Nobody likes a stinky whippet, least of all their owners. Whippets are dogs that love nothing more than to run around fields playing with other pets.
But all of this running around can leave them looking, and smelling, well…not so great.
In this post we’re going to go through how to bathe a whippet, ensuring you know exactly how to get your whippet looking and smelling squeaky clean again without hassle.
Let’s jump right in…
How Often To Bathe Your Whippet
When it comes to bathing your whippet, you’ll often find conflicting information online. Every pet owner is different, and some prefer to bathe their pets regularly whilst some are happy to leave it for some time.
This largely depends on the individual pet owner, as well as the pet. Some whippets are much more likely to roll around in mud and filth than others.
My Bonnie won’t go near the water at all, and she hates being dirty. This means that she will tip-toe around puddles, jump over mud patches and do everything in her power to stay clean and fresh.
That’s great news for me, as it means I don’t need to bathe her regularly as she’s an incredibly clean whippet that likes to stay away from mud and dirt.
Not only that, but whippets have short fur that doesn’t pick up dirt or mud easily. This means they’ll often stay much cleaner than say a golden retriever that has a long and curly coat.
Below is the bathing schedule that I’ve used for all my whippets over the years, I find this works like a charm for most whippets, but again use your own judgment. If your whippet is coming home smelling like a trash can then it’s probably time for a bath.
The official answer when it comes to bathing whippets is around once a month. This is a good guideline to go by as after a month you may notice your pet isn’t quite as clean as you would like them to be.
However, as mentioned above, this is largely down to the individual pet owner as well as the dog. Thankfully whippets can get away with fewer baths because of their short coat.
The biggest factor that you should be taking into account when it comes to how often you should bathe your whippet is their outdoor activity levels.
When your whippet is outdoors, this is when they’ll pick up filth and dirt. This means the more time your whippet spends outside, the more times you’ll need to be bathing your whippet.
When it comes to bathing whippet puppies, you don’t need to do this much at all. It’s common for a whippet puppy to receive its first bath at around six to ten weeks old.
This is typically done by the breeder before they let them go to their new home.
When picking up your new whippet puppy it’s a good idea to ask the breeder if they’ve bathed them or not, as if they have then you won’t need to worry about bathing your whippet puppy for a while.
As a rule of thumb, your whippet puppy shouldn’t start receiving baths until they are over 12-weeks old. Before this age, your pet’s skin will be too delicate to bathe regularly.
Once your whippet puppy is over 12-weeks old, you’ll typically want to bathe them every 8-10 weeks. This is largely going to depend on the level of outdoor activity your pup is getting and if they’re mischievous or not.
You really don’t need to be bathing your whippet puppy regularly, and at a maximum, it should be no more than once a month, even if they are getting frequent outdoor activity.
One way I used to bathe my whippet puppies is by using an unscented baby wipe, this ensures the water is not too hot, or too cold as your not using any.
Not only that, but baby wipes are a quick and effective way of removing filth from your puppy without causing any potential upsets.
Senior whippets can often become a little more smelly than puppies or adolescent dogs. However, they still have soft fragile skin that you don’t want to become dried out from over bathing.
One bath a month should be more than enough for senior whippets, they won’t need more than this due to their short fur and likely not a ridiculous amount of outdoor activity.
Once your whippet hits a certain age they’ll likely love lounging on the sofa cuddled up with you more than anything. This means they’ll spend more time stealing your popcorn than rolling around in mud outside.
Steps To Bathe Your Whippet
Now that we’ve established a bathing routine for your whippet, it’s time to go through how to actually bath your whippet effectively.
Step 1 – Get The Right Tools For The Job
The first thing you’ll want to do before you even think about getting that tap running is to ensure you have all of the necessary tools for the job.
Here is a list of what you’ll need to bathe your whippet:
Lead – You’ll want to ensure you have a lead ready to help you maintain control of your whippet should they really not enjoy being in the water.
Cotton Balls – I like to use two cotton balls to temporarily place in my whippet’s ear to ensure water doesn’t go down their ear canal. This can be very uncomfortable for your whippet and take some time to naturally come out.
Hypoallergenic or PH Balanced Shampoo – Using a shampoo that is hypoallergenic and soft enough for your whippet’s skin is crucial. You don’t want to dry out your pet’s skin as it’s already delicate and fragile. The shampoo isn’t very expensive but don’t cheap out on this.
Towels – You’re going to need some towels to help dry your whippet once they’re out of the tub. You’ll need one towel to go on the bottom of the bathtub for traction, and another one or two to dry your pup off once they’re out.
Mitten – I like to use a dog bathing mitt to help distribute the shampoo evenly across my whippet’s fur. These are very cheap and are much better than using your hand to rub in the shampoo.
Step 2 – Prepare The Water & Your Whippet
Before you go throwing your pride and joy into the tub there is some preparation work that needs to be put in place first.
You’ll want to have your whippet in the bathroom whilst you run the bath for him, this will allow him to see the running water and get used to the idea of being in the bathroom with you.
Ensure that the water is no warmer or colder than room temperature, you don’t want your whippet being startled by water that is too cold and jumping out of the tub.
If this happens they will likely never want to return, so be sure that you check the water first before placing your whippet in it.
Another reason you’ll want to use room temperature water is because if the water is too warm it will open up your dog’s pores.
This means the likelihood of your pet having a reaction to the shampoo increases, whereas room-temp water shouldn’t open their pores at all.
Once you’re sure that the water is room temperature, place your towel on the bottom of the tub and gently place your leashed whippet in the bathtub.
This will help your whippet grip to the towel so they don’t fall over and the leash will give you control of your pup in case they decide to jump out.
You can use the showerhead to start washing your whippet, but ensure that it is on very low pressure and be very calm and gentle when doing this.
Step 3 – Apply Shampoo and Start Lathering
Now that your whippet is in the tub and comfortable, wet them thoroughly head to toe and apply a small amount of shampoo to your wet mitten.
Gently start to lather your whippet and cover them in shampoo, ensure you don’t try to wash in the shampoo against the grain, always work with the natural flow of the fur.
Ensure you don’t miss a spot, you’ll want to focus on the key areas below:
- Around the neck
- Bottoms of the legs
Be careful not to get close to your whippet eyes, and don’t press too hard when rubbing with the mitten. If you don’t use a mitten be sure not to use your fingernails and use the pad of your finger.
You don’t want to scratch your whippet accidentally and allow the shampoo to enter the wound which could cause infection or pain.
Step 4 – Rinse
Once you’re sure you’ve hit all the above areas with shampoo and given them a thorough lathering. It’s time to rinse off the shampoo.
At this point, your whippet is probably trembling with fear and giving you the puppy eyes or wagging their tail furiously as they’re having so much fun.
Either way, you’ve now successfully bathed your whippet and they’ll be squeaky clean and smell nice and fresh.
Step 5 – Dry
Now that you’ve rinsed your pooch, get them out of the tub and start to dry them down with a towel. Ensure you’ve placed another dry towel outside of the tub for your whippet to grip on and stop them from falling over.
As whippets have short fur it’s super easy to dry them off with a towel. Simply place your hands in the towel and run it all over your whippet, going with the grain of the fur.
Tip – My whippet Bonnie loves nothing more than bath time. But what she loves, even more, is when I use a hairdryer to dry her off. The warm air on her freshly washed soft skin feels amazing for her. If you think your whippet may enjoy it then give it a try, but ensure you use a low setting as you don’t want it too hot (or noisy).
Why Bathing Is Important For Your Whippet
Giving your whippet regular baths is important for their hygiene, it helps keep them smelling and feeling fresh as a daisy.
Not only that but bathing your whippet gets rid of the allergens they carry around in their fur, meaning if you’re someone who suffers from allergies, you’ll find it much easier to be around your furry friend when they are clean.
Bathing your whippet is a great way to grow the bond between you and your pet, it’s intimate time that is well spent and helps them trust you even more.
Over time your whippet may even start to enjoy bath time, as they’ll look forward to spending this time with you to grow closer to one another.
Bathing your whippet is important as it helps keep your pet clean, but it also gives you as the pet owner some time to really check over your whippet and make sure they’re healthy.
During bathing, you’ll be able to spot any cuts, rashes, or other damage that may need treating from a veterinarian.
The benefits of bathing your dog are endless, so be sure to start off your whippet bathing routine sooner rather than later.
Getting your whippet used to a bathing routine will take time, especially if they are already an adult. This is why it’s important to get your whippet used to bath time when they’re puppies.
This way when they grow older they’ll know exactly what to expect each and every time. Whereas trying to get an adult whippet to sit still in the bathtub can be a little tricky for the first few times.
That being said, don’t give up! Yes, it will take time, but it will be worth it when you have your whippet in a good bathing routine and they’re always smelling fresh.
This is especially true if your whippet lives inside your home (which they should). You likely don’t want a smelly pooch lounging around on your sofa all day, so keeping them clean is a great way to keep your home smelling fresh.
Hopefully, you now know the importance of bathing your whippet and why it should become part of your grooming routine.
Bath time for your whippet is a time where you can grow closer to your pet whilst ensuring that they’re clean and free from allergies.
Personally, I do suffer from allergies, and being as though whippets are not hypoallergenic dogs, I try to keep on top of bathing my whippet to keep my allergies at bay.
Keeping on top of bathing my whippets has been essential for me to living a life that isn’t full of sneezes and itchy red eyes.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, feel free to stick around and learn more about this amazing breed.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!