Best Dog Food for Irish Wolfhounds
In ancient Ireland, where unsurprisingly the Irish Wolfhound originated, these dogs were used to hunt wolves. With their tall demeanors and strong bodies, they made the perfect opponent for wolves and other similar animals back in those days.
As the years passed by, the Irish Wolfhounds earned themselves a new nickname, “the gentle giant”.
Today Irish wolfhound dogs have become some of the most beloved house pets. They make the perfect furry friend with their soft and sensitive, yet fierce and protective nature. Just make sure you have the room for them, both indoor and outdoor.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
In choosing the best dog foods for Irish Wolfhounds, we are looking for foods the following:
- Foods that are AAFCO-approved, preferably with food trials.
- Dog food brands that have good quality control.
- Nutrition is more important than ingredients that sound appealing to humans.
- Companies that employ staffs of veterinary nutritionists to develop their formulas.
- Companies that invest in nutritional research and testing.
We are also aware of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning from the summer of 2018 about a possible link between grain free dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. This investigation is continuing and the research has been expanded to include dog foods that contain exotic meat proteins.
We don’t recommend grain free dog foods at this time unless your dog has a grain allergy or another health problem that has been diagnosed by your veterinarian. As a result, some of the foods we recommend are not the most popular dog foods. However, they are healthy foods for your dog, backed by research and science.
What Kind of Diet Should You Feed Your Irish Wolfhound?
Every dog needs to have good quality, digestible protein in his diet. The protein should come from animal sources such as meat, fish, and poultry.. Per AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials), adult dogs need a minimum of 18 percent protein in their diet.
Puppies and pregnant/lactating females need a minimum of 22 percent protein. If your Irish Wolfhound is very active and engaging in activities such as agility or hunting, he would need more protein.
All dogs need the following nutrients in their diet, including Irish Wolfhounds:
Protein- Protein is essential to your dog. It’s the source of his hair, skin, tissue repair, muscle development, and other functions. Adult dogs need a minimum of 18 percent protein in their diet; 22 percent for growth and reproduction. Most good dog foods exceed these levels.
However, this doesn’t mean that your dog needs enormous protein percentages. It’s more important that your dog gets protein that he can easily digest and use – called bioavailability. If the protein in a dog food is in a form that your dog can’t properly digest, it’s not useful to him.
We recommend feeding your Irish Wolfhounds a grain-inclusive dog food with moderate protein levels between 22 and 26 percent.
Fat- Dogs need a minimum of 5 percent fat in their diet; 8 percent for growth and reproduction. Nearly every dog food has more fat in it than these levels. Fat is one of the ingredients that makes dog food taste good to your dog. But, too much fat in a dog food and you will find that your dog gains weight.
Irish Wolfhounds can become overweight rather easily if you don’t watch their calories and exercise.
For this reason, we recommend moderate fat percentages forIrish Wolfhounds. Look for foods that have a fat percentage between 12 and 16 percent.
Carbohydrates- Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not filler ingredients or empty calories. They provide energy, fiber, and other nutrients. Your dog cannot live only on protein and fat. Sugar and starches from carbohydrates help your dog’s brain and other tissues function.
Fiber- Fiber is also important to your Irish Wolfhounds’s diet. You will find it in dog foods in both soluble and insoluble forms Soluble fiber attracts water and slows the digestive process. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your dog’s fecal matter and can speed the digestive process. Most dry dog foods have between 3 and 5.5 percent crude fiber.
Probiotics and prebiotics- Prebiotics and probiotics are also found in many dog foods today. Prebiotics are one kind of dietary fiber. They can encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your dog’s gastrointestinal system. Common prebiotics used in dog foods include chicory and inulin.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are added to dog foods so they can colonize your dog’s digestive tract.
Vitamins and minerals- Vitamins and minerals are also added to most dog foods today. That’s because dog foods are cooked at high temperatures which can strip away some of the nutrients in the ingredients. Adding vitamins and minerals back into the food after cooking ensures that your dog will get the nutrients he needs.
The 5 Best Dog Food for Irish Wolfhounds Reviewed
Your Irish Wolfhound deserves to have the best food that you can give it. Therefore, the first step in doing that is to know exactly what your dog needs. Lucky for you, we have already put together a list of recommended products with something for every stage of the dog’s life.
Irish Wolfhound Dietary Needs
Irish Wolfhound dogs are extremely large and active dogs. That requires them to have a good source of protein in order to keep them energized. However, it is also important to control the calorie level and protein intake of these puppies, as otherwise, these dogs grow fast in size.
In order to ensure that your dog doesn’t develop joint issues during their growing years, it is best to keep them growing at a slower and more controlled pace. Moreover, it is important that the food you feed your Irish Wolfhound is of high quality.
That allows you the confidence that your dog is receiving all the nutrients that it needs in order to lead a healthy and happy life.
How Much to Feed Your Irish Wolfhound According to Age
Some dog owners adopt a feeding method called as ‘free feeding’. This is when the dog owner leaves the food out and allows the dog to eat it as and when it feels hungry and throughout the day. However, given the size and likeliness of an Irish Wolfhound to gain weight, this is a bad method for them.
When it comes to an Irish Wolfhound, the best idea is to measure out their food and allow them a 30 minute time period to eat it. Anything left over after that should be taken away, this will keep your dog from snacking and developing bad eating habits.
- Adult – Adult dogs are prone to bloating, which can come from the excess ingestion of air. In order to prevent this from happening, it is best to serve your Irish Wolfhound a few small meals throughout the day.
- Puppy – Puppies should be provided with up to 4 meals throughout the day. This will keep them healthy, nourished, and full of energy. However, make sure not to overfeed your puppy as overweight puppies are more likely to develop joint pains in future.
- Senior – As with all dogs, even the Irish Wolfhound Senior dogs need to have their diets adjusted to their new metabolism and activity level. That’s because dogs begin to gain weight in their senior years, which can further aggravate any health conditions that old age may bring.
Food Allergies and Food Related Health Issues
Irish Wolfhounds are prone to a fair amount of health issues, like cancer and heart disease.
So while the food fed generally can’t cure or be directly linked to most of their health problems, there has been some research done to prove that perhaps food can help prevent unwanted diseases.
If your dog is on a healthy diet, with foods that don’t include chemicals, preservative or any other artificial ingredients then they are more likely to remain healthy and happy. These dogs are also susceptible to conditions such as bloat, requiring you to come up with a healthy meal plan in order to keep your dog safe and healthy.
In the end, for generations, Irish Wolfhounds were used as hunting dogs and also participated in wars. Around two thousand years ago, these dogs would fight alongside Celtic warriors. However, these dogs are no longer used as soldiers or warriors, but instead as loving home pets.
So with their new role, it is up to you to protect your dog from modern-day health issues. Finding your Irish Wolfhound the perfect food to keep them healthy, strong and energized is your first step in protecting and loving them today, as they did us back then.