Whippets can get fat but as a general rule most Whippets are very lean. In fact, Whippets are generally so lean that some people unfamiliar with them might mistakenly believe that they’re underweight or malnourished.
The Whippet breed is genetically predisposed to be skinny, but can Whippets get fat? How much should a healthy Whippet weigh? And what should you do if you believe your Whippet is fat?
I’ll be discussing the answers to these questions by looking at the following topics:
Table of Contents
- How Can Whippets Get Fat?
- What Is A Healthy Weight For A Whippet?
- What Should You Do If You Feel Your Whippet Is Fat?
- Related Posts
How Can Whippets Get Fat?
We’ve established that Whippets can indeed get fat. Just because Whippets are traditionally skinny, it doesn’t mean they can’t become overweight.
Any dog can get fat… indeed canine obesity is on the rise and the path consequences are serious.
As you might imagine, a Whippet can get fat in several ways:
- Poor diet and a surplus of calories.
- A lack of suitable exercise.
- The consequence of certain medical conditions.
It’s an obvious place to start, but a poor diet is one of the major contributors to Whippets becoming overweight.
It may be that the food your regularly feed your Whippet is not balanced or that it contains empty calories that sacrifice nutritional value for energy (calories).
Make sure you feed your Whippet a balanced diet that’s high in protein and low in artificial ingredients and sugars.
We’ve used Wellness Core Ocean dried food for our Whippet Misty since she was a puppy, as recommended by our veterinary practice.
It’s also important not to give too many treats to your Whippet. It’s recommended that treats don’t make up more than 10% of your Whippets daily caloric requirement. Any more than this and it’s likely that you will be sacrificing nutrition, which can contribute to your Whippet getting fat.
You may feed your Whippet the recommended daily calories and you may even not spoil him or her with too many treats. However, if you’re not providing a suitable amount of exercise opportunities, your Whippet may get fat as time goes by.
Like all dogs, Whippets need exercise!
There is a common misconception that Whippets are lazy. This is due in part to the fact that they can be content to lounge around. Whippets aren’t lazy, but like any dog they will sleep if they’re bored.
Providing your Whippet with insufficient opportunities for exercise does two things. It negatively impacts:
- Physical health.
- Mental health.
Exercise is important for Whippets, as it is for all dogs. Exercise helps to keep the cardiovascular system in peak condition and it provides a means to burn off excess calories to stop Whippets getting fat.
However, physical exercise is also important to keep a Whippet happy. Although mental wellbeing may not prevent a Whippet putting on weight, it will mean that excess energy doesn’t get channelled into undesirable behaviours such as chewing, barking and aggression.
Whippets aren’t aggressive by nature, but that doesn’t mean they can’t become aggressive if they have energy to burn off or they’re distressed.
The upshot is… Whippets can get fat so exercise is vital to avoid weight gain. Exercise also staves off boredom and a tendency towards bad behaviour.
Sadly, even though you may provide a healthy, balanced diet and provide plenty of opportunities for exercise and play, Whippets can still get fat if they suffer certain medical conditions.
Many of these are unpredictable and so it’s important to have your Whippet regularly checked by a veterinary professional. Certain medical conditions left unchecked may result in a Whippet gaining weight or unnecessarily suffering.
Whippets can suffer from Hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland is under-active. Hypothyroidism has many side effects but one of them is weight gain. Fortunately it can be treated through hormone replacement therapy.
Other diseases such as Cushing’s Disease can also make Whippets fat. Cushing’s disease affects the adrenal glands causing them to over-produce cortisol, which can cause weight gain.
Find out more about Whippet health problems.
What Is A Healthy Weight For A Whippet?
Most Whippets are considered fully grown between the ages of 12 to 14 months, at which point they’ll measure 17.5″ to 22.5″ (47cm to 57cm) and weigh between 6.8 – 19.1 kg (15 – 42lbs), with males tending to be slightly larger than females.
Of course these are average weights and there may be variance for Whippets that tend to be taller than what’s considered average.
You may need to weigh your Whippet to understand if it’s getting fat. Weighing your dog at home can be a challenge but you can make fairly accurate visual assessments to give you a feel for your Whippet’s weight.
As a general rule, you should be able to see 2 – 3 of your Whippet’s ribs. Any more than this and your Whippet is possibly undernourished. Any less than this, it’s possible your Whippet is overfed.
Overfed Whippets become fat Whippets!
What is the average lifespan of a Whippet?
What Should You Do If You Feel Your Whippet Is Fat?
You should know if your Whippet is overweight. Canine obesity can shorten not just the length of your Whippet’s life but also the quality of its life.
Aside from a decreased life-expectancy, overweight dogs can suffer myriad health issues, such as:
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Orthopaedic Problems.
One of the best ways to monitor not just weight but all potential health problems is to visit a veterinary professional for regular checks.
A vet will keep an eye on many things…. and weight will one of them.
If your Whippet is getting fat, a vet will check for underlying issues that may be causing weight gain. They’ll also be able to advise on a food and exercise regimen that will help your Whippet lose weight.
The dog food you provide for your Whippet is extremely important.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve fed my Whippet Misty Wellness Core Ocean dried food since she reached adulthood… as recommended by my vet. It’s provides complete nutrition without fillers or artificial preservatives.
If you’re trying to reduce your Whippet’s weight, you should of course avoid giving snacks between meals and stick to a specific amount of food per day… regardless of how much your Whippet begs!
Whippets can be very good at persuading you to give them a treat!
Additionally, exercise is vital. Whippets need up to an hour of off the lead exercise every day. This will give them an opportunity to move about independently and run around at will.
You’ll of course need a safe enclosed area to walk so your Whippet can’t run off if sighthound mode kicks in!
A toy for you to throw for your Whippet to chase can be invaluable here. Using the Whippet’s natural instinct to chase things will practically guarantee a good work out. It will also burn off a Whippet’s excess energy so they’ll be more relaxed at home.
Can Whippets Get Fat?
Although a breed famous for being skinny, don’t be fooled… Whippets can get fat!
A bad diet, insufficient exercise or certain medical conditions can result in your Whippet gaining weight.
Hence, it’s vital to keep an eye on your Whippet’s weight to understand if you need to change its lifestyle. A vet will be best placed to help you here and manage all aspects of your Whippet’s health.
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Do you have any questions about Whippet weight? Please leave your questions / comments at the bottom of this page.