Are Whippets Good For Seniors?

Whippets are devoted and affectionate dogs that belong to the sights and sounds dog family. These dogs are relatively swift and quickly react to things that they see or hear. Whippets also have a rich historical background where they were initially hunters and race hounds.

Many individuals often wonder, are whippets good for seniors? If you are an elderly individual or know one, you know that they enjoy company, including spending time with pets. Seniors love owning pets, and a significant majority of them prefer dogs.

This article will provide you with unbiased knowledge about why whippets are ideal pets for seniors and why the elderly require dogs as pets. You will also learn why whippets are excellent companions and what you’ll love about these affectionate dogs.

What Makes A Dog Good For Seniors?

New scientific research shows that dogs can help preserve their owner’s cardiovascular health. A study by the Mayo Clinic found that dogs can help owners practice healthier lifestyle habits beneficial to their health.

The study, which involved approximately 1800 individuals aged between 25 and 65, found that the exercise and routine care practices associated with owning a dog can be beneficial. 42% of the respondents who owned a canine had better blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

Another study by the National Poll on Healthy Aging shows that most elderly pet owners love their furry friends’ company. This study involved more than 2000 people aged 50 to 80, and close to 50% of them attested to owning a pet.

Among these elderly pet owners, 88% of them stated that their pets made life more enjoyable. Additionally, 86% of the respondents who owned a pet at an elderly age said they felt loved by their animal companions.

Loneliness in humans is closely associated with other adverse conditions such as stress, poor sleep patterns, and increased inflammation. Considering that approximately 40% of the elderly frequently suffer from loneliness, owning a dog companion isn’t a nutty idea.

Buying or adopting a dog for your senior friend or relative can offer several benefits. Here are some reasons why a dog is beneficial to the elderly.

Dogs Can Help Ease Soreness And Pain

Dogs are widely known as therapeutic companions, especially if you own an affectionate dog breed such as the whippet. This pet can help alleviate emotional and physical pain by making you produce a feel-good hormone (oxytocin) whenever you play or affectionately interact with it.

Since nearly 43% of all senior citizens live alone and close to half of them suffer from various health issues, owning a dog can help them numb and ignore the pain.

Dogs Can Help Seniors Stick To Their Schedule

It’s no secret that seniors tend to be forgetful, and sometimes they don’t remember critical parts of their daily routine, such as taking supplements. However, owning a dog at an elderly age can help you remember and follow a specific regimen.

Creating and following a structured schedule helps to maintain and improve cognitive abilities among seniors. This process allows the elderly to avoid depression by giving them a purpose and keeping their minds sharp.

Dogs Can Help Seniors Become More Active

Ideally, seniors should undertake moderate cardio-exercises for at least half an hour for up to 4-6 days per week. However, not all seniors enjoy these exercises because they are considered monotonous and boring.

Owning a dog helps bring fun and excitement during this exercise time. Seniors can walk their dogs and enjoy public places such as parks. Since will seniors remain physically active, they’ll have better health statuses and fewer hospital visits.

Reasons Why Whippets Are Great For Seniors

Are whippets good for seniors? Yes, they are among the perfect pets you can buy for the elderly. Below are reasons why whippets are excellent for the elderly.

Whippets Can Be Agile And Docile At The Same Time

First of all, whippets are quite athletic and love going on a walk and show off their swiftness when off the leash. Additionally, whippets are also considered docile companions.

This dog may be racing about to catch an insect or other prey while outside but becomes calm when indoors and loves lazing or sleeping on the couch. Such a trait is very favourable to the elderly who love lounging around the house.

Whippets Are Very Intelligent Dogs

Seniors will also love the whippet because it’s intelligent. Whippets can quickly learn dog training and can follow any schedule you prepare. This furry companion can tell when it’s time for an afternoon nap and won’t bother you for most of the day.

The whippet can also read emotions and identify simple emotions such as happiness, discomfort, and anxiety. When your whippet senses the mood isn’t right, it will come and try to cheer you up by leaning on you or cuddling your feet.

Whippets Are Low Maintenance Dogs

The elderly typically have low energy levels and may struggle to own a high maintenance dog breed. Such dogs need a lot of effort, time, finances, grooming, and training.

are whippets good for seniors?
Image: John Mork

However, whippets are relatively easy to raise and maintain. Whippets have a sleek fur coat, which only sheds minimally and is easy to clean. This dog breed only requires grooming every 3-7 weeks.

Whippets Are Not Aggressive And Relatively Easy To Train

Raising an aggressive or unruly dog breed can be hectic, especially for senior citizens. For this reason, kindly consider adopting a non-aggressive dog breed such as the whippet.

The whippet is renowned for its politeness and easy trainability. It is polite and rarely barks when you bring guests or other pets into your home. Whippets are quick to learn housebreaking, crate training, and other tricks, ensuring you enjoy and love owning one.

What I Love About Whippets

Before you continue asking: are whippets good for seniors? It would be best if I told you why I love whippets so much. Here are three things that I adore about this sighthound.

Whippets Have A Rich And Historical Background

Whippets were first bred in the mid-19th century to serve as a hunting dog and sports racing hounds.

Cross-breeding terriers and small British greyhounds helped develop this breed. Later on, Italian greyhounds were introduced into the whippet breeding program to ensure the resultant puppies had a sleek, smooth coat. Since the breeding program resulted in the swift, relatively light whippet, this breed can reach a speed of 30-35 miles per hour.

This speed gave the whippet the acclaimed nickname of “the snap dog” because of how the dogs used to chase down and capture rabbits in a snap. Since these rabbits were part of an exhibition to showcase the whippet’s ability, many nations have banned this practice.

Whippets Can Have A Variety Of Markings

One thing I love about whippets is the diversity of colours and marking you get when buying one. According to the UK Kennel Club, the official primary colours associated with the whippet include black, fawn, black and white, brindle, and blue.

These colours may appear in various markings on the whippet’s coat, with most darkly coloured dogs having markings in the brisket area. Nonetheless, the American Kennel Club considers whippet base colour immaterial.

This statement means that the AKC believes that the whippet colour isn’t an important aspect to consider, especially when buying one.

Whippets Are Family Orientated Dogs

Whippets love to base their lives around individuals whom they consider as part of the pack or family. Even if you live alone and continuously have friends over, the whippet will likely bond with them and treat them as part of the family.

Whippets are also quick to befriend other pets and children in the home. When you combine this trait and the whippet’s playful nature, they become the perfect dog breed for families with members of all ages.

Whippets Are Amazing Companions

In the past, whippets were a hunter’s best friend, and nowadays, they are affectionate home companions. Whippets also have a stylish appearance and friendly personality that makes them more appealing.

On the essential aspects of the whippet that makes it an excellent companion, it is devotion. Whippets always crave positive interactions with their owners and are endlessly obedient when you train them appropriately.

Some whippet owners even say their canines tend to be clingy at times. Whippet puppies love to start whining when you leave them home alone, though this behaviour gradually stops as it matures.

Additionally, whippets love to welcome their owners by giving them friendly licks and following them throughout the house. After a long day, it’s quite satisfying to find your whippet eager and excited to see you.

Since a significant issue affecting the elderly is finding companionship, owning a whippet can help brighten their lives. This lively dog can help improve moods and provide the elderly with mental stimulation and around-the-clock companionship.

Final Thoughts

So are whippets good for seniors? The answer is yes. Whippets are adorable devoted companions that are excellent for the elderly. This dog breed has a low maintenance cost and thrives well in an indoor environment.

Owning a whippet can help seniors keep track of their daily schedules and maintain physical activity. Science even shows that seniors who own dogs are less likely to develop cardiovascular complications.

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