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 an informative, fun breed blog, as well as other information
The Italian Greyhound Nuts and Bolts Book by Patricia Kelly
Outrageous Tails of a Canine Queen by Judy Longhouse (for snickers, chuckles, and belly laughs, not 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.
IG Times - an Italian Greyhound magazine that is published quarterly
The Italian Greyhound - the Italian Greyhound breed magazine, with a focus on performance and show dogs
Make sure that any collar or harness that you use fits your IG properly and that he/she cannot pull out of it! Choose a fairly wide martingale collar or a harness that does not put pressure on your IGs trachea. Click here for how a martingale collar works and how to ensure that it is fitted properly. Even if you 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 recommend not 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.
Retractable Leashes Pose Problems for People and Their Pets - a Safety Blog on Consumer Reports website highlighting the dangers of 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.
Z-Hands Free Leash - this product has a padded belt and allows your dog to rotate from side to side.
The Buddy System - a simple, easy-to-use waist leash.
Clothing for IGs
Hound Togs - well-made home coats, outdoor coats, and rain slickers
Foggy Mountain Dog Coats - breed specific coats, including turnout and snuggler coats for IGs. These coats have neck and torso closures, so are great for IGs that do not like clothing pulled over their heads.
Spoiled Bratzwear - original, custom clothing and accessories for Italain Greyhounds and small dogs.
Shadedmoon's Secret Stash - Italian Greyhound overalls 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.
A & B Originals - wonderful, home-made sweaters for IGs
K9 Apparel - breed specific apparel, including a variety of coats for IGs - the Tummy Warmer is very nice. [I do not recommend the booties (see Neo-Paws boots below) or the hood, which I found to be too large (see Spoiled Bratzwear or TurboThreads in this section for snoods instead)]
TurboThreads' Snoods - Handmade, fleece snoods custom made to your dog's head measurement, with a toggle for a snug fit. Made and shipped quickly.
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.
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
Truth4Dogs - there is a good amount of vaccine information on this site.
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. Do not allow barbituates to be used; isoflurane tends to be a good choice.
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.
Demystifying Anesthesia - Although written in regards to Greyhounds, this article contains good information.
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.
Kibble Nibble Ball - this product works really well. 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.
TreatStik- there is only one dispensing opening and the placement of it requires work on the dogs part to get all the treats out.
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.
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.
First Aid Class - find your local American Red Cross Chapter and see if they offer the First Aid for Cats and Dogs class.
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.
Street Zaps- Contact voltage is a hidden hazard that can victimize an unsuspecting dog, a dog walker, or both. This site draws attention to this danger and emphasizes, "Eyeball the block, and avoid a shock."
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 through a broken window or when a rescuer opens a door. A loose dog is also a driver distraction. Some Italian Greyhound owners 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.
Champion K9 Seat Belt System - this is the dog car harness that I use. It is very well-made and tested.
PetBuckle - this company has a crash-tested car harness and also a kennel restraint system for car use
Snoozer Harness - referred to as a Deluxe Dog Car Harness on this site, this harness is crash-tested. Check out the middle image!
Roadie - the Roadie Canine Vehicle Restraint System by Ruff Wear has been crash tested in Germany, and the webbing has been strength tested.
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.
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.
Proper Nail Grooming - a visual guide to trimming with a dremel.
Danger of Long Toe Nails - an article on the importance of proper toe nail length.
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 of these, but I like the quality of the ones by Merrick.
Ostrich Tendons - if your Italian Greyhound has food allergies or intolerances, ostrich tendons might be a good alternative to beef chews (not always available, but this site does have other products for dogs with sensitive stomachs).
Rawhide- a very informative article on raw hide chews by the editor of Whole-Dog-Journal.
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. The main categories are commercial dog food, a home-cooked diet, or a raw diet.
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 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.
Hare-Today - a great source for alternative protein sources (i.e. duck, rabbit) if you home-cook or prepare a raw diet for a dog with food intolerances.
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.
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.
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.
Protect Pets from Home Fires - 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.
Bark 10-4- By using pet oxygen masks, rescuers have an increased chance of saving the life of a pet rescued from a fire. You can sponser your fire department or let them know of the availability of these masks.
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 - this is a press release regarding an Environmental Working Group study. Full information about the study is available from the press release page.
Is Your Pet Polluted?- A Dog Fancy magazine article regarding the EWG study. (This is a pdf, so you will be asked if you want to open it).
Reduce your Dog's Chemical Exposure - Tip for reducing your dog's exposure to chemicals.
Is Driveway Sealant Toxic?- The 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!
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 (scroll to the bottom of the linked page to view the three pack).
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.
Kyjen Intellibone and Puzzle Pup - I have found that the rings do not pull off of the bone very easily, but that the rings are a great size for Italian Greyhounds.
Simply Fido Petites - The best thing about these plush toys is that they are organic and eco-friendly!
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!
Chase It- Similar to the above listed Chase N Pull toy, this toy has a longer rod, longer rope, and bungee plush toy on the end. This version is great for outdoor use.