Feeding a Whippet puppy the best ingredients and an appropriate number of calories sets them up for healthy growth all the way to adulthood.
Whippets are naturally very slim athletic dogs, who reach their full adult size by about 8 months old.
There are several suitable diets for feeding a Whippet puppy, each with their own pros and cons.
Are you wondering what you should be feeding a Whippet puppy?
Since diet is such an important component in raising a healthy dog, you want to make sure that you’re giving your puppy the right food in the proper amount.
Sleek, streamlined, and very sweet, the Whippet is a sighthound who looks like a smaller version of the Greyhound.
These lean, agile dogs have the toned physique of an athlete, and their lovable, laid back nature makes the Whippet a wonderful pet.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about feeding a Whippet puppy, including the pros and cons of kibble, wet food, homemade, and raw diets.
We’ll also look at how much to feed, when to feed, and more.
Swapping Puppy Food Brands
When you bring your Whippet puppy home you may want to give him a different type of food than what he’s been eating.
However, it’s important to keep them on the same diet that the breeder has been giving them for two to four weeks before making any changes.
There are several reasons behind this.
One is that a young pup is already disoriented.
They’ve just been separated from their mom and siblings and are trying to adapt to an entirely new environment.
Whippets are already prone to fear and anxiety, so establishing a secure attachment early on is important.
Giving them the same food as they’re accustomed to is one way to reduce their stress.
The breeder will be able to advise you and may even give you a supply of the food your puppy’s been eating.
Another reason not to change your puppy’s diet immediately has to do with how canines digest food.
While dog’s saliva is able to kill off bacteria, it lacks the enzymes to break down food the way that human saliva does.
This means they don’t really begin to digest food until after they’ve swallowed.
Dogs’ gastrointestinal systems are quite different from ours and this means they don’t digest or adapt to food the same way we do.
Food Swapping Schedule
After a few weeks, and once your Whippet puppy has acclimated to his new home and family, you can start to change his food.
This should always be done gradually, over a period of about one week.
Never give them the new food at once, even down the road when you switch from puppy to adult dog food, and eventually from adult to senior food.
First, mix about three-quarters of the food you’re currently serving with one-quarter of the new food for the first two to three days.
Then advance to equal amounts of the old and new food for the next two to three days.
Finally, introduce three-quarters of the new food to one-quarter of the old food.
By this point, your Whippet puppy should be able to tolerate the new food entirely.
However, it’s important to monitor them closely during the food transition.
If you detect any signs of digestive problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation, contact your veterinarian.
Whippet Puppy Diets
Luckily, Whippets are a generally healthy breed and should do well on a number of different diets.
Puppies should always be fed a high-quality food that’s formulated specifically for them.
This is because puppies require more protein and calories than adult dogs.
Approximately half of their caloric intake is used for proper growth and development.
The following puppy foods are recommended:
- Instinct Puppy Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food
- Natural Balance Original Ultra Dry Dog Food, Puppy Formula
- Merrick Classic Grain Free Canned Dog Food, 13,2 Oz, 12 Count Puppy Plate
How Feeding Changes as a Whippet Puppy Gets Older
Whippet puppies should be fed three or four meals a day.
By the time they’re a year old they should be fed twice daily.
Continue to serve a puppy formulated food until they reach about 90% of their adult size.
Switch to an adult dog food using the same gradual method that was used to swap their food the first time.
In terms of quantity, if your breeder hasn’t given you a diet sheet, check with your veterinarian.
Although packaging on commercial foods will give you some idea, each puppy has its own unique requirements due to activity level and other factors.
As general guidelines, an adult Whippet usually needs one ounce of food for every two pounds they weigh.
What to Feed a Whippet Puppy
Whippets are an active breed that tends to be quite healthy with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
They should do just fine on any puppy formulated diet as long as it’s balanced and nutritional.
Whether you decide to feed your Whippet puppy dry food, wet food, homemade food, or raw really comes down to personal preference.
Read on to learn about the pros and cons of each diet.
Feeding a Whippet Puppy Kibble
Dry kibble is hands down the most popular choice for puppy food.
It’s convenient, reasonably priced, and keeps well.
You only have to walk into any pet store to see the vast array of dry food options available.
On the downside, kibble is the least palatable option and dogs are sometimes hungry almost immediately afterward.
If you do choose to feed your dog dry food, make sure to read the ingredients.
A named animal protein should be at the top of the list.
Avoid brands that contain meat by-products and other fillers that can upset a dog’s digestion.
Feeding a Whippet Puppy Wet Food
Although typically more expensive, wet or canned food often has more nutritional value and higher levels of animal protein than dry dog food does.
This can decrease the risk of dehydration.
But as long as your Whippet puppy always has access to fresh water, this shouldn’t be a concern.
Wet food also tends to be tastier.
There is some evidence that soft, wet food can cause dental problems in dogs, but regularly brushing your dog’s teeth should reduce the risk.
Feeding a Whippet Puppy Raw (BARF)
Raw food diets for dogs are becoming increasingly popular.
Advocates believe this is a healthier way to feed your dog because it’s closer to their natural diet.
They’ll cite benefits like improved digestion, cleaner teeth, and a healthier skin and coat.
However, most of the current scientific evidence suggests that the risks of a raw diet are greater than the rewards.
Raw chicken in particular poses a threat.
This study found that 80% of BARF diet samples tested positive for salmonella.
If you’re interested in feeding your dog a raw diet, it’s very important to know how to store and handle meat properly to avoid contamination.
Feeding a Whippet Puppy a Homemade Diet
As with a raw diet, feeding a Whippet puppy a homemade diet gives you complete control over what your dog consumes.
The difference is that this diet could include cooked meats and vegetables.
A homemade diet can also be more natural and tastier than serving them commercially bought foods.
However, you need to ensure that your puppy is getting the right nutrients in the right amounts.
Before you feed your Whippet puppy a homemade diet, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian.
How Much Should I Feed My Whippet Puppy?
A growing puppy needs more calories per pound of body weight than an adult dog of the same breed.
According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult Whippet weighing 30 pounds requires 894 calories a day.
Purina recommends that a dog that will weigh in the 21 to 50-pound range as an adult should get 2/3 to 1¼ cups of food per day when they’re between one and a half to three months old.
From four to five months of age, they should get 1 ¾ to 2 ⅓ cups.
At six to eight months they should be fed 1⅓ to 2 cups.
From nine to eleven months it’s from 2⅓ to 2½ cups.
Between the ages of one and two years old, they will get 2⅓ to 3½ cups each day.
These are merely guidelines and amounts will vary between different puppies and dog food brands.
Whippets are natural runners and excel at organized sports such as agility and lure-coursing.
These dogs also love to stretch out and lounge around the house.
Your dog’s activity level can play a big role in the amount of calories they should be eating.
Your veterinarian is your best resource when it comes to feeding your Whippet puppy the proper amount.
Is My Puppy the Right Weight?
Whippets are naturally thin dogs.
To people unfamiliar with the breed, a Whippet at a healthy weight can appear to be too skinny.
However, some Whippets are prone to weight gain, which is ill-suited to their lean frame.
Young Whippets can look lanky and their ribs may be visible when they’re in the period of rapid growth.
At least two vertebrae at the top of the spine should be visible in the adult.
Ribs should be easily felt, but not protruding.
Keeping your Whippet at the proper weight throughout their life is the best way to ensure they are healthy and happy.
It can also reduce the risk of orthopedic problems that can be both painful and costly to repair.
This article has growth charts to help guide you through the puppy development stages.
My Puppy is Still Hungry
It’s not uncommon for puppies to be hungry even after they’ve eaten the proper amount of food.
Some dogs just love to eat and never seem to get enough.
Resist the urge to give them more food.
There are ways to get your Whippet puppy to slow down their eating.
One method is to use a feeding puzzle. These doggie dishes are specifically designed to slowly dispense food so that it’s impossible for them to eat too quickly.
Another option is to give your pet smaller meals throughout the day.
However, there could be other reasons why your puppy is still hungry after they’ve eaten.
Low-quality dry kibble often consists of fillers which have no nutritional value and aren’t very satisfying.
Unfortunately, there could also be an underlying medical reason for your pet’s constant hunger.
If your Whippet puppy is never sated, contact your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical problems.
My Puppy Won’t Eat
A puppy that won’t eat can be very distressing.
If you’ve just brought a new pup into your home, there’s a good chance that they’re anxious or stressed about being in a new environment.
Puppies that are a little older may be dealing with teething pain.
It could also be that they don’t like the food you’re giving them.
However, if your puppy has missed more than a couple of meals we recommend seeing the vet.
How Long is a Whippet Considered a Puppy?
A full-grown Whippet stands 18 to 22 inches and weighs just 25 to 40 pounds.
It should be noted that Whippets in the UK are somewhat smaller, measuring between 17 and 20 inches in height.
These medium-sized dogs typically reach their full height between six and eight months of age, which is younger than many breeds.
Since each dog is an individual and can reach maturity at different rates, you should check with the vet before transitioning them to a diet designed for adult dogs.
Feeding a Whippet Puppy
Hopefully, this article has given you some food for thought about feeding a Whippet puppy.
What do you feed your Whippet? Let us know in the comments!
References and resources
- King, C, et al., “Anxiety and impulsivity: Factors associated with premature graying in young dogs,” Applied Animal Behavior Science, 2016
- Guth, S., “How Dogs Digest Different Foods,” 2NZ Dog World, 2009
- Hawthorne, AJ, et al, “Body-Weight Changes during Growth in Puppies of Different Breeds,” The Journal of Nutrition, 2004
- Watson, ADJ, “Diet and periodontal disease in dogs and cats,” Australian Veterinary Journal, 1994
- Schlesinger, DP, et al., “Raw food diets in companion animals: A critical review,” The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2011
- Joffe, DJ, et al., “Preliminary assessment of the risk of Salmonella infection in dogs fed raw chicken diets,” The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2002
- Hutchinson, D., et al., “Seizures and severe nutrient deficiencies in a puppy fed a homemade diet,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2012
- “Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs: A Science-Based Guide for Pet Owners,” The National Academies 2006
- Purina, How Much to Feed a Puppy