Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Irish Water Spaniel 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 Irish Water Spaniels, the best dog food diet for feeding Irish Water Spaniel 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

Irish Water Spaniel dog breed

Irish Water Spaniel Health Problems and Raising an Irish Water Spaniel 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 Irish Water Spaniels:

The most serious orthopedic diseases in this breed are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 1000 Irish Water Spaniels and found 13% dysplastic. That's high for this size dog, and the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. 12% of 164 elbow X-rays were also dysplastic. Again, that's high, and again, the true rate is even higher.

Skin diseases include allergies (which cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma), nail bed disease, and follicular dysplasia.

Ear infections are common due to the long pendulous ears and long hairs inside the ear canals.

The most common eye disease is entropion, followed by eyelash abnormalities, then cataracts.

Other health issues of concern in Irish Water Spaniels include epilepsy, heart disease, hypothyroidism, megaesophagus, and cancer.

A common injury in this breed is a damaged tail. Because it is slender and hairless, it can be split when wagged against a hard object, chewed, or chapped in cold weather. The injury can be soothed with aloe vera or calendula and lightly bandaged (if the dog will leave the bandage alone!).


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Irish Water Spaniel?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Irish Water Spaniels today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find an Irish Water Spaniel 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 Irish Water Spaniel puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Irish Water Spaniel 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 Irish Water Spaniel lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Irish Water Spaniel
The best diet for feeding your Irish Water Spaniel 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 Irish Water Spaniel. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Irish Water Spaniel
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Irish Water Spaniel. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Irish Water Spaniel puppy really need? Does your adult Irish Water Spaniel 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 Irish Water Spaniel. 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 Irish Water Spaniel. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Irish Water Spaniel.


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