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Italian Greyhound Resources
Collars, Harnesses, Tags, and Leashes
Clothing and Boots
Exercise Pens, Gates, and Barriers
Dog Dental Products
Dog Nail Trimming
Vaccinations and Anesthesia
Toys, Treat Toys, and Puzzles
Dog Food, Bowls, and Chews
Dog Car Restraints
Safety and First Aid
Italian Greyhound Resources
Italian Greyhound Club of America - the parent (also referred to as national) club for Italian Greyhounds
Italian Greyhound Video - Animal Planet's Dogs 101 - Italian Greyhounds video
The UK Italian Greyhound Club - has breed information
The Italian Greyhound Nuts and Bolts Bookby Patricia Kelly - only available in used condition.
Outrageous Tails of a Canine Queen by Judy Longhouse (for snickers, chuckles, and belly laughs, not information!)
Italian Greyhound Owners - this is a popular group with lots of members
Italian Greyhounds - another group focused on Italian Greyhounds
Italian Greyhound Place - our facebook presence!
Forums - please note that since the advent of Facebook, the forums are not as active, but there is archived information
Iggy Planet - there are many experienced, informed members on this board and you will find good information and opinions here.
IG Whispers - another Italian Greyhound forum where you can read past posts and post questions.
IggyEzine - an online Italian Greyhound showcase magazine
The Italian Greyhound Magazine - a magazine dedicated to Italian Greyhounds
Collars, Harnesses, Tags, and Leashes
With sight hounds, due to the similarity in their neck and head circumferences, a martingale collar is the safest choice. There are different style martingales, some easier to use than others, but regardless of the design, it is vitally important that the martingale fit properly. Click here for a short video on proper fit. Note that when the leash is pulled tight, a properly fitted martingale will have space between the rings (or d rings); if the rings touch, the collar is too big.
The above link shows a standard martingale. Also available are martingales with a side-clip, made-to-measure slip-ons, and collars with an extended loop piece with an easy-to-use one-piece slide.
Most harnesses, even if they appear to be snug, can be pulled out of. If choosing a harness, consider the Webmaster or Reversible Harness Vest linked below. For a safety net, a martingale can be used in conjunction with a harness - use a leash coupler or choose a style such as the EZ Collar or adjustable Shaka Dog Hawaii Hound Collar linked below.
Even if your IG is microchipped, use an identification collar. Do not use a retractable leash!
EZ Collar - This is an adjustable martingale collar that can be a permanent choice or initial choice. It is also an easy collar to use in conjunction with a harness.
Jan's Martingales - These are adjustable martingale collars with a lead (leash) attached.
Sit Up 'n' Beg - Martingale and tag collars in buttery soft leather. My IG has a sensitive neck, and his Soho collar makes a perfect tag collar for him.
Shaka Dog Hawaii - Martingale collars in a variety of styles and patterns. Collar options include hound collars, adjustable hound collars, standard martingales, and martingales with a side clip.
Walking and General Use Harnesses:
Web Master Harness - this harness, made by Ruffwear and designed to "provide security that even the best 'houdini dog' can't escape," is receiving good reports regarding its ability to prevent an Italian Greyhound from wiggling out of it. It is very well made.
Reversible Harness Vests by Linda - this harness, made based on your dog's measurements, is recommended by quite a number of Italian Greyhound owner's as being a safe alternative to a martingale collar, given proper fit and fastening.
Jogging and Sports Harnesses:
ComfortFlex Sport Harness - this is a good choice for a jogging harness; it does not put pressure on the dog's throat, nor does it irritate the area behind a dog's front legs (it sits further back than most harnesses). I use this with my Italian Greyhound. This is not an "escape proof" style harness like the two listed above.
BrilliantK9 Ergonomic Harness - another good harness choice for jogging, as no pressure is put on the dog's neck or behind the front legs. This is also not an "escape proof" style harness."
These are not "escape proof" harnesses and I would recommend using them with a martingale collar.
Easy Walk Harness - this harness, which has a front-chest leash attachment, is designed to prevent pulling. Since the harness sits below the neck, it works well for IGs with sensitive necks. I taught my IG to leash walk with a martingale collar, but this harness probably would have worked well. Similar to the Easy Walk Harness is the Sense-ation Harness by Softtouch Concepts.
Note - the Easy Walk Harness is the original style of front-clip harnesses that have a strap that crosses horizontally across the dog's shoulders. Although they tend to be more effective at redirecting a dog's pulling than newer styles without the strap, they can possibly alter the dog's natural gait. The Front Range Harness by Ruffwear is a good option that does not have a horizontal strap.
Front Range Harness - This nicely made, cushioned harness has two attachment points, one on the chest and one on the back; they can be used individually or together.
Whether or not your dog is micro-chipped, an ID collar is recommended. To avoid the risk of entanglement or the possibility of another dog's jaw becoming trapped in the collar during play, a breakaway collar is the safest choice.
Boomerang Tags - these non-dangling tags are perfect, and can be ordered with or without collars. The breakaway collar option is a Beastie Band for cats, but also works for small dogs.
I would not recommend using a retractable leash. The reasons include:
The Retractable Leash - A Dangerous Tool - this article, on the Maine Greyhound Placement Service website, discusses why not to use retractable leashes, and applies to Italian Greyhounds as well as Greyhounds.
Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash - Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, provides a list of reasons why she does not recommend retractable leashes.
Hands-free leashes can be a great choice for added security (the leash cannot be dropped), for use when jogging, or when you need your hands free.
The Buddy System - a simple, easy-to-use waist leash.
Squishy Face Studio Leash Belt - this belt can be used with the leash of your choice.
Clothing and Boots for IGs
Hound Togs - well-made home coats, outdoor coats, and rain slickers
Spoiled Bratzwear - original, custom clothing and accessories for Italain Greyhounds and small dogs.
Shadedmoon's Secret Stash - Italian Greyhound coveralls that provide full-body coverage with an opening for potty breaks. Standard and custom sizes are available (also fleece sweaters and collars). If you have a male dog, expect to do frequent washes!
RebelWag - Another great source for coveralls, as well as sweaters and shirts, custom made to your dog's measurements.
Voyagers K9 Apparel - breed specific apparel, including a variety of coats for IGs - the Tummy Warmer is very nice. I do not recommend the hood, which I found to be too large (see Spoiled Bratzwear or TurboThreads in this section for snoods instead).
TurboThreads - handmade, fleece snoods custom made to your dog's head measurement, with a toggle for a snug fit. Other items such as collars, vests, and coats are also available.
Wee Wear 4 Pets - made-to-measure coats and coveralls with lots of fabric choices.
Iggy Couture - Italian Greyhound wear including rompers and running suits, with flannel, fleece, and microfleece fabric choices.
Italian Greyhounds can be very comical when they are first introduced to boots and are getting accustomed to walking in them. However, since the goal is to have your dog wear the boots outside (and not decide that he doesn't like them), I would recommend putting the boots on your dog, checking the fit, and, if the fit is good, taking the dog out for a walk, basically taking your dog's focus off of the boots.
Neo-Paws - boots and boot covers (the regular performance shoes/boots are the ones recommended for IGs). I tried several other brands of boots before finding these and the Neo-Paws are winners! They stay on whether my IG is walking or running.
Muttluk's Snow Mushers - this is a newer boot, with a flexible, rubber sole similar to the Neo-Paws, that goes on easy (much easier than the Neo-Paws) and stays on. These are my new, favorite boots! Also at Muttluk.
Boot Covers - the boot covers by Neo-Paws are a great boot accessory and can be used with various boot brands - I use them with the Muttluk boots. They are beneficial when the snow is deeper than the boot tops (keeps snow out of the boots) or when very wet out (keeps the velcro straps dry).
Exercise Pens, Gates, and Barriers
Italian Greyhounds are often escape artists, climbing, jumping over, or squeezing through enclosures. If using an exercise pen, be sure to use a cover with it, and if using gates, make sure that they cannot be jumped over, climbed over, or squeezed through.
Italian Greyhound Prison Break - this video may be entertaining, but also serves to demonstrate the precautions that need to be taken when confining an Italian Greyhound.
The Escaping Italian Greyhound - this video demonstrates the care that should be taken with openings in a gate through which an Italian Greyhound could escape or get stuck.
Exercise Pen Cover - this cover fits all eight panel 4' x 4' exercise pens.
Pet Barrier - this product attaches to a door and the door jam, and, as the door is opened, provides a barrier across the expanse created by the opened door.
Dog Dental Products
Remember to brush you IG's teeth daily!
Oral B Toothbrush - the Oral B Stage 1 (S1) toothbrush is probably the best toothbrush to use for your IG. If your local stores do not carry it, order it online - do not substitute another Oral B Stage toothbrush.
C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste - a popular dog toothpaste; available at many retailers. Do not use human toothpaste for your IG - they cannot rinse and spit, and will swallow it!
IG Toothbrushing Video - a toothbrushing tutorial illustrated with Italian Greyhounds.
Dog Nail Trimming
I recommend the use of a dremel over a nail clipper, primarily because you cannot accidentally cut the dog's quick.
Danger of Long Toe Nails- an article on the importance of proper toe nail length.
Dr. Buzby's Dog Nail Trim - Black Nails - this video demonstrates how to trim a dog's black toe nails without getting too close to the quick, visually showing what to look for. Although a clipper is used, the same concept applies to dremeling. If you choose to use a clipper, the video demonstrates a good clipper technique.
Vaccinations and Anesthesia
It is important to become educated about vaccinations - what ones to give your IG, when to give them, where to give them, and when to titre instead of vaccinating.
Jean Dodd's Vaccination Protocol - a fairly minimal approach to vaccination, often referred to by IG owners
Take the Titre Test - consider titre testing to avoid over-vaccination
The Truth about Dog Vaccinations - a good article discussing the benefits and risks of vaccination.
Sighthounds, including IGs, are more sensitive than other groups of dogs to canine anesthetic protocals; this is primarily due to their low amount of body fat in proportion to muscle and to their liver metabolism. Make sure that your vet is familiar with, and preferably has experience with, sighthounds and that a blood panel is done a few days prior to the use of anesthesia. Discuss with your veterinarian what pre-anesthetic medications, induction agents, and inhalent anesthetics will be used. Barbituates should never be used. The following links contain information that will be beneficial when speaking with your Italian Greyhound's veterinarian.
Anesthesia and Your Saluki - a Saluki, like an Italian Greyhound, is a sighthound. This is a good article from the Saluki Club of America website.
Greyhound Anesthesia - scroll down to the last article on the linked page. Although titled, "Greyhound Anesthesia," the information applies to all sighthounds.
Overview of Greyhound Anesthesia - this brief overview is from a veterinarian facilitie's website (Italian Greyhound Place has no knowledge or experience with this facility)
Toys, Treat Toys, and Puzzles
The toys listed below are ones that I have found to be well-suited to Italian Greyhounds, but the list is by no means comprehensive. Rather, it is meant to highlight toys that you might want to consider.
Kyjen Egg Babies- a variety of plush toys, each containing squeaky eggs that fit inside it (I enlarged the opening on the plush toy that I got to make it easier for my Italian Greyhound to get the eggs out). The squeaky eggs are a great size for Italian Greyhounds and you can buy them without the plush toy in packs of three.
Kyjen Hide-a-Squirrel - this toy is available in other versions as well, such as Hide-a-Bee. The Hide-a-Squirrel consists of a plush home (tree) in which three plush animals fit and can be removed by the dog (through various openings). The plush animals can also be purchased without the plush home in packs of three.
Simply Fido Petites - the best thing about these plush toys is that they are organic and eco-friendly!
Petstages Lil Squeak - this toy is a great size for Italian Greyhounds to hold and squeak. There are two squeak chambers, with two different sounds.
Chase N Pull- this toy consists of a 32" flexible rod, 36" braided rope, and a fleece toy attached to the end of the rope. Hold the handle, move and flick the fleece toy around, and watch your Italian Greyhound chase it!
Flirt Pole Junior and Flirt Pole Regular - similar to the above listed Chase N Pull toy, the Flirt Pole comes in two sizes for use in smaller and larger sized spaces. The longer version is great for outdoor use.
Treat/Food Dispensing Toys
Toys that dispense treats or food through an action or actions performed by your IG are mentally stimulating, provide some physical activity, and enable your dog to work for his/her treat or food. Here is a sampling:
Kong - these Kongs come in three sizes and can be stuffed with food or treats. I use all three sizes and prefer the puppy, as opposed to the regular, Kong. However, the puppy version is a softer rubber and should be used supervised.
ZogoFlex Toppl Treat Toy - the Toppl, like a Kong, can be stuffed with food, but also has wedges to hold treats in place. It is shallower than a Kong and could be a good option for dogs who are not good at cleaning out Kongs. Note - this product is designed for supervised use.
Kibble Nibble Ball - this product works really well. It unscrews for filling and cleaning, and you can cut off one or more tabs at the dispensing opening if you want food items to dispense more easily.
Twist 'n Treat - this product allows you to adjust the size of the treat dispensing area and completely unscrews for cleaning.
TreatStik- there is only one dispensing opening and the placement of it requires work on the dogs part to get all the treats out. The top screws off for filling and/or cleaning.
Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Dog Toy - this treat dispensing toy unscrews to fill with treats and for cleaning, and the difficulty level can be modified. It can be rolled, tipped, flipped, and carried. If ordering, note that there are two sizes.
Busy Dog Ball - my IG really likes this toy. It does not open for cleaning, so I would recommend using treats that will not leave a residue. My IG relies on the sound (as well as the scent) of the treat in the ball to know when it has been dispensed. I only put one treat at a time in this toy.
Interactive Dog Puzzles - to use with your dog
Nina Ottosson- a large variety of puzzles in which treats can be hidden for your dog to find. Difficulty levels are indicated for each puzzle. Puzzles are available through retailers such as Amazon and Chewy.com.
Trixie Activity Poker Box - this interactive game comes with four puzzle boxes, each providing a different challenge, that can be placed individually or together on the base.
Trixie Activity Gambling Tower - this cylindrical tube has three "platforms" that, when pulled out by the dog, releases treats, either to a platform below it, or out of the tube.
Trixie Activity Flip Board - this puzzle has components that require the dog to slide disks, push (flip) knops, and lift cones. The cones with this puzzle are a good size for Italian Greyhounds to grab with their mouths - some puzzles have larger-sized cones.
Tip - some interactive puzzles such as the Dog Tornado and Dog Brick puzzles by Nina Ottosson and the Gambling Tower by Trixie work fine when placed on the floor. However, some puzzles, especially if you want your dog to solve the puzzle by using his snout and mouth, rather than swiping with his paws, work best if placed on an object approximately five inches off of the floor. Use an object small enough to allow your dog to access all sides of the puzzle - you can hold an edge of the puzzle so that it maintains stability.
Dog Food, Bowls, and Chews
There are many options when it comes to feeding your IG, and it takes a bit of research to determine what the best choice is for you and your dog. Two main categories are commercial dog food and home-made dog food. Commercial dog food includes canned, dry, refrigerated, dehydrated, freeze-dried (raw), and raw (generally frozen). A home-made diet can be cooked or raw.
If choosing a commercial dog food, it is important to know that dog foods vary tremendously in quality and that choosing a high-quality food is important to the health of your IG. If you want to consider a home-cooked or home-made raw diet, it is important to research these options and to ensure that your dog's diet is balanced.
The Dog Food Project - an informative site on commercial dog food
Dog Food Analysis - star-based ratings of commercial dog food
FDA Site - this U.S. Food and Drug Administration site includes consumer information, alerts, and recalls on dog food
Dog Aware - lots of information on commercial, home-made, and raw feeding, including good opinions on food products.
Whole-Dog-Journal - This journal provides a yearly analysis of dog food as well as other good articles.
Truth about Pet Food - articles pertaining to pet food and what is actually in it.
Feeding a Raw Diet - a good, short introductory article to feeding raw (with a link to The Raw Feeding Community on Facebook). There is also a Facebook group for Italian Greyhound owners: Italian Greyhounds Raw Fed, with the first post containing tips for staring out.
Hare-Today - a great resource for alternative protein sources (i.e. duck, rabbit) if you home-cook or prepare a raw diet for a dog with food intolerances.
Reel Raw – Another source, including alternate protein sources, for raw or home-cooked (no bone options available) feeding.
Many dogs are fed the same food month after month, and year after year. For most dogs, this is not necessarily the best approach, with a varied diet providing a better nutritional balance and health.
Food Transitioning vs. Food Rotation - an excellent article by Dr. Jean Dodds.
Slow feed, or slow feeder, dog bowls are designed, as their name implies, to slow down how fast a dog eats his or her food. In addition to accomplishing that, they provide some mental stimulation and provide the dog with a meal that he or she has to "work" for. These bowls can be used with wet or dry food; if feeding a kibble style food, some of the treat/food dispensing products discussed on this web page can also be used for meals.
Dogit Go Slow Bowl - this dishwasher safe bowl slows down eating, but it has a simple design without too many obstacles, making it a good introductory bowl. The small bowl is 7.1 x 2.5, and the medium is 10.8 x 3.8 inches (there are also extra-small and large bowls). There is also a pink Dogit bowl available.
My Lucky Pets Slow Feed Dog Bowl - this is a unique slow feed bowl that is made from FDA approved, food-grade silicone and is dishwasher safe. Although this is a flat bowl with no sides, it works nicely. There are two sizes - I would recommend the small.
Kong Slow Feed Puzzle Dog Bowl - this Kong bowl, made for PetSmart and dishwasher safe (top-rack), requires the dog to work harder than with the Dogit bowl - it is harder than it appears!
Outward Hound Fun Feeder - there are three styles, each a different color, and each style is available in two sizes [I use the small (mini) with the dogs here]. The bowls are top-rack dishwasher safe, and are BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.
You should always supervise your IG when he/she has a dog chew. Be sure to take away any small or detached stringy pieces and be on the look-out for when the chew becomes too small to be safe.
Beef Tendon Flossies- there are different brands and "styles" of these.
PetExtras - if your Italian Greyhound has food allergies or intolerances, treats with less common protein sources, such as rabbit, are likely to be a good choice. PetExtras is one source for these items.
Rawhide- a very informative article on raw hide chews by the editor of Whole-Dog-Journal.
Cozy Caves - Italian Greyhounds like to burrow and the Cozy Caves by Snoozer are a popular choice. There are two styles, the Cozy Caves with a polyester/cedar filling and the Orthopedic Cozy Caves (the cedar in the polyester/cedar version is detectable by scent). In addition to the two styles, there are a variety of sizes and fabric colors/designs. The cover is machine washable.
Iglet Pouch - these pouches are very soft and nicely cushioned with polyfil, and the entire cushion is machine washable. Three sizes and a selection of fabric choices are available.
Learning how to understand dog communication will enhance your relationship with your Italian Greyhound and enable you to better "read" dog-to-dog interactions.
On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas - this book will help you to identify and use calming signals to understand and communicate with your IG.
Canine Body Language by Brenda Aloff - this book is a photographic guide to understanding dog language.
Canine Behavior, A Photo Illustrated Handbook by Barbara Handelman - this book is a great resource to help you recognize and understand dog communication.
Video about Calming Signals - a YouTube video discussing the calming signals presented in the book by Turid Rugaas
How to Interpret Your Dog's Body Language, Facial Expressions, and Vocalizations - the outward manifestations of "canine attitudes" shown in sketches
Zoom Room Guide to Dog Body Language - this YouTube video is a visual guide to understanding dog facial expressions and postures.
Dog Body Language: What your dog is desperately trying to tell you! - A short video from The Family Dog that uses photos of dogs with short captions.
Your Italian Greyhound should never be loose when traveling by car. In an accident, unrestrained dogs become projectiles, slamming into car surfaces. Being loose in a car also increases the chances of a dog bolting from the car in fear i.e. thrugh a broken window or when a rescuer opens a door. A loose dog is also a driver distractions. Some Italian Greyhound onwers choose to restrain their IGs in crates that they secure in the car, while others use dog seatbelts.
It is important that your IG never sit in a front seat where an air bag could deploy - the impact would likely be deadly.
The Center for Pet Safety tested dog car harnesses in 2013, and tested crates and carriers for crashworthiness in 2015. Products passing their rigorous testing are CPS (Center for Pet Safety) certified. The only car harness tested with this designation is the Sleepypod Clickit Sport. There is a CPS certified crate from Gunner and two certified carriers, one from Pet Ego and one from Sleepypod. A 2015 pilot study of dog booster seats resulted in none being certified. Detailed information on the testing, including products tested, and conclusions can be viewed by clicking on the Test Results link in the Center for Pet Safety menu bar. The Center for Pet Safety recommends that small dogs travel in a 2015 top performing carrier, and that large dogs travel in a 2015 top performing crate or CPS approved harness.
If You Drive with Your Pet, You Need to See these Videos - an over-view, with videos, of The Center for Pet Safety testing.
Driving Safely with Your Dog - a comprehensive article from Whole-Dog-Journal
For additional safety, teach your IG the "wait" command so that he/she does not jump out of the car when you open the door.
Safety and First Aid
Being aware of potential dangers, taking precautions to avoid them, and having some knowledge, and resources to turn to, in emergency situations is important to the well-being of your Italian Greyhound.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control - the ASPCA Poison Control Center has a toll-free emergency number ($65 per case charge), and their website has good lists of poisonous substances.
Pet Poison Helpline - a toll free emergency number ($35 per case charge) and information on poisons.
The Safe Dog Handbook - this book covers spotting hazards, preventing accidents, and responding to emergencies.
First Aid Book and DVD - this book covers how to prepare and respond to dog emergencies and includes a DVD demonstrating many of the procedures.
CPR Video - this video demonstrates how to perform CPR on a dog.
Choking Video - this video demonstrates what to do if your dog is choking.
Contact Voltage Information Center -Contact voltage is a hidden hazard that can victimize an unsuspecting dog, a dog walker, or both. This site explains what contact voltage is and what safety precautions can be taken.
To protect your IG(s) in the event of a fire, consider using window clings to identify that you have a dog(s), safeguard your home against fire, and have an escape plan that includes your IG(s). Keep in mind that many dogs are sensitive to, and dislike, the sound of detectors and will run and hide. When you are away from home, having your IG in a crate, exercise pen, or enclosed area will prevent him/her from running away from loud, scary sounds and any approaching firemen. Keep a leash and collar handy for both yourself and firemen.
Fire Safety for Fido and Fluffy - this short article provides fire prevention and rescue tips for pets.
Pet Rescue Window Decal - request a free ASPCA pet rescue decal for your window.
Fire Safety Video - this 13 WHAM News video discusses how to protect your pet from fire.
Pet Oxygen Masks - by using pet oxygen masks, rescuers have an increased chance of saving the life of a pet rescued from a fire. Considering letting your fire deparment know about the availability of these masks and/or donating some to the organization.
By becoming aware that your Italian Greyhound might be absorbing more industrial chemicals than you realize, you can act to minimize his/her exposure.
Dogs and Cats Contaminated with High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemicals - information from an Environmental Working Group study.
Secondhand (and Third-Hand) Smoke May be Making Your Pet Sick - a short FDA Consumer Article
Is Driveway Sealant Toxic? - sealant doesn't stay put on pavement, and is showing up in dust in homes. Read this article if you are considering having your driveway sealed!
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