Can a Whippet Stay Outside in the Cold/Heat?

whippet outside with dachshund

Whippets are some of the best dog breeds you can have because of how these lean dogs are quite fun to have if you are living a somewhat active lifestyle. However, as a concerned dog owner, one of the things you may be wondering about your dog is whether or not it can live well outside when it gets either too cold or too hot during the winters and the summers respectively. So, can a whippet stay outside in the cold or the heat?

Whippets are better off as indoor dogs. Whippets are lean dogs that don’t have a lot of fur or body fat to keep them warm during the winter. Similarly, whenever it’s summer or when the day is too hot, they can easily overheat as well.

Some dogs are just naturally built for outdoor life but there are some dogs that are better off living indoors. The whippet is the latter because these dogs don’t have the physical characteristics and the personality that will allow them to do well outdoors. In that regard, let us talk more about the whippet so that you can understand why you should keep them indoors.

The Dangers of Outdoor Temperatures for Your Whippet

When we get a new dog, one of the things we often wonder about is whether or not they are better suited for an indoor lifestyle or for an outdoor environment. This is a legitimate question in a lot of new dog owners’ minds as there really are some dogs that are better for outdoor living on top of how some houses are not designed to handle the lifestyle of a dog.

So, for those who have just gotten your whippet, you may also be wondering whether you could allow your new pup to live outdoors or whether it would be better off inside. In that regard, what we can say for sure is that a whippet is an indoor dog, and here are some of the reasons why they don’t do really well outdoors:

Cold Weather

Some dogs are built for cold climates as they have been bred to withstand winters for many generations. These dogs not only have thick fur but are usually burlier than most other breeds because they need the extra layer of fat and muscle to keep them warm during the colder seasons. Unfortunately, the whippet is not one of those dogs. 

If you look at the whippet, it’s obvious that these dogs are a lot leaner than most breeds. On top of that, whippets are a short-haired breed that doesn’t have a lot of fur covering them. The lack of body fat and fur means that whippets are not built to be able to withstand cold weather as they lack the natural insulation that would help keep them warm during the winter.

Whippet wearing jacket in the snow.

Depending on where you live, outside temperatures during fall or winter can be quite cold to the point that even humans won’t be able to withstand them without wearing extra clothing. Even the earlier part of spring can be quite cold during the night time and the early mornings. 

So, if you can’t leave your house without wearing multiple layers of clothing, you can imagine how cold it must be for your whippet if you opt to keep it outdoors during a particularly chilly night or whenever it’s the colder seasons of fall and winter.

Hot Weather

If whippets are not made to withstand the cold weather, you may think that they are built to be capable of staying outdoors whenever the day is particularly warm or whenever it is summer when days can get extra hot.

It might be true that a whippet can withstand heat better than it can withstand cold temperatures but that doesn’t mean that you should leave your whippet outdoors whenever the temperatures are too warm or hot to handle.

Remember that whippets, and dogs in general, are mammals and that they are already warm enough as it is. So, if you were to keep your whippet outdoors during a particularly hot day, it could certainly suffer from overheating or even heat stroke. 

Whippet wearing sunglasses.

It’s the same thing as us whenever it’s hot. We can’t last a few minutes under the searing heat of the sun during the summer before we need to find some shade. If you can’t handle the heat of the sun, your whippet also has its limits. 

In that regard, if you do insist on keeping your whippet outdoors, do so during the early mornings whenever the sun isn’t fully out yet or during late afternoons when the sun is about to set. If you are looking to keep your whippet outside for an extended period of time, make sure it has a dog house or a shed that would help provide it some shade and protection from the sun.

Whippets Prefer Human Companionship

In case the cold or the heat do not convince you that you should keep your whippet indoors instead of outdoors, you should know that whippets are the type of dog that prefer to have humans around instead of being alone.

Like a lot of dogs, whippets are bred as companion dogs that prefer to have humans around even if these dogs don’t interact or play a lot with humans. They just prefer the company of a human because it allows them to feel safe and secure. Moreover, being away from a human can make a whippet feel anxious or scared, which can eventually cause it to develop destructive habits that no dog owner would want.

So, as such, aside from how whippets are not the type of dogs that do well out in the cold or heat, they are just plainly better as indoor dogs because of how they need to be around humans a lot for the company.

The Risk of Losing Your Dog

Even if it’s a good day outside such as when it is quite cloudy and the sun isn’t at its hottest, there are still some dangers to keeping your whippet outside for an extended period of time. And that is why you might want to reconsider if you were planning on keeping it outdoors.

First off, whippets are quite athletic and can easily jump over six feet off the ground. That means that they can probably leap over a fence that isn’t high enough. So, if you don’t have high fences, there is a possibility that your whippet may end up jumping over them when it gets too anxious or if it is trying to explore its surroundings.

Then, there are the occasional dog-nappers that may try to steal your dog whenever they have an opportunity to do so. They may want to steal certain dog breeds for one reason or another such as forcing them to breed or just because they want to sell the dog for extra cash.

So, in other words, if you do insist on keeping your dog outside, there is a pretty good chance that you might end up losing it because of one reason or another.

How Cold/Hot is Too Cold/Hot for Your Whippet?

If you are wondering about the limits of your whippet when it comes to outside temperatures, it can be pretty easy to tell how cold or hot is too cold or hot for it.

So, going back, whippets are dogs that are quite lean and don’t have a lot of fur on them. Think of it as an average human being wearing one layer of clothing. In that regard, if you think that the outside is too cold or too hot for a human wearing only a layer of clothing, then it must be too cold or too hot for a whippet as well.

Cold/Hot Weather Safety Tips for Your Whippet

If there are some instances where you have to keep your dog outside for quite a while or whenever you need to go out with your dog during a particularly cold or hot day, here are some safety tips that would allow your whippet to stay warm or cool, whichever may apply:

  • Keep a dog house or a shed outside for your whippet so that it would have a place to stay whenever the temperatures are a bit too extreme for them. It can keep your pup warm during the winter or it can act as a shield against the sun during a hot day.
  • Have your whippet wear a doggy coat or a sweater whenever you want to go out on a walk with it during a cold day. This will help keep it warm similar to how you use a coat or a sweater to keep yourself warm.
  • Whippets are active dogs that need exercise because they were bred to be race dogs. So, if you want to give your whippet some exercise during the winter and the summer, make sure that you have it wear a sweater whenever it’s cold and that you should carry some water for your dog if it gets too hot.
  • When the snow is still fresh, check for any crusts as the snow is yet to soften. If the dog tries to walk on fresh snow that hasn’t softened up yet, it may end up cutting its paws.
  • Be there around your dog if you want to spend some time with it outside the house. Even if you are not doing any activities with your whippet, just being around it will reduce any feelings of anxiety it may have when it is outside the house.

Related Questions

Do whippets need a lot of exercise?

Whippets are very active dogs that were originally bred to be race dogs and need plenty of exercise. That means that you should still give them some exercise outdoors whenever you can but do so in a manner that will keep them safe from the cold or hot weather.

Can I leave my whippet outside during nice weather?

You can leave your whippet outside when it is neither too cold nor too hot. However, don’t leave it outside for an extended period of time because this can lead to separation anxiety problems.

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