Maybe you’re preparing to welcome a new Whippet puppy into your home. Or perhaps you’re thinking of buying a Whippet pup? Regardless, if you’ve never lived with a Whippet before, or for that matter any dog, there are a few things you’ll need to buy to ensure you’re properly prepared to be a Whippet owner!
Hence, I decided to put this Whippet owners starter kit together for anyone considering a Whippet.
For those of you who are perhaps in the early stages of planning for a Whippet, this might help to give you an appreciation of what you’ll need.
For others who are expecting an imminent Whippet arrival, my hope is that this starter kit of items you might need will act as a checklist for you… just in case there’s something you haven’t considered.
So without further ado, here are my Whippet owners starter kit recommendations!
A Guide for Whippet Owners
Table of Contents – A Whippet Owners Guide
- Whippet Clothing
- Whippet Food
- First Aid Kit
- Whippet Books
- Other Things Whippet Owners Might Need
Whippets are fair weather creatures and they don’t like cold temperatures. While they’ll usually be quite happy at home “naked” (as long as you have a warm home), outside in colder times they’ll need clothing.
My recommendation is to buy a good fleece Whippet sweater and a waterproof dog jacket.
If you live in the UK, I’d recommend Equafleece, who hand make gorgeous fleece Whippet sweaters that’ll keep your little sighthound super cozy on even the coldest of days. Alternatively, check out these fantastic Whippet sweaters available on Etsy.
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!
In terms of waterproof jackets, we bought our Whippet Misty a Blizzard coat several years ago and it’s still getting a lot of use. Not only is it waterproof, but it also has a fleece lining for extra insulation.
You can find something similar here on Amazon.
Whippets love comfort and warmth. Since they’re a very slender breed with a single coat and short fur, they seek out comfy and warm spots in which to snooze. It’s also worth noting that they have a reputation for spending all day sleeping, however Whippets are not lazy as their reputation might suggest.
You’ll probably want to buy a cosy bed for your Whippet to lie in when it needs a recharge! However, it’s also fair to say that Whippets will sleep on anything that’s comfortable and snuggly: armchairs, sofas, beds… you name it!
Indeed Whippets love to sleep in the same bed as their human companions. You can prevent this if that doesn’t float your boat, but it takes resilience and patience.
We lost that battle years ago!
That said, Misty does have a dog bed in which she’ll curl up in… it just happens to be one of her options!
You’ll probably need to get some dog blankets or other soft things for your Whippet to cuddle up with.
As the owner of a Whippet puppy, you might also want to consider a crate for training, in which you’d house the dog bed. We had a crate in the early days until we were confident that Misty was properly house trained.
It’s probably best to take a recommendation from a veterinary professional regarding dog food. You might also have a strong opinion on whether or not you want to feed your Whippet dried, wet or raw food.
In terms of my recommendation, we’ve been using Wellness CORE dried dog food products since Misty was a puppy:
Specifically, we now feed Misty Wellness CORE Ocean dry dog food.
It was recommended to us by our vet as a well-balanced dried dog food. Misty has never once turned her nose up at it, though we occasionally mix in a tiny bit of fish or cooked meat to keep flavours interesting to her.
You’ll likely also want treats… especially when training your Whippet. You can of course buy treats anywhere, but these are some of the ones we’ve tried and can recommend:
Alternatively (or additionally) you can make treats yourself, like the ones in the chickpea and peanut butter dog cookie recipe I’ve posted.
Always remember though, Whippets are food snafflers and they will eat most things put in front of them. Care should be taken to give your Whippet the exercise it needs and ensure you don’t overfeed.
Treats should only ever be treats and they should never form a substantial part of a Whippets diet!
Find out about foods your dog should avoid.
One thing You’ll need for sure is a collar, lead and or harness. Whippets are sighthounds with long graceful necks and a tendency to bolt after things without warning.
To protect their necks, Whippets need special collars: either fishtail or martingale collars. Both work slightly differently to protect your Whippets throat.
Alternatively, you might prefer a Whippet harness. Unlike collars, harnesses are not fitted around the neck but instead around the body.
Some people prefer this since they potentially offer greater control if a Whippet decides to chase after something.
I’ve always used a fishtail collar, which has served me well. If you feel this is something you’d like also, here’s one I recommend:
- Ferplast leather fishtail collar (for sighthounds)
First Aid Kit
Some people might feel this is a little overkill, but for me a dog first aid kit has come in handy on several occasions. While they’re gorgeous digs, Whippets are prone to skin tears and are capable of injuring themselves in a variety of inventive ways. Consequently, there have been times when my home first aid kit has been invaluable.
You can buy a ready made dog first aid kit, such as this one, or you can make one for yourself.
Find out what to put in a dog first aid kit.
Dogs need stimulation and Whippets are no exception. You’ll need to be able to commit to giving your Whippet plenty of exercise (around an hour or off the lead exercise each day) as well as mental stimulation through play.
Whippets love toys and you may need a selection of different things for them to chew, chase and snuggle up with.
We’ve had a number of toys over the years, some of which have lasted and others were destroyed pretty quickly. You should expect some things not to last forever since dogs play rough with their toys!
Bear this in mind when choosing dog toys and try to opt for things that look like they don’t include elements that are likely to come off easily and cause a choking hazard or digestive blockage.
The best toys that we’ve found are these ones:
- Kong natural rubber chew toys – Perfect for stuffing with peanut butter!
- Pheasant soft toy – Our Whippet Misty’s favourite toy!
- Rope chew toys
- ChuckIt! products
- Tennis ball and chucker
Toys, especially the kind that you can take out and play chase with Are especially good since they not only satisfy a Whippets natural urge to chase, but they both exercise and entertain in equal measure… and there’s nothing quite like seeing a Whippet run!
While we all like to read up on things online (presumably that’s why your here!) it’s nice to have a physical book about Whippets in your armoury.
Of courser there’s an awful lot of fantastic anecdotal information online but printed books are still a wonderful source knowledge and experience.
I’ve linked to a variety of books about Whippets on the My Dear Whippet blog, which you’ll come across as you browse through my posts.
Other Things Whippet Owners Might Need
As with all dogs there are a number of things you’ll need for everyday life with a Whippet:
- Poop Bags.
- Dog tag.
- Grooming brush (or dog grooming vacuum attachments).
- Food and drink bowls.
- Toothbrush and dog toothpaste – cleaning your Whippet’s teeth is important!
If you’re a Whippet lover, or you know an someone else who is, you might also find this selection of themed Whippet gift ideas fun!
Summary – A Whippet Owners Guide
Living with a Whippet is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. If you’re new to owning a Whippet or you’re thinking of becoming a Whippet owner, I hope this gives you some ideas to help.
If you have any further questions about the things you might need as Whippet owners, please leave a question in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
- Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?
- Whippet Colours and Markings
- Are Whippets Affectionate?
- Whippet Information
- A Guide to Whippet Lifespan