Old Age or something else?

Our Whippet (Sheba) turned 14 last month and I have two concerns, one she does not like to be in the house she grew up in and two, she does not eat as much and has lost about 5 pounds in the past year (started at about 31 pounds and is now about 25-26 pounds).

The first problem is that she used to always stay with my Mom at her house during the day, sleeping on her bed or couch. She now will not stay in her house, she wants to go back to our house even if we are in my Mom’s house. The couch that she used to sit next to me while we watched TV seems to scare her. She will stand at the gate waiting to leave.

The second question concerns eating and what seems to be a lack of appetite. Over that past year she has not been eating as much as she used to, towards the end of last year we started giving her chicken/beef because she was losing weight. The vet suggested adding rice to the meat and prescribed Fortaflora (which sometimes works somewhat but not consistently). We have dry food out for her all day and we give her the meat/rice mixture twice a day, which she will usually eat most of it with some coaxing. Her dry food is Blue Buffalo – Senior.

We visit our vet every six months and we have been doing full blood panels at each visit for the past 3 years. In the past we have had elevated ALT levels, however all is within limits now.

Could these be age related or do you think it could be something else, I am not asking you for a diagnosis, just curious if you have ever experienced or heard of either of these happening, she seems like a different dog sometimes. However when we walk or when she is at our house she is normal.

Thank you for any advice or comments.

ANSWER

Congratulations, it seems that your Sheba reached gracefully her senior years thanks to your loving care.

Your dog’s behavior doesn’t seem to me typical or related to her age.

For the food problem, provided she is healthy and there is no underlying problem, it could be of help not leaving the food available at all times.

In other words offer the food to your dog only for 20-30 minutes at your chosen mealtime and then remove it whether or not she has eaten.

This will entice her to better feeding habits and will provide a hearty appetite for the next meal.

For the discomfort she seems to experience at your mother’s house, first of all try to assess if there is a hidden cause for it.

Then start a desensitization process, getting her used to the house again for short periods of time, while rewarding a relaxed behavior with lots of praise and treats.

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Whippet Feeding and Nutrition

by dkt
(Florida)

We have an adult spayed female whippet who is a house pet.

She has normal walking exercise but not excessive physical activity (ok, she's a couch potato) and we are feeding her a high quality kibble, not something you buy at a supermarket.

The question is: what percentage of protein is recommended? And has anyone had success or failure with particular meats? Venison, beef, chicken or turkey? Anything to avoid?

ANSWER

Any high quality dog food should be adequate for your whippet.

For racing dogs a percentage of 30% protein and 20% fat is recommended but for a maintenance diet you can reduce the amount of the performance food or switch to a less rich kibble.

Something in the range of 20-25% protein, 10-14% fat should fulfill the needs of most whippets depending on the age, level of activity and climate.

The kind of proteins in the food depends largely on your dog’s preference and whether she has any allergy. The only ingredients to avoid are the ones that have proved to cause an allergic reaction in your dog.

To read more about whippet food, click on the link.

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Food

by Susan
(Birmingham)

I have a 10 week old Whippet and would like some advise on the amount of food I should be giving him.

ANSWER:

If you feed commercial dog food, follow the instructions on the dog food bag. The guidelines are generally divided by adult weight (in case of a whippet 9-12 kg/20-26 lb.) and age of puppy.

If you use home made dog food it’s more difficult to determine the exact amount.

You will have to adjust the quantity of food according to your puppy’s appetite and condition.
As a rule of thumb you should be able to feel your puppy's ribs but not see them.

Observing your puppy is the best guide to feeding correctly. A well fed puppy will be relaxed and contented after a meal and should arrive hungry (but not desperate) to the next feeding time.



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Whippet Puppy Nutrition

by N. Bell

Looking for optimal food/nutritional guidance for growing whippet puppy's needs.

Has any specific research been done for this breed? Type of protein source, etc?
Would appreciate help from those most familiar with the breed.
Thanks.

ANSWER:

Congratulations on your new puppy!

Research have been done on the nutrition of the greyhound, the closest relative to the whippet.
Clicking on this link you can find more info about whippet diet for the working dog.

For a growing whippet, a high quality, nutritious puppy food is all that is required for a healthy growth.

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Feeding Advise
by: DKT

We use a high quality kibble....called "EVO" by Natura. It's an all meat variety. However I've successfully used another Natura Brand called "INNOVA" and "CALIFORNIA NATURAL". Look up at www.natura.com.

My theory is go to a speciality store for good quality dog/pet foods. Don't buy from a grocery store or warehouse store (you don't need something with a long shelf life, you need something healthy you can feed your dog for the next month!

First 5 ingredients in any food are most critical (highest percentages)...whatever you feed always needs high quality meats in it. Meal is OK, but never by-products.

Never use anything with corn, wheat or soy in it (most common allergies for all dog breeds comes from corn, wheat or soy allergies)....and never use anything where you cannot pronounce or don't understand the chemical names of the preservatives & additives.

If you want an excellent resource for feeding any dog it's in the WHOLE DOG JOURNAL (foods, treats, toys, equipment and training techniques...also available online)....they do independent analysis and don't accept any advertisements in their publications.

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Whippet Always Hungry and Somewhat Overweight

We have a 2 year old female whippet.

We feed her good quality dry food with a scoop of wet food twice a day. We also usually give her a treat around noon.

She is somewhat overweight and still always seems hungry - constant nose pokes with a look toward the pantry which we ignore.

We have acorns, pecans and oranges on our property from trees and she frequently snacks on them along with bugs, wild animal feces and anything else she can find.

When I take her for a walk, she even snacks on weeds along the way. I've thought about putting a muzzle on her to keep her from eating because I can't get her to stop (she gulps whatever she finds and runs off before I can stop her).

Her vet hasn't been able to come up with an answer. We thought about cutting down on her food, but with all the external snacking she does, we figure she'll just eat more there.

She has had digestive problems - diarhhea, constipation and even throwing up probably from stuff she has been eating (surprise).

We do take her out and have her chase a frisbee (and she stops and gulps whatever she sees after catching it).

Anybody got any ideas? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Wow! She’s definitely a hungry whippet girl !

We had a male whippet who would eat almost anything and we affectionately called him “the sink” but compared with your girl he seems only like an amateur glutton.

He became less ravenous about food when I switched him to a home cooked diet based on meat and rice and I added some variety in his food. Maybe he found there the nutrient he needed.

Another possibility is the raw food diet.

Hopefully, if your whippet girl finds satisfying food, she’ll stop eating whatever she can sink her teeth into.

Let us know about your girl’s gastronomic adventures!

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Our Whippet Aggressively Steals Food from Pantry, Countertop & Children

Our whippet JL is five years old. He has always been an incorrigble food thief, i.e. jumping on a counter to eat pies cooling, jumping on the dining room table the minute our back's are turned to snack, even stealing a leg of the Thanksgiving turkey.

We tried handling this when he was younger with various trainers - some famous some not so famous (we live in LA) - with zero positive results.

Regardless of what food we are feeding him (canned, dry, special treats, etc.)or how much we try to ensure he is "full", JL will jump on counters, tear open the pantry door with his teeth, dump over the garbage to open it (several times a day), tear apart dirty diapers after rifling thru the diaper dekor, take food directly from our 2 year old's high chair tray, jump on the dining room table to steal food from our 4 year old, follow the kids whenever they are eating any kind of snack and take it from them, etc...

As you can imagine, this has caused a great deal of stress in our household. The kids are constantly wary of JL when they are eating or want to eat and beg us to put him in another room (JL hates this as he is truly a pack animal and needs to be with his family to be happy.)

If anything it has gotten worse lately as JL recently chowed down a large dark bar of bittersweet baking chocoloate when I turned my back for a minute to get a drink from one of my kids. This necessitated a trip to the vet where he had to be treated for eating too much chocolate.

Just a few minutes ago when my four year old ran to the bathroom, JL jumped on the couch and ate the cup of brocoli my son was snacking on...

The stress of protecting food has become overwhelming. Not sure what if anything we can do about the situation...any thoughts?

ASWER:

Whippets are well known for their food snatching abilities but it seems to me that in your household the situation is getting out of control.

From what you are writing, your whippet needs clear boundaries more than simple training.

An excellent book about this topic is Cesar's Way. It is an easy read and I think it can be of great help in your situation.

Consider also using a dog crate in a high traffic area of your house. Your whippet won’t feel excluded from the family activities but the crate will give him limits.

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Whippet Dog FAQ: Food Hiding

by Annemarie Picone
(Riverside, CA, USA)

Adoption Day

Adoption Day

Hi There...My adopted Whippet, Dodge (because he did not "dodge" the car that hit him) is generally very well behaved. However if left alone with the garbage can or any bread type products left on the counter, he does something I find strange.

He will knock over the garbage can to look for food. If there is meat of any kind he eats it but if there is bread, rolls or tortillas or even pizza, he takes it and hides it in the furniture.

How he manages to get it wedged in between couch cushions or under bed pillows without anyone knowing he's done it, I can't begin to imagine.

He always has food in his bowl so I don't think it's a hunger thing. I also don't quite understand the fascination with "carbs." Any input would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

A little lurcher of ours, had the same strange carb fixation.

She wouldn't steal food but would collect bread in a special place in the garden.

We used to called her the Italian garbage hound!

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scavenger whippets
by: Anonymous

This is very normal behavior, at least it is with Montgomery and Rosie (my two). It is like a contest between them to see which one can find something (almost) edible.
Montgomery (male) is skinny and Rosie is well...pleasingly plump.

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Whippet Dog's Diet

I have a 9 month old whippet that has had various stool cultures done and they were all negative.
He has been on Perscripion dog foods, sensitive digestion foods and now we are giving him salmon and rice sensitive system dog food by Purina.
He still has a tendency to have soft poop and he poops 4 times a day.
Do whippets tend to poop more than other dogs?
Is 4 times a day too much for a 9 month old puppy?

ANSWER:

The whippets' digestive system doesn't have any breed related peculiarity.
Finding the right diet for your dog might require some trial and errors and your vet will be the best help to find the right nutrition for your puppy.
To read about whippet nutrition, click here.

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Whippet Nutrition

by Nancy Bell
(Houston, TX)

Which is the best dog food for a female whippet puppy?
Dog raw food, frozen, dried, kibble or a combination of these?
What about adding more protein to kibble?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately there is no single answer to this apparently simple question.

In many years spent with my dogs I fed them with homemade, commercial, dry or moist dog food depending on the dogs' needs and my circumstances.

Most healthy whippets are good eaters and will thrive on any high quality dog food.

The choice between home cooked food, raw food diet or dry dog food depends largely on you, your budget and lifestyle.

To help you with this difficult choice you can have a look at this page about the best dog food.

Discuss with the breeder of your puppy what is the best diet for your pet and if you decide to change your dog’s diet, remember do it gradually to avoid upset stomach and diarrhea.

Observe your puppy’s appetite, mood and health to determine if the diet of your choice is adequate.

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Sensitive Stomachs
by: Anonymous

We are finding that your 11 month old female has a seemingly sensitive stomach. Anyone experience this with their whippets? We feed a very high quality kibble and raw diet.


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My Whippet is not Eating

My Toy Poodle has just died.

He was 15 years, and was the "top" dog.

My whippet is 5 years, and we purchased him at 8 weeks. He has always eaten well, because the poodle used to finish his food first, and watch to see if the whippet left anything.

I now find that he will eat tasty parts out of his food, and then he walks away.

He may come back and eat a little more, but not enough to sustain him. He is 14.5 kg., so he cannot afford to lose weight.

I did not think that dogs could be depressed at the loss of
their companion. I know the poodle had no problems like that.

ANSWER:

Yes, a little competition can increase the appetite and probably your whippet is missing his companion.

When I found myself in a similar situation I added to my dog’s food something tempting like boiled eggs, cooked cod or little moist food and mixed everything carefully.

Don’t leave the food out all day but remove whatever is left after half an hour. Increasing the daily exercise is another good strategy for picky eaters.


Good luck!




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How much water?

by Candy L.
(Greer, SC)

Is there a rule of thumb on how much water a Whippet puppy needs daily?
He always seems SO thirsty but if I give him as much water as he wants I am cleaning it up as fast as he drinks it...

ANSWER:

There is no rule on how much a whippet should drink. Dogs should have free access to clean water at all time during the day, especially if they are fed with dry food.

An unquenchable thirst might be the sign of a medical condition. Check with your vet that your pup is in good health.

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My Whippet is Not Eating

by Nancy
(Theodore, al)

While always being a picky eater my older whippet about 10 has recently begun sticking his nose up at food for sometimes 2 to 3 days.

This concerns us. Other than that he behaves normally. What could be the reason?

The only change is we now allow our other dog to roam free and not be crated in the house.

ANSWER:

Going three days without food is a long fast even for a picky eater.

I found that the presence of other dogs creates competition and it is often an incentive to healthy eating more than a reason for abstaining from food.

A visit to the local vet is in order to evaluate your whippet's health and find out if there are underlying health problems for your dog's lack of appetite.

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Suddenly not eating...
by: Anonymous

If your whippet suddenly is turning up his nose at a food he has liked but it is a new bag (assuming you feed bought food of some sort) check for a recall or for chatter online about other dogs doing the same with that brand. The only time
My shepherd/lab tirned up her nose at every meal for several days, it turned out the food had been recalled due to the china contamination scandal (mela-something...) I didnt know my quality usa brand had changed to china production, but my dog knew that food was poison. I felt so bad for being so slow to figure it out. Just one thing to check to solve the puzzle..

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My Whippet Mix Overheats Easily

by Becky
(Tampa, FL, USA)

Is this a breed characteristic? My whippet mix is part Lab, due to her coat.
Her skin has the mottled patterns. When she runs too much in the humidity, she gets overheated, and almost passes out...does she have sweat glands?

ANSWER:

Getting overheated is not a whippet characteristic but, given the occasion, they do run hard regardless to the temperature.

The best strategy is to exercise your dog in the early morning or in the evening avoiding the warmest hours.

Heath stroke is extremely dangerous for dogs because they have very few sweat glands (mainly in the footpads) and little means to cool their bodies.

To help your dog cool try spraying him with cool water and let him rest in the shade.

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How Many Daily Calories for a Whippet

I have a 5 year old neutered whippet who weighs 43 pounds.

We just changed dog food brands and I want to know how many calories a day he needs.

I donot trust the amounts listed on the bags especially for whippets. He is not very active, loves to sleep

ANSWER

You are absolutely right, don't trust the charts, every dog is unique and has different needs.

Your own eyes are the best guide: a whippet should show muscle definition and a distinct tuck-up at the belly.

If you look at your whippet from above, the waist should be visible.

Like in any dog, it should be possible to feel the ribs when your touch his chest.

If you see your whippet getting too fat (not much likely) reduce the quantity or exercise him more, increase the amount of food if he is losing weight and seems restless.

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Feeding a puppy of 10wks

by Belinda
(Isle of Man )

My whippet Minnie is 10wks old we have had her for 2wks. She is a poor eater , absolutely refused kibble for 2 days . I tried wet food but could only get her to eat 80 a day. She is now on raw meat about 280gms a day with raw meaty bones but I can't get her to eat any veg or fruit ( puréed or otherwise) . Is this ok ? I worry she is not getting a complete diet. Any advice appreciated.

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Recipies for Picky Eaters
by: Anonymous

If she is healthy, I would not worry too much about how much she eats.

Feed her after a walk and offer your puppy a small amount of food for few minutes then promptly remove any left over.

Only when your whippet begins to show a better appetite, increase the quantities.

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feeding a puppy of 10 wks
by: Anonymous

The breeder was feeding her tinned food which we tried and only managed the 80gms a day. I have just bought dehydrated food which is compatable with a raw food diet and i am giving less at each feed but more feeds in the hope it will stimulate her to eat.

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Ask the Breeder
by: Anonymous

What was the breeder feeding your puppy?

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