There are over 8.5 million dogs in the UK, yet only 22% of those come from the many animal charities working to find homes for the dogs in their care. With a staggering array of breeds to choose from, it is often a bewildering choice for anyone who has taken the decision to welcome a dog into their life.

While designer breeds have seen a surge in popularity, there is one charity keen to promote the oldest pedigree dog. The Greyhound Trust has found homes for over 85,000 greyhounds since being formed in 1975. Free from the health issues that often plague breeds like French Bulldogs or Pugs, the elegant Greyhound is widely known for its racing prowess. However, there are many reasons why these dogs can make the perfect family pet when they have retired from the racetrack.

The only breed of dog mentioned by name in the Bible, greyhounds have been traced back to the Egyptians, and were the prize hunting dogs of the English nobility for many centuries. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 40mph in just six strides, the calm and gentle temperament of the breed is making them a popular choice for therapeutic settings, as well as making them well suited to families with children or for older owners. 

Despite common perceptions, greyhounds need relatively little exercise and are content to spend many hours of the day sleeping in a comfortable spot. Two twenty minute walks a day plus toilet breaks is usually sufficient, though many will happily walk with their owner for longer (provided it isn’t raining). Their short coat is almost odourless, so they require very little grooming and can be a good choice for anyone with allergies.

Typically greyhounds retire from racing between 3-5 years old, and can go on to live for 12 – 14 years. The Greyhound Trust is the UK’s largest single-breed homing charity, and finds homes for almost 4000 greyhounds every year. With 55 branches all over the UK run by volunteers, the Trust helps support the transition of racing greyhounds to family pet, and have years of experience doing it.

In West Yorkshire the local branch is run by Kath Armitage, one of the charity’s most experienced volunteers. Kath and her small team found homes for 68 greyhounds in one year, greyhounds like Ben, who is currently waiting for a home. Ben is affectionate, engaging, and loves to be close to you. If you have a spot by your fire where he can lay next to you, then contact the Greyhound Trust West Yorkshire branch on westyorkshire@greyhoundtrust.org.uk or call Kath on 07723027995

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