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.

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