for You & Your Hound
In this article we are going to run through the reasons why Greyhounds (and other sighthounds) need some extra care during the Winter months. How to check their temperature quickly and easily, and what you can do to keep them warm and cosy around the house, out on walks, or when you are travelling
We have lived alongside three Greyhounds (and counting!) for several years, and have experimented in countless ways to keep them safe and warm during the winter.
If your dog is extremely cold, having difficulty walking or showing signs of confusion/muscle weakness, please get them out of the cold immediately and seek medical advice if you are worried.
That being said, most of the time a few simple tricks are all that you need to keep your Greyhound safe and warm in the Winter months.
Here is the best advice we could give to new and old Greyhound owners alike.
Do Greyhounds Feel the Cold?
Yes, absolutely. All dogs can feel the cold, but Greyhounds (as well as Whippets, Galgos and other sighthounds) are especially vulnerable to both hot and cold temperatures because of their very thin skin and low body fat.
Due to the way they have been bred, Greyhounds cannot regulate their own body temperatures as well as other breeds of dog. So not only do they feel the cold more, but they also need a bit more help keeping them at a comfortable temperature.
This is why it is so common to see Greyhounds wrapped up and looking super cosy in Winter, or under an umbrella and being drenched with bottled water in Summer – it’s important to know the signs and make sure you have what you need to keep them comfortable.
How Do I Know If My Greyhound Is Too Cold?
Luckily there are a few simple ways to check if your Greyhound is getting a bit too cold, and once you take action to help them out they can warm back up just as quickly.
A Cold Greyhound Is a Tiny Greyhound
When comfortable, Greyhounds tend to spread their many, many legs as far as they can, and in as many directions as possible. Perfect for tripping you up and getting muddy paw prints on the walls!
This changes pretty quickly once they start to feel the cold. They will tend to curl up into a little ball, often burying their noses into their bums to conserve as much heat as possible.
If your Greyhound starts doing this, it’s time to perform the most foolproof test of all…
The Greyhound Ear Temperature Check
As their temperature drops, your Greyhounds ears are usually the first thing to get cold, and means they give us a really quick and easy way to check…
Wrap your hand around one of their ears for a few seconds and see how cold it is!
It’s that easy! It will be instantly noticeable if their ear feels too cold, and as a plus you are now in the perfect position to give them some lovely ear scritches 😏
Some dogs feel the cold more than others (like our old boy, Mozzie), and this is reflected in the temperature of his ears dropping almost immediately, but all dogs are different.
If you get in the habit of doing this quick check in different environments you will quickly learn how cold your particular dog’s ears can get in different situations. It is a great way to quickly know how your dog is feeling, allowing you to take action when needed.
Why Do Greyhounds Chatter?
Greyhounds will often chatter their teeth together, sometimes quite loudly, and many owners can get concerned. If this happens to your hound do not worry and know it is rarely due to the cold – it usually means they are happy and excited to see you!
While Greyhounds will shiver if they get very cold, this is usually seen in the legs and body muscles, not the jaw. If you do see your dog’s muscles shivering please get them somewhere warmer as soon as possible – or continue the walk and stop standing still and nattering with other hoomans!
How to Keep Your Greyhound Warm in Winter
There are plenty of ways to help keep your Greyhound warm when they need a little help, whether at home or travelling, during the day or night.
Move to a Warmer Area
It may sound stupid, but the easiest thing to do is move to a warmer location!
Whether you are at home or down the local pub, there are likely areas that are more draughty than others. Moving to a corner away from open doors or people walking might be all that is needed.
In most country pubs (and a lot of homes) in the UK nowadays there is a fire going during the colder months. So that can be another great place to move to if it can be done safely.
Our Greyhounds love nothing more than relaxing in the warmth of a wood burning stove when it gets cold.
A Simple, Cosy Blanket
The simplest solution for most people is to find a blanket you already own, and throw it over your Greyhound. There is nothing quite like the feeling of placing a warm blanket over your dog and seeing them embrace it and let out a groan of happiness – be prepared for them to not move for hours when this happens!
As a rule we try to keep their head and feet free from the blanket to begin with, so that they can still see and won’t trip over themselves if they stand up before you can rush to assist.
Although some dogs (I’m looking at you again, Mozzie) love nothing more than full immersion under a blanket. Just be careful as a hidden, blanketed Greyhound can be a tempting target for more hounds to lay down!
Greyhound Jumpers, T-shirts and Pyjamas
However, the most convenient long term solution in most cases is to invest in dedicated Greyhound clothing.
Greyhounds have very thin skin and low body fat, so an extra layer is perfect for making up the difference in a wide range of colder temperatures – from a slightly chilly night, to a frosty morning walk.
There are some other benefits too…
We’ve all been in the situation where you wrap your dog up in a cosy blanket ready for bed, only for them to walk around the house an hour later looking like an extra from Harry Potter – before inevitably dropping the blanket somewhere and ending up cold and curled up in a ball again!
Also, and very importantly for some, you will instantly become a welcome member of the growing Fashound community!
It’s amazing how quickly your Greyhounds wardrobe can grow once you realise the positive impact it can have on both their lives, and yours. Don’t believe me? Just search for #fashound on Instagram and lose an hour of your afternoon!
Do Greyhounds Need a Jumper in Winter?
As is usually the case with these things, it depends. All Greyhounds will struggle to keep warm compared to other dog breeds – but some hounds are better at it than others.
For example Mozzie, our 11 year old boy, really feels the cold and needs a Greyhound Jumper on walks throughout the winter months. Whereas Dora, our 5 year old Moo-hound girl, runs much warmer and only needs a jumper on the colder days.
You know your dog better than anyone, and you know when the weather is a bit too cold for them. Personally, I wouldn’t be caught out and about in Winter without our Greyhounds Jumpers, just in case.
You can always remove a jumper if the sun comes out and it heats up a bit – but if the temperature drops and you have left them at home your Greyhound can get uncomfortable pretty quickly.
Greyhound Jumpers and T-shirts, just like Hooman clothing, should be used as part of a layered approach to ensure they are protected from a wide range of colder temperatures.
At What Temperature Should My Greyhound Wear a Jumper?
A rule of thumb is generally given as “if you need a coat, your Greyhound needs one too”, and we have found this to be a pretty good place to start.
We tend to put T-shirts on our Greyhounds when it starts to get a bit nippy outside, move to Jumpers when it drops a bit more, and then use a Jumper with a coat over the top on the coldest days.
If it’s too cold for both a Jumper and a coat – then it’s too cold to walk them!
Does My Greyhound Need a Coat When It’s Raining?
While Greyhounds have a much thinner coat than some other breeds of dog, they don’t have any problems being wet – in fact when it’s too hot they might really appreciate it!
The problem comes if they get wet and cold, which makes them more likely to get hypothermia and can obviously be dangerous. For this reason we always put raincoats on our Greyhounds if it’s raining during the colder months, and we always keep a set in the car just in case the weather turns unexpectedly.
There is also the added benefit of a happy, dry dog when you get back home too. Which means they can jump back into their favourite spot on the sofa as soon as you arrive.
Does My Greyhound Need Pyjamas to Sleep?
In our experience most Greyhounds would benefit from wearing Pyjamas during the night if they sleep on the floor, especially during the colder winter months.
It’s surprising how cold the floor can get at night once the heating is off.
Mozzie used to be very unsettled during the night until we tried putting Greyhound Pyjamas on him before bed. The difference was startling, and he instantly settled down and began sleeping through the night.
We used a blanket on him for a while, but unlike a blanket a good set of Greyhound Pyjamas won’t end up in a pile on the other side of the room when they stretch their legs in the middle of the night, or get up to have a drink, and you can be sure they will stay put and keep doing their job even through the most extreme midnight manoeuvres.
Mozzie, in his more senior years, now needs Greyhound Pyjamas to get a good night’s sleep on all but the warmest of summer nights, and a Greyhound Jumper throughout the winter.
If you have noticed that your Greyhound doesn’t settle well during the night, or they are curled up in a tiny ball when you wake in the morning, it might be worth trying out some Greyhound Pyjamas and seeing if it makes a difference.
Wrapping Things Up…
Greyhounds can really struggle to maintain their core temperature during the Winter, both while out walking but also during the night.
But it is not something that has to get in the way of your lives, and some simple changes can make a big difference to their levels of comfort.
Naturally, we at Blas & Co would wholeheartedly recommend Greyhound clothing as a long term solution if your hound feels the cold. But don’t forget that every hound is different and a cosy blanket on the coldest of nights might be all they need. Try it and see if it helps!
We donate £1 from every item of clothing sold to sighthound charities across the world via our Future Fashounds fund, which means that every single t-shirt or jumper your hound wears will be directly helping another sighthound find their furever home.
You can see a collection of our most popular products below, or alternatively you can join our newsletter to be notified of new products as they are released.
Being unable to find hand made, sustainably created, organic Greyhound clothing was the whole reason we started Blas & Co.
So whether you need a cosy, warm Greyhound Jumper to tackle a cold Winter walk, or a more lightweight, stretchy set of Greyhound Pyjamas just to take the edge off, we can provide whatever you need to keep your Greyhound, Whippet, Lurcher or Galgo warm, safe and comfortable this winter.