What is the Best Dog Food For Irish Wolfhounds?

Believe it or not, this large and noble dog breed was originally bred for war. It was also used to hunt big game—like wolves and boar. But what’s the best dog food for Irish Wolfhounds? We researched it—and here’s the verdict.

Our top picks for Irish Wolfhound dog food

**There's more info below, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Chewy.

**Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.

Irish Wolfhound Calorie Requirements

0 Cal
Older Dogs
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Typical Adults
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Active/Working Dogs

**Please note: these estimates are based on an average weight for this breed. Every dog is different. Please talk to your vet before making changes to your dog's diet. 

Irish wolfhounds are pretty large animals. In fact, they tend to grow to a height of about 2 feet, 10 inches tall at the shoulder, and can weigh anywhere from 115 to 180 pounds!

Since they’re larger and need some room to stretch, this dog breed isn’t recommended for apartment living. They require about 40 minutes of exercise per day, and do best when they have a large, fenced-in yard to run in.

Even a less-active dog of this breed will require more calories than a lot of other breeds—mostly due to its sheer size. You can expect to feed an adult at least 2,200 calories per day, while a more moderately-active dog of the same size might require a bit more—somewhere around 2,600.

A highly active Irish Wolfhound may eat as many as 4,000 calories per day to stay active—and sometimes even more! This is definitely a dog breed that needs to eat—so if you’re looking for something that won’t kill the dog food budget, this big guy might not be for you.

Just remember to keep an eye on your dog’s eating habits. If he tends to finish his food super-quickly and acts hungry after, you might need to increase the portion sizes a little bit.

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Learn more about this amazing dog breed

If you’re looking to learn a bit more about this massive, yet friendly dog breed, then I would definitely encourage you to check out this video in the very popular Dogs 101 series, created by Animal Planet.

It does a pretty good job of discussing the basics of owning a canine of this type.

Irish Wolfhound Macronutrient and Diet Information

As a large dog with big nutritional needs, it’s super-important to feed this mighty monster-of-a-canine a well-balanced diet. A grain free kibble is probably best, as this will help to keep the risk of bloat to a minimum and help keep their digestive system healthy and functioning as normal.

A well-rounded selection of meat-based proteins, vegetables, and fruits is going to be the best formulation for a dog of this size.

Lean meats like chicken and turkey and a variety of other staples, like antioxidants, Omega fatty acids, and glucosamine, all are going to be beneficial for the wolfhound.

A kibble that contains healthy amounts of Vitamins C and E, as well glucosamine and chondroitin, is good for elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia —both of which are unfortunately common with Wolfhounds.

Of course, you also need to be sure that your dog is getting enough Vitamin B. A kibble that contains probiotics is also a good idea, as it’ll contribute to better digestive health.

Common Health Problems for Irish Wolfhounds

Irish Wolfhounds tend to be pretty healthy dogs—but that doesn’t mean that they’re never going to develop any health problems at all. With this dog breed, getting health clearances from the breeder will weed out a lot of potential genetic conditions.

Also, avoiding buying a puppy from the pet store might save you a lot of trouble, as it’s almost impossible to say whether or not these puppies have been chosen from tested parents or not.

Anesthesia Sensitivity

Some dog breeds (in the category of sighthounds, including this breed) are sensitive to anesthesia—which can be problematic if their vet isn’t aware of that fact.

Irish Wolfhounds tend to have a lower percentage of body fat than some other breeds, which is why anesthesia and related drugs can affect them differently.

To avoid this problem, make sure that your vet is aware of it. The best case scenario is to choose a vet that cares for Irish Wolfhounds on a regular basis.

Hip Dysplasia

This condition occurs when the thigh bone doesn’t fit correctly into the hip joint. It’s actually a genetic condition, and any dog that’s had an ancestor with it could be at risk for developing the affliction in the future. The most common symptoms include lameness and/or pain in one or both of the rear legs.

It’s often said that a diet rich in quality sources of protein, carbs, and fats can help to prevent the problem, and can sometimes help suffering dogs to cope with it.

Maintaining a healthy body weight and getting plenty of Vitamin C and Vitamin E are also dietary steps that you can take to help prevent and/or manage it.

Elbow Dysplasia

This condition is also genetic, though it affects the front legs instead of those in the rear. It affects the bone structure of the elbow, which can lead to joint laxity and painful lameness.

Weight management is very important for dogs with this condition. A grain-free diet that contains lots of glucosamine and chondroitin can also help.

How to feed an Irish Wolfhound puppy

Wolfhound pups are typically weaned from their mother by the time they’re 6 weeks old. After this, it’s very important to make sure that they get enough to eat. They should be fed a nutritious meal about 4 times per day, and this should probably persist until they’re about 6 months old.

If at all possible, you should always feed multiple times per day instead of all at once—as this will help to prevent bloat as the pups grow older, and will also increase their energy levels and keep them fueled better.

By the time they’re 8 weeks old, Irish Wolfhound puppies can weigh as much as 23 pounds—and will require about 640 calories to stay energized.

So, what’s the best dog food for Irish Wolfhounds?

We did a lot of research to answer this question—and while we found several awesome dog foods that would probably do the trick, the one that really stuck out to us as one of the best was Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Original Formula.

This dog food formulation impressed us on a number of different fronts.

First of all, it’s grain free. This will make it easier to digest and help to cut down on problems like bloat.

Secondly, it contains balanced amounts of Omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and lean, protein-rich meat.

Omega fatty acids and Glucosamine will do a lot to promote joint health in this massive breed. Omega 3s will also help to maintain a healthy coat, and do a lot to prevent common skin problems.

As you probably know, this breed tends to have some problems with hip and elbow dysplasia. Well, the fact that this dog food formulation contains glucosamine does a lot to help with these types of problems.

It also contains healthy amounts of Vitamin C, which is another component that can promote better joint health.

Pros and Cons

  • Grain free
  • Contains plenty of antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids, and lean protein
  • Provides a quality assortment of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Contains tomato pomace, which some consider a filler
  • You might have to order it online, as it can be hard to find in stores

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Original Formula offers a comprehensive array of nutrients for dogs of all ages and sizes—but after examining the ingredients, we really felt that this kibble formulation was a perfect match for the breed-specific needs of the Irish Wolfhound.

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