Find out what to feed a whippet whether you have a racing dog or a couch potato.
Every whippet dog breeder, racer and hound aficionado seem to have a different view on what is the best way of feeding a whippet.
Some have their homemade dog food recipe, some prefer commercial food, be it dry, moist or semi moist.
Some add supplement to their dog’s diet, some frown upon them.
At the end of the day what your dog should eat is what works best for him.
Every dog is different for age, temperament, level of activity and climate he lives in. The way to the perfect diet is paved of trial and errors.
Only observing your dog, his behavior and condition is the best guide to the perfect diet.
Nevertheless, thanks to the popularity of greyhound racing, trainers collected data and experience about the ideal diet for their dogs and their closest relatives, the whippets.
In fact whippets and greyhounds are sprinters and they share the same running style. These hounds are best suited for short bursts of energy, they are not marathon runners build for long distances like the borzoi or saluki.
Years of trials and errors have developed a collective wisdom about greyhound and whippet diet and these below are the points of universal agreement about what to feed a whippet.
Dogs don’t metabolize carbohydrates like humans.
The grains and fibers keep the kibble together and help digestion but working dogs thrive on fat and proteins, the real source of nutrients and energy.
Denise Como in her Sighthounds Afield , the most comprehensive book about hounds and racing, gives a report of the scientific tests and everyday observation that lead to this conclusion, discusses in detail the most appropriate diets for each hound breed and what to feed a whippet.
In the dog food analysis the ingredients are listed in order of percentage with the main ingredients first.
Within the first components there should be proteins of animal origin like poultry, beef, lamb, fish of eggs.
The proteins in a racing dog diet should amount to 30% and the fat to 20% of the total content.
In a maintenance diet the proteins could be lowered to a about 20-25% and the fat to 10-14%. Common sense, moderation and careful observation are the keys to a successful diet.
It takes about six weeks for a new diet to be effective.
It is useless to compare dog foods of the dry and moist kind because they have different percentage of water. You should compare only the percentage of dry nutrients.
Never Feed Before a Racing Event
Whippets are not prone to bloats but everybody agrees that a hound should never run on a full stomach.
It also makes sense from an evolutionary point of view.
A wild predator doesn’t need to hunt if he is full. After a hunt and a meal he will probably take a good nap, just like the kings and queens of our sofas.
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