More Italian Greyhound Information
Categorized resources, including product information, for Italian Greyhounds and their people
Italian Greyhound Information
Italian Greyhound Club of America - a member club of the AKC and the national breed club for Italian Greyhounds
Italian Greyhound Video - Animal Planet's Dogs 101 - Italian Greyhounds video
The UK Italian Greyhound Club - a member club of the UK Kennel Club. This website and the
Italian Greyhound Active Health Project contain lots of good information.
The Breed Archive - this breed archive began with The Whippet Archives in 2006 and now includes archives for other breeds including the Italian Greyhound. You can search for dogs and breeders, and view breed statistics. The archive is built by individuals entering data on their dogs.
Ten Facts to Know About the Italian Greyhound - a video by Joyce Diamond from Diamond Dog Training - Joyce adopted two dogs through Italian Greyhound Place and both are in the video!
The Italian Greyhound Nuts and Bolts Book by Patricia Kelly - only available in used condition.
Italian Greyhound Owners - this is a popular group with lots of members
Italian Greyhounds - another group focused on Italian Greyhounds
Italian Greyhound Place - our Facebook presence!
IggyEzine - an online Italian Greyhound showcase magazine
Collars, Harnesses, and Leashes
With sight hounds, due to the similarity in their neck and head circumferences, a martingale collar is the safest choice. There are different style martingales, some easier to use than others, but regardless of the design, it is vitally important that the martingale fit properly. The following short video demonstrates proper fit: Fitting a Martingale. Note that when the leash is pulled tight, a properly fitted martingale will have space between the rings (or d rings); if the rings touch, the collar is too big.
The above link shows a standard martingale. Also available are martingales with a side-clip, made-to-measure slip-on martingales, and collars with an extended loop piece with an easy-to-use one-piece slide.
Most harnesses, even if they appear to be snug, can be pulled out of. If choosing a harness, consider the Web Master or Flagline (both designed to be escape-proof) or the Reversible Harness Vest listed, and linked to, in the Harness section below. For a safety net, a martingale can be used in conjunction with a harness - use a leash coupler or choose a style such as the EZ Collar described below.
Even if your IG is micro-chipped, use an identification collar. Do not use a retractable leash!
EZ Collar - this is an adjustable martingale collar that is easy to put on the dog It is also an easy collar to use in conjunction with a harness. It is vital that the slide on this style collar be tightened after the collar is put on the dog and the collar should be replaced if the slide becomes loose.
Sit Up 'n' Beg - Martingale collars in buttery soft leather.
PetSafe Quick Snap Martingle - a simple side-clip martingale that, although not padded, does the job. It is easy to get (and use, due to the side-clip) and can be a good option if a secure collar is needed within a short-time frame or to use while a custom one is being made.
Walking and General Use Harnesses
Web Master Harness - this harness, made by Ruffwear and designed to "provide security that even the best 'Houdini dog' can't escape," is highly recommended by Italian Greyhound owners and is an excellent alternative to a martingale collar for securely attaching your dog to his leash. It is very well made and, although appears "bulky," tends to fit most Italian Greyhounds very nicely. If using a harness, this is the one recommended by Italian Greyhound Place. New Fabric: the current version has increased breath-ability and flexibility, with ripstop fabric to resist fading.
Web Master Flagline Harness - Ruffwear has a new harness that is basically, according to a Ruffwear representative, a hybrid of the Front Range and the Web Master (the Web Master was designed to be escape-proof, but the Front Range was not). The good news is that the Flagline has the escape-proof design of the Web Master - the Flagline Harness has a groin strap like the Web Master to make it secure; a front attachment point like the Front Range, while retaining a back attachment point like the Web Master; a full chest/belly panel like the Front Range; and a handle like the Web Master. It is lighter than the Web Master, with slimmer straps. It could be a good option if someone wants a lighter harness and/or a front attachment in addition to a back attachment point.
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. It is not generally regarded as being as escape-proof as the Ruffwear Web Master harness though.
The Easy Walk and Front Range harnesses are not "escape proof" harnesses and I would only recommend using them with a martingale collar. The new Flagline harness is escape-proof and can be used as a no-pull harness.
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. There is also a deluxe version with neoprene padding.
Note - the Easy Walk Harness is the original style of front-clip harnesses that have a strap that crosses horizontally across the dog's shoulders. Although they tend to be more effective at redirecting a dog's pulling than newer styles without the strap, they can possibly alter the dog's natural gait. The Flagline Harness by Ruffwear is a good option that does not have a horizontal strap.
Front Range Harness - this nicely made, cushioned harness has two attachment points, one on the chest and one on the back; they can be used individually or together. Although not advertised specifically as a no-pull harness, the harness information indicates that the reinforced front clip can be used to redirect dogs who pull. However, the center chest strap can be too wide for some Italian Greyhounds, resulting in chafing. Although made by Ruffwear, this harness is not escape-proof!
Ruffwear Flagline Harness - this harness, designed to be escape-proof, has a front attachment point and, although not advertised as a no-pull harness, can be used to assist in teaching a dog not to pull. This would be the best choice if a harness with a front clip is desired.
Whether or not your dog is micro-chipped, an ID collar is recommended. To avoid the risk of entanglement or the possibility of another dog's jaw becoming trapped in the collar during play, a breakaway collar is the safest choice.
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. It is a soft-neoprene collar that closes with velcro.
PetSafe KeepSafe Break-Away Safety Collar - this is another option for a breakaway ID collar and there are Boomerang Tags that can be used with it. This collar, which should not be used with a leash as a dog could slip out of it, is available without the D-rings from Chinook & Co (a Boomerang Tag for the collar is also sold).
I would not recommend using a retractable leash. The reasons include:
They teach the dog to pull due to the constant pressure from the lead.
If the handle is dropped, it will move toward the dog, scaring him and causing him to run off, and possibly hitting and injuring him.
If your dog runs and gets to the end of the line, it can jerk him back suddenly, causing injury.
If danger is encountered, you cannot quickly reel the dog in.
The line can cause entanglement and serious injury to both dogs and humans.
Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash - Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, provides a list of reasons why she does not recommend 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.
The Buddy System - a simple, easy-to-use waist leash.
Squishy Face Studio Leash Belt - this belt can be used with the leash of your choice.
Dog Clothing and Boots
Shadedmoon's Secret Stash - Italian Greyhound coveralls 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!
Skinny Dogwear - another great source for coveralls (jumpsuits), as well as other items such as shirts; choose from standard sizes or request customization.
Voyagers K9 Apparel - breed specific apparel, including a variety of coats for IGs - the Tummy Warmer is very nice. I do not recommend the hood, which I found to be too large (see Spoiled Bratzwear or TurboThreads in this section for snoods instead).
TurboThreads - handmade, fleece snoods custom made to your dog's head measurement, with a toggle for a snug fit. Other items such as collars, vests, and coats are also available.
Wee Wear 4 Pets - made-to-measure coats and coveralls with lots of fabric choices.
Iggy Couture - Italian Greyhound wear including rompers and running suits, with flannel, fleece, and microfleece fabric choices.
DG DogGear - designed specifically for sighthounds, the clothing collection includes underwear, overalls, and coats.
IGClothingDesigns - an adorable, custom-made coat with ruffle for your female Italian Greyhound - also available without a ruffle.
Italian Greyhounds can be very comical when they are first introduced to boots and are getting accustomed to walking in them. However, since the goal is to have your dog wear the boots outside (and not decide that he doesn't like them), I would recommend putting the boots on your dog, checking the fit, and, if the fit is good, taking the dog out for a walk, basically taking your dog's focus off of the boots.
Muttluks Snow Mushers - these boots have a flexible, rubber sole with good traction; go on easy; and stay on, whether the dogs are walking or running. These are my new, favorite boots! Also at Muttluks.
Lined and Unlined Wellies – these Canada Pooch boots are made from silicone, are waterproof, and have a grippy sole – your dog can walk through puddles or slushy snow and his/her paws will stay dry. They are “low” boots, like the Snow Mushers, so consider boot covers depending on the depth of snow/puddles. Canada Pooch sizing varies depending on the boot style.
Muttluks Mud Monsters - these are warm-weather boots with a breathable mesh fabric and flexible rubber soles with traction treads that offer protection from hot pavement, sand and rough surfaces.
Neo Paw Boot Covers - these boot covers are a great boot accessory and can be used with various boot brands - I use them with the Muttluk boots. They are beneficial when the snow is deeper than the boot tops (keeps snow out of the boots) or when very wet out (keeps the velcro straps dry). I originally used Neo-paws boots, but the sizing/fit of the boots was changed some and I now recommend the Muttluks Snow Mushers.
MuttGators – these boot covers by Muttluks are designed to keep snow out of boots. They can be used with Muttluks or other boots, such as the Canada Pooch Wellies.
Exercise Pens and Gates
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.
Pet Barrier - the Bow W0w Barrier 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.
Dog Dental Products
Remember to brush you IG's teeth daily!
Oral B Toothbrush - the Oral B baby toothbrush is a popular toothbrush used with Italian Greyhounds - the baby/children toothbrushes were previously named by "Stages," with the Stage 1 toothbrush having been an excellent choice.
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 tooth brushing tutorial illustrated with Italian Greyhounds.
Dog Nail Trimming
I recommend the use of a nail grinder over a nail clipper, primarily because you cannot accidentally cut the dog's quick and it creates a smoother finish. If your dog's nails are long, you can clip some length off and then continue with a grinder However, some dogs will have a preference for clippers or a grinder. Using a 45 degree cut, followed by a 90 degree cut (illustrated in the linked diagram below) is a good approach to having the nail quick recede and achieving shorter dog nails (this can also be done with a grinder).
The 45/90 degree nail trimming approach;
Dog nail anatomy, illustrating the quick and how it will grow and recede; and
The danger of untrimmed nails - how long nails change the dog's foot structure
Dr. Buzby's Dog Nail Trim - Black Nails - this video demonstrates how to trim a dog's black toe nails without getting too close to the quick - visually showing what to look for. Although clippers are used in the video, the same concept applies to dremeling. If you choose to use a clipper, the video demonstrates a good clipper technique.
Counter-conditioning for Nail Trimming - an article describing how to counter-condition and desensitize a dog to the nail trimming process.
Vaccinations & Anesthesia
It is important to become educated about vaccinations - what ones to give your IG, when to give them, and when to use titer testing instead of vaccinating. Rabies is the only vaccination required by law; distemper and parvovirus are core vaccinations which should be given to puppies, but instead of having booster vaccinations administered every three years, titer testing can be done; and other vaccinations are non-core. Non-core vaccinations should only be administered if your dog is at high risk for the disease or it is required for something your dog is participating in. These vaccinations can cause reactions, and/or do not provide full-protection, and/or only protect against various strains of the disease. Multiple vaccinations should never be given at the same time – it increases the chance of a reaction and, if there is a reaction, it will not generally be clear which vaccination the dog is reacting to.
AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines - the AAHA published new canine vaccination guidelines in 2017, which included support for titer testing for canine distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus.
Jean Dodd's Vaccination Protocol - a minimal approach to vaccination, often referred to by IG owners
Avoid Unnecessary Vaccines with Titer Tests - an article by Dr. Jean Dodds
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 protoc0ls; 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. Discuss with your veterinarian what pre-anesthetic medications, induction agents, and inhalent anesthetics will be used. Barbituates should never be used. The following links contain information that will be beneficial when speaking with your Italian Greyhound's veterinarian.
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.
Toys, Treat Toys, & Puzzles
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.
Outward Hound Egg Babies - these squeaky eggs are a great size for Italian Greyhounds.
Outward Hound 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.
Kong Plush Duck Toy - this toy, in the x-small size, is perfect for Italian Greyhounds. It has no stuffing, but is a soft plush with a velcro opening that enables the squeaker to be replaced.
Petstages Lil Squeak - this toy is a great size for Italian Greyhounds to hold and squeak. There are two squeak chambers, with two different sounds.
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!
Flirt Pole Junior and Flirt Pole Regular - similar to the above listed Chase N Pull toy, the Flirt Pole comes in two sizes for use in smaller and larger sized spaces. The longer version is great for outdoor use.
Food/Treat 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 - the Kong Classic, Kong Puppy, and Kong Senior come in a variety of sizes and can be stuffed with food or treats. They are part of the Kong Rubber Toys collection - since creating the original Kong, the company has added a multitude of other toys, including those that dispense treats and kibble.
ZogoFlex Toppl Treat Toy - the Toppl, like a Kong, can be stuffed with food, but also has wedges to hold treats in place. It is shallower than a Kong and could be a good option for dogs who are not good at cleaning out Kongs. Note - this product is designed for supervised use.
Kibble Nibble Ball - this product works really well. It unscrews for filling and cleaning, and 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 and completely unscrews for cleaning.
TreatStik- there is only one dispensing opening and the placement of it requires work on the dogs part to get all the treats out. The top screws off for filling and/or cleaning.
Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Dog Toy - this treat dispensing toy unscrews to fill with treats and for cleaning, and the difficulty level can be modified. It can be rolled, tipped, flipped, and carried. If ordering, note that there are two sizes.
IQ Treat Ball - this treat dispensing ball unscrews for filling and cleaning and has a removeable center disc with an adjustable treat opening - close it for "one-level" play or open it, to various degrees, for "two-level" play.
Wooly Snuffle Mat - this snuffle mat, by Paw5, is completely made of fabric and machine washable, unlike most snuffle mats that have a plastic, grid base. Treats or kibble can be tossed, dropped, placed (however you choose!) onto the mat and your dog will "sniff, snort, and snuffle" while locating the food; simulating, to a certain extent, natural foraging.
Lickimat - Lickimats are designed to have soft food smeared on them, which dogs then lick off. Generally used with food such as yogurt, cottage cheese, peanut butter and other soft, primarily treat item food, they can also be used with soft dog food or raw grinds, in which case they can serve as slow-feeder bowls. Some are placed on the floor and some have suction cups to attach to smooth surfaces such as shower or bathtub walls.
Kong Ballistic Hide 'n Treat - this is a unique "treat" toy that is basically a tough, plush toy with three, attached velcro flaps positioned around a center area that holds treats. When closed, the flaps conceal the center pocket. Each flap also has inside pockets for treats. The difficulty can be varied by how firmly the flaps are attached. I recommend making it super easy at first!
Hartz Treat Bouncer - this treat dispenser toy is composed primarily of plush and nylon, with a center plastic tube that holds and dispenses treats as the toy is tumbled - basically a plush toy that dispenses treats. Although the product does not indicate that it is machine washable, I have put it through the wash.
Interactive Puzzle Toys
(to use with your dog)
Nina Ottosson - a large variety of puzzles in which treats can be hidden for your dog to find. Difficulty levels are indicated for each puzzle. Puzzles are available through Outward Hound and other retailers.
Trixie Activity Poker Box - this interactive game comes with four puzzle boxes, each providing a different challenge, that can be placed individually or together on the base.
Trixie Activity Gambling Tower - this cylindrical tube has three "platforms" that, when pulled out by the dog, releases treats, either to a platform below it, or out of the tube.
Trixie Activity Flip Board - this puzzle has components that require the dog to slide disks, push (flip) knobs, and lift cones. The cones with this puzzle are a good size for Italian Greyhounds to grab with their mouths - some puzzles have larger-sized cones.
Trixie Mad Scientist - this puzzle has cylinders that can be spun by the dog to release treats - there are three cylinders and two cap options (caps with one treat dispensing opening and ones with three, smaller openings). When introducing the puzzle to your dog, I would recommend putting one cylinder on the horizontal rod and using the easiest cap. A similar, but easier puzzle is the Trixie Windmill.
Trixie Activity Move2Win - this puzzle has three components - a knob that is pushed down paths to open drawers, drawers that open by pulling a loop (handle) on them, and cones to remove.
Smart Paws Interactive Pet Puzzle Toy, Twenty-five Holes, Level 3 - this puzzle has twenty-five spots for treats, with circular and square pieces that the dog pushes along to uncover the treats. It is similar to the Nina Ottosson Challenge Slider, but the puzzle pieces are easier for a small dog to move on the Smart Paws version.
Hol-ee Roller - this squishy, bouncy ball has honeycomb shaped holes that makes it ideal for use as a treat dispensing toy by using fabric and small treats of your choice: Using rectangular pieces of fabric or paper towels (the dimensions of Bounty Select-a-Size work nicely), roll treats in each, fold the fabric or paper towel in half, and stuff them in the holes of the ball, leaving the ends sticking out so the dog has something to grab and pull. If desired, you can first teach your dog to unroll a towel to get treats hidden inside.
Tip - some interactive puzzles such as the Gambling Tower by Trixie work fine when placed on the floor. However, some puzzles, especially if you want your dog to solve the puzzle by using his snout and mouth, rather than swiping with his paws, work best if placed on an object approximately five inches off of the floor. Use an object small enough to allow your dog to access all sides of the puzzle - you can hold an edge of the puzzle so that it maintains stability.
Dog Food, Bowls, and Chews
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.
Two main categories are commercial dog food and home-made dog food. Commercial dog food includes canned, dry, refrigerated, dehydrated, freeze-dried (raw), raw (generally frozen), and fresh-cooked (frozen or pantry style). A home-made diet can be cooked or raw.
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 home-made 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
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.
Feeding a Raw Diet - the Perfectly Rawsome website has numerous articles on raw feeding, with the Dog Guides section including a Small Dog Raw Feeding Guide. Other sections include Ingredients, Nutrients, Guidance, and Diet Options (Home Cooked Diets scheduled to be added).
Choices for feeding a canine raw diet include commercial frozen raw food, commercial freeze-dried raw food, and d-i-y utilizing various food sources and/or grinds.
Some resources for raw feeding:
Raw Food Co-ops are also an option used by many raw feeders.
Many dogs are fed the same food month after month, and year after year. For most dogs, this is not necessarily the best approach, with a varied diet providing a better nutritional balance and health.
Food Transitioning vs. Food Rotation - an excellent article by Dr. Jean Dodds.
Slow feed, or slow feeder, dog bowls are designed, as their name implies, to slow down how fast a dog eats his or her food. In addition to accomplishing that, they provide some mental stimulation and provide the dog with a meal that he or she has to "work" for. These bowls can be used with wet or dry food; if feeding a kibble style food, some of the treat/food dispensing products discussed on this web page can also be used for meals.
Dogit Go Slow Bowl - this dishwasher safe bowl slows down eating, but it has a simple design without too many obstacles, making it a good introductory bowl. The small bowl is 7.1 x 2.5, and the medium is 10.8 x 3.8 inches (there are also extra-small and large bowls).
My Lucky Pets Slow Feed Dog Bowl - this is a unique slow feed bowl that is made from FDA approved, food-grade silicone and is dishwasher safe. Although this is a flat bowl with no sides, it works nicely. There are two sizes - I would recommend the small.
Outward Hound Fun Feeder - there are three styles, each a different color, and each style is available in two sizes [I use the small (mini) with the dogs here]. The bowls are top-rack dishwasher safe, and are BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.
Silicone Baking Molds - Yes! Silicone baking molds, available in various sizes and mold shapes, make great slow feeders. They are especially good for soft food, but can also be used with kibble. This one is dishwasher safe.
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.
Natural Chews such as beef tendons - there are different brands and "styles" of these, with those from Barkworthies providing a good selection.
Rawhide - a very informative article on raw hide chews by the editor of Whole-Dog-Journal.
Yam/Sweet Potato Chews - these homemade treats are a good alternative to commercial chews / treats. The characteristics of the "finished product" can be varied by the thickness of the slices, oven temperature, and how long they are cooked or dehydrated. Another technique (not in the article) is to microwave the yam a small amount (to make slicing easier), peel the yam, slice, and dehydrate at a super low oven temperature. The pieces can be used whole or broken into smaller pieces.
Cozy Caves - Italian Greyhounds like to burrow and the Cozy Caves by Snoozer are a popular choice. There are two styles, the Cozy Caves with a polyester/cedar filling and the Orthopedic Cozy Caves (the cedar in the polyester/cedar version is detectable by scent). In addition to the two styles, there are a variety of sizes and fabric colors/designs. The cover is machine washable.
DG Comfy Cave - similar to the Snoozer Cozy Caves, these caves do not have cedar in the cushion filling and are available in various colors and sizes.
Iglet Pouch - these pouches are very soft and nicely cushioned with polyfil, and the entire cushion is machine washable. Three sizes and a selection of fabric choices are available.
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.
Calming Signals - The Art of Survival - a good article on calming signals, basically dog communication, by Turid Rugaas.
Calming Signals - Photos - a photographic slide show with descriptive text explaining various calming signals and their use.
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.
Dog Body Language: What your dog is desperately trying to tell you! - a short video from The Family Dog that uses photos of dogs with short captions.
Dog Car Restraints
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 seat belts.
It is important that your IG never sit in a front seat where an air bag could deploy - the impact would likely be deadly.
The Center for Pet Safety tested dog car harnesses in 2013, and tested crates and carriers for crashworthiness in 2015. Some additional products have been tested since the original crash testing. Products passing the rigorous testing are CPS (Center for Pet Safety) certified.
The only car harnesses tested in 2013 with this designation are the Sleepypod Clickit Sport and the Terrain - unfortunately, these harnesses are not designed for the Italian Greyhound body shape. The Allsafe Harness passed when used without the tether, but since the tether is included with the harness, the product is not listed as an approved or certified harness.
There are three CPS certified crates from Gunner, the G1 Small, a newer product that was tested in June 2017, and the G1 Medium and Intermediate; two from Lucky Kennel - the Intermediate and Large; and one from Rock Creek. There are certified carries from Sleepypod, including the Mobile in a mini and medium size; the Away Pet Carrier; the Diggs Passenger Carrier; and the Paravel Cabana Carrier. A 2015 pilot study of dog booster seats resulted in none being certified.
Detailed information on the testing, including products tested and conclusions can be viewed by clicking on the Test Results link in the Center for Pet Safety menu bar.
If You Drive with Your Pet, You Need to See these Videos - an over-view, with videos, of The Center for Pet Safety testing.
Driving Safely with Your Dog - a comprehensive article from Whole-Dog-Journal
For additional vehicle safety tips, check out the Guard Car Doors / Secure the Dog in the Car section on the Lost Dog Prevention page.
Canine Sun Protection
Dogs with short, pale coats can be prone to dermal hemangiosarcoma and it is believed that Italian Greyhounds have a predisposition to this form of cancer. Therefore, especially if you have a white, or predominantly white, Italian Greyhound, it can be beneficial to protect your dog's skin from the sun. This can be done by using a canine sunscreen on the nose and areas that do not have much fur, and utilizing sun protective clothing. Do Not use human sunscreen on your dog - it can contain substances toxic or harmful to dogs such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide.
My Dog Nose It - sun protection made for dogs.
K9 Sunwear - Spoiled Bratzwear makes UV protective clothing in sleeveless, t-shirt, hoody, and full-suit styles.
TurboBoost - Sunprotect - sun protective clothing from TurboThreads, available in various styles and colors/patterns.
Walking on Hot Surfaces
Why Dog Owners Should Avoid Pavement and Fake Grass on Hot Days - explains the "Seven Second Rule" for determining if a surface is too hot for your dog to walk on.
Small dogs, including Italian Greyhounds, can be vulnerable to predators such as coyotes and raptors. It is important to know what wildlife is in your area and to be aware that attacks have been reported in residential neighborhoods - in yards and when dogs were being walked. There are vests designed to product dogs from such attacks.
Coyote Vest - this vest is available with accessories such as a HawkShield (raptor protection) and CoyoteWhiskers that attach to the Coyote Vest (or to the Spike Vest - similar to the original Coyote Vest, but closes with velcro rather than snap buckles). There is also a fleece liner available.
Raptor Shield - this vest, with an optional liner, offers protection, as it's name indicates, against birds of prey.
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 - there is a toll-free emergency number (consultation fee may apply), and the website has good, categorized lists of poisonous substances.
Pet Poison Helpline - a toll free emergency number ($75 per case charge) and information on poisons.
The Safe Dog Handbook - this book, available used, includes identifying hazards, preventing accidents, and responding to emergencies. VCA Veterinary Specialty Center has a free online Pet Emergency Care Handbook.
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.
Contact Voltage - contact voltage is a hidden hazard that can victimize an unsuspecting dog, a dog walker, or both. This site explains what contact voltage is and what safety precautions can be taken.
Is that Water Safe for Your Dog to Swim? Simple Test for Blue-Green Algae - a simple test for blue-green algae toxins. Some Italian Greyhounds do swim :-) or might be with owners who are swimming/entering water with potential blue-green algae, which contains deadly toxins.
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.
Pet Rescue Window Decal - request a free ASPCA pet rescue decal for your window.
Pet Oxygen Masks - by using pet oxygen masks, rescuers have an increased chance of saving the life of a pet rescued from a fire. Considering letting your fire deparment know about the availability of these masks and/or donating some to the organization.
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 - information from an Environmental Working Group study.
Secondhand (and Third-Hand) Smoke May be Making Your Pet Sick - a short FDA Consumer Article