Are you thinking of buying a Whippet puppy?
I can understand entirely why you’d be thinking of buying a Whippet puppy because I was in your shoes once!
We bought our Whippet Misty in 2013 and it was a day that changed our lives… pretty much 100% for the better.
However, taking on a puppy is not entirely a bed of roses.
There are many things you must consider before you commit to buying any puppy. Then there are specific challenges for Whippets that you’ll need to think about too.
In this post, I’m brain dumping all the things you need to mull over if you’re seriously considering buying a Whippet puppy.
My intention is not to deter you since Whippets are great pets. I just want to put you in the picture so that you know you’re buying the right puppy for you.
Table of Contents
- Are You Ready for a Whippet Puppy?
- Are You Ready for the Costs of a Whippet Puppy?
- Is a Whippet Puppy Right for You?
- Can You Commit to the Responsibility of Owning a Whippet?
- Where Can You Buy Whippet Puppies?
Are You Prepared for a Whippet Puppy?
Puppies are adorable… but to me Whippet puppies are the most adorable!
However, if you’ve ever owned a dog before you’ll know that puppies are not just adorable… they’re demanding too.
A perfect gift for dog lovers!
This black and white photographic tribute to man's best friend, captures the diversity of the dog world.
Photographer Elliot Erwitt's "Dogs" shows the quirkiness of our furry friends in a series of loving compositions.
I've had this book for over 20 years and it's something I still flick through occasionally... friends and family love it too!
I know this firsthand.
I had many demanding experiences with my Whippet Misty during her puppy days… and beyond those days too, to be honest!
With this in mind, here is a rundown of some of the questions you’ll need a clear answer for if you are seriously thinking about buying a Whippet puppy.
Want to know more about Whippets? Check out my Whippet dog breed information page to find out everything about this lovely creature!
Are You Ready for the Costs a Whippet Puppy Will Add to Your Outgoings?
Of course there is the initial cost of taking in a Whippet pup.
Costs to buy a Whippet vary and depend on a number of factors such as the:
- Parentage of the Whippet
- Whether you buy from a rescue centre
We bought our Whippet from a UK Kennel Club Assured Breeder and paid around £400 for her. I recognise this is a steep price that not everyone will want to pay.
You might also be able to buy a Whippet puppy at a rescue centre, though of course you may have to wait for a Whippet to become available.
That said, this can be a far less expensive alternative as you would likely only pay administration fees and / or leave a donation.
Added to the initial cost of buying a Whippet puppy, you’ll find the ongoing following expenses:
- Vet fees and medicines
- Pet insurance (you don’t have to take insurance but we did and it has saved us £1,000s)
- Vaccinations, flea treatments and deworming tablets
- Neutering and spaying
- Dog food
- Dog sitting
- Whippet collars (they need special ones), leads and coats
- Poop bags (you’ll buy lots of these over time!)
Additionally, there are always costs associated with damage that inevitably occurs. It might be something that gets chewed or the costs involved in cleaning up little accidents at home!
The PDSA estimates that after initial purchase a Whippet will cost you on average around £65 each month as most dogs cost around £11k over the course of their life.
That’s a pretty substantial investment and something you’ll need to factor.
Will a Whippet Puppy Be Right for Your Home and Your Family?
Whippets are medium sized dogs and so are suited to pretty much any home, including apartments.
They are playful though, even beyond puppydom. When we took Misty to puppy training and our trainer told me that Whippets remain puppies forever!
Since they are playful they will happily run around your home if you encourage them so you’d probably need to be careful if you have small children.
Sighthounds will chase anything and will ignore anything (or anyone) in their way!
Whippets also crave company. Ask any Whippet owner and they’ll tell you it’s like having a canine shadow at all times!
Whippets are known to suffer separation anxiety. Since they need company it’s best not to leave any Whippet alone for long periods.
This will be especially true for Whippet puppies who’ll need you around to reassure them and help them learn what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour at home.
Whippets will be happy in whatever sized home you have as long as you give them enough exercise (up to an hour a day). You’ll find they’ll be quite content after a good run and will probably spend the rest of the day snoozing!
As with any puppy, younger children need to be taught how to handle them properly and not to react by shouting or being physical with them if they don’t do what they’d like them to.
Aside from this, Whippets make excellent family dogs and are great with and for children.
They’re loving (adoring in fact) and in general they don’t bark very much (though mine barks occasionally if someone comes to the front door).
Find out more about Whippet temperament in my detailed guide.
Can You Commit to the Responsibility of Owning a Whippet?
It’s a given of course that any pet is a responsibility. Unlike smaller pets, a dog is a much bigger responsibility.
As a general rule you’ll be taking on responsibilities for:
- Bathing & grooming your dog
- Cleaning teeth
- Vet appointments
- Exercise and play
- Spending time with them
I’ve mentioned already that Whippets need company. This doesn’t mean you need to be with them 24×7 but it does mean they’ll struggle emotionally if you have to leave them every day on their own for very long periods.
This is especially true for Whippet puppies who will be learning to live in a new environment away from their mum and puppy brothers and sisters. They’ll need reassurance and so you’ll have to spend lots of time with them until they feel comfortable in their new home.
In my experience, even when they’re no longer puppies Whippets can be a little needy and always want to be near you… or even on you.
They love contact and warmth and like nothing more than lying across you, or your furniture!
Whippets enjoy your company so much your Whippet might even struggle to be apart from you at night. Most Whippet owners I know have ended up with their Whippet sleeping with them!
This might not be something you want so you’ll have to work hard to train them out of this.
You’ll also need to be able to commit to exercising your Whippet for up to an hour a day.
We take Misty for a 45 minute to 1 hour walk almost every day, unless the weather is awful. Even when the weather is foul we still take her out for a 10 minute walk around the block a few times a day.
Whippets don’t like very cold weather. They especially don’t like cold, wet weather.
I’m not a big fan of weather like this either, but you have to get over that and commit to giving your Whippet the exercise it needs.
Find out more detailed information about how much exercise a Whippet needs.
You’ll also need to watch what Whippets eat. A Whippet will eat anything put in front of it!
In many cases this makes for an easy life but there are certain foods Whippets should avoid though, so you need to be vigilant and keep them out of reach.
When you take on any dog, your life will have to change to accommodate them. You’ll lose some of the ability to be spontaneous since you’ll have to factor care for your dog.
Weekends away and vacations will require someone to care for your Whippet and probably also involve a cost.
Even a long day out might mean you need someone to let your Whippet outside so you don’t return to carpets that need cleaning!
Whippets also require lots of love and in return they’ll return that love in spades. Play with them and love them and you’ll have an amazing companion.
Where Can You Buy Whippet Puppies?
There are a couple of ways to buy Whippet puppies but you should be careful about where you buy them and from whom.
I mentioned earlier that we bought our Whippet from a UK Kennel Club Assured Breeder so we knew that she was coming from a good home.
N.B. If you live in the US and want to find a reliable and caring breeder, the American Kennel Club offers resources to help.
The UK Kennel Club assurance meant we knew our Whippet puppy was healthy and had been given the correct medical treatment and vaccinations while she was in the breeder’s care.
We could also see with our own eyes the conditions in which she was being raised and how the breeders treated her mum and the litter she came from.
This was important to us.
If a breeder is too expensive for you, a caring alternative is to try to find a Whippet puppy at a rescue centre as I’ve discussed. However you may likely not know where your puppy has come from, how he or she was treated and its medical history.
Buying a Whippet puppy from a “puppy farm” seller might seem a cheap option but I would advise against this.
You know nothing about the history of the dog, it’s parents or how well they’ve been looked after and you have no guarantees your puppy will be healthy.
I would recommend buying a puppy only from an assured breeder or a rescue centre, where you know they’ve been looked after well.
7 Questions You Should Ask a Whippet Breeder
If you buy a Whippet puppy from a breeder you should still be choosy and check them out thoroughly.
One way to do this is to ask them questions about their Whippet puppy’s physical and emotional health:
- Can we see the Whippet puppy with its mum? This will show you the temperament of the puppy’s mum, which can be inherited. It can also show you that the mum is really the mum rather than a puppy from another litter.
- How old is the Whippet puppy? You shouldn’t take a Whippet puppy less than 8 weeks old and a reliable breeder would never allow it anyway.
- Is the puppy weaned? Whippet puppies should be weaned off their mother’s milk at around 7 weeks old. If they aren’t they may not be as old as the breeder says they are.
- What food has the puppy been fed? Assuming the Whippet puppy is weaned you should know what food the breeder has fed it. Good breeders will likely offer you a few day’s worth of the same food to avoid your Whippet having a stomach upset.
- Are there known health problems with the parents? The answer to this will help you understand if something might be passed on to the puppy.
- How many puppy litters has the mum had? Dogs should not be used as puppy farms. You should turn your back on any breeder who has used a dog to breed more than four times.
- Is the puppy wormed and vaccinated? Puppies are born with worms and need worming treatment from around the second week. Whippet puppies also require two rounds of vaccinations: once around the six week point and once again around twelve weeks. You need to know precisely which brand of vaccinations your puppy received at the six week point so your vet can administer the exact same brand at the 12 week point.
Other Things to Look For
There are other things for you to take notice of, such as how the puppy looks:
- Is it clean?
- Does it look healthy?
- Is it alert?
- Does it have toys and appear to have been properly cared for?
Taking notice of things like this will help give you a feel for the home the Whippet puppy is coming from.
If you’re in any doubt about the breeder or the puppy, then you should probably look elsewhere.
For us buying a Whippet puppy has enriched our lives beyond measure. However we have had trying times, such as visits to the vet when our Whippet ate raisins or got herself into a scrape.
We also had to factor the additional needs of a Whippet puppy as well as the ongoing responsibilities of owning a mature dog.
However, if you’re seriously considering buying a Whippet puppy and are sure you are able to commit to what they’ll need from you, you’ll have a wonderful companion to share your life with.
Do you have any questions about buying a Whippet puppy? Drop me a question in the comments below.