Summer. It’s the time for outdoor adventures. In this post you'll discover some tips for keeping your whippet comfortable, protected and stylish while enjoying outdoor activities. The longer (mostly) drier days allow plenty of opportunity to enjoy the countryside and try new things.
Whippets are active dogs requiring special consideration when it comes to clothing, particularly in the warm summer months. Everything you need to know for your a sun seeker, happy hiker or a paddle-boarding pal.
- Choose lightweight fabrics. Opt for light, natural and breathable fabrics to keep your whippet cool and protected during the summer months. Cotton will allow the air to circulate and avoid overheating. A tee shirt is a really good layer for covering those delicate bellies that can be prone to damage by the sun’s rays.
- UV Protection: just like humans, whippets can be very vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays. They have thin fur and many have bald bits. And they are sun seekers. You need to manage this. Consider purchasing sun-protective clothing and applying a dog-safe sunscreen on exposed areas, such as the belly, nose, ears, inside leg areas. We use the Lillidale Sun Block powder, easier than cream to apply and they don’t lick it off!
- Provide Shade: With their short fur and thin skin whippets are prone to sunburn. But they love the sun so you need to give them plenty of shady places to rest. When on adventures a pop-up baby tent with UV protection will allow them a safe place to rest out of the sun allowing you to stay out longer.
Insect and Pest Prevention
- Cooling Bandanas: Bandanas are your clothing friend in the summer months – and whippet necks are made for them, long and slender, not many breeds can carry one off like a whippet! Bandanas are stylish and practical. Add a few drops of diluted insect-repellent essential oils to a damp bandana and it will cool and repel. Alternatively, you can spray the bandana with a natural dog insect repellent like the one offered by Wild Wash. Some dogs react badly to insect bites so watch out for swelling or hives both signs of an allergic reaction.
- Grass seed allergies: When the grass is long whippets love to zoom around in it, especially if they have a whippet friend to chase. Grass seeds are a common allergen and if you dog suffers a long-legged cotton tee shirt will give the protection they need to avoid contact and prevent sores occurring on their bellies, underarms and legs – common areas for sufferers.
- Flea and Tick Prevention: Summer is the season for these pests but if you are up to date with prevention most will go all season free from them. Check your whippet over after walks if you live in an area with lots of sheep, deer or other livestock. We keep ours flea and tick free by giving a daily dose of Garlic and Fenugreek – no chemical treatments for us.
- Life Jackets: If you are considering a holiday on the water your whippet will need a life jacket. As with all dogs they can swim but it’s not something they have been bred to do and will tire easily. If you holiday is going to be on a boat, research a well-fitting life jacket, one that is adjustable with a handle on the top.
- Water Sports: Some whippets actually enjoy paddle boarding and being in a canoe. A life jacket is essential and have a towel and something cosy to wrap your whippet in when you come ashore.
- Quick-Drying Fabrics: If your outdoor activities involve water clothing made from quick-drying materials are a good choice. This allows them to dry off quickly and minimize discomfort and any risk of rubbing on delicate skin – particularly around the top of the front legs.
- Booties: Consider boots for your whippet if your outdoor activities include hiking where rough ground surfaces can rub pads and make them sore. They will protect pads against sharp objects getting in which can lead to development of corns, or painful surgical removal. You don’t want your whippet going lame on the first day of your hiking holiday!
- Paw Balms: High temperatures can cause paw pads to become dry or cracked. Apply dog-friendly paw balms to keep their paws moisturized and protected from the elements. Applying paw balm also allows your whippet to get used to having those sensitive toes touched and the perfect time to do it is while they are snuggled up with you after a fun day out doors. And remember to check the pavement for heat, if it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for a dog paw.
Designed for whippet clothing
- Get the Fit Right: Whippets need clothes even in the summer months. If you plan to be out all day with your whippet you'll need to pack for them too! When the sun goes down, they get cold very quickly and a light tee shirt, pet shirt or jumper will keep them comfortable, helping them to settle down happily. Make sure the fit is right. Choose clothes that are designed for whippets that accommodate those deep chests and slim tummies.
- Proper Sizing: Measure your dog’s body and refer to sizing charts provided to be sure to select the right size, remembering that not all manufacturers of whippet clothes have the same method. At Redhound we are always happy to chat over your sizing queries preferring you to get it right and avoid disappointment – especially if you’ve left it a bit close to your holiday date.
- Freedom of Movement: Whippets are known for their agility and love of running. Choose clothing that doesn’t restrict their natural movement, particularly around the shoulders and hind legs. Badly fitting clothes can a cause a tumble which can lead to injury.
- Rain Protection: The sun doesn’t shine all summer and as we know in the UK rain can last for a good chunk of summer. Don’t let light rain put you off outdoor adventures. Our top choice for summer is the Chester Light whippet raincoat. It slips on like a jumper and has a lightweight cotton tee shirt layer underneath to hold it in place. It rolls up small to pop away when the rain stops or can be packed up into it’s handy little bag and clipped to your ruck sack.
Whippets are very adaptable and love being with their humans. They are happy hikers, ready to try water sports and great company around a camp fire.
Appropriate consideration for sun protection, insect prevention, water activities, paw protection and comfortable clothing will keep your whippet happy and safe during summer outdoor excursions, on holidays or at weekends. Remember functional can be fashionable too and always keep your whippet’s unique needs front and centre.
By ensuring your whippet is prepared for summer adventures in comfort and style go ahead and enjoy a fantastic summer with your stylish companion by your side.