Greyhounds are beautiful and sensitive canines. With regal lineage dating back thousands of years, these delicate, lean animals are prized for their speed. After finishing careers as racing dogs, greyhounds are often adopted by caring individuals to avoid death by euthanasia. They are clean, intelligent, loyal and gentle. Although they are a relatively healthy breed, their sensitive skin and system precludes some traditional flea treatments from consideration by responsible owners.
Greyhounds have sensitive spines that require them to sleep on soft bedding as opposed to hard floors. Soft beds can become havens for fleas if not washed regularly. To protect your greyhound from flea infestation, wash its bedding weekly in hot water with mild detergent, such as the kind suitable for infant laundry. Include all blankets and toys your greyhound uses.
Blessed with smooth, short-haired coats, greyhounds are easy to groom. Although they shed their hair constantly, it is so fine and short that many owners dont notice it. In the summer, greyhounds shed so much on their chests that they often go hairless in that spot. This characteristic makes fleas easy to spot on light-colored greyhounds. Brush them daily with a fine-toothed comb and soft brush to maintain a healthy coat. This helps to remove any fleas the dog may pick up while playing or exercising outside, before the pests have a chance to infest and lay eggs. Avoid over-washing your pet; limit its baths to once a month or every other month.
While greyhounds are relatively healthy animals, they do have a sensitivity to medication due to low body fat that makes some common prescription flea medications inappropriate. Their skin is sensitive to insecticides commonly used to kill fleas. Greyhounds can break out in hives or develop a rash from traditional flea preparations. Owners have reported sensitivity in their dogs to flea collars and dips. Instead, use brand name prescription flea treatments, such as Advantage or Frontline or their generic equivalents. Observe the dog to see if it develops an adverse reaction to either medication. Talk to your veterinarian about using capstar flea pills or their generic equivalent. Discuss with your vet or lawn service about spraying insecticides in areas where your greyhound plays.
If your greyhound develops a reaction to traditional flea treatments, opt for natural procedures. One natural flea treatment is to boil lemon slices with rosemary leaves. Let the solution boil for 10 minutes, then cool completely before spraying on your greyhounds coat. Test the natural repellent on one part of your dogs coat to test it for a reaction before applying it to the entire coat. Alternatively, spray a mixture of boiled eucalyptus leaves and water to your yard and outside your home. Discuss all natural options with your veterinarian before applying them to your greyhound and monitor your dog for any adverse reaction during treatment.