How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Whippets
The lean Whippet is the picture of elegance and sophistication. A breed sometimes referred to as the “poor man’s Greyhound,” the Whippet is believed to trace its roots to the late 1700s when this dog was put to work hunting rabbits and small game. The Whippet also gained popularity in what was known as snap contests, a game in which the dog was tasked with “snapping” rabbits contained within a circle. In time, it was discovered that the Whippet’s lean frame made it a natural racer, and this breed moved from the hunt to the sport of racing.
A dog breed considered to be medium in build, the Whippet was developed by breeding Greyhounds first with small, long-legged terriers then with Italian Greyhounds. These purposeful breedings yielded a dog that was lithe and attractive to the eye with a personality that was loving, docile, and deeply affectionate.
A versatile dog, the Whippet excels at many different activities including such popular dog performance sports as flyball, agility, lure coursing, and more. The breed has a mind of its own, making it a bit of a challenge to train.
Whippets possess a high prey drive but do typically get along well with other animals, making them well-suited to life in a multi-dog home. However, it is recommended that this breed not share its dwelling with cats.
Whippets require regular daily exercise to maintain their sleek physique. They are not well suited to apartment living, doing best in a home with an attached fenced yard where the dog can stretch its legs. This breed can also be prone to escapism due to its high prey drive. A secure containment system is an absolute must for this dog type.
A breed that enjoys the company of its family, the Whippet is also renowned for being good with children. Within the home, their energy levels are not high; however, they must be properly exercised each day to prevent nuisance behaviors from developing. This breed is not predisposed to becoming overweight if not overfed or underexercised.
The Whippet enjoys excellent health; however, since eye problems can plague the breed, a food that includes ample servings of essential fatty acids to support eye health is highly recommended. The best dog foods for Whippets contain 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Whippets
A dog breed with a slender shape, the Whippet requires a diet that is moderate and well-balanced to support its nutritional needs. An active dog, the Whippet benefits from a food that bases its recipe on a lean meat.
Trying to determine how much to feed a dog can be a real challenge. Thankfully, the best dog foods for Whippets offer suggested serving sizes based on age and weight. These can be used as a starting point with adjustments made incrementally to reflect the dog’s body condition, activity level, and appetite until the correct portion is found.
Free feeding the Whippet is strongly discouraged. To attain an excellent body condition, all food should be measured and all daily intake carefully monitored.
Dietary Requirements for Whippet Dog Foods
The Whippet’s lean and graceful frame needs to be maintained through a high quality diet. The best dog foods for Whippets base their recipe on a lean meat-based protein. The ideal foundation for a diet for this breed is a lean meat or meat meal. By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are commonly used in some commercially prepared diets. These are difficult for most dogs to digest and are not as nutritionally viable, and thus, are best avoided.
Many foods also include such ingredients as chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in their formulation. These types of ingredients offer no nutritional benefit to the Whippet. As such, it is recommended that foods that prioritize the use of these items are avoided.
All diets require a varied sampling of antioxidant and fiber-rich carbohydrates to be well-rounded. It is from these carbohydrates that the Whippet gains the nutrients needed for good digestion and a healthy immune system. These carbohydrates can come from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or a combination of all three. Whippets that have previously shown a sensitivity to whole grains may do best on a grain-free diet.
Healthy fats provide the Whippet with fuel for strong energy reserves and support for coat and skin health. The ideal sources for these fats include such animal-based foods as chicken fat and oily fish. Plant-based oils such as canola, coconut, and safflower also offer ample servings of the vital nutrients the Whippet needs to thrive.
It is always a great idea to consider a diet that includes supplements in its formulation. The most beneficial supplements for the Whippet are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Whippets
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for a Whippet:
Lean, meat-based proteins listed at the beginning of the ingredients list
The lean and athletic Whippet does best on a diet that is based on a lean meat. The ideal foundation for a food for this breed is a whole meat or meat meal. By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are not of optimal nutritional quality, and thus, are best avoided.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, flavorings, fillers, and mystery ingredients are not nutritionally sound additions to any diet. Many of these items can lead to allergy flareups in the Whippet.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements help a food to work more effectively to boost the health of the Whippet. The ideal supplements to look for in a good diet for this breed include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
The AAFCO seal of approval certifies that a food has been inspected, assessed, and found to be worthy of the declaration that is a complete and properly balanced food.