amazon) 

...." In recent months as I see more and more Greyhounds getting adopted, living in towns and cities, I have seen that many do not have sufficient support from the rescue centres they come from. So, I decided to work on a second book on Greyhounds as Pets, specifically for people living in urban areas. I have written a whole chapter on weather and coating and wanted to add some information about weather and coating and House Coats & Pyjamas. " I still do some rescue work with Greyhounds by finding special homes for those difficult backgrounds. I take in one very poor case at a time"

Here is an excerpt from Mary Jane's book Understanding Greyhounds, Our Companions Through the Ages.

Nowadays, more and more people living in urban environments are increasingly adopting greyhounds and other sight hounds as pets. Although all kinds of dogs live successfully in urban areas, there are some important behavioural and physiological differences that new greyhound owners should be aware of. This book offers a wide range of practical tips and advice to help pave the way towards a more enjoyable and fulfilling human-canine relationship, and it follows on from a previous book, Understanding Greyhounds: Our Companions Through the Ages. Both are available through Amazon. 

To find out more about Mary Jane, visit her Facebook page here 

Here is the cover from each book. 
Could this be the ideal Christmas present for a new adopter? You decide. 

PS: We are NOT affiliated to the books and derive no income from their promotion 
We are merely spreading the word of a fellow hero for Greyhounds, & devoted lover of our wonderful greyhound friends. Take a look at Mary Jane's Facebook page, and drop her message, she would love to hear from you!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Understanding Greyhounds Part One

Most of us who are lucky enough to have a hound or two in their lives will begin to know and understand their beautiful companions fairly quickly. Most adopted greyhounds like the simple life. An early morning constitutional, followed by their favourite breakfast, closely followed by a long rest (ideally upside down on your favourite sofa). An afternoon walk, dinner, then more rest.

In between these very important events, fuss, cuddles and conversations with their adopters is a must. Your job is fairly simple as their adopter. Keep to the schedules (they know the time of day to the minute without clocks/watches), and woe betide you if you're late with walks & food times.

There are a few other tasks we should perform on a regular basis, including brushing - this helps stimulate the lymphatic system and blood-flow (after all that resting it's a good thing for their bodies). Teeth cleaning is really really important. Most greyhounds are unable to eat 'bones' that other breeds can happily chew on, which cleans their teeth beautifully - so we need to step in and take over the bone job for them. I use a scaler, and a soft toothbrush. If you've never done it before, introduce the concept slowly - as they'll spit out, resist, and generally be very uncooperative. After a few attempts they will consign themselves to the 'ordeal' and just let you do a tidy up in the mouth.

Sometimes the tartar builds up and becomes almost like a shield or another layer of hard substance on their teeth - particularly at the back where it's difficult to see. A soft toothbrush from the local chemist, a bowl of water beside you and an agreeable hound is the place to start. There'll be some huffing and puffing and resistance to start with, but persevere and do the bits you can get to, and as you soft-brush, you'll loosen the tartar (if there is any present) and you can pull it off with your nail.

If you think about it, the amount of food debris that sits in a nice warm environment at the back of the mouth is a wonderful invitation to bacteria. This bacteria then waits for the next meal to come along, and is swallowed down into the hound. This build of waste food continues to layer on the teeth. If the debris is not removed, it will eventually rot the tooth (or teeth) causing great pain, and eventually loosen the tooth which falls out. I don't know about you, but I know the pain of toothache, and would not wish that on any hound or anyone.

One thing to add. If you adopt an older hound with bad teeth, just start the process of cleaning. It IS worth it, and will save their system being poisoned, and prevent any future discomfort from tooth problems down the line. There is a great feeling of satisfaction when you finally remove a great chunk of tartar. It's really does come away if you beaver away at it. It also helps to keep the breath nice and fresh too of course.

Part Two - is on a slightly different theme, and relates to a book written by a friend from Ireland. I will be posting about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Autumn is on it's way

The leaves are beginning to fall, and the nights are drawing in. Heating is now going on early evening...and staying on mostly. Mornings are now fresher and cooler, and coats are coming out for our hounds who feel the temperature change with their bald chests and tums!

So now is an ideal time to provide your hound with a nice warm winter coat from our collection! We have some lovely coats to choose from - double layer fleece coats in a large choice of colours that you can choose from our swatch page, or, if you want something waterproof (and ours are 100% waterproof) you can choose a Classic coat or the Chi Chi version which has a stylish vented 'bib' under the snood with a chest piece beneath. Either coat style can be fleece or cotton lined. Up to you. They are elegant smart and functional.

We use top of the range raincoat fabric (according to our supplier it is their best fabric - and they have a LOT of waterproof fabric), All our coats are washable at 40 degrees. The double fleece coats dry in no time, and the raincoats are not far behind though they must not be put in a tumble dryer.

If you're after a house coat or pajamas, I think you will like our version. They are very handsome and smart. They are fleece top, with a cotton lining, of your choice from our swatch page. All have a chest cover. There is attractive vent over the rump, which looks so cute as they trot around the house, and each one is trimmed with ribbon to match the fabric colour.  They are fastened over the back with twin ties - which are soft and do not impede comfort,

Check out the coats on the website and if you need help with anything, drop us an email either via the contact page or directly to

We're going to be talking about black hounds next, so check us out if you have time within the next few days.

Thanks for visiting!