Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Whippet puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Whippets, the best dog food diet for feeding Whippet puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.

11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Whippet dog breed

Whippet Health Problems and Raising a Whippet Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2016

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Whippets:

The Whippet Club conducted a health survey that included 651 dogs and concluded that the three serious diseases that cause the most deaths in Whippets are cancer, epilepsy, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

The most serious eye diseases in Whippets are cataracts (appearing after age three and often leading to blindness) and occasionally progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Vitreous degeneration also occurs in Whippets. The vitreous is a clear jelly-like material within the eye that helps support the retina and give shape to the eye. If the vitreous develops an inflammation, it may become cloudy or liquefied, and vision may be impaired or lost. Vitreous degeneration may also predispose a dog to other eye diseases (retinal dysplasia, lens luxation, or glaucoma).

Skin problems include allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to pyoderma), demodectic mange, and elbow hygroma. In blue or fawn Whippets, color dilution alopecia is fairly common.

Some Whippets have pattern baldness, a gradual thinning or complete loss of hair around their temples and ears, underneath their neck and abdomen, and on the backs of their thighs. It's not itchy and the skin and coat are otherwise perfectly normal. Since it's a cosmetic condition, there's no treatment required other than adding supplements that are good for the skin and coat, such as fatty acids.

Heart disease (valve disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonic stenosis) is a growing concern in the breed.

Inherited deafness is a concern in Whippet puppies with a lot of white on their head.

Whippets can suffer chronic diarrhea simply from stress, from food intolerances, or from gastrointestinal diseases such as colitis (inflammatory bowel disease). Occasionally bloat occurs in Whippets.

Hormonal/endocrine system diseases include hypothyroidism and occasionally Addison's disease.

Because of their low body fat, all sighthounds are extra sensitive to anesthetics and require an experienced vet who will follow a special Greyhound Anesthesia Protocol.

Sighthounds REQUIRE open space to run. A sighthound who can't stretch his legs and gallop off-leash will not develop proper muscle tone for good health.

Musculoskeletal injuries (fractures, pulled muscles or ligaments, broken toes, paw injuries, etc.) are common when slender sighthounds race about.

Orthopedic diseases include cruciate ligament rupture and panosteitis, but the other orthopedic diseases so common in other breeds are seldom seen in Whippets. According to the Orthopedic Foundation of America, their hip dysplasia rate is less than 1%. That's excellent!

Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Whippet?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Whippets today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Whippet puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Whippet puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Whippet puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Whippet lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.

Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Whippet
The best diet for feeding your Whippet is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.

Natural dog foods for your Whippet. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Whippet
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.

Information on booster shots for your Whippet. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Whippet puppy really need? Does your adult Whippet need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.

Information on choosing the best vet for your Whippet. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.

Information on spaying your Whippet. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Whippet.

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain With Electromagnetic Field Therapy
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, pancreatitis, colitis, injuries such as fractures and skin wounds, or a neurological condition? An honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.