How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Irish Wolfhounds
The Irish Wolfhound is a breed that has well earned the affectionate nickname of “gentle giant.” A dog of immense size, the Irish Wolfhound is a loving and affectionate family companion with modest activity requirements.
A breed originally intended to function as a hunting dog, the Irish Wolfhound’s original purpose was found in accompanying its owners on hunts for wolves. It is believed that the Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed with roots tracing back as far as 400 A.D.
The Irish Wolfhound is considered to be a giant breed, making this dog type prone to developing a number of different health conditions which can affect the dog’s overall longevity. A top quality diet can help the Irish Wolfhound to enjoy life to the fullest and will contribute to achieving and maintaining optimal health.
Unfortunately, the Irish Wolfhound has a heartbreakingly low life expectancy, living only between 6 to 8 years.
Among the health problems that can plague the sensitive, gentle Irish Wolfhound are:
- Anesthesia sensitivity
- Bone cancer
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy
- Osteochondrosis dissecans
- Portosystemic shunt
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Though diet alone cannot necessarily prevent genetically inherited illness, it can lay a foundation that will help keep this breed in excellent condition. The best dog foods for Irish Wolfhounds contain powerhouse supplements to provide support for each of these beloved dog breed’s systems.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Irish Wolfhounds
Since the Irish Wolfhound is a giant breed, this dog type requires a high quality diet that has been specifically formulated to meet its unique nutritional needs. To determine how much of the best dog foods for Irish Wolfhounds to feed a dog, it is a good idea to consult the suggested serving sizes listed on the bag. This will provide a helpful starting point. The amount can be increased or decreased until the correct portion is found with the dog’s weight and appetite serving as important guides.
Since bloat is a condition that can be common in Irish Wolfhounds, it is very important to ensure this dog breed does not eat too much or too quickly. Though experts are unsure as to what factors must combine to result in bloat, it is generally accepted that rapid eating and overeating may be two contributing causes.
To help prevent obesity in the lean, lanky Irish Wolfhound, all food should be carefully measured and all intake monitored. Free feeding is strongly discouraged.
The adult Irish Wolfhound benefits from a diet that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Dietary Requirements for Irish Wolfhound Dog Foods
As is true of most dog breeds, the Irish Wolfhound is a carnivore. The best dog foods for Irish Wolfhounds list a lean meat as their primary ingredient. Whole meats are the best option, but meat meals also provide all of the nutrients this moderately active breed needs to enjoy good health.
Meat by-products and plant-based proteins are challenging for most breeds to digest, and the Irish Wolfhound is no exception to this rule. Among the ingredients that are undesirable in any food for the Irish Wolfhound are soy, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Carbohydrates are an important part of any high quality diet for the Irish Wolfhound. The main priority of any carbohydrate included in food for this giant breed is its ease of digestibility and high antioxidant content. Carbohydrates may be taken from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables.
All dogs require ample servings of healthy fats in their daily diet. Healthy fats provide dogs with the energy they need to enjoy an active lifestyle. They also support good coat and skin health. The best fats are derived from animal origins and include such ingredients as chicken fat and oily fish like mackerel, anchovies, salmon, sardines, and herring.
Plant-based oils such as safflower and canola also provide excellent amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support the Irish Wolfhound’s health and wellness.
Every diet can benefit from the addition of helpful supplements. Among the most desirable ingredients to look for in a top quality food for the Irish Wolfhound are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Irish Wolfhounds
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for an Irish Wolfhound:
- Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
- Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
- Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
- Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food