Greyhound Care

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The good health of our greyhounds is of the utmost importance and concern to GRNZ. This section of the website is currently being refreshed with more information being uploaded regularly - please check back soon for new updates.

Information on the ways Licensed Persons (LPs) can keep their greyhound fit and healthy can be found below.


LPs must ensure that all greyhounds in their care are vaccinated according to the GRNZ Rules of Racing, and that vaccinations are kept up to date.

Currently, the minimum vaccination requirements are:
- 6-8 weeks - C3 vaccination (canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus & canine adenovirus (hepatitis))
- 10-16 weeks - C5 vaccination (canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus (hepatitis), parainfluenza virus & bordetella bronchiseptica)
- 12-16 months - C5 vaccination (as above)
- annually - C5 vaccination (as above) unless a vet certifies the greyhound is protected to a C5 level.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection which can be passed to dogs via contaminated soil, water or urine. It can also pass from dogs to humans and causes flu-like symptoms in people. Workplaces must take steps to prevent leptospirosis among employees, contractors and visitors or they may be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Vaccinations for dogs are available and your vet will be able to advise options based on the risk. For more information on leptospirosis, see the Leptospirosis in Dogs fact sheet.


The dental health of all greyhounds must be monitored and veterinary treatment sought immediately if signs of dental disease are present.

Periodontitis is common in dogs and can be caused by a lack of dental care which leads to a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Routine preventative dental care will help to prevent periodontitis and includes:
- daily tooth brushing
- use of dental rinses (chlorhexidine rinses and gels are available)
- dental chews
- diet, such as specific dental dry kibble (not moistened) or large meaty bones.

Unless your vet advises otherwise, greyhounds should be regularly given raw meaty bones (large enough to not be a risk of swallowing and/or causing a foreign body) and/or chew toys to promote good dental health.

For more information on preventing periodontitis, see the Greyhound Dental Care fact sheet.

Nutrition and water

Greyhounds must be provided at least once daily, with food in sufficient quantity and nutritional quality to ensure optimal health. Food must be appropriate for dogs and meet the daily requirements for the greyhound's age, size, physical and physiological condition, and level of activity.

Food containing raw offal must not be fed to greyhounds unless the food, which must only contain minimal offal, has been deep frozen and thawed adequately before feeding.

Fresh, clean drinking water, of a suitable temperature to be drinkable and in a clean container, must always be available for greyhounds.

For more information on nutrition, see the Greyhound Nutrition - Feeding for Success fact sheet.


Greyhounds must be provided with an effective internal and external parasite control programme (eg gastrointestinal worms, ear mites, fleas and ticks) which is age appropriate.

Worming and parasite treatments must be used and stored in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, or vet's direction. For more information on preventing worms, see the Worms and Deworming Greyhounds fact sheet.


LPs must advise GRNZ immediately of any suspected infectious viral or bacterial disease in any breed of dog on their property. The following are reportable diseases under GRNZ Rules:
- any disease declared to be a 'notifiable disease' under relevant legislation
- canine adenovirus (hepatitis)
- canine corona virus
- canine distemper virus
- canine infectious respiratory disease complex (kennel cough)
- canine parvovirus 
- Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease).

For more information on biosecurity in kennels, see the Preventing Disease Outbreaks - Good Biosecurity fact sheet.

Monitoring health

The following are signs of disease, ill health or stress which likely require veterinary attention.

runny nose fits or staggering
runny or inflamed eyes apparent pain
repeated sneezing significant weight loss or not eating
coughing unresponsiveness
fever bloating of abdomen
lack of appetitie unable to urinate or defecate
vomiting dental tartar accumulation (Grade 3 & 4)
diarrhoea skin inflammation/abnormalities/lesions
lameness presence/signs of internal or external parasites
abnormal behaviour excessive straining while whelping
bleeding or swelling of body parts (other than the
vulva of bitches in season)