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Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise

Build routine care into your schedule to help your Whippet live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine.

  • Supervise your pet as you would a toddler. Keep doors closed, pick up after yourself, and block off rooms as necessary. This will keep her/him out of trouble and away from objects she shouldn’t put in her mouth.

  • Brush her/his coat at least weekly.

  • Whippets generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

  • Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—we’ll show you how!

  • Due to her smaller size, she makes an excellent house dog and companion.

  • When exercised off leash, she should be in a fenced enclosure.

  • Keep your dog’s diet consistent.

  • Feed a high-quality diet appropriate for her age.

  • Exercise your dog regularly, but don’t overdo it at first

Genetic Predispositions for Whippets


When it is time for a dental cleaning, surgery, or minor procedures such as suturing a wound, anesthesia is usually necessary. Whippets have a number of idiosyncrasies that can increase the risk of anesthesia. The good news is we have many years of experience with sighthounds and know to pay special attention to anesthetic problems such as:

  • hyperthermia (body temperature dangerously high) in nervous dogs

  • hypothermia (body temperature dangerously low) in dogs with a lean body conformation

  • prolonged recovery from some intravenous anesthetics and increased risks of drug interactions

While we cannot eliminate his risk entirely, we are able to use anesthesia safely in these pets.

Multidrug Resistance

Multidrug resistance is a genetic defect in a gene called MDR1. If your Whippet has this mutation, it can affect his processing of many drugs, including substances commonly used to treat parasites, diarrhea and even cancer. For years veterinarians simply avoided using ivermectin in herding breeds, but now there is a DNA test that can specifically identify dogs who are at risk for side effects from certain medications. Testing him early in life can prevent drug-related toxicity.


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