The Dietary Requirements of a Racing Greyhound


There is nothing quite like seeing a greyhound running at full tilt and it’s be described as poetry in motion. However, in order for your greyhound to maintain the required energy levels to win races, they need diets high in protein and fat.

As such it is recommended that you feed your racing greyhound a combination of raw meat, carbohydrates, and nutritional supplements. However, some sceptics maintain their position that uncooked animal protein bears a risk for sickness or death from deadly food-borne pathogens. Let’s get to the bottom of this!

Eating for Swiftness

It is recommended that dogs that aren’t racing on a particular day are fed in the late morning and the standard racing greyhound diet should be high in protein provided by raw meat – which has a higher nutritional value than cooked meat.

Some greyhounds are also fed high-quality commercial pellets, pasta, and vitamin and mineral supplements. On racing day, contenders are fed a light-protein meal and only receive their full meal post-race after they’ve cooled down. A dose of glucose in the form of wheat, brown rice, and oats should be fed an hour before starting time as the spike in blood sugar promotes speed, but it won’t last long.

How Much Raw Meat is Necessary?

Feeding your greyhound for optimal athletic performance is your ultimate goal and Australian veterinarian and animal nutrition specialist John Kohnke advises that the traditional diet should consist of 50-70% raw meat.

Don’t balk at this high number though – since only approximately 20% of the raw meat is solid, water makes up most of the remainder. Just as you would only consider the opinion of experts with regards to horse racing tips NZ, so should you take note of nutritional experts in this regard.

In the past, efforts to replace raw meat, either partially or completely, with nutritionally complete pellets have not been well-received due to the higher cost.

Addressing Safety Concerns Regarding Raw Meat

By contrast, Richard C. Hill of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville once remarked that “meat is not a balanced food and is deficient in essential vitamins and minerals”.

Hill further wrote that the lack of reliable guidelines regarding the special nutritional needs of racing greyhounds has encouraged many trainers to formulate their own recipes, based heavily on raw meat. Hill expressed concern regarding the feeding of raw meat as the food-borne pathogens that cause food poisoning in people who eat undercooked or raw meat could also poison or kill dogs.

The Dietary Position of the Racing Industry

However, despite these opposing opinions, it has been noted that racing greyhounds do not perform as effectively on a commercial diet compared to one composed partially of raw meat.

When correctly handled – meaning the meat is fresh and appropriate refrigerated – raw meat has been proven safe and effective for the feeding of racing greyhounds and racing greyhounds seldom succumb to food-borne diseases.

Beef, lamb, mutton, chicken are the main ingredients in a racing greyhound’s diet and raw eggs and milk can also be included. Combined these protein sources provide the necessary amino acids, vitamins, and minerals necessary for peak racing performance and health.

Other Nutritional Requirements

Besides protein, a racing greyhound’s diet requires water, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and grain foods should be well-cooked, well-soaked, and fed soft.

However, achieving the optimum balance of supplements is a delicate process as administering too much can lead to hypervitaminosis which is just as devastating to a dog’s health and performance.