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How Long Do Whippets Live?

How Long Do Whippets Live?

Anyone who has a dog needs to know approximately how long that dog is likely to live. This can vary a surprising amount from one breed to another, so when you are looking at the different breeds, make sure that you pay attention to this and include it in your calculations about which dog to get. Nobody wants to say goodbye to a beloved pet, so think about the average lifespan of a breed before you take on a dog. It is important to know how long you are likely to be dedicated to its welfare.

How long do Whippers live? Most Whippets will live between twelve and fifteen years. The median age is almost thirteen years old. The oldest Whippet managed to survive until it was twenty-one years old, but few live to more than fifteen, so take that as your maximum expected lifespan.

We are going to explore the average lifespan of Whippets today, plus some facts about what Whippets are usually killed by, so you’ll know what end-of-life care is likely to look like and what weaknesses to look out for in this breed. We will also cover the health problems that Whippets generally suffer from, and we’ll look at the oldest Whippet on record. You should soon have a good understanding of Whippets and their longevity, as well as their health and fitness, and the issues you need to try and avoid.

How Long Do Whippets Live? – Average Lifespan

A Whippet can live for twelve to fifteen years on average, which is a pretty good age, especially for a purebred dog. Whippets tend to be healthy canines, with few inherent weaknesses.

They are very active throughout their lives, and full of energy. This lends them muscle strength and fitness that can help them in their later years, even as they start to slow down.

Do not be surprised if your Whippet lives to be older than fifteen if you care for it well; it is perfectly possible for these dogs to live a few more years. A crossbred Whippet is likely to live a bit longer than a purebred Whippet.

Crossbreeds often have more resistance to certain diseases than purebreds, so if you are interested in maximizing the lifespan of your dog, consider getting a crossbred Whippet. Of course, there is no guarantee that it will live for longer, but it may do.

Remember, a big part of your dog’s life expectancy will come from the care that you provide. It is important to familiarize yourself with the things that these dogs commonly suffer from so that you can give them their best shot in life.

The better you look after your dog, the longer it will usually live for, so prioritize your Whippet’s health and happiness as much as possible. Provide it with high-quality food and plenty of exercises every day.

What Do Whippets Usually Die From?

Most Whippets simply die from old age. That might sound unhelpful, but it’s because Whippets are generally considered a very healthy breed, and they do not suffer from any very widespread diseases on the whole.

As long as they are well cared for, they tend to simply reach a point where their bodies have broken down and they are unable to continue. This is a painful time for everyone, but the dog will have lived a good life and should not suffer much from this.

If you really want to pinpoint a specific cause, heart disease is probably the biggest killer of elderly Whippets. A weakness develops in a valve in the heart, and this leads to blood flowing back into that section, rather than being pumped around the body properly.

This creates a heart murmur, and over time, this will progress. If caught early and properly treated, the effects of this can be delayed for a surprisingly long time, which is why regular checkups are so crucial. However, heart disease will eventually kill the dog; it cannot survive it forever.

If you think your Whippet is suffering from heart disease, make an immediate appointment with a vet. They should be able to provide fatty acid supplementation and dental care. Both of these things can slow the progression of heart disease considerably, helping your dog to live for far longer.

What Health Problems Do Whippets Have?

Like all dogs, Whippets suffer from a variety of health problems. They are generally quite healthy dogs, but they still have weaknesses that you should keep an eye on and talk to your vet about. If not kept under control, some of these can be quite dangerous to your dog, and possibly even fatal.

As well as heart problems, Whippets are prone to Hyperthyroidism. This is easy to treat with medication but leads to some unpleasant issues, such as aggression, weight gain, skin diseases, and fearfulness.

Cancer is another issue that can kill a Whippet. It is one that vets should constantly monitor older Whippets for, as early detection can make all the difference when it comes to treatment. Chemotherapy and surgery can be effective if the cancer is detected early enough.

Dental issues are a further problem. This might not sound very serious, but if it is not kept in check, a dental issue can lead to damage in many different organs and could take years off your dog’s life.

Sadly, Whippets are prone to dental issues, and it is crucial to offer good tooth care to your Whippet throughout its life.

Obesity is another problem that is common among Whippets. Because these dogs are built to be light and speedy, their joints are not designed to hold a lot of weight, and they will end up in considerable pain if you do not help them keep their weight down.

Being too heavy can contribute to back problems, heart disease, digestive disorders, and a lot of pain, so don’t overfeed your dog.

Some Whippets also suffer from joint problems, especially in the knees. If you have an ex-racing dog or your dog is just unlucky, its kneecap may pop out as it runs. It may hop on three legs for a moment while it pops the kneecap back into place.

This condition may not be serious, but it can be painful for the dog. Get a vet to assess whether it is best left alone, or whether your dog needs surgery to correct the issue.

What Is The Oldest Whippet?

As far as we could discover, the oldest Whippet in the world was actually a Terrier-Whippet called Pip. This dog’s owner claimed that she was twenty-four at the time when she hit the news (2011). However, no birth certificate was available to prove this, so it has never been put on any official record.

Pip was 170 in dog years in 2011, and at that time, was also thought to be the oldest dog in the world. This was following the death of a Shiba mix named Pusuke, which had held that title previously at age twenty-six. 

There are other claims of Whippets that have lived up to twenty and even older, but none that can be verified. It is therefore hard to say with any certainty what the oldest Whippet is. However, you should not be surprised if your Whippet lives past fifteen and well into the late teens or even early twenties.

If you are interested in what the oldest purebred Whippet is, there are unfortunately no records to tell us this. It is often tricky for people to know exactly how old their dogs are, unless they have had them from puppyhood, and it is also hard for them to prove even if they know it.

Purebred Whippets may not last as long as crossbred Whippets, because they are slightly more likely to suffer from some of the health problems that the breed is known for. You may therefore choose to get a crossbreed.

However, there are many purebred Whippets in shelters that have been abandoned after they have passed their racing prime, and this may prompt you to adopt a purebred Whippet. Either one will bring you years of joy.


So, how long do Whippets live? It’s hard to say what the maximum lifespan for this dog is, but a healthy and well cared for Whippet should live for more than twelve years, and may even survive into its late teens. Whippers are reasonably robust and healthy dogs, and they are very energetic and keen to exercise.