Nassau-Suffolk Animal Hospital

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Basic Italian Greyhound Information

  • Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
  • Height: 13 - 15 inches
  • Weight: 7 - 14 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Italian Greyhounds

Italian Greyhound Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Italian Greyhound History

  • As early as 2000 years ago, artwork dating from Turkey, Greece and other areas around the Mediterranean depicts small greyhound-like dogs that may be Italian reyhounds.
  • By the Middle Ages, miniature greyhounds could be found throughout southern Europe. Italian courtiers especially favored the little dogs.
  • They came to England in the 1600s, where they also became favorites of the upper class. Their popularity in England was at its peak during the reign of dog enthusiast Queen Victoria, but by the early 1900s the Italian greyhound's popularity was on the decline.
  • After World War II, the breed almost disappeared in England. The few specimens that remained were not very good quality because the emphasis on breeding had for so long been on diminutive size rather than type or soundness. The breed, though small in numbers, was high in quality in America, and these American dogs formed the basis of the Italian greyhound revival.
  • The Italian greyhound is now one of the more popular of the greyhound-like breeds.

Italian Greyhound Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a loyal and loving companion.
  • It is one of the most demonstrative and obedient of the greyhound-like breeds.
  • Often described as "clingy."
  • Sociable with children, strangers, and other dogs and animals.
  • Extremely gentle.
  • Can be easily intimidated.
  • Learns quickly, but is easily bored.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or play. Very sensitive.
  • Tends to be difficult to housetrain.

Italian Greyhound Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a very quiet housedog as long as its exercise needs are met.
  • Requires a moderate walk or a sprint in an enclosed area every day.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Its short coat provides virtually no protection against cold weather.Acoat or sweater may be beneficial for Italian greyhounds exposed to colder temperatures.
  • The Italiangreyhoundis extremely swift. When raised with access to free running its bones are strong, but when raised without a chance to run and jump, it may be susceptible to broken bones when finally allowed to jump off things.

Italian Greyhound Grooming

  • Coat is short and thin. Italian greyhounds do not do well in cold weather.
  • The coat needs weekly brushing.
  • Shedding is below average.

Suggested Italian Greyhound Nutritional Needs

  • Italian greyhound conformation is for a naturally thin build, but owners often overfeed them. You should be able to feel the ribs, but they should not be too noticeable.
  • Very young or small puppies should be fed frequently to avoid low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency when our hospital is closed, you may take your pet to either of following veterinary emergency hospitals in our vicinity:

New York Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center
2233 Broadhollow Rd. (Route 110)
Farmingdale, NY  11735
Open 24/7/365

Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury
609-5 Cantiague Rock Road
Westbury, NY 11590
Phone: 516-420-0000
Open 24/7/365