Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Afghan Hound puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Afghan Hounds, the best dog food diet for feeding Afghan Hound puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Afghan Hound dog breed

Afghan Hound Health Problems and Raising an Afghan Hound Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Afghan Hounds:

Hypothyroidism is probably the major concern in Afghan Hounds – depending on whose statistics you believe, from 12% to 40% of Afghan Hounds may have low thyroid levels.

Cataracts are another serious concern, especially when they appear under a year of age because these early cataracts often lead to blindness. Corneal dystrophy and cherry eye are other eye diseases that occur with some regularity in Afghan Hounds. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and retinal dysplasia have also been reported.

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are not as common in Afghan Hounds as in most other large breeds – but they DO occur more frequently in Afghan Hounds than in other sighthounds. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 5800 Afghan Hounds and found 6% dysplastic. That's not high for a large breed, but compare it to Borzois and Salukis at less than 2%, and, Greyhounds, Ibizans, and Pharaoh Hounds at less than 3%. In addition, when over 100 elbow X-rays were evaluated, Afghan Hounds were rated as 7% dysplastic. Again, this is higher than similar sighthounds.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Afghan Hounds are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial infections (pyoderma). The long folded-over ears with all the hair in the ear canals are prone to ear infections.

Other health issues that occur in Afghan Hounds include blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's) and laryngeal paralysis.

Because of their low body fat, all sighthounds are extra sensitive to anesthetics and require an experienced vet who will follow a special Greyhound Anesthesia Protocol.

Sighthounds REQUIRE open space to run. A sighthound who can't stretch his legs and gallop off-leash will not develop proper muscle tone for good health. However, the area in which they run must be enclosed. One of the leading causes of death in sighthounds is being hit by a car. These dogs are chasers with sharp eyesight, strong prey instincts, and a one-track mind. If they spy something moving in the distance, their instincts will kick in and they will NOT respond when you call them.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Afghan Hound?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Afghan Hounds today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find an Afghan Hound puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Afghan Hound puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Afghan Hound puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Afghan Hound lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Afghan Hound
The best diet for feeding your Afghan Hound is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Afghan Hound. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Afghan Hound
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Afghan Hound. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Afghan Hound puppy really need? Does your adult Afghan Hound need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Afghan Hound. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Afghan Hound. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Afghan Hound.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.