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National Greyhound Day 2023: When It Is & Its Purpose

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By Nicole Cosgrove

greyhound jump

One of the holidays dedicated to spreading the word about Greyhounds, their history, and how many dogs need loving homes is National Greyhound Day. This holiday is held on June 2 every year and is a key part of raising awareness of Greyhounds and promoting their adoption.

With so many pet-related holidays throughout the year, it’s difficult to keep track of what each one is for. This guide explains what National Greyhound Day is, when it’s held, how to spread the word, and how to celebrate it.

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What Is National Greyhound Day?

Understanding what National Greyhound Day is means understanding the lives that many Greyhounds lead. When you think of Greyhounds, you likely think of a racetrack with a mechanical hare being chased by these dogs.

It sounds like a fun way of seeing dogs showcase how fast they are. However, the reality is less idyllic. Although some Greyhounds live in loving homes, many aren’t as fortunate.

brown greyhound running
Image Credit: Herbert Aust, Pixabay

The History of Greyhound Racing

The dog-racing industry took off in 1919 and is partly a result of the Greyhound’s speed making them a status symbol and a source of entertainment. Most people only see the dogs once they’re on the racetrack. They bet on their favorites, cheer when they win, and think nothing more of it. The situation behind the scenes, however, is what makes National Greyhound Day so important.

When they’re not running, many Greyhounds are kept in cramped kennels or disposed of if they’re not fast enough to win. They’re not allowed to play or socialize and often only get let out to race. Many Greyhounds die on the track due to heat exhaustion or severe injuries. For the few that reach retirement age, their lives rarely improve.

By the end of the 1900s, animal welfare associations began banning the sport throughout the U.S.A. While Greyhound racing is now illegal in over 42 states, there are still many dogs being subjected to cruel treatment or neglect.

Benefits of National Greyhound Day

Raises Awareness

Part of the reason that Greyhound racing became so controversial is due to the efforts of Greyhound lovers and animal welfare advocates. National Greyhound Day is a way to further spread awareness about the abuse that the dogs face, both on the racetrack and when they retire.

Since the races rely on support from the public to bet on the dogs, drawing attention to the cruelty behind the scenes helps put a stop to it. With more racetracks being shut down, more Greyhounds are given a chance to live free rather than as a commodity.

Promotes Adoption

National Greyhound Day also serves another purpose. With so many racetracks being shut down, the number of Greyhounds forced into retirement, shelters, and rescues is growing.

Thousands of Greyhounds are surrendered every year because they’re too injured or old to race. To ensure that these dogs have a chance of survival, holidays like National Greyhound Day help spread the word about the benefits of adopting these dogs and giving them loving homes.

spanish greyhound dog with his owner
Image Credit: encierro, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate National Greyhound Day

Whether you have a Greyhound of your own, just love the breed, or simply want to help, celebrating National Greyhound Day is a good way to start. You don’t need to plan a massive party either. Sometimes all you need to do is share the hashtag or donate to a Greyhound rescue.

National Greyhound Day is held annually on June 2, and here are a few tips for celebrating.


Part of National Greyhound Day is dedicated to encouraging dog lovers to adopt. If you’ve been looking for a Greyhound of your own, consider adopting an ex-racer rather than buying a new puppy.

An older Greyhound might have a few bad habits that you’ll need to correct, but they’re also in much greater need of a loving home. Many are surrendered to shelters and Greyhound rescues and have nowhere else to go. Adoption or fostering gives them a chance to curl up on a couch and cuddle with their new family instead of being locked in a cage.

That said, before you adopt, make sure that you have enough space for these dogs—they’re big animals despite their slender bodies—and that you can afford to keep them. You also need to understand their care needs and be active enough to manage their energy level.

Not everyone has the space or the budget to support a Greyhound. If you can’t adopt or foster, consider donating to the Greyhound Trust or another Greyhound rescue to help out. You don’t need to limit yourself to money donations either. You can also donate food and other supplies to help the shelters meet the dogs’ needs.

greyhound dog with the female owner outdoors
Image Credit: Spaskov, Shutterstock

Share the Hashtag

The internet is a great way to show your support for your favorite cause, and sharing the #NationalGreyhoundDay hashtag to keep it trending is one of the simplest tasks that you can do. Share pictures of your own Greyhound, or spread information about rescues with dogs that need new homes.

You can also try baking a few dog-safe treats for your Greyhound to spoil them a little and then share the process or the recipe.


Whether they’re for all dogs or dedicated solely to Greyhounds, shelters and rescues always need extra help. If you’ve been planning on volunteering for a while, National Greyhound Day is the perfect chance to sign up to help care for the dogs.

The dogs and the staff will appreciate your help, and you might love it so much that you stay on throughout the year!

Other Holidays Dedicated to Greyhounds

National Greyhound Day might be only one day of the year, but it’s not the only holiday dedicated to protecting the breed. There are two others that you can take part in throughout the year and help spread the word.

Don’t be afraid to spread the word during the rest of the year too. Greyhounds are beautiful animals and loving companions, and supporting them should be for life, not just one day.

black italian greyhound
Image Credit: Akiko Campbell, Pixabay

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Held on June 2 every year, National Greyhound Day is an opportunity to spread the word about the suffering that Greyhounds go through at dog races and to encourage people to adopt instead of shop. It’s an easy holiday to celebrate too! You can help spread the word from your couch by sharing the hashtag (#NationalGreyhoundDay) or head out to volunteer at your local rescue. If you’re ready to adopt a Greyhound of your own, it’s also the perfect time to find an ex-racer that needs a loving home.

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Featured Image Credit: Bianca Grueneberg, Shutterstock

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