How Long Do Greyhounds Live (And Why?)

Exact Answer: 10-14 years

Greyhounds are one of the oldest breeds of hounds and their presence can be traced back to cave paintings and they even had a mention in the Bible. They are good as family pets and for individual owners as well as they do not require much grooming or exercise and are laid back. They are known for their speed which can be up to 72km/hour and was used for coursing games like deer or hare. 

The prime age for racing them is between the years of 2 to 5 years and after which they retire from the racecourse and are adopted by different families or individuals. Their size ranges from 71cm to 76cm for the male breed and 69cm to 71cm for the female breed. 

How Long Do Greyhounds Live

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How Long Do Greyhounds Live?

Greyhounds are affectionate, tender, social, and interact well with humans and other house pets once adopted. Since they are such ancient creatures, they carry almost noble blood which makes them less susceptible to diseases or harmful behavioral patterns.  The female breed is more animated, social, and needs more interaction than the male counterpart which in turn are more laid back, easier to manage, and better with children. The greyhound breed is highly intelligent and so they are easy to house train, and as they are adopted when they are a little bit older, they are more tolerant towards children and simply walk away when bothered. 

Overall the lifespan of a racer greyhound can be divided into life on the racecourse and life after adoption while on the racecourse they have to train for long hours, live in confinement, and are subjected to standard practices of racing life. Once they are adopted they have a relatively easier life and with proper care and nutrition, they can live a long and healthy life. 

In summary:

1.High strungThey are laid back and calm, so they are termed as “40 mile-per-hour couch potatoes”.
2.Need lots of space to runThey have short bursts of energy and they do not “need” to run but can run when they want, so even a small yard can be sufficient for them.
3.Health problemsAs they are such an ancient breed, they do have almost nil genetic problems but they do require regular veterinary visits.
4. Shy and aloofThey are actually very social and active around humans and other animals alike.

Why Do Greyhounds Live This Long?

The major reason that they can live this long is due to their ancient breed, which has over the long years eliminated most genetic disorders like hip disorders, bone erosion, and so on.  However, there are few genetic disorders like Anestheisa, Bloat, cancer, bleeding disorder arthritis, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disorder, epilespy, and even eyesight issues. There are also other diseases that can affect them like dental issues that include infections in their gums and roots of their teeth. They are also susceptible to normal viral and bacterial infections like rabies, distemper, and parvo.

One major issue in greyhounds is obesity which can lead to further complications like worse joint problems, digestive disorders, back pain, and heart pain. So it is of utmost importance that the owner does not overfeed the dog and get her enough exercise for long and healthy life. Their skinny and sleek body is not due to malnourishment, this is a physical characteristic unique to them that helps them run at a higher speed. Thus they only require three to four cups of kibble a day and trying to fatten them up can do more harm than good and cause them to have various health problems.


Greyhounds are easy to have as pets as they do not require much maintenance or interactions on a daily basis, however that does not mean they can be neglected. They are still dogs and so they need regular walks even if for 20 minutes or so, a healthy diet consists of meat, fish oils, etc, and it is important never to overfeed them. To prevent infections, it is important to groom them and brush them at least twice a week, and clean their ears semi-regularly. Apart from these, this breed of dog is adaptable, quiet, and requires minimal exercise thus they are good to have as pets. 



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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23 thoughts on “How Long Do Greyhounds Live (And Why?)”

  1. This article doesn’t mention the downsides of owning a greyhound. Not sure how accurate it is.

    1. I agree with you. It’s important to have a balanced view of what owning a greyhound is really like.

  2. Avatar of Saunders Maisie
    Saunders Maisie

    Greyhound dogs are really awesome. I love how they are so easy to maintain and yet really wonderful pets to have around the house. They are perfect for any family.

  3. I think this post gives a great insight into greyhounds. It’s very informative and makes me appreciate the breed more.

    1. It’s true, I feel like I’ve learned so much about greyhounds from this article. I never knew they were so low-maintenance.

  4. I always knew greyhounds were fast, but I didn’t realize they could run up to 72km/hour. That’s incredible!

  5. Great post, but I’m curious about their ability to live with other house pets. It would be good to have more details on that.

  6. Avatar of Phillips Kieran
    Phillips Kieran

    As someone who has always wondered about getting a greyhound, this post has been really helpful. I appreciate the insight!

  7. I’m not convinced that all greyhounds live long, healthy lives. Has this been scientifically proven?

  8. The article mentions a lot of potential health issues for greyhounds. I’m a bit concerned now about getting one.

    1. It’s a shame that such elegant dogs have so many health problems. Definitely something to think about.

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