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Irish Wolfhound Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Irish Wolfhound

Start your Irish Wolfhound off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.


Jump down to this list of
Irish Wolfhound Health Problems


Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Irish Wolfhound puppy or adult dog:

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... [read more]

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You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Irish Wolfhound are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Wolfhound will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

NomNomNow homemade dog food service Feed Homemade Dog Food Without Needing To Make It
Would you like to feed your dog homemade, but don't have the time to make it? I have a solution for you... [read more]

Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet health insurance. The best pet insurance company I've found is... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Irish Wolfhound puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Irish Wolfhound be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Irish Wolfhound? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Wolfhound suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

Irish Wolfhound

Complete list of Irish Wolfhound health problems

Three main causes of death 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 in Irish Wolfhounds are cancer (especially osteosarcoma and lymphoma) and heart disease (especially cardiomyopathy).

Another major killer of Irish Wolfhounds is an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat (gastric torsion), which can kill a dog in just hours.

Orthopedic problems in Irish Wolfhounds

Elbow dysplasia causes pain and lameness and may require expensive surgery.

The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the elbow X-rays of 900 Irish Wolfhounds and found 13% dysplastic. That's not good.

Hip dysplasia also occurs in Irish Wolfhounds. But when the Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 2100 Irish Wolfhounds, they found only 5% dysplastic. That's not a bad rate for such a large dog!

Irish Wolfhounds are susceptible to a serious disease of their neck vertebrae with the odd but descriptive name of Wobbler's syndrome.

Young  Irish Wolfhounds are susceptible to two syndromes that cause pain and lameness. The milder one is called panosteitis and is usually self-limiting. The other is called hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), which ranges from moderate to severe.

Liver disease in Irish Wolfhounds

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

Eye disease in Irish Wolfhounds

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) leads to blindness. You may see cataracts as early at 1-2 years old, or as late as 5-7 years old.

An eyelid disorder called entropion occurs in Wolfhounds.

Miscellaneous health problems in Irish Wolfhounds

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

Also hypothyroidism, epilepsy, megaesophagus, and blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's).

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Irish Wolfhound in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.