Are Whippets Fussy Eaters?

Whippets are notorious for being racing dogs that expend a lot of energy on the track, they are small, lightweight dogs that can run at speeds of up to 35mph.

But all this running around requires a lot of energy to keep them performing as they should, so a high quality, nutritious diet is key to a winning race dog.

But what if your whippet is a fussy eater and doesn’t like to eat much? Well, this can affect your whippet in many ways, from being lethargic, underweight and even depressed.

A whippets diet is incredibly important for their physical and mental health, just as it is with us humans.

In this post we’re going to answer “are whippets fussy eaters?”, to help you better understand the importance of your whippets nutrition and help keep your pup healthy, on and off the field.

Why Some Whippets Are Fussy Eaters

Most whippets will eat just about anything, after all, they’re dogs they are descendants from opportunistic hunters that would eat just about anything they could get their paws on.

However, the modern-day dog has had it much easier than their ancestors, they often get fed lots of tasty dog foods and even get the odd treat here and there. So why are some whippets still fussy?

Well, this could actually be something that you’re contributing too without realising. If you’ve got a whippet that is incredibly fussy with their food, you should first look at the food you’re giving them, to ensure it’s flavoured, nutritious and as tasty as possible.

are whippets fussy eaters?
Image: Michael Mangold

Dogs can get quite bored with their food, after all, they eat the same food over and over again often multiple times a day.

I’m sure if you were eating the same food over and over you would get bored too, so try to mix their food up from time to time and try different brands with different flavours to keep your pet excited for mealtime.

One of the most common reasons why whippets are fussy is not actually because of their dog food, it’s because of their owner.

You see, too many people give in to those puppy dog eyes and overfeed their whippet with human food such as leftovers.

Once your whippet gets a taste for this, they’ll often resort to trying to get you to feed them scraps over and over again, which can result in them being greedy, but also not wanting to eat their dog food.

This is something you need to be very aware of, especially with whippets – don’t feed them human food at all as they may not only become fussy eaters but also obese and unhealthy.

You should also bear in mind that often when dogs are unwell they won’t eat food, so this could just be a temporary spell as your pet is feeling under the weather, but if it lasts for extended periods then you should seek the advice of a veterinarian.

What To Do If Your Whippet Won’t Eat

Once you’ve identified the reason why your whippet is being fussy with his food and not eating, you can now look at how to remedy this and get your whippet back to normality and eating regular meals.

Here are some of the most effective ways to get your whippet eating again:

Stay Strong

The first step in getting your whippet to eat again is for you to change your mindset and stay strong.

Don’t give in to your whippets puppy eyes and stop feeding him human food and too many treats, this is doing him more harm than good and could result in obesity and other health complications down the line.

Your whippets road to recovery starts with you, so be strong and dedicate yourself to helping your whippet.

Change Dog Food

If your whippet shows no interest whatsoever in his dog food, then you should try different dog foods to see if this is the cause.

Try using new flavours such as beef, chicken and duck and even switch between brands to entice your pet into mealtimes. You can check out our best dog food for whippets post for some excellent recommendations on dog food.

Take The Food Away

When it comes to mealtime with a fussy whippet, you should leave the dog food in his bowl for 30 minutes, then remove the food whether it’s been eaten or not.

This will help your pet understand that there is no other option other than to eat his food if he’s hungry, often when hunger increases they’ll eat their food without hesitation. 

Make The Food Softer

A worthwhile tip for a fussy whippet is pouring warm water over the dog food to make it softer and chewier for your pet.

If your whippet still isn’t taking to this then using gravy, beef broth, chicken broth and the likes to make the food more appealing for your pet, then gradually remove this over time. 

See A Veterinarian

In serious cases where your whippet is becoming incredibly underweight, you may need to see a veterinarian.

If you’ve tried all of the above and your whippet still won’t eat then a vet can often prescribe a medication that induces eating which can help get your whippet back on the right path.

There could potentially be something else at play here such as dental issues which are causing your dog not to eat, so it’s worthwhile seeing a vet if you’re concerned. 

What Your Whippet Needs From Food

Food is more than just a tasty ten minutes for our pets, it’s a key factor in keeping a happy, healthy and fit dog that is capable of taking on the world.

Your whippet gets nutrients from dog food that powers their day and ensures they have the energy to tackle whatever is ahead of them.

For whippets, this is more important than most, this breed burns a ton of calories when out on a walk as they’re only small dogs but have large muscles.

These muscles require nutrients and protein to keep them big and strong and this is where food comes in to support this. There are six basic nutrients which are essential for whippets.

These nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals – all of these are required as part of your dog’s regular diet to keep the basic functions of their body moving and functioning as they should.

If you’ve got a working or racing whippet, then you’ll need to ensure your whippet is getting the correct amount of calories to support his lifestyle, as these types of whippets can burn much more calories than your average dog.

are whippets picky eaters?
Image: John Mork

The best advice I can give you with regards to dog food for your whippet is to ensure it’s of the highest quality you can find and afford.

The difference between pricey dog food and budget dog food is not found on the tin, it’s found in the quality and source of the ingredients.

Although foods may contain the same amount of nutritional value on the label, they can be vastly different in terms of digestibility.

Whippets need food packed full of protein to keep them nice and strong, so ensure your opting for a premium dog food that caters to your pets dietary needs. 

Things To Consider

  • You may think your dog needs a variety of food, but the truth is your pet will happily eat the same food for the rest of its life, so it’s up to you to find a tasty food that your pet loves. This will take some trial and error, but it’s well worth it, in the long run, to ensure your whippet is happy, healthy and in shape. 
  • Your veterinarian can estimate the number of calories your dog needs per day based on lifestyle and condition. This means you may be able to opt for a food that is higher in calories so your dog does not need to eat as frequently. 
  • Dogs that exert more energy through physical exercise will require more calories than whippets that are not being exercised enough, if you’re concerned about the lack of food your whippet is eating, maybe you’re not giving them enough exercise and they don’t require it?
  • Dry and canned dog food has no difference between them with regards to nutritional value, you should opt for the food that best suits your whippets lifestyle and your budget. 

Final Thoughts

So, are whippets fussy eaters? Not generally, however, some can be pickier than others so this needs to be looked at on an individual basis.

There are a lot of things you can do if you have a fussy whippet on your hands, so don’t worry and keep calm.

The most common reason for a fussy whippet is usually down to the other feeding their pet too many scraps of human food, and therefore they don’t want to eat their boring dog food because they’ve had a taste of some yummy pizza!

Try to ensure your whippet has a good relationship with food from the get-go, when they’re puppies you should try to get them in a routine of eating a certain amount at specific times, so they get used to eating morning and night.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something about fussy whippets in this post, and you now have some clear actions to take to get your whippet back on track and eating normally again. 

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