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Whippet Day

July 2, 2022

Here in America, July 4th is mostly known as Independence Day. However, to Man’s Best Friend, it is important for another reason. It’s Whippet Day! A vet discusses these ‘pawesome’ pups below. 


Basics

Whippets look like a smaller version of their close kin: the Greyhound. Like their famous cousins, they are categorized in the Hound Group and are specifically listed as sighthounds. As is typical with many sighthounds, they have small heads, long legs, deep chests, and narrow waists. (They also have very soulful eyes, which can quickly melt hearts.) As one might suspect, these guys are extremely fast. Fido can run up to 35mph! 


History

This branch of Fido’s family tree has been around for thousands of years: dogs with similar appearances were depicted in Ancient Egyptian art. The Whippet had gained some very devoted fans by the Victorian age. Around this time, they became renowned for their talents in catching rabbits and coursing competitions. This earned these quick canines the title ‘Poor Man’s Racehorse.’ In fact, the breed name comes from the 17th-century word ‘whippet’ which means ‘to move fast’ or ‘to move quickly.’ (Whips may have had something to do with the original meaning, but that’s another topic.) Whippet races were quite popular back in 19th-century England, particularly in Wales and north England. The Kennel Club officially welcomed these gentle pups into their ranks in 1891.


Temperament

Whippets are very, very good at melting hearts. They really are just wonderful dogs: they’re gentle, loyal, and lovable, and affectionate. They make wonderful family pets, as they are good with children and cohabitate well with other dogs and even with cats. These cute canines tend to be quite cuddly, and often enjoy being lap dogs. (It’s worth pointing out that Whippets are pretty much useless at being guard dogs, because they are so sweet.) You might think that these pups are extremely active, but they aren’t always set to ‘Full Speed/Go.’ While these guys do need vigorous runs and play sessions every day, they actually turn into adorable couch potatoes between these workout sessions. A couple of other things to love about these pups? They don’t usually bark or drool much, and need only light grooming. That said, like any other breed, they do have a few specific care needs. For instance, they can get cold very easily. Ask your vet for specific care tips.


Do you have questions about your canine pal’s health or care? Contact us today! 

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