VCA Animal Hospitals



Basic Whippet Information

  • Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
  • Height: 18 - 22 inches
  • Weight: 20 - 40 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Whippets

Whippet Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Whippet History

  • The whippet descends from greyhound roots, probably mixed with ratting terriers.
  • The resulting small dogs could be used for poaching in the royal forests, and for entertainment in snap dog contests in which bets were made on how many rabbits a dog could snap up before the rabbits escaped from a circle. This gave the whippet its first name of "snap-dog."
  • During the Industrial Revolution, workers brought their dogs with them to towns. They staged betting races in which the dogs raced in a 200-yard straight line toward a person waving a rag. This earned the breed the name of "poor man's racehorse."
  • The AKC recognized the whippet in 1888.
  • The whippet is the most popular of the greyhound-like breeds.
  • The whippet is the most successful breed competing in the sport of lure-coursing, in which they chase a plastic bag dragged along a zig-zagging course at high speed.

Whippet Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a devoted and gentle companion.
  • It is one of the most demonstrative and obedient of the greyhound-like breeds.
  • It enjoys sitting close to its family; it is sometimes described as "clingy."
  • It may tend to run off to chase moving things, especially small animals.
  • Sociable with children, strangers, and other dogs and animals (except small strange ones running away).
  • An alert watchdog, but not a very effective protection dog.
  • Learns quickly, but is easily bored.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or play. Very sensitive.

Whippet Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a very quiet housedog as long as its exercise needs are met.
  • Requires a moderate walk or jog, or a sprint in an enclosed area, every day.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Its short hair provides virtually no protection against cold weather. A coat may be necessary in cold weather.

Whippet Grooming

  • Coat is short and thin.
  • The coat needs weekly brushing, and occasional bathing.
  • Shedding is below average.

Suggested Whippet Nutritional Needs

  • Whippet conformation is for a naturally thin build, but owners often overfeed them. You should be able to feel the ribs, but they should not be too noticeable.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.