Just because our hairy companions are covered in fur doesn’t mean they’re immune from the effects of the changing seasons.
Particularly in our miserable winters, so that’s why I wanted to speak to Whippet mum and Whippet wear guru Debbie Humphreys from Redhound for Dogs.
Debbie started making clothes for her first Whippet Bruno back in 2003 as he was always shivering, and she vowed to do all she could to keep him warm.
Then, she realised other Whippet owners wanted to do the same for their dogs, so turned her personal mission into a thriving business.
Whether you’ve got a Whippet of your own or are considering bringing one home, this interview is a must and don’t forget to join in National Whippet Day on February 19th.
Debbie, how did you get started making clothes for whippets?
I got my first puppy Bruno in May 2003. He was my first Whippet and I had no idea he would need clothes during the colder, wetter months.
He was cold, shivering and miserable by the time Winter was in full swing and wasn’t able to go outside without something on, so I began knitting him jumpers.
People started asking me where I was getting his clothes, one thing led to another and I ditched my wedding dress job and started Redhound for Dogs – a Whippet wear company.
Should Whippets be wearing clothes?
The short answer is yes, most of the time.
Whippets have thin fur and carry very little fat on them. This makes them more susceptible to weather changes and they can be quite sensitive to rain and cold temperatures.
My rule is anything below eight degrees, I’m putting something on my dogs. If they’re acting cold or uncomfortable or it’s raining out, I will put on a jumper, a raincoat, or both.
Our goal at Redhound for Dogs is to keep dogs warm, dry, and happy.
What clothing do you recommend for each season?
Each dog’s needs are different, and the appropriate clothing may vary by region, but here’s what I believe should be the essentials for every Whippet owner:
In the Spring there will still be some drizzly and chilly days. I would consider a lightweight mac and a jumper essentials for that time of year.
Your Whippet will likely not need clothes for temperature regulation during the Summer.
However, some dogs suffer from allergies to plants and may get rashes on their undercarriage.
To help prevent this, I recommend having a jersey t-shirt or two on hand to keep them comfortable while running around.
Autumn is the season of layering – for Whippets and their owners!
You’ll be set with a fleece jumper and some sort of raincoat to help them on those cold and rainy days.
December to February can be brutal, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking your Whippet out without the proper clothing.
Like Autumn, we want to add layers for warmth. Start with a t-shirt, add a merino wool jumper, then a fleece-lined coat–preferably water resistant.
I love layers because it allows you to adjust their clothing as they go from the cold and wet outdoors to the warm indoors.
I particularly love our fleece-lined high visibility coat for walks on those days when we are getting less and less sunshine.
Do they have different needs at different ages?
Yes! Puppies and senior dogs need a bit more help in regulating their temperature, while adult dogs may be able to get by with a bit less.
Young whippets, say up to a year old, will need a collar, a lead, and the clothing recommended for each of the seasons above.
While you may be tempted to size up to cut costs, donning your whippet in properly fitting clothes is key! Don’t spend too much on a fancy coat, second-hand is perfect for young puppies.
Fully Grown Adults
Now that your puppy is full grown, you can invest a little more in their wardrobe.
I recommend a really decent raincoat, a couple jumpers, and a t-shirt or two.
Because I like to layer, I prefer sticking with the same color scheme when I buy new clothes for my Whippet. This ensures I have a wardrobe of pieces that all work together!
Senior dogs are generally less active and require more help in regulating their body temperature.
I’d invest in a great waterproof wax coat. They aren’t running around and getting filthy as often as a younger dog, so you won’t need to worry as much about it getting ruined.
You may also want to size up to accommodate any stiffness in their legs.
At Redhound, we offer boxes from basics to luxury, ensuring you get everything you could need or want for your Whippet during every stage and season of their life!
What’s next for you and Redhound for Dogs?
We have many new and exciting things coming next year! New products, new fabrics, and a new event!
February 19th 2023, would be Bruno’s 20th birthday if he were still with us today. In his honour, I’ve created National Whippet Day to celebrate all things Whippets!
We’ll have education opportunities, charity auctions and fundraisers, among many other things and it will be celebrated every year.
Our event is open to any business that specializes in Whippets – pet home boarding, clothing, charities, or trainers.
Anyone is able to join and we are excited to celebrate Whippets in a big way!
Want to connect with Debbie?
Find out more about Debbie’s work: https://www.redhoundfordogs.com/
Get involved in National Whippet Day, February 19th: https://www.redhoundfordogs.com/national-whippet-day
Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redhoundfordogs/
Join the Redhounders Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2912568292301801
Keep up on Pinterest: https://ro.pinterest.com/redhoundfordogs/
With thanks to Kerry at Fur and Fables for many of the images in this post. Check her out at https://www.furandfables.com/
Enjoyed this post? You might like to read Why Michelle created a day to celebrate Terriers and How two mud loving Terriers inspired Sarah to start Reg & Bob