When searching for the perfect pet, it’s easy to become confused at times. With so many options and so many different animals to choose from, you may find yourself struggling to find a pet that is a perfect fit for you and your family.
If you’ve stumbled across this article, then the chances are you’re interested in an Italian Greyhound as a pet.
Are Italian Greyhounds good pets?
In a nutshell, Italian Greyhounds make fantastic pets! They’re loyal, loving, and great fun for families with small kids or other pets.
That being said, there is much more to go through to understand if this dog is right for you.
In this post, we’re going to go through everything you need to know about Italian Greyhounds as pets and help you make an informed decision as to whether they are right for you.
Let’s get to it…
What Do You Class As A Good Pet?
Firstly, you should try to have a chat with your family and talk through what you class as the perfect pet.
Are you looking for a dog that is energetic, playful, and full of energy? Or do you prefer a dog that is calmer and doesn’t require much exercise or play?
You’ll also want to determine whether you need a pet that is hypoallergenic. If you or a family member suffer from allergies and don’t take this into account then it could be a disaster down the line.
Thankfully, Italian Greyhounds are hypoallergenic. Meaning they won’t set off allergies for most people.
Taking into account the grooming requirements of your future pet is crucial too. Do you have the time to groom a dog that is high maintenance, or are you looking for a dog that doesn’t require much grooming?
Once you’ve determined the qualities and attributes you’re looking for in your dog, now it’s time to see if the Italian Greyhound fits those requirements.
Why Italian Greyhounds Make Excellent Pets
Italian Greyhounds are becoming increasingly popular across the globe as pets, and it’s easy to see why.
As I’ve mentioned above, these dogs are hypoallergenic, which means they are unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction.
This means that these dogs are perfect house dogs, they love nothing more than being indoors snuggled up with their owner.
Not only that but as they are incredibly small (around 15 – 20 inches in height and weighing in at around 10 – 15 pounds) they don’t take up much space so are perfect for living in smaller houses or apartments.
If you’re an active family that loves to take walks and hikes, then the Italian Greyhound may be the one for you. This breed loves nothing more than being in the outdoors taking long walks with their owners.
They’re full of energy and can run at breathtaking speeds of up to 25mph! IG’s are the perfect dogs to play with kids and tire them out ready for nap time.
If you’re a first-time dog owner, don’t worry. Italian Greyhounds are obedient dogs that are easy to train, even without any experience.
They love to obey and please their owners, making them a great option for inexperienced dog owners.
Italian Greyhound Temperament
But what is the Italian Greyhounds temperament and character like? These dogs were a family favourite of noblewomen in the middle ages, especially in Italy (hence the name).
Not only for their loving temperament but for their elegance and beauty too. These dogs are incredibly loyal, affectionate, and love to play.
That being said, they also love nothing more than relaxing with their owner after a long walk, and they might even steal some of your snacks when you’re not looking.
Italian Greyhounds can be quite mischievous at times, so ensure you keep your snacks close by.
One aspect of Italian Greyhounds you should keep in mind is that they often suffer from separation anxiety. This means they won’t enjoy being left alone for long periods and will likely whine and cry whilst your away.
This can cause issues with neighbours, but can even cost you money. Often when dogs are feeling anxious they can become quite destructive and chew belongings.
Italian Greyhounds are closely related to whippets and greyhounds, and just like these two dogs IG’s can have a strong prey drive.
This means that they’ll chase small prey such as squirrels, rabbits, and rats. It’s important to be aware of this before deciding on an Italian Greyhound as it can be quite the experience trying to get them to return to you when they’re in hot pursuit.
When it comes to an Italian Greyhounds temperament, this largely depends on the individual dog. As a whole, these dogs are loving, affectionate, and amazing pets.
It’s hard to come across an Italian Greyhound that isn’t lovable. They are not aggressive whatsoever and get along great with other dogs.
Don’t expect your Italian Greyhound to be a guard dog though as they’ll more than likely lick an intruder rather than strike. Italian Greyhounds rarely bark and are incredibly quiet dogs for the most part.
Italian Greyhound Care & Requirements
When it comes to caring for an Italian Greyhound, there are a few things you should know before deciding on this breed.
As mentioned, this breed can be quite energetic at times, but surprisingly they don’t require a ton of daily exercise to become exerted.
As these dogs are incredibly small, often they only require around 30 – 60 minutes of daily exercise to satisfy their needs.
Italian Greyhounds are incredibly athletic and speedy, meaning they burn off calories very quickly when out for their exercise.
This means they need to be fed on a high-quality, protein fuelled diet to feed their muscles and keep them in good shape.
The amount of dog food you feed your IG is largely going to depend on the individual and their exercise routine. However, they’ll typically need between 2 and 4 cups of high-quality dog food every day.
Italian Greyhounds will need a warm coat in the winter as they have very short fur, so be sure to invest in a high-quality dog coat to keep your pet warm and cosy.
Not only do they have short fur, but they also have very delicate thin skin. This means when you’re out on walks you should always keep a watchful eye on your pet.
If you’re walking through rural areas such as fields there may be barbed wire fences that could easily pierce your IGs skin, so it’s wise to thoroughly check over your dog when you’re back home for any injuries.
When it comes to grooming, IGs don’t need much maintenance at all due to their short fur which doesn’t carry odors.
This is largely going to depend on individual circumstances such as where you’re walking them and if they are rolling in puddles etc but it’s very normal to only bathe your Italian Greyhound once a month.
You’ll want to ensure you use a shampoo that is gentle on the dog’s skin and doesn’t dry it out as this can cause irritation and discomfort for your pet.
You’ll be glad to know that Italian Greyhounds aren’t prone to many injuries or illnesses. That being said, they are known to have bad teeth, especially as they get older so this will require keeping on top of and ensuring your IG’s gnashers are clean.
Epilepsy is also something to be aware of, it’s prevalent in Italian Greyhounds with around 15% of the breed suffering from this illness.
Other health-related notes to be aware of:
- Sensitive to anasthetic
- Blood clotting disease (Von Willebrand’s)
- Liver shunt
- Heart disease
- Joint problems
Are Italian Greyhounds Compatible With Other Pets?
As a responsible Italian Greyhound owner, you’ll need to be very careful with what other animals you introduce your dog to.
As you know, Italian Greyhounds are sighthounds that can have quite a strong prey drive. This means they’ll often chase prey animals such as rabbits, rats, squirrels, birds, cats, and other small animals.
For that reason, it’s best not to choose an Italian Greyhound as your pet if you also own these animals as it could cause a disaster down the line.
That’s not to say all Italian Greyhounds are going to want to chase or kill these animals, but it’s certainly a very real threat to other pets you may have that you need to be aware of.
These dogs can be introduced to the above animals in a very strict and controlled environment, but personally, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Italian Greyhounds get along great with other dogs, they enjoy having a friend that they can run rings around when out on their daily exercise.
IGs are great exercise for dogs that are larger too, as they’ll often play and this can cause the obese dog to lose weight, perfect if you’ve got another chunky dog in the household.
Italian Greyhound Pros & Cons
If you’re thinking about an Italian Greyhound as a pet then you can’t for far wrong. These dogs are loving, affectionate, and make excellent pets for the whole family.
Below is a list of some Italian Greyhounds pros and cons that I believe will be useful for you to know;
- Easy to train
- Get along with other dogs and children
- Low maintenance
- Loving temperament
- Generally healthy dogs
- Great for apartments or small homes
- Rarely bark
- Lightning fast
- Love the outdoors
- High prey drive / potential threat for smaller pets
- Usually don’t enjoy swimming
- Can be difficult to housebreak
- Separation anxiety
So, are Italian Greyhounds good pets? Absolutely!
These dogs are everything you could want and more in a dog. They’re the full package and make excellent pets for the whole family.
Like all dogs, Italian Greyhounds have needs that are specific to their breed. So it’s important to ensure that these align with what you’re looking for in a pet.
If you want a pet that loves the outdoors just as much as they love relaxing on the sofa, then the Italian Greyhound is the perfect choice of pet for you.
Hopefully, you’ve learned more about the Italian Greyhound after reading this post and now know if they are a suitable choice for you.