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Spotlight On Sighthounds

September 15, 2023

September 27th is Sighthound Day. Sighthounds, or Gazehounds, as they are also called, is the term for a subset of dogs that were bred to hunt. These sweet pups definitely deserve their own day! A local Brampton, ON vet offers some ‘insight’ into these pups in this article.

Why Are They Called Sighthounds?

Sighthounds track their prey visually, as opposed to Scenthounds, who follow their noses. Sighthounds have distinctives head and body shapes. They tend to be very sleek, and are usually extremely fast. Sighthounds are a very ancient type of dog: evidence suggests that these pups have been around for thousands of years. They have been linked to ancient Egyptian, Middle Eastern, African and Southwest Asian civilizations.

What Are Some Common Sighthounds?

The AKC recognizes over 28 types of Sighthound. The most well-known Sighthound is without a doubt the Greyhound, who is renowned for his popularity as a racing dog. Other sighthounds include the Whippet, Borzoi, Afghan Hound, and Saluki. 

How Do I Care For A Sighthound?

Many sighthounds have similar care needs, some of which may be surprising. For instance, one may think that Greyhounds need lots and lots of activity, and are only suitable for runners. However, that really isn’t the case. Many of these pups do need some vigorous activity. However, once their workouts are over, they tend to become couch potatoes. There are a few other things potential owners should be aware of, such as the fact that their physiology is a bit different from that of other dogs. Fido’s lab results may seem a bit unusual in comparison to that of a Lab or German Shepherd. These dogs are also very sensitive to chemicals, and sometimes do not react well to anesthesia. Sighthounds also tend to get chilly quite easily. Ask your vet for specific care advice.

How Do I Help Sighthounds?

Sighthounds represent a specific and unique challenge from an animal welfare point of view. Many former racing dogs out there in need of loving homes. While dog racing has become illegal in many places, there are still active tracks. Overseas, there’s also a very sad situation with Galgos, a close cousin of the Greyhound. These pups are often used for hunting, and then cruelly abandoned. Consider making a donation to an organization that works with these breeds. Even raising awareness can help!

Please reach out to us, your Brampton, ON pet hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!