Irish Wolfhound Diet - Keep it Simple, Keep it Fresh
A simple uncomplicated compound feed and raw fresh meaty bones is what we feed my Irish Wolfhounds.
You may either own or are thinking of owning one of the largest breeds of dog, and therefore you need to be really conscientious with their diet. They have a lot of growing to do and through diet and nutrition you can actively help keep your Wolfhound as healthy as possible. Just remember that an Irish Wolfhound puppy gets 10,000% bigger in it’s first year of life, so it needs plenty of energy (food) to get that big. The better the fuel, the healthier the animal. The pedigree, breeding and rearing of puppies gives them a good foundation in life. This however is just the beginning of what makes the dog; it is the continuation of this good start, the rearing and training which plays a huge role in the final health and wellbeing of your dog. Do not take any short cuts with the diet.
We all have own methods and favourite ways of feeding our Wolfies and in sharing mine, I am not saying it is the right way, nor the only way, but it is a diet which I have found suits my Irish Wolfhound puppies and adults alike. You need to take many factors into account: the amount of exercise that you give your dogs, the conditions in which they are reared, and the individual dog. Above all with changing your dog's diet, you need to take it slowly, have patience and observe. Observe the energy levels of your dog and look for changes, observe their coat, it's shine, it's texture. Observe their overall condition, observe their behaviour and one of the most important things to observe is their poo!! Sorry, but yes, this is a very good indication of their health and dietary needs.
"Keep it simple, keep it fresh" is now the foundation and mantra to keeping my hounds fit and healthy,
I like to vary my dogs’ and puppies’ raw diets between for example:
- A mixture of Raw Meat whether Tripe, Beef, Rabbit or Chicken either minced or in chunks (you can buy this wrapped and frozen from Pet Stores).
- Include Raw Chicken Wings (never cooked as the bones become too sharp and brittle). These are especially good for young puppies as it gives them something to chew and gnaw on when teething and helps keep their teeth and gums clean. Please only feed fresh wings, ones you would eat yourself, and not ones which have gone off.
- Raw meaty marrow bones are excellent, as these are known to strengthen the physical action of the stomach and the digestive tract. The Irish Wolfhound becomes very sated with raw meaty bones, it keeps them occupied, calm and supports their natural feeding instincts.
- I feed my hounds on hypo-allergenic Salmon and Potato dried kibble. It has been chosen because the salmon is a natural source for the omega 3 oils, good for heart health, joints and digestion. Salmon is also a good source of vitamins, proteins and essential minerals: iron calcium selenium and phosphorus, vitamins A, B and D; Potato has many excellent properties; they are easy to digest, containing vitamin-C, potassium and vitamin-B6, among others, they help relieve inflammation of intestines and the digestive system. Apart from the vitamins, minerals and roughage, potatoes also contain certain substances called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin etc.) which are beneficial for heart and other internal organs.
One of the many reason why I recommend Salmon and Potato for both puppies and adults, is salmon is very beneficial on many levels, especially joint health, it also contains taurine for heart health and lots of other goodies which our hounds benefit from, including collagen.
In addition to this kibble I add a handful of Royal Canin; the best option is the Giant Adult- just add 4-6 large chunks per day. Your wolfhound will love this and look to you for more, however do not be tempted as too much is far too high in protein and far too rich. Just use them as an extra vitamin and mineral supplement. This also contains added taurine.
Collagen can also be found in raw chicken, raw eggs and raw bones, and it is purportedly good at helping your dog maintain healthy joints and tissues, which can be a particular issue in growing Wolfhounds. Collagen also helps maintain the health of skin and prevent certain skin allergies.
At all times monitor poo, you are looking for nicely formed ones! If your puppy/youngster scours, (diarrhoea) due to an imbalance in the diet, just go back to feeding the Salmon and Potato kibble. If the scouring is for other reasons seek veterinary advice.
Your dog will require access to fresh clean water at all times.
Disclaimer: The above suits my hounds and is based on my experiences, talking to other owners and breeders, and my daughter.