Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Irish Wolfhound 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 Wolfhounds, the best dog food diet for feeding Irish Wolfhound 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 Wolfhound dog breed

Irish Wolfhound Health Problems and Raising an Irish Wolfhound 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 Wolfhounds:

Six to eight years is a very short lifespan for a companion dog, but that's all you get with most Irish Wolfhounds.

The two primary causes of death are cancer (especially osteosarcoma and lymphoma) and heart disease (especially cardiomyopathy). Another major killer of Irish Wolfhounds is the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome bloat.

As you might expect in a giant dog, orthopedic diseases are common, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis, wobbler's syndrome, and hypertrophic osteodystrophy. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 1330 Irish Wolfhounds and found 5.5% dysplastic. That's pretty good for such a huge dog. However, 12% of 272 elbow X-rays were dysplastic – that's much too high.

Liver shunt is a real concern in Irish Wolfhounds – and it's a serious form of liver shunt that may not be able to be corrected surgically.

Skin problems include allergies (which cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma) and elbow hygroma.

Eye diseases in Irish Wolfhounds include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and entropion. You may see cataracts as early at 1-2 years old, or as late as 5-7 years old.

Other health issues in Irish Wolfhounds include hypothyroidism, epilepsy, megaesophagus, and blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's).

Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Irish Wolfhound?

Yes, often you can.

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

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

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

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

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