To make sure you can comfort your whippet to the best of your ability, always be nearby and provide a lot of reassurance.
Talk to your whippet in a calm, soothing voice. Pet him or keep him close to you, but be careful not to hurt any place where he feels pain.
Provide your dog with a comfortable spot to lie on and keep him in a quiet setting where he can rest a lot and feel peaceful and secure. Also, ensure your dog’s basic needs are cared for, and keep him warm at all times.
For every person who has owned a dog, the hardest part is always seeing your dog becoming older each day and beginning to reach the end of his life.
Becoming ill and having little energy and strength is not only heartbreaking for the owner, but distressing for their dog alike.
However, at a time like this, your Whippet will need to receive much love and comfort as he will look up to you for reassurance when he is not feeling as good as he once did.
Please read along to find out how you can tell if your Whippet is dying, and how to comfort a dying whippet to make him feel as secure as possible.
How To Tell If Your Whippet Is Dying
Lethargy And Fatigue
Whippets are usually very lively and energetic dogs. They love to run, jump, climb, and they need a lot of exercise and physical activity to keep them happy and let them release all that energy.
However, if your Whippet is beginning to display an increasing amount of lethargy and fatigue day by day, it may mean your Whippet is becoming older and may be drawing toward the end of their life.
Sometimes it may be due to a disease or an illness, other times it may be because the dog is advancing in age and becoming weaker and weaker and more tired and lethargic.
He may even lose interest in things he once enjoyed, or simply not be able to do them due to fatigue.
Loss Of Appetite
A Whippet that is dying will have a loss in appetite and may eat little to no food. Things that he loved to eat may become unappealing and uninteresting.
Also, he may develop quirks such as only wanting to eat specific foods or human foods, a meal that has been warmed up, or only being willing to eat from your hand instead of his bowl.
Additionally, if your dog is facing a terminal illness or chemotherapy (which may cause nausea) due to cancer it may also contribute to his loss of appetite.
As well as that, your Whippet may even be reluctant to drink water, or have trouble swallowing food or liquids.
Difficulty Walking Or Chewing
A Whippet that may be nearing the end of his life will have difficulty standing up on its feet and they may give in under him.
He may not be able to stand up for a long period of time, and will struggle walking, especially up the stairs.
He may further lose coordination, stability, and have trouble with balance or standing up without stumbling.
Despite being great at jumping and running, older Whippets may not be able to jump or run at all.
As dogs get older, they will begin to lose their teeth, and those remaining will become weaker and more sensitive. This will make it harder to chew for them.
As a result of this, food may need to be cut into smaller pieces, or mushed before giving it to your Whippet.
Your Whippet may have once been overexcited seeing you coming back home from work, and they may have jumped and run around in circles.
However, as a Whippet begins to near its final days, he may no longer have the energy or willingness to greet you.
He may begin to become more socially withdrawn and uninterested in people or other dogs.
This does not mean your Whippet doesn’t still love you, but if he is becoming weaker and sicker, this social withdrawal may be apparent in him.
Sleeping A Lot
Just as you may notice your Whippet being very tired and lethargic, it may cause him to rest and sleep a lot.
You may notice that he sleeps the entire day and only gets up for very brief periods before going back to sleep.
Although this might not happen to every Whippet, there is a possibility that in a dog’s final weeks and days he may not be able to get outside in time to go to the bathroom.
Sometimes, he may need to be lifted up and carried to a place where he can relieve himself.
Also, some dogs lose the ability to control their bodily functions, as their bodily organs begin to shut down.
This could mean that your Whippet may relieve himself at any time, because he can no longer sense that he needs to go.
It may even be that he does it while he’s asleep or lying down, which may result in the dog’s underside getting messy and requiring to be cleaned up.
Restlessness And Muscle Twitching
At the end of their life, your Whippet may become very restless and move around a lot due to discomfort.
He may need to be picked up and have the position he is lying in readjusted frequently to make him more comfortable.
His muscles may also twitch or go through spasms. This may be due to a lack of muscle control, a health condition, trauma, or a reaction to certain medications.
Very old dogs may also shake or quiver a lot.
When a Whippet becomes very old and begins to die, different areas of his brain may gradually begin to shut down.
He may also lose cognitive ability or experience cognitive dysfunction.
During his last days, he may be visibly confused, or even struggle to recognise his surroundings or some people around him.
As your Whippet is dying, he may be in pain or feel discomfort. You may recognise this if he whimpers, pants, or cannot find a comfortable position.
He may especially vocalise when you try to pet him or touch him in a place on his body where he feels the pain.
If you experience this with your Whippet, he may need to be given drugs and medication by a veterinarian to relieve his pain.
What Age Do Whippets Usually Die?
Most Whippets are generally healthy dogs when compared to other breeds. These dogs live from around 12 years of age to 15, and some may live even beyond that.
A Whippet that has experienced injury, is chronically ill, or has been poorly bred or treated may die sooner, but a Whippet that is cared for and healthy will live a long and happy life.
How To Comfort Your Dying Whippet
Keep Them Warm
A dying Whippet may not be able to regulate their temperature properly. They may feel cold and shiver as a result.
These dogs do not have very long coats like some breeds, but in their final days, they may need extra warmth provided to keep them comfortable.
Ensure your house is warm and give your Whippet an extra blanket or two to keep him feeling secure, cozy, and warm.
You could even provide a heating pad for your Whippet which you can place under his bed, for that extra warmth and comfort.
Provide Love And Affection
In his last days your Whippet will need you to reassure him and make him feel safe and secure.
You may want to pet your dog, caress, and snuggle with him.
This will remind him that everything is alright and he is being cared for.
Make sure, however, that you are gentle with your dog and avoid any place he may feel pain. Let him rest on his own as well, but always be nearby.
Make Sure He Is In A Quiet Place
Make sure your Whippet is in a quiet, peaceful environment as he is beginning to near the end of his life.
At a time like this, he will want to rest and sleep a lot, and noises and chaos will only prevent him from being able to do that.
Noises may also stress and disturb him, or leave him confused.
A quiet environment will allow him to be at peace and at ease, and get decent rest.
Talk To Him In A Soothing Tone
When you speak to your Whippet calmly and soothingly, in a quiet volume, it will provide comfort and loving reassurance.
It will relax him and have a calming effect on him, letting him know that he is okay and you are there for him.
A loud or deep voice will only disturb him or stress him.
Give Your Dog A Comfortable Bed
Make sure your dog has a soft and comfortable bedding or place to lie on in his final days, like a couch or arm chair.
Never let your Whippet lie on the hard floor. Not only might this make him feel cold, but it will also feel uncomfortable for him and may give him aches, pain, and discomfort.
Keep In Touch With The Vet
If your Whippet is dying naturally at home, it is very important to keep in touch with your vet.
Ensure that your vet can check if your dog feels pain, in which case he will be able to give him the necessary pain relievers.
Sometimes your Whippet may even need to be put on Intravenous (IV) fluids through a drip, especially if he refuses to drink.
This is so that he can stay hydrated, and his salt and sugar levels stay balanced.
All of this can provide that extra comfort to your dying Whippet so that he receives adequate care and does not feel any pain or discomfort.
More About Dying Whippets
How you let Whippet die all depends on what illness he is experiencing, or whether he is dying from a chronic health condition, or from old age and the loss of function.
Some owners may see that their Whippet is not eating, is in constant pain or discomfort which cannot be managed, and they have no quality of life, and therefore they may choose to have him put down.
Other owners may be able to provide the necessary comfort, care, and pain management during their Whippet’s last moments to allow them to pass away peacefully in a natural way at home.
A time during which a Whippet is dying will be absolutely devastating and heart rending to the owner.
However, one must remember that now is crucial to ensure you comfort your Whippet as much as you can so that they can experience peace during the last part of their life.
Whippets do live 12 to 15 years, yet this does not mean that they cannot live longer than that.
It must be remembered that a healthy diet, adequate exercise, and lots of love and care can significantly extend your beloved Whippet’s lifespan.
Always ensure you feed your Whippet the right food of a good quality. Provide vitamins for him to help keep him healthy and strong.
Provide over an hour of exercise for him every day and much physical activity and play time.
Prevent your dog from becoming overweight and make sure he stays fit.
The average weight for a male Whippet is usually around 34 pounds, while a female Whippet may weigh on average around 26 pounds.
Always make sure your Whippet’s weight does not go up into the 50-pound range, which would make him overweight and may impact his health.
When a Whippet is dying, it is a very tragic and deeply saddening time.
However, it is important to comfort your Whippet as much as possible to ensure his last days are peaceful and he experiences calmness and feels at ease.
You must be close to your dog in his final days and always there to provide for his needs.
By reassuring your dog and making sure he is warm, cozy, and comfortable, it could drastically change how he feels even in the last days of his life.
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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!