Any dog owner would love their companion to live as long as them, but sadly dogs have a much shorter lifespan than humans. However, we still get several years to spend with our pets, given that we provide them with the best care to ensure they live a long, happy, and healthy life.
If you want to add a Whippet to your family, you will be happy to know that they can give you many years of companionship and jo. On average a Whippet will live 12–16 years, but several factors can affect their longevity which we will discuss in more detail in this article.
Whippet Average Lifespan
The average lifespan of a Whippet is 12–16 years. They are an active and athletic breed that is typically very healthy. However, their longevity can be determined by a variety of factors. Like all dogs, they are predisposed to health issues that owners should be aware of, and they should receive the best possible health care, exercise, environment, and love to live the longest and best possible life they deserve.
There are many things Whippet parents can do to ensure their companion stays in optimum health. How you care for your Whippet will greatly affect their lifespan.
How to Care for Your Whippet for a Long Lifespan?
Feeding & Diet
Like humans, your dog’s diet is the most important factor affecting their health. Feeding your Whippet a high-quality, well, balanced and nutritious diet is the best way to look after their health and ensure their longevity. You can ensure your dog is receiving the best possible diet by consulting your vet, and they can guide you on your dog’s nutritional and caloric needs, portions, and supplements if necessary.
Because the Whippet has a slim frame, owners tend to overfeed them, which can lead to further health issues. This is another important reason to consult your vet about portion sizes and your dog’s caloric needs. Don’t forget that hydration is just as important, so your Whippet needs access to fresh, clean water every day.
Your Whippet’s environment can also play a big factor in their longevity. Their environment includes their living and sleeping conditions, surroundings, and temperature.
Whippets need to be kept indoors and provided extra blankets or sweaters when it’s cold since their low body fat makes them very sensitive to low temperatures.
Whippets sometimes chase smaller wildlife and may easily take off and get injured, so keeping them in a securely fenced-in yard and on a leash when out walking is important.
Your Whippet’s care requirements include physical and mental stimulation and grooming, which are important to their overall health and well-being. Whippets need at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise a day and mental stimulation provided by playing and hide and seek games, puzzle feeders, and basic training. They will also thrive from interactive exercise like walking or playing a game of fetch with their owner. Exercise and mental stimulation are essential to a Whippet’s lifespan and should not be overlooked.
Whippets don’t require much grooming, but ensuring they are brushed regularly allows you to bond and assess your Whippet’s skin and body for any issues. Their thin coat doesn’t offer the best protection against injuries, so it’s essential to check it daily to ensure it’s healthy.
If you’re buying a Whippet from a breeder, ensure the breeder is reputable and confirm that both parents had genetic testing done to ensure no health issues were passed down to their offspring. Any ethical breeder should show you the outcomes of the genetic testing done on the parents. They should allow you to visit their home to assess the environment and meet the parents.
A reputable breeder is so important to find, and backyard breeders will almost certainly provide a dog that will experience more health issues, which can lead to a shorter lifespan.
While Whippets are generally a healthy breed, like most dogs, they are predisposed to certain health issues. As their owner, it’s vital for you to be aware of these conditions so that you can provide the necessary preventative care.
This is another reason it is important to take your Whippet for a veterinary check-up at least once to twice a year so that your vet can pick up any issues or diseases early.
Dental health is commonly overlooked, and the reality is that poor dental health can lead to further health issues that can shorten your Whippet’s lifespan. Your Whippet’s teeth should be brushed, at the very least, once a week. In between brushing, they can chew on chew toys and dental chews to prevent plaque build-up. Your Whippet should also be provided with preventative care from fleas, worms, and ticks to help prevent any life-shortening diseases associated with these pests.
The Life Stages of a Whippet
The Whippet puppy stage lasts from birth to about 6 months or more. This is where training and socialization are vital, and they should receive a good start to good health with the correct diet. Puppies are usually weaned from their parents by 7–8 weeks of age when they will need a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy, strong, and happy.
The Whippet’s junior stage is essentially their teenage stage from 6–12 months. They may require a little more exercise and will still need a high-quality diet since they are still growing and developing.
From about 1–7 years of age, your Whippet is considered an adult. It is the stage of life where they will be their most active and curious. This is when you should really consider their health and preventative care to prepare for the senior years.
Your Whippet is considered a senior when they have reached the last quarter of their life expectancy. As your Whippet nears their life expectancy or passes it, they will slow down, see the vet more regularly, and consume a diet specific to their life stage.
How to Tell Your Whippet’s Age
The best way to predict the age of your Whippet is to look at their teeth, eyes, fur color, and behavior. A puppy’s teeth should break through between the ages of 3–6 weeks, and their adult teeth will grow around 12–16 weeks in the front, and the back teeth will appear at around 16–24 weeks.
As a dog ages and matures, their teeth will be more stained, loose, or cracked, and they may experience vision and hearing loss, which could be a clear sign that they are in or near their senior years. A senior dog may also have gray in their fur. An older dog will also have less mobility and cognitive function. They won’t be as active as a younger dog and may eat less.
The average lifespan of a Whippet is 12–16 years. Their longevity can vary based on many factors, and some factors are in the owner’s control. It’s important to research the breed before bringing home a Whippet so that you know exactly what they need to live a healthy and happy life. By gaining all the necessary knowledge and providing your Whippet with the best care, you can live 12–16 years together!