Can Whippets Live Outside: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Keeping Whippets Outdoors

Yes, Whippets can live outside; however, this is not ideal, as their thin coat and lean body makes them sensitive to extreme temperatures. They are a breed that is sensitive to cold and does not tolerate it well, significantly when the temperature drops below freezing. Whippets are also sensitive to heat and can suffer from heat exhaustion or heatstroke in hot weather.

In addition to their sensitivity to temperature, Whippets are social animals that crave human companionship and are unhappy when left alone for long periods. They enjoy being part of the family and being included in household activities.

While providing outdoor shelter for a Whippet for brief periods is possible, it is not recommended to keep them outside as a permanent living situation. However, if you are considering getting a Whippet, providing them with a comfortable indoor living environment and plenty of social interaction with their human family is essential.

Advantages of Keeping Your Whippet Outside

Suppose you have a specific situation that requires your Whippet to spend time outdoors, such as providing outdoor exercise space or a kennel for temporary use. In that case, there are some advantages to providing a suitable outdoor environment for your Whippet.

  • Exercise space: Whippets are an active breed that requires plenty of exercises. Providing a secure outdoor space for them to run and play can benefit their physical and mental health.
  • Fresh air and sunlight: Spending time outdoors can provide your Whippet with fresh air and sunlight, which can help improve their overall health and well-being.
  • Preventing destructive behavior: Providing an outdoor space for your Whippet can help prevent destructive behavior in the house, such as chewing or digging.
  • Reducing allergens: If someone in your household has allergies to dogs, keeping your Whippet outside can help reduce the number of allergens in the house.

Disadvantages of Keeping Your Whippet Outside

Lack of Socialization

Whippets are social animals that thrive on human companionship. If kept outside for long periods, they may not receive the socialization they need to be well-adjusted and happy pets. As a result, they may become withdrawn, anxious, or develop behavior problems without regular human interaction.

Keeping a Whippet outside can also limit its exposure to other animals, leading to a lack of socialization with other dogs or pets. This can make it difficult for them to learn how to interact appropriately with other animals and may lead to aggression or fearfulness.

It’s important to remember that Whippets are bred to be indoor dogs and need socialization to stay happy and healthy. That means they need daily opportunities to interact with people and other animals. Without socialization, Whippets may become aggressive or destructive. 

Potential Health Risks

Keeping a Whippet outside for extended periods can expose them to various health risks. For example, whippets are a breed sensitive to temperature extremes, so it’s essential to take steps to protect them from the elements. Here are some potential health risks to consider:

  • Hypothermia: Whippets have short hair and a lean body, which means they are not well-suited to cold temperatures. If they are kept outside in cold weather without proper shelter or protection, they risk developing hypothermia, where their body temperature drops to a dangerous level.
  • Heatstroke: Whippets are also at risk of heatstroke if they are kept outside in hot weather without proper shelter or access to water. Heatstroke is life-threatening when a dog’s body temperature rises to a dangerous level.
  • Parasites: Keeping a Whippet outside can expose them to parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and heartworms. These parasites can cause various health problems, including anemia, skin irritation, and heart disease.
  • Injury: Whippets kept outside are also at risk of injury from fights with other animals or getting hit by a car.
  • Behavioral problems: Whippets kept outside for extended periods may develop behavioral problems, such as anxiety, aggression, or destructive behavior. This can be due to a lack of socialization, inadequate exercise or mental stimulation, or a lack of human interaction.

Unfavorable Living Conditions

Whippets are a breed of dog that requires special care and attention. As mentioned, they are not an outdoor breed and do not do well in outdoor living conditions because the outdoors does not provide them with adequate shelter. 

If a Whippet is kept outside, it’s essential to provide adequate shelter to protect them from the elements. This includes a sturdy, insulated dog house, bedding, and protection from wind, rain, and snow. This is essential, given that Whippets are susceptible to the freezing temperatures of the outdoors. However, when exposed to cold weather, they can quickly become frostbitten or even die from hypothermia.

Difficulty Monitoring Diet and Health

Whippets kept outside may not receive the proper attention, care, and nutrition needed to remain healthy. However, when a Whippet is kept outside, it may receive a different level of supervision and care than if kept indoors. This can make it challenging to monitor their diet and ensure they are receiving the appropriate amount of food and water.

Outdoor Whippets can be exposed to toxic substances such as pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals, negatively affecting their health and well-being. In addition, they may have limited access to water, which can lead to dehydration and other health problems. They may also be exposed to diseases, parasites, and other health hazards that can be difficult to detect and treat.

How to Keep an Outdoor Whippet Safe

If your Whippet lives outdoors, there are several things you can do to keep them safe and healthy. Here are a few tips:

  • Provide adequate shelter: Your Whippet needs a large enough shelter for them to stand up, turn around, and provide protection from the elements. The shelter should be insulated and have a raised floor to keep your dog dry and warm.
  • Ensure access to fresh water: Make sure your Whippet has access to fresh water at all times. Check the water bowl regularly to ensure it is clean and complete.
  • Provide a balanced diet: Feed your Whippet a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Make sure their food is stored correctly and is not spoiled.
  • Exercise your dog: Your Whippet needs daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Take them for walks or let them run in a safely enclosed area.
  • Provide toys and mental stimulation: Provide your Whippet with toys and games to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Even if your Whippet lives outdoors, they still need regular veterinary check-ups to ensure their health and well-being.
  • Protect against parasites and diseases: Use flea and tick preventatives and ensure your Whippet is up to date on vaccinations to protect against parasites and diseases.

Remember, while Whippets can live outdoors, providing a safe and comfortable indoor environment is always recommended. Outdoor living can be challenging for a Whippet, and it is essential to take extra steps to ensure their safety and well-being.