With the popularity of race dogs declining, there are many dogs that will now need a retirement option.

Race dogs are usually from the greyhound breed, and these dogs can be very active and fun-loving. Unfortunately, when they are used as race dogs, they are sometimes denied the pleasure of freely roaming about to play. Being kept in cages for long hours and being transported in these cages could also affect the spirit of the animal.

Luckily, many charity organizations are willing to assist with the care and rehoming of these lovely creatures, like greyhound welfare in Australia. Volunteers and foster parents care for the animals well  while they’re waiting for permanent placement in a loving home. After all, rescued animals deserve all the love and care that you would give any other pet.

So, what happens when race dogs retire? Here are some options available for these majestic dogs:

Rescue Centers

Many rescue centers would gladly take in a retired dog. When the dog arrives at the shelter, they often have to be rehabilitated, so they can adjust to a non-racing life.

Rescue centers may have trained personnel that would assist with this transition, so the dogs become well-adjusted and confident enough to go to a loving home. Due to the constant stress and rigorous training these dogs endure, some of them are not always able to adjust. When a dog is unable to adjust to a home life as a pet, rescue centers may have facilities to care for these dogs to ensure that they live a quality life after racing. 

These facilities often have in-house options for care as well, including resident veterinarians that look after the health of the dogs. Veterinarians do regular health check-ups and ensure that vaccines and other medical care is up-to-date for each of the dogs.

Foster Homes

The increase in the number of greyhounds retiring from racing may lead to a shortage of space at rescue centers. When a local rescue center lacks enough room, there may be people that volunteer as foster carers to take care of the dog. These volunteers are often registered with the rescue centers and shelters, and are a practical option for retired race dogs.

A foster home could be a more intimate setting, and dogs will receive more attention from their foster parents, compared with a shelter or a rescue center. The volunteers are usually familiar with the greyhound breed, and they will be aware of the possible complications that may arise when homing a retired race dog.

If you’re unable to commit to caring for a retired race dog long term, you might want to try being a foster parent or a volunteer for an organization. By fostering, you will help contribute to the adoption process. As a foster parent, you can help retired race dogs prepare for a home environment and see to it that they go to the forever family they deserve. 

So, a foster home is a great choice to provide a more intimate level of care for retired race dogs.

Loving Forever Homes

Not everyone will be willing to adopt a retired race dog, especially because they may have health or behavioral challenges brought on by the strict training involved in racing. There are also misconceptions about them. For instance, some think that it’s not worth adopting a retired race dog because they’re no longer young and energetic. However, this isn’t true. Retired race dogs are quite adaptable. And just like any breed, they enjoy interacting and playing around. 

Despite these challenges, retired race dogs still have so much to give to families that choose to adopt them. These dogs are actually naturally affectionate and may blossom when they receive the care and attention they require. Giving the dog a space to finally run, play, and be properly loved might just be all they need. 

Race dogs are naturally intelligent too, so they will be able to quickly transition from being a racer to a family pet. They do not require much maintenance either since their coats are easy to clean, and they respond well to training. 

With all these characteristics, they make ideal family pets that will bring so much joy and comfort in your life.

At The Finish Line

When race dogs have crossed their final finish line, they actually have a few options available for a comfortable retirement. Rescue centers and foster homes work tirelessly to provide a safe environment and quality medical care. Rescue dogs are gentle, loving animals that deserve all the love and care in the world, and a safe and wonderful space will be exactly what they need.


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About the author

Maria T. Buchholtz is a 37-year-old veterinary volunteer at a rescue center for greyhounds. She loves taking care of these wonderful dogs and wants to share her passion with others. She’s often found helping families look after their pets when not at the rescue center.