Do Greyhounds Shed: Are They Hypoallergenic & Much More

Greyhound’s come in different colors, from single, bi-color, tri-color, and brindle, but they all have a unique, easy-to-handle coat.

Their fur is no more than a few centimeters long and is even shorter around their heads, chests, and feet, making grooming easy and keeping your carpets and furniture relatively shed-free.

So, Do Greyhounds Shed? Like most dogs, greyhounds do shed. However, due to their coat length and thickness, their shedding is very manageable.

They don’t have an undercoat, which is usually the layer that keeps a dog warm, meaning there’s only half as much fur to lose compared to fluffier breeds.

What Are The Benefits Of A Greyhound Coat?

What Are The Benefits Of A Greyhound Coat

Besides minor shedding compared to other dog breeds, a greyhound’s coat has many advantages both to you and them. 

Grooming

The good news is their coat is easy to manage. Grooming them a few times a week with a soft brush will ensure that the coat stays shiny and healthy without covering you in excess fur. 

Smell

When you enter some dog owners’ homes, the first thing you notice is “dog smell”. This smell is usually created from the saliva in dogs that drool and from the dead skin in dog’s coats if they aren’t kept in excellent condition. 

Greyhounds’ short fur means that they don’t smell too much, if at all. If you keep up to date with grooming, no one will even notice you have a dog until they see it.

Racing

Greyhound’s fur type is essential to their job. They were bred initially for hunting, meaning they had to be fast to catch prey.

But, more recently, they’re bred for racing, using that same chase instinct to encourage them around the racecourse. 

Their coat type is specifically designed not only to keep them cool while they’re running but also to make them more aerodynamic, shaving those precious few milliseconds of their racing time. 

Minimal Maintenance

Lucky for you, greyhounds don’t need much coat maintenance at all.

If you keep up to date with brushing every few days, they’ll only actually need to go to a professional groomer around once every three months. This is great if you have a busy schedule and will save you a lot of money. 

The fact that greyhounds also groom themselves in between your care also leaves most greyhound parents shocked at how little time they need to spend on caring for their greyhound’s coat. 

Saves Your Furniture

If you brush your greyhound regularly, you’ll hardly notice any fur on your furniture at all, leaving you with minimal mess to clean up. 

No Mud

It’s great for your dog to have fun while they’re out on a walk. But in the winter months, longer-haired dogs will come back home caked in mud.

Greyhounds, however, don’t have this issue. Because their short coat is covered in natural oils, dirt tends to simply slide off of them.

You’ll need to brush off any remnants with a soft brush when they’re dry, and they’re back to normal again.

Fleas

There’s nowhere to hide for fleas, so it’s not often that you’ll see a greyhound with any fleas or mites at all.

If you start noticing creepy crawlies in your greyhound’s fur though, they should be easy to get rid of because of how short the fur is. 

You should always remove fleas with flea shampoo and never use a flea collar on a greyhound. Their skin is sensitive to chemicals, and it could cause an allergic reaction. 

Are Greyhounds Hypoallergenic? 

Are Greyhounds Hypoallergenic

The standard greyhound isn’t hypoallergenic. However, as they don’t shed too much and their coat is relatively thin and manageable, they are still a feasible pet for someone with allergies if they’re managed well. 

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the actual fur that causes allergies; it’s usually the dead skin cells that come off the dog’s skin, just like our dandruff.

Because greyhounds have such short fur, it’s easy to remove any dead skin cells on an initial brush, meaning they aren’t left floating around your home.

Greyhounds are also known for wanting to keep their own coats clean and tidy. They need to thin out their coat regularly, as it’s vital to their hunting techniques, so they have an instinct to groom themselves. 

This means that you’ll often not notice any difference between them and a hypoallergenic dog as their fur is constantly maintained.

Why Do Greyhounds Need To Shed?

Like all animals, greyhounds need to shed the top layer of their coat to keep it fresh and healthy, just like we continuously lose the top layer of our skin. 

The fur forms the protective barrier between your greyhound and the outside world.

They need it to be strong and healthy at all times to defend against infection, extreme temperatures, insect bites, and other injuries. 

What Does It Mean If Your Greyhound Is Shedding A Lot

What Does It Mean If Your Greyhound Is Shedding A Lot

It would help if you always kept a close eye on the amount of fur that your greyhound sheds. Excessive shedding could mean that there’s a deeper problem.

If you notice more shedding than expected and you’re confident it’s not due to a seasonal change, you should look out for other strange behaviors to help diagnose the issue. 

Stress

Greyhounds are prone to anxiety, especially if they’re left alone for long periods. (Check out my full post about it).

If you notice increased shedding along with whining, barking, peeing in the house, or destructive behavior, you may need to rethink your schedule to spend some more time with them.

Crate training can also help significantly with the reduction of stress in greyhounds. They like small spaces as they don’t feel as responsible for protecting the whole house. 

Heat

If it’s not due to summer heat, your greyhound could be losing their coat because the temperature in your home is too much for them. Try turning down the thermostat to see if that makes a difference. 

Diet

Greyhounds need a diet rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins A and C. These help protect the normal function of blood cells and aid the regeneration process.

If their diet isn’t providing everything they need, the fur will be the first thing to go to allow the inner organs to preserve what they can. Switch up their diet to better-quality dog food. 

Hereditary Trait

Depending on breeding, some greyhounds do just shed more. If it’s a condition they were born with, there’s not a great deal you can do to help.

You’ll need to stay on top of it with regular grooming. Make sure you always buy your greyhound from a reputable breeder who has all the correct papers. 

Age

Sadly, as all dogs get older, their fur will start to thin out a little. This is because their skin cells aren’t as healthy, and the fur falls out more easily.

Using a good quality shampoo can help with this, but it’s just part of the natural aging process. 

Kidney/Liver Failure

If your greyhound’s body can’t process the vitamins and nutrients properly, then the fur condition will deteriorate.

It’s worth a trip to the vet to see if there’s a more extensive medical issue than can be dealt with using medication. 

Cancers

Skin cancer can be common in greyhounds due to their delicate skin and exposure to the elements. Cancers can also be hereditary.

If your greyhound has some cancerous cells, the fur around them may start to fall out, leaving their skin looking patchy. Take them to the vet immediately for a diagnosis. 

Important Things To Know About Greyhound Coats

Important Things To Know About Greyhound Coats

Seasonal Shedding

Although greyhounds aren’t known for their shedding, they do have seasonal changes in their coat type. Like all animals, they need a slightly thicker coat in the winter months, where you’ll see a reduced amount of fur.

However, in the summer months, you’ll notice more fur on your carpets or furniture as they lose their winter coat to cool themselves down. 

Equally, in the fall, there will be  increased shedding as your greyhound bulks up their coat for the cold weather, losing their thin summer fluff. 

Temperature Sensitivity

Greyhounds’ thin coats make them extremely sensitive to temperatures. Their fur is deliberately thin to allow them to cool themselves down more quickly when they’re running.

Their blood vessels are closer to the skin’s surface, and the air can cool their blood faster this way. 

However, in the winter months, when they aren’t running, this can leave them exposed to the cold climate and prone to hypothermia. You’ll need to ensure that your greyhound is always wearing a coat when they aren’t racing. 

In contrast, their thin coat also leaves them exposed to the sun, and they can also be severely affected by heatstroke.

In extreme heat, you’ll only be able to walk them outside for 10-15 minutes at a time to avoid burns and ensure they’re in the shade as much as possible. 

If you have a large backyard to let our greyhound out, you’ll need to be careful of the outdoor temperature to ensure they don’t overheat or get too cold when they’re out on their own. 

Injury Prone

In fluffier dogs, their thick coat protects them from all kinds of outside dangers such as scrapes, bruising, and rashes caused by plants. 

Because your greyhound doesn’t have a thick coat for protection, you might notice more cuts and scrapes than on other dogs after a walk.

You’ll need to keep a close eye on any injuries and treat them as soon as possible to avoid infection. 

Purchasing a good quality greyhound coat to wear during walks should minimize this risk. 

How Often Should You Groom A Greyhound?

How Often Should You Groom A Greyhound

It would be best if you brushed your greyhound every couple of days to get rid of any dead fur, especially in the springtime, as this is when they’re shedding their winter coat. 

You’ll only need to take them to a professional groomer once every three months if you keep their coat in good condition yourself. 

Because of their thin coat, you should use a soft brush or grooming mitt just to clear away any dead fur. NEVER use a stiff brush or comb. Because your greyhound’s skin is so sensitive, a more rigid brush will hurt them. 

How Often Should You Bathe A Greyhound?

How Often Should You Bathe A Greyhound

It would be best if you didn’t bathe your greyhound more than once a month – and shouldn’t need to either. 

Although it’s great to keep your dog clean, over-bathing could cause their skin to become irritated. This could increase hair loss and mean they shed more than they’re supposed to. 

When you bath your greyhound, make sure you use a good quality dog shampoo and NEVER use human shampoo.

The chemicals in human shampoo remove all the great natural oils on your greyhound’s skin and can cause severe itching, dandruff, and increased shedding. 

This dandruff and the loose skin cells can exacerbate allergies, so you mustn’t overdo it. 

Do Retired Racing Greyhounds Shed More?

Do Retired Racing Greyhounds Shed More

Some greyhound owners report that adopted greyhounds that have recently retired from racing initially shed more. 

It’s thought that this is because they generally live in kennels as a racer, so they develop a slightly thicker coat to protect them from the cold weather in the absence of your nice, warm fireplace. 

Greyhounds retire from racing at around two years old and have generally returned to a standard level of shedding by the age of 4, so it’s nothing to worry about if the first year is a struggle fur wise – it should calm down as they get older. 

Other Types Of Greyhound Furs

Other Types Of Greyhound Furs

While standard greyhounds have a thin, neat coat, other breeds within the greyhound family have slightly different coat types:

Afghan Hounds

The Afghan coat is the most significant of the greyhound family. They have long, flowing hair, disguising their natural greyhound physique.

Afghans don’t shed and are hypoallergenic, so they’re the ideal pet for someone with allergies. 

However, their long locks mean that they’ll need to be groomed daily and need a professional cut once a month to keep their coat shiny and sleek. Caring for their coat alone is likely to cost an owner a lot of money. 

Deerhounds

Deerhounds have wirey fur, equipping them for the harsh climate in the Scottish Highlands. They are prone to shedding a lot and can heighten allergies.

They’ll need a regular cut at the groomers too, as their coat grows thick and fast. Their thick fur also attracts dirt in a big way, so they’ll need to be bathed regularly; otherwise, they may start to smell. 

Salukis

Salukis have long hair around their ears, legs, and tail, and unfortunately, their hair type isn’t suitable for allergies.

Because their hair is thin, they don’t need quite as much care as an Afghan hound but will require regular baths and a monthly trip to the groomers. 

Italian Greyhounds

Italian greyhounds look like a miniature version of the standard greyhound.

Their coat looks incredibly similar too; however, they don’t shed and are hypoallergenic, so they’re the ideal choice for greyhound enthusiasts if you need to avoid allergies. 

Overall, greyhounds’ coats are easily manageable and great for people with allergies, despite not having hypoallergenic status.

They need minimal effort to maintain, which makes them fantastic apartment dogs, especially if you have a busy schedule. 

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