How Long Do Whippets Live?

We would all love our whippets to live as long as us humans, wouldn’t it be great?

Our dogs would grow old at the same pace as us and we would have a companion for life that never left our sides.

It’s a dream that many wish into reality, but unfortunately, the average lifespan for a whippet is between 12 and 15 years old.

However, this isn’t the case for all whippets, with some going to doggy heaven before and after the average lifespan.

There are a lot of factors which contribute to the lifespan of your whippet, things such as diet, healthcare, exercise and genetics.

Hopefully, your furry friend has a healthy combination of all of these which will likely allow him to live as long as possible.

So, how long do whippets live? Well, in this post we’re going to cover exactly that and give you some top tips on how to help your whippet live longer

Let’s get to it…

What Controls A Whippets LifeSpan?

As mentioned, there are a lot of factors which play a role in the longevity of your whippet.

But there are two factors which play the biggest role in life expectancy for your pup;


A dog’s genetic makeup is one of the strongest factors that contribute to his life span.

Genetics are inherited from parents, which is why it’s always a good idea to try and meet the parents of a new puppy to ensure they are fit, strong and healthy with no pre-existing health conditions.

This gives the puppies the best chance of living a long, healthy life.


Another key factor to the lifespan of your whippet is if they’ve had any accidents, injuries or disease.

These are life events that happen to your dog over the course of their lifetime, and they significantly impact the lifespan of your dog. 

How Long Can Whippets Live?

As we know, the life expectancy of a whippet is anywhere from between 12 and 15 years, but how long can a healthy whippet live for?

Well, the oldest recorded whippet lived for a whopping 21 years, which is fantastic news for those that take good care of their whippets.

how long do whippets live?
Image: Michael Mangold

It’s really possible to have a whippet that lives much longer than the average, but you need to ensure they’re getting enough exercise, eating an excellent diet and have great genetics. 

Do Purebred Whippets Live Longer?

A study published in the veterinary journal back in 2013 concluded that cross-bred dogs actually live on average 1.2 years longer than purebred dogs.

This may come as a surprise for some, but when you think about it – whippets that have been bred with another type of dog have a wider variety of genetics that allow them to combat disease better than just whippet genetics alone.

Often lurchers that have the genetic makeup of multiple breeds of dog will live a very long time, as their bodies are excellent at fighting off disease.

This isn’t to say that your Bedlington whippet will live longer than your friend’s whippet, as it’s all about averages as well as the lifestyle each dog leads. 

Are Whippets Prone To Disease?

Keeping your whippet fighting fit is a priority for most dog owners, but what if your dog is simply prone to disease?

Well, I hate to break it to you but whippets are prone to a range of health problems. 


These dogs are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, just like many other breeds of dogs.

Diseases such as rabies, parvo and distemper are all top of the list, however many of these infections are preventable through vaccination when your whippet is a puppy. 

Dental disease

Another common problem for whippets is dental disease, this is a chronic problem in pets and affects 80% of all dogs by the age of two, and your loveable whippet is no exception.

This disease starts by tartar building up on the teeth and progresses to infect the gums and roots of the teeth.

If this isn’t treated quickly your pup will lose his teeth and be in danger of damaging his kidneys, liver, joints and heart.  


Whippets are known to be slim, fit dogs that are excellent runners and compete in competitions.

However, this doesn’t mean your whippet is exempt from being obese. Yes, that’s right, obesity in whippets is a serious and common problem.

A whippets frame is not designed to carry any excess fat, so obesity is a disease that can cause your whippet to have significant joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders and even heart disease.

Although it can be tempting to give in to those puppy dog eyes and give your pup a treat, resist the temptation and you’re essentially contributing to the obesity of your whippet.

Be sure to feed your whippet a healthy, nutritious diet and give your pet plenty of exercise to keep fit. 


Whippets can be home for parasites, bugs and other nasties which find their way into your pup’s stomach.

Everything from ear mites, fleas, roundworms, hookworms and more can get into your dog’s system and cause a number of problems.

The cause of these is usually from things such as drinking dirty water, walking on contaminated soil or being bitten or infected by a mosquito or other insect.

Just be careful when taking your dog out on walks and always ensure your checking your pet’s paws for ticks, bugs and other nasties which could cause harm.

Here are some other common whippet health problems;

  • Eye problems
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Immune-mediated problems
  • Fleas & ticks

As you can see from the above there are plenty of health problems which can harm your whippet, it’s best to try to prevent these as much as possible by ensuring your whippet lives a healthy lifestyle.

How To Make Your Whippet Live Longer

So how do you prevent these nasty diseases and help your whippet live longer?

how long do whippets live?
Image: W&T.I

Well, there are a lot of things to consider but it’s generally down to a couple of key routines you can do each day to keep your whippet fighting fit.


Your whippet diet is incredibly important for his longevity.

Whippets need a diet that is high in protein, nutrient-dense and incredibly tasty (they can be very picky).

A high-protein diet is needed to keep your whippet’s muscles big and strong, whilst the nutrients in great dog food keep your pups immune and nervous system healthy which keeps disease out. 


We all know how important exercise is for not only dogs, but humans too.

Your whippet needs around 60 minutes of physical activity a day to keep them in shape and fighting off obesity.

This has to be coupled with a strong diet if you want your whippet to live longer.

Exercise is not only important for your dog’s physical health, but it keeps them mentally sound too by stimulation their brain. 


Whippets, like all dogs, need proper hydration for their body to work properly and efficiently.

Water is a major component of blood, which helps transport nutrients around the body.

Proper hydration will see that your whippet is getting the nutrients he needs when he needs them, and it’ll help contribute to the longevity of your whippet (which we all want). 


This one isn’t so obvious, but regular grooming is important for your whippet’s health.

This is because when you’re out walking your pup, he may stand on some dangerous soil, insects of other nasties that could get into his system through his paws.

It’s important to keep your whippet’s coat squeaky clean, don’t give parasites the opportunity to latch onto your pet.

You should always check your whippet’s paws to ensure there are no critters hiding out in there, this is a hiding spot that ticks and mosquito’s love.

Final Thoughts

So how long do whippets live? Typically around 12 – 15 years, however much longer if you’re looking after your pup correctly and he has good genetics.

There are plenty of ways to help your whippet live longer, through diet, hydration and more.

Ultimately the longevity of your whippet will be determined by injuries and genetics, but providing he’s injury-free and has decent genetics then you can expect your whippet to live for 15 years plus.

Ensure that your whippet has a clean, healthy diet and doesn’t get too many treats for simply giving you the puppy eyes.

And be sure that he’s getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day and your whippet should live for a long time.

Hopefully, this post has given you a good insight into how long whippets live for and you now know some actions you can take to prolong the life of your furry friend.

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