If you are a new Whippet owner, one of the essential things you first need to know is how much to feed this breed. Planning the right diet for this dog is crucial in ensuring its health and soundness.
How much to feed a Whippet is significantly influenced by its age and weight. Generally, Whippet puppies should be fed 1 ¼ to 2 ½ cups of quality dog food after they are weaned. Adult Whippets should receive 2 to 2 ¼ cups of dog food, while seniors should receive 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups for daily meals.
If you want to learn more about feeding your Whippet dog, continue reading! This guide covers everything you need to know, from the right amount of food to how often you should feed them.
What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Whippet?
A Whippet’s diet should be carefully planned and crafted considering factors such as age, weight, and activity levels. These factors will dictate the amount and type of food you should provide your dog.
Here is a detailed explanation of each factor that influences how much you should feed your Whippet:
- Age: The nutritional requirements of a Whippet will change as it develops and grows from puppyhood to adulthood. Whippet puppies require food differently from adults since they have different needs.
- Weight: Adjustments should also be made to your Whippet’s diet, depending on whether or not it is in the ideal weight range. An overweight Whippet should have a diet that will assist in reducing excess body weight. Meanwhile, an underweight Whippet will require a diet that will nourish it and aid in attaining the ideal weight.
- Activity Levels: A dog’s activity also affects how much food it needs. If your Whippet is highly active and energetic, you should provide it with foods that can sustain its energy needs.
On the other hand, a laid-back Whippet should have a different feeding plan than an active one lest it becomes overweight.
How Much to Feed Your Whippet
As established in the previous section, the age of a Whippet significantly influences the amount of food it requires daily.
Let us now look at a more detailed breakdown of the food consumption of a Whippet dog throughout its lifetime, including the caloric intake requirements and the daily feeding amount in cups.
Whippet Puppy Feeding Chart (3 to 12 months)
After birth, Whippet puppies should get their nutrients from their mother’s milk. It is crucial that puppies are breastfed during their initial weeks so they can get the first milk, which contains a substance called colostrum.
This substance is rich in maternal antibodies that aid in the development of the puppies’ immune system and protect them from harmful pathogens and infections.
Weaning should begin at around three to four weeks after birth. Solid food can now be gradually introduced to the puppies’ diet at this age range by mixing a milk replacer with softened dry puppy food.
It is worth noting that the mixture should only contain 10% solid food for optimal digestion. This diet should be given until the puppies are capable of chewing and ingesting dry food, which is around 8 to 12 weeks.
You can use the chart below to determine the number of cups and caloric content that your Whippet puppy needs:
|Daily Feeding Amount (Cups)
|Caloric Intake (Per day)
|3 – 4 months
|552 – 590
|5 – 7 months
|1 ¼ – 1 ¾
|560 – 813
|8 – 10 months
|1 ¾ – 2 ¼
|759 – 1017
|11 – 12 months
|2 ¼ – 2 ½
|992 – 1113
As you’ve noticed, Whippet puppies require a consistently significant caloric intake during their initial months. They need this fair amount of calories for their optimal growth.
However, you should know that a high-calorie diet does not mean feeding puppies excessively. Caloric content does not necessarily equate with the number of cups, as it depends on the brand of puppy food.
Compared to adult dog food, puppy-formulated kibbles contain more calories and other essential nutrients for the development of puppies, especially during their growth spurt.
This is why veterinarians emphasize the importance of providing age-appropriate dog food. Feeding a Whippet puppy with adult dog food means robbing your dog of the nutrients it needs.
You should only purchase dog food that adheres to the standards of The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure that your Whippet puppy receives the nutrients it needs.
Adult Whippet Feeding Chart (1 to 6 years)
Whippets are expected to reach their full sizes and become adults once they turn a year old. Nonetheless, some may still gain a few pounds and inches until they reach two years of age.
An adult Whippet will require a diet to help maintain its energy throughout the day. These dogs are highly energetic and active; thus, they need food with high-calorie content as their fuel.
Nevertheless, you should note that the caloric requirement of intact and altered Whippets varies. Intact dogs have higher metabolism rates and are more active than spayed and neutered dogs.
Hence, if you are planning to have your adult dog neutered or spayed, you should plan the adjustments you need to make to the feeding plan to avoid dietary problems in the future.
The table below indicates the estimated feeding amount and caloric requirements of intact and altered adult Whippets:
|Daily Feeding Amount (Cups)
|Caloric Intake (Per day)
|1 – 6 years
|2 – 2 ¼
|794 – 891
In purchasing adult dog food, you should carefully check the components of your chosen brand to see if it contains a fair amount of protein, fats, and other nutrients.
According to the AAFCO, quality adult dog food should contain 18% protein and 5% fats. Essential minerals should also be included, such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, and other vitamins.
Aside from dry or canned food, adult Whippets can also thrive in other diets, such as raw feeding and home-cooked meals. Many dog enthusiasts promote these diets due to their supposed health benefits.
However, if you opt for these dietary regimes, it is highly advised to consult your vet first to avoid health complications for your dog.
Senior Whippet Feeding Chart (7 years and above)
As Whippets age, their metabolism naturally slows down, much like humans. When your Whippet reaches seven or older, you’ll notice they’re less active and need fewer calories.
Caloric intake becomes crucial in maintaining a healthy weight for your older Whippet. You should opt for a balanced diet lower in fats but rich in quality proteins and fiber.
Always consult your vet for specific diet recommendations, especially if your dog has health conditions like diabetes or kidney issues.
Here is the feeding chart for senior Whippets:
|Daily Feeding Amount (Cups)
|Caloric Intake (Per day)
|7 years and above
|1 ½ – 1 ¾
|635 – 712
It’s tempting to indulge your senior Whippet with treats, but caution is key. Excess calories, especially from treats high in fats and sugars, can lead to weight gain, causing more strain on their already aging joints and organs.
Instead, focus on lean meats and vegetables as treats. Monitor their weight and adjust portions as needed.
How Often Should You Feed Your Whippet?
The table below summarizes the optimal feeding frequency for Whippets based on age:
|3 – 12 months
|Three to four times a day
|1 – 6 years
|Twice a day
|7 years and above
|Twice or once a day
Understanding the right feeding frequency for your Whippet is crucial at every life stage. When they are young puppies, their fast-growing bodies need more fuel. This is why they need more frequent feeding.
For adult Whippets, twice-a-day feeding is usually sufficient. Their metabolism is stable, and they’re not as active as they were in puppyhood.
Twice-a-day meals help maintain energy levels and reduce the time gap between feedings, keeping them from getting overly hungry.
When Whippets become seniors, their metabolism starts to slow down. Even though the frequency remains twice daily, the dietary needs may change.
Your senior dog may need fewer calories and more fiber and protein to keep them healthy. Regular veterinary check-ups can help fine-tune their nutritional needs.
How to Transition Your Whippet to a New Food
Switching your Whippet’s food is something to take time with. Different ages and metabolic rates mean a careful, slow transition is often best.
When I transitioned my picky-eater dog, I followed the AKC’s food transition program, which is a week-long process. The program involves mixing the new food with the old food in small portions at a time.
I started by combining 75% of my dog’s food with 25% of the new food. This allowed my Whippet to get accustomed to the new taste and ingredients slowly.
After two days, I blended 50% of the old food with 50% of the new food. By days five and six, I mixed 25% old food with 75% new food. My Whippet responded well and was very comfortable with this gradual change.
Nonetheless, you should still monitor your Whippet for any signs of stomach upset or allergies.
Here is a table showing the week-long food transition plan for your Whippet:
|1 – 2
|3 – 4
|5 – 6
Before starting the transition, it’s good to consult your vet, especially if your Whippet has any specific health concerns or dietary needs. They can provide specialized advice tailored to your dog’s condition.
Be on the lookout for changes in behavior, stool consistency, or signs of allergic reactions during the transition. If you see any concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian immediately.
Tips on Feeding an Overweight Whippet
Keeping your Whippet at a healthy weight is crucial for its overall health and longevity. Extra weight puts your dog at risk for various health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and joint issues.
Here are some tips on how to get your overweight Whippet back on track:
- Consult your veterinarian: The initial step is getting a professional opinion. Your vet can provide a thorough weight assessment and guide you on adjusting your Whippet’s diet and exercise regimen. This is especially important for ruling out any underlying health issues.
- Switch to low-calorie food: Choose a dog food specifically designed for weight loss. Ensure it is low in calories and rich in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This ensures your dog gets the nutrition it needs while reducing calories.
- Control portion sizes: Overfeeding is a primary cause of weight gain. Use a measuring cup or a kitchen scale to serve precise portions. Consistency is vital, so try to feed your dog the same amount at the same times every day.
- Reduce snacks: Limit the number of treats you give and save them for special occasions or as rewards for good behavior. When offering treats, go for healthier, low-calorie options like pieces of carrot or apple.
For older Whippets, their metabolism naturally slows down, making it even easier to gain weight. That’s why portion control and regular vet check-ups become increasingly important as your dog ages.
Always seek your veterinarian’s advice for age-appropriate dietary adjustments, particularly if your senior Whippet has preexisting health conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Whippet Enough?
Determining whether you’re feeding your Whippet enough can be challenging, but there are some reliable signs to look for.
First, consider your Whippet’s physical appearance. A healthy, well-fed Whippet should have a lean and muscular build. If the ribs are visible, your dog may be underfed, but it could be overweight if you can’t feel them.
Another critical factor to consider is your dog’s energy level. A properly fed Whippet will generally be active and lively.
Meanwhile, a lethargic dog could be a sign that you’re not feeding enough, while a hyperactive dog might be getting too many calories.
Finally, the condition of your dog’s coat and eyes can also be good indicators. Shiny coats and bright eyes are signs of good health and proper nutrition.
Why Is My Whippet Not Eating?
If your Whippet isn’t eating, it could be due to various reasons ranging from minor issues to serious health concerns. Sometimes, it might just be in its picky eater phase, especially if a new food is introduced.
Health issues like dental pain, gastrointestinal problems, or parasites could also affect your dog’s appetite. Observe for symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, or changes in bowel movements. These signs may indicate that a vet visit is necessary.
Behavioral factors like stress or environmental changes can also make your Whippet lose interest in food, such as moving or adding a new pet to the house. These could be affecting your Whippet’s desire to eat.
Can I Feed My Whippet With Human Food?
While some human foods are safe and beneficial for dogs, others can be harmful or toxic. Therefore, knowing what you’re giving your furry friend is crucial.
Some safe human foods include plain cooked chicken, rice, and certain fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots. These can be used as treats or supplemental feeding.
However, avoid feeding your Whippet foods like chocolate, onions, grapes, and the other items listed in the previous section, as they are toxic to dogs and can lead to severe health issues.
Do Whippets Eat a Lot?
Whippets are generally known for their lean physique, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a hearty appetite. Some owners may even describe their Whippets as “food-driven.”
However, how much they should eat varies based on age, activity level, and health status.
Overfeeding a Whippet can lead to weight gain and associated health issues. Therefore, monitoring your dog’s weight and adjusting food portions is essential.
Can Whippets Eat Bones?
Yes, Whippets can eat bones, but important caveats must be considered. Bones can be a good source of minerals and nutrients, but not all bones are safe for Whippets or other dogs.
Avoid cooked bones, as they can splinter and cause internal injuries. Instead, opt for raw bones appropriate for your dog’s size. Always supervise your Whippet while they’re chewing to ensure safety.
Do you have any other questions or tips on Whippet feeding? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!