Reading time: 7 minutes.
Dogs have different fur densities because they evolved according to the environment they lived in. Some breeds have fur that is compatible with cold weather conditions, Alaskan malamutes and Siberian wolves have big thick fur, for example.
Whippets can easily get cold during the winter months. The main reason for this is that they have very low body fat percentages and short hair. You may have observed that Whippets move faster during the winter seasons. This is because they are trying to keep their body temperature high.
Whippets go all the way back to ancient Egypt, where the climate is hot and balmy, and they are more easily affected by cold weather conditions. If you live in an area with extremely cold winter climates, you should not keep your Whippet outside for too long.
Whippets are a slender dog breed and do not have enough body fat to keep their body temperature in balance when it is cold. Moreover, their feathers are very thin and single-layered, this can easily cause them to get cold and even to shiver in difficult weather conditions.
Why Do Whippets Get Very Cold?
Whippets are much more than their looks. They have incredible speed and agility, have an athletic structure that lets them cover very long distances in a short time, and jump very high when necessary. Their slender figure is optimized for sports but does not do very well in cold weather.
Whippets are essentially racing dogs. Whippets have an extremely long history and while they may be associated with the English nowadays, their roots go all the way back to ancient Egypt. The Pharaohs always kept Whippets for hunting, they were bred between pariah dogs and Greyhounds for optimized hunting in hot weather.
This means that Whippets are, by design, made to lose body heat. The fact that they are highly energetic and always on the move does not prevent them from getting cold because their metabolisms work to keep them cool during bouts of high activity. This is why they can get extremely cold very quickly.
Whippets have a very thin coat of hair and colors and marking a thin body structure, and the amount of fat on their bodies is not enough to keep them warm. Whippets do not like snow and rain because when they get wet, water droplets come into contact with their feathers and easily reach their skin and undercoat, which can stay wet far after it has finished raining.
Are Whippets Indoor Dogs?
While Whippets are very agile, athletic, and energetic dogs, that doesn’t mean they are outgoing by nature. Although Whippets love their freedom, they are not outdoor dogs and cannot stay outside for long periods of time. For this reason, many Whippet owners keep their dogs indoors and regularly take them outside to meet their energy needs and socialize.
In addition, Whippets are affectionate and emotional dogs that are very attached to their family members. They have a social structure that establishes close relationships, and they become emotionally attached. They want to spend most of their time within the family in some cases, they may experience separation anxiety if left too long.
As it’s known, Whippets cannot live in cold climates. The most ideal climate for them is temperate. If left outside extreme temperatures, they may face problems such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion or hypothermia and frostbite.
Over time Whippets have adapted to human living conditions and are better suited to living indoors most f the time. Although they are still used for racing, they also make sweet companion dogs with well-developed social skills.
The Effects of Cold Weather On Your Whippet
Whippets do not like to live in cold climates and there are physical cues that your Whippet is getting too cold in their current environment. Some of these symptoms are easily visible, while others are not so obvious.
Body Temperature Irregularities and Metabolism
Extremely cold temperatures can cause your Whippet to get cold and its metabolism may be affected accordingly. Their metabolisms may slow down, and their vital organs may begin to slow down too.
As a result, they may have problems with their breathing, digestion, and blood circulation. heart rhythm, and begin having difficulty with their regular oxygen intake. This will cause them to appear fatigued, slow, shuddering, and may vomit in extreme cases.
If your Whippet is exposed to cold air for too long, hypothermia may be observed and shivering may occur as a result. This is the body’s response to cold stimulus as it tries to heat itself, and if the core temperature is not returned to its normal level, serious problems can occur.
In cold weather, your Whippet may use extra energy to keep its body temperature balanced. This can cause calorie burning and, accordingly, weight loss. In such cases, you can increase your Whippet’s meals or increase their portions. In this way, you will negate the weight loss and help maintain their body fat.
Whippets have slender legs. They can fall and injure their legs while trying to run in icy areas. So if your Whippet is in an icy area, have him walk carefully and slowly alongside you on a leash and do not encourage them to run. In this way, you will prevent them from injuring themselves.
Arthritis and joint pain, which is often seen in older whippets, will increase with the cooling of the weather. For this reason, older Whippets should not stay outside too long if it is cold and if you do need to take them out, limit it to 10 minutes per venture. If you are observing joint pain in your Whippet, consult your veterinarian and use prescribed pain relievers.
During periods of heavy snowfall, your Whippet may be in danger of getting lost while off-leash. If your Whippet has lost its way due to heavy snowfall, it may quickly lose body heat which can also cause disorientation. If you do not find your Whippet quickly, long-term exposure to cold weather could have serious consequences for their health.
How To Prevent Your Whippet Getting Cold
To protect your Whippet from the cold weather, you can dress them in a coat or jumper if it isn’t raining. This will keep their bodies warm and prevent them from getting sick. If you’re taking your Whippet outside on a cold winter’s day, be sure to make them wear a coat.
Do not keep your Whippet outdoors for too long. They usually like to live as house dogs, so you shouldn’t leave them outdoors for longer than an hour at a time, and only in moderate weather.
To meet your whippet’s energy needs, you can take long walks in warm, sunny weather but take shorter, more frequent walks in cold weather. Do not walk your Whippet off-leash in snowy weather as not to risk them getting lost and staying outdoors for longer than is recommended.
Since Whippets’ skin is very thin, a cardigan, coat, or jumper will help protect it from cold weather. You can also buy dog boots, and waterproofs if it is raining. Do not leave your Whippet in the car in cold weather as they cannot be exposed to the cold for long periods of time. If you are at home, cover your Whippet with a blanket if the house is cold.
Whippets are very vulnerable to cold weather because they have very thin skin and a single layer of hair. Although they are bred for hunting and racing, even as solely ‘working’ dogs they are mostly kept inside.
Whippets have difficulty living in cold climates, therefore, if you live in a country with cold weather, you should monitor your Whippets’ body temperature at all times and take extra measures to ensure they retain as much body heat as possible, without overheating them.
Whippets are very energetic, affectionate, and loyal family dogs and the home environment is where they are most happy. They cannot stay outside for a long time in cold climatic conditions, and they do not like to do so either. Whippets do not like rainy and snowy weather. This is because water droplets falling on them reach their skin because their fur is not layered, which causes them to get cold quickly.
Whippets exposed to cold for a long time may experience some functional organ disorders. For this reason, body temperatures must be kept in balance on a regular basis. In order to meet your Whippet’s energy needs and for daily walks, it will be more suitable for your Whippet to only go on long walks when the weather is moderate.
Therefore, when you take your Whippet for a walk, you should choose sunny or at least rainless weather. Whippets are very athletic and playful and will impress you with their thousand and one tricks in fine weather. However, in the cold, they can quickly succumb. Therefore only go on short walks when the weather is cold, but go out more often.