A healthy diet and an appropriate level of exercise are the best things we can give our Whippets to help them live a long and happy life. However, Whippets have a certain life expectancy regardless of the quality of life we give them. In this post I’m going to discuss the average lifespan of a Whippet and outline some of the factors that can contribute to a longer or shorter life.
Table of Contents
- What is the Average Lifespan of a Whippet?
- Whippet Health
- Exercise & its Effect on the Lifespan of a Whippet
What is the Average Lifespan of a Whippet?
In general, the average lifespan of a Whippet is between 12 and 15 years. Of course there are exceptions, especially where diet and exercise play such an important role.
The best thing we can ever possibly do to improve Whippet life expectancy (or that of any dog breed) is to ensure we provide a healthy diet and a suitable amount of daily exercise.
It’s also important not to overfeed Whippets or give them foods all dogs should avoid. Some foods are plain unhealthy while others are dangerous.
Dogs can eat a variety of foods, and indeed we can all be a little too ready to feed them an occasional treat from our plates, but this is a practice that should be discouraged.
Many vets advise that if you give your dog any kind of treat it should be factored as a part of their overall daily calorie allowance.
Additionally, treats should never make up more than 10% of the total daily calorie intake. The remaining 90% should come from balanced, high-protein meals.
Early on, our vet recommended Wellness CORE Ocean grain free dry dog food and it’s something we’ve stuck with throughout our Whippet Misty’s adult life.
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As with all dog breeds, overfeeding a Whippet is just not nice. Canine obesity is a serious problem that not only reduces a Whippet’s life expectancy but also impacts it’s quality of life.
There are of course health issues that can affect the lifespan of a Whippet, many of which are breed specific and therefore difficult to prevent outside of breeding practices.
Although Whippets are a generally healthy breed, there are certain conditions and diseases that they have a predisposition towards.
Uncommon but serious health problems are Mitral Valve Disease, Canine von Willebrand’s Disease and Canine Hemangiosarcoma. These are conditions that can shorten a Whippet’s lifespan considerably.
More common Whippet health problems include orthopaedic injuries, skin tears and deafness. Whippets are also very sensitive to anaesthesia.
Something often overlooked for all dog breeds is dental health. In fact, poor dental hygiene often results in periodontal disease, which can cause a number of life shortening health problems in any dog.
Find out about more about Whippet health problems.
Exercise & its Effect on the Lifespan of a Whippet
As medium-sized sighthounds, adult Whippets need less exercise than you might imagine. Whippets are speed merchants who enjoy short, intense bursts of activity. This might usually mean up to an hour of walking, ball chasing and zoomies with other dogs each day.
Exercise is extremely important for Whippets. Physical exercise provides them with a way to burn off excess calories (reducing the likelihood of canine obesity) and it provides mental stimulation.
Exercise and mental stimulation are vitally important in terms of the lifespan of a Whippet and at the very least ensure a high-quality of life.
Outside of exercise, many people think Whippets are lazy because they’re content to snooze the rest of the day away!
Find out more detailed information about how much exercise a Whippet needs.
The average life expectancy of a Whippet is 12 – 15 years. However, factors such as diet and exercise play an important role in determining longevity.
Purebred Whippets are predisposed to certain health conditions that can shorten their lives, but these tend to be uncommon.
With a healthy diet, appropriate exercise and loving care, Whippets tend to remain a healthy breed throughout their life.
But it’s not a one way deal… Whippets make great pets too!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. Please leave me a comment or ask me a question below.
- Can Whippets Be Left Alone?
- Are Whippets Smart?
- Can You Walk a Whippet Off Lead?
- Are Whippets Aggressive?