Commercials and billboards are everywhere for weight loss. It is often an obsession, especially if you are the one packing the extra pounds.
Advertisements for gyms, exercise programs, fad diets, energy shakes, and “light” pre-packaged foods delivered right to your door.
Do any of these strange diets really work? I think not. I believe it takes old fashioned will power, eating healthy foods, and exercising daily.
But, what about your whippet? What if your whippet seems a little too content as a couch potato and is beginning to get a little rotund? What to do with an obese whippet? Take a break and read on for some tips on how to help your fat whippet.
How Much Should A Healthy Whippet Weight?
A healthy adult whippet should weigh between 15lbs and 31lbs, and of course, males may be on the higher end of that.
Maintaining a healthy weight for your whippet is very important for a long life in addition to a good quality of life. Being healthy throughout life is important for humans as well as their pets.
When you or your whippet suffer from health issues due to poor diet or lack of exercise, these are problems that could have been avoided.
Poor health may cause your whippet to be unable to get the vital exercise they need and could cause a snowball effect of unnecessary health issues or diseases.
That’s why having your whippet at the perfect weight for their build is so important, not underweight or overweight. A healthy whippet is a happy whippet with a grateful owner.
Why Obesity Is Dangerous For Whippets
Whippets are normally a thin-looking dog, often to the point of appearing malnourished. People you pass may even tell you this, causing you to begin overfeeding your pup.
Your whippet is supposed to look skinny with ribs being visible under their skin. If you can’t see your pup’s ribs, then it’s time for Weight Watchers!
Listed below are reasons why obesity is dangerous for your whippet.
Arthritis in dogs can be caused by heredity and trauma, which can cause loss of cushioning causing friction to joints. Another main cause of arthritis for your whippet can be obesity.
Whippets are especially susceptible because any extra weight on their fine build can cause excessive pressure on your whippet’s joints.
When cartilage, which is found in joints, deteriorates, it will lead to pain and stiffness which is arthritis. Arthritis has no cure. Your whippet can be given pain medication but this is only a temporary band-aid.
These medications can also have adverse long term affects that can cause other health issues. Your whippet will not be as active and may not enjoy fun and games outdoors if they are in pain.
Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Humans that carry extra weight are more prone to type two diabetes and the same goes for dogs.
In dogs, it is known as insulin resistance and if your whippet should develop this because of obesity, they can have alarmingly high blood sugar and insulin levels.
This disease requires treatment and medication for the remainder of your whippet’s life and may drastically reduce their life span as well.
Many fat whippets develop skin rolls or folds. These folds don’t get any air circulation and can lead to rashes, odour and scratching, which can, in turn, lead to skin infections.
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t picture my Bonnie being so obese that she has rolls!
Another condition that both humans and dogs can suffer from is hypertension or high blood pressure. This is a condition that you may not know your whippet has until it’s too late.
It is often called “the silent killer.” High blood pressure in your whippet can lead to kidney failure, blindness and heart conditions.
Carrying around extra weight can make anyone breathe harder when exerting themselves and this is no different for your whippet and their small framed body.
If your whippet is severely overweight, they can be more prone to laryngeal paralysis, which occurs when their larynx doesn’t open and close like it normally would and this could cause your whippet to suffocate.
A trachea that collapses is another condition caused by obesity.
Your whippet can develop tumors, breast or bladder cancer from being overweight.
Damaged Immune System
Being overweight can also compromise your whippet’s immune system. This can leave them more prone to many illnesses that are harder to recover from if they aren’t in good health.
Whippets already have a bad track record with anaesthesia. They sometimes have problems during surgeries and need to be closely monitored before, during and after surgery.
When a pup is overweight, expanding their chest can pose a problem when anaesthetized and even more of an issue with a whippet struggling to breathe.
Life Expectancy And Quality Of Life
If your whippet is overweight and has trouble doing all of the fun things they used to do then they are not going to have a good quality of life.
If they come down with any of the above conditions, they may have a very poor quality of life. Some of those conditions can shorten your whippet’s life drastically if they are obese and contract any of them.
The Importance Of Having A Healthy Whippet
When you brought your whippet home to be a member of your family, you wanted the very best life for them. You probably started feeding them high-quality food, limited treats and exercised them daily. Hopefully, you’ve kept it up. All of these necessary actions contribute to healthy whippet.
It is very important that your whippet be healthy for a long life. A long life is important for your pup, but it needs to be a quality life and one that you and they can savour.
You know that one day your whippet will die and of course, you can’t imagine life without them.
There are no guarantees that even with excellent care, food and exercise your whippet won’t ever get sick and die, but providing them with all of those essentials will ensure that you did everything you possibly could to not only make sure your whippet has a long life but a healthy one as well.
How To Get Your Whippet In Good Shape
If your whippet is fat, you may be grappling with how to help them shed some pounds so they are healthier and to avoid health problems they may be at risk for.
By reading this post, you have already taken a step in helping your whippet because you realise they are overweight and need to shed it. Below are some tips to help in the battle against the “rolls.”
When feeding your whippet for weight loss, a few tweaks should be made. You may consult your veterinarian if you need help with their diet.
You need to first figure out how many calories they should have for their ideal weight and age, reducing the food they are eating to that amount.
Food should always be measured and monitored. You should be feeding your adult whippet twice a day, which is better for digestion and so they aren’t wolfing down a big bowl once a day and looking for more later.
It will also help them to be less hungry by spreading it out. If they don’t finish their food, remove it. Don’t let it sit there all day for them to snack on.
Your veterinarian may suggest a lower calorie food and if they do, change it gradually, mixing new with old until they are eating all of their new diet. This will avoid stomach upset.
Many times if you are snacking, you will feel guilty and give your whippet some unhealthy snack food you’re eating or some dog treats, which can be practically just as unhealthy.
Reduce or totally cut out these kinds of snacks. This is not to say that your poor whippet can’t have any kind of treat. Offer them some healthy vegetables such as celery, green beans or carrots.
These high fibre foods are low in calories but will satisfy their hunger and they won’t feel left out. If you snack on these foods too it will be all the healthier!
Exercise is very important for your whippet and it will benefit you as well. Get outdoors for walks every day and take your whippet somewhere to run and burn off energy and calories.
Have them run in your yard, a fenced-in ball field or at a dog park where they can really let loose with their dog friends. You will find that at home, they may be too tired to beg for treats.
After they shed a few pounds, they will also have more energy like the old, thinner whippet they once were.
Don’t forget the playtime indoors and out; catch and hiding and retrieving games. This will keep them busy, exercised, and distracted from snacking.
If you’d like to ramp up the exercise a notch, agility competitions are great exercise for both dog and owner and add fun and bonding time too.
With all of the tips above, you must be consistent. You can’t cave in when your whippet gives you their sad doe-eyed stare for a piece of what you’re snacking on unless it’s a carrot!
Remember that in your quest to help your whippet slim down, you aren’t alone. Seek advice from your veterinarian. Ask them for every week, or every other week weigh-ins and for any and all suggestions they may have to offer.
This will not be an overnight process but will take some time, patience and consistency. You will have your whippet back to their fighting weight in no time at all and on their way back to better health.
You always think that chubby dogs are adorable, all roly-poly and begging for food with sad eyes. Keep in mind, that, although you love and want to make your whippet happy, giving them endless snacks and forbidden foods is not showing love.
Showing your whippet love is making sure they are at their ideal weight and in the best health so they’re around to be your pal for a long, long time.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted the dangers of having a fat whippet and given you some reasons as to why you should help your pup lose weight.
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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!