A new dog comes with many responsibilities, and every breed will have its own personal needs that have to be fulfilled to keep them happy.
For an inexperienced Whippet owner, it will take time and dedication to ensure their dog becomes comfortable with their new home.
Knowing how to keep your whippet happy is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. But how do you do so?
It’s wise to provide enough exercise for your whippet – 40 minutes to at least 1 hour daily. Play with him and take him for walks spread out throughout the day.
Give your whippet space to roam and run around in, so that they can release their energy. Never leave your whippet penned up too long or without social contact.
Whippets are social dogs, so give them lots of attention and spend time with them every day. Also, allow them to interact with others to meet their social requirements.
Feed your whippet twice a day, but do not overfeed to keep them at a healthy weight. Additionally, keep in mind that whippets can get cold easily.
Never leave them outside for too long on cold days, especially at night and in winter. Ensure it is warm enough at home for them and that they have something to sleep on instead of the cold floor.
That’s not all! Read on to find out some of the things you must make sure of to meet the basic needs of your Whippet and keep him happy at all times.
How To Tell If Your Whippet Is Happy?
He Lays On His Back With Belly Exposed
If you notice your Whippet laying a lot on his back and exposing his belly, it will mean that he is happy, relaxed, and comfortable around you and his surroundings.
Laying in this position makes a Whippet most vulnerable, so a sad, fearful, or uncomfortable Whippet would not expose his belly in that way.
Wagging Their Tail
A Whippet that wags his tail broadly and rapidly a lot conveys positive emotions such as that he is happy and excited.
Jumping is a very common action performed by dogs of this breed. It often indicates energy, excitement, and happiness.
A Whippet jumping up and down often shows that he feels happy and full of joy.
An unhappy Whippet will not be eager to engage in play. If your Whippet is often playful and wants to have fun with you a lot, it will likely mean that he is very happy.
A play bow, for instance, indicates your dog is happy and wants to play with you.
Full Of Energy
Whippets are very energetic dogs as of nature, but an unhappy or sick Whippet may show signs of fatigue, tiredness, and lack of energy.
If your Whippet stays energetic every day as usual, it means he is happy and healthy.
They will also love their daily walks and taking part in any sort of physical activity and exercise.
Relaxed With Loose Shoulders
A Whippet that is tense or crouches low to the ground may indicate that he is scared, anxious, or sad.
If your Whippet appears relaxed and comfortable around you, and his shoulders stay loose, it will mean he is in a happy mood.
Whippets might also wriggle a lot in excitement and happiness.
They Want Your Attention
Whippets that are happy will want your attention and for you to care for them. They might jump up at you for attention, lean into you to pet them, or want to snuggle with you.
An unhappy Whippet would act in a different way, and instead might act withdrawn and avoid any social contact.
A lot of dogs will ‘smile’ when they are happy – they will have their tongue out, with the corners of their mouth curving upward, and appear as if they were smiling.
Has A Good Appetite
A happy Whippet will enjoy receiving their food and will be eager to finish their portion.
Some dogs may naturally be picky eaters or may not eat much, but if your Whippet has always eaten his food and suddenly loses his interest in it, it could indicate something is wrong.
If your Whippet sleeps much less than this, wakes up frequently, or cannot fall asleep easily, it may mean that he is unhappy, frightened, nervous, anxious, or may even be ill.
Happy To See You And Acts Friendly
If your Whippet is happy, he will likely show that he is excited and joyous to see you every day. He will run up to you when you come home from work, and want to get attention and pats.
This breed is not usually aggressive, so a happy Whippet will act friendly toward you and others. He will also show good behaviour and likely want to please his owner.
A Whippet that loses interest in seeing you, or begins to act aggressive may mean he is unhappy or something might be going on.
How To Keep Your Whippet Happy?
Most important, always keep your Whippet well exercised! These dogs should ideally receive around an hour of physical activity on a daily basis.
This should involve playtime, games, walks, runs, or jogs. Whippets need to release their energy, and not spending enough time on exercising this breed will become apparent very soon.
Your Whippet may become destructive, bored, and unhappy if he is not able to release his energy.
Lots Of Playtime
Whippets are energetic and playful dogs, so they will need you to play with them every day.
They will want something to do everyday, so ignoring them and not allowing them to have fun will only make your Whippet unhappy.
Feed Him Well
To ensure your Whippet is happy, make sure you feed him the right amount of food every day.
Underfeeding will result in hunger and unhappiness, but overfeeding might lead to bloat and your Whippet may become overweight, as this breed was meant to appear slim.
An overweight Whippet may struggle walking or running, and may become ill and unhappy.
Make sure your Whippet receives the adequate ration of food for his breed to keep him happy and satisfied.
Treats are a good way to keep your Whippet happy and also teach him new skills. There are many tasty treat options for you to choose from.
There is a wide variety of healthy dog treats that include vegetables and different types of meat in the ingredients list if you are looking for something healthier.
Practice good grooming with your Whippet, making sure he is clean and he has no ticks or fleas.
A bath is recommended at least once a month with a gentle shampoo, and check his skin for any dandruff, irritations, or dryness – which Whippets can be prone to.
Attention And Social Contact
If you want to keep your Whippet happy, ensure that you give him enough attention and social contact.
These dogs are naturally social, so leaving them alone or isolated for to long will only make them feel neglected and sad.
Spend time with him everyday, pet him, play with him, take him for walks often, and allow him to interact with other dogs and people.
Ensure He Has Space
Whippets need space to run around and play in to stay happy. Being penned up and having limited space and area at home will only make your Whippet miserable.
If you live in a small house or apartment, or have a small garden or yard with limited space, take your Whippet often to the park, or to places where he can run around freely and release his energy.
Keep Him Warm
Whippets haved short fur, so make sure that they are always warm, especially in the colder months and in winter.
Don’t leave them outside long in the garden on cold, wet, and snowy days, ensure the house is warm at night, and give them warm, cosy bedding so they won’t have to sleep on the cold floor.
Seeing a Whippet shivering a lot will likely indicate he is cold. Being cold may make him unhappy.
Give Him Things To Chew
Whippets, especially puppies and young dogs, will want to chew a lot. Not giving them something to chew on may result in biting or destructive behaviour such as destroying shoes and furniture.
You can give them chew toys or rawhide bones made especially for small breeds that will clean their teeth, combat boredom, and give them something to chew.
Ensure that you do not give your Whippet a rawhide bone that is too large, as this may be bad for his teeth or even chip or break them.
Do Whippets Get Sad?
Yes, it is possible for Whippets to get sad. This will often become noticeable if your Whippet’s eating or sleeping patterns change without explanation.
He may eat more than usual, or lose his appetite. A sad Whippet may lose interest in his food and not finish his daily portions.
A sad Whippet will also not show happiness or excitement when seeing you, or may become withdrawn, shy, and avoid you and others.
He may even show aggression toward people and dogs, or even you. He could also appear fearful, tensed, or anxious. He may crouch low or keep his tail between his hind legs and his ears laid back.
A sad Whippet may also sleep all the time, or may have trouble falling asleep. His sleeping patterns may become irregular, he may wake up during the night, or refuse to sleep on his own.
Exercise, Diet & Other Factors
A Whippet requires 40 minutes to ideally 1 hour of exercise every day. This should be split up into smaller periods of physical activity during the day.
This could include a walk in the morning, at noon, and at night, and some play time and games.
A Whippet will not be happy if he is kept on a leash all year round or in a penned up area.
Ensure that from time to time you let him off the leash in a safe area where he can sniff, run around, and release his energy.
As for food, 2 to 4 cups of dog food twice a day should be a sufficient amount for your adult Whippet, depending on how small or big he is.
Whippet puppies need smaller and more frequent meals spread out throughout the day – usually 3 to 4 meals a day.
For an adult Whippet it is advisable that an about one ounce (28 grams) for every two pounds of body weight is fed to your Whippet.
Whippets also need mental stimulation apart from just playing with them, as these dogs are a very intelligent breed with a smart mind.
This may come in the form of interactive games such as fetching. Also, allow him to explore and sniff in new areas and discover different scents.
Many toys such as the Kong toy allow Whippets to enjoy mental stimulation as they will have to think and work to get the food placed in the hollow cavity out of it by licking and pushing it around.
This will beat boredom and give them something to do, especially when the owner leaves their Whippet to go to work.
A well behaved and trained Whippet can be left up to eight hours alone, but frequently leaving him alone will result in loneliness and may even lead to separation anxiety.
As Whippets are a social breed, ensure they receive enough attention from you every day and do not leave them alone very frequently.
A well looked after Whippet will generally appear happy in disposition.
If he becomes unhappy for an unexplained reason, or his behaviour suddenly changes, it may indicate something serious.
Always ensure you spot mood changes or alterations in sleeping or eating patterns in your dog.
If you see something is not right, it may indicate an illness, anxiety, or even depression.
It is necessary to take your Whippet to the vet if you see him become sad and not as energetic, playful, and social as usual to find out the reason behind this change of behaviour.
If you meet all of your Whippet’s basic needs, your dog should visibly be happy, relaxed, and content around you.
He will likely be playful, energetic, and will be happy and excited to see you. A happy Whippet will also display sociability and friendliness around others.
Before deciding on getting a Whippet, always ensure you will be able to meet this breed’s energy and exercise requirements and will have time for bonding and playtime each day to keep him happy.
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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!