Best Dog Food For Irish Wolfhounds


The Irish Wolfhound is a beautiful dog. Majestic and with that wise look, like a wizard of the canine world.

We all want the best for our dogs, we want them to be as healthy and happy as they can be. But that can often leave the question of what we should be feeding them. With so many options to choose from it can be difficult to know.

With a large, athletic breed like an Irish Wolfhound, it can be hard for owners to know exactly what food they need.

They use lots of entry, but they aren’t gluttonous like many other dog breeds such as labradors and actually have quite a slim frame for their large size.

In this article, I’ll detail what you should look for in dog food for your Irish Wolfhound. What kind of dog food would suit them best, and I’ll give some recommendations of dry, wet and puppy food that I think should meet all the dietary needs of your beautiful Irish Wolfhound.

I hope you find the article helpful and your Irish Wolfhound goes on to live a long, healthy and happy life!

I would recommend Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food for your Irish Wolfhound. It’s a quality dog food using great ingredients, the protein and fat content is perfect for most, moderately active Irish Wolfhounds.

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Y
ou can take a look at Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food on Amazon here

For further recommendations for very active Irish Wolfhounds or puppies, scroll down the article to see my reviews.

What do Irish Wolfhounds eat

Irish Wolfhounds were originally bred as a hunting dog, they are an ancient breed thought to be thousands of years old.

Like most working breeds, they are athletic and can use lots of energy, although domestication of Irish Wolfhounds has reduced the average requirement of energy consumption that’s required.

Where they’re not outside Irish Wolfhounds can be very gentle and docile, using little energy when indoors. Therefore, the exact type of food your dog will need will be rather dependent on the amount of exercise they receive.

Let’s take a look at some of the main factors you should look for when finding the right food for your Irish Wolfhound. 

Protein

Generally speaking, the more exercise a dog receives the higher their protein requirements are.

Irish Wolfhounds have been bred to be active, they can run at high speed for prolonged periods of time; however, this doesn’t automatically mean they should always be fed a high protein diet.

An Irish Wolfhound that enjoys regular daily exercise with a long walk at the weekend may only need dog food containing a regular amount of protein, usually around 24%.

If your Irish Wolfhound does considerably more exercise than this (which they could do with ease), then you may want to consider a high-performance, high-protein dog food.

The key consideration when choosing dog food, one that’s much more important than the protein level, is the quality of protein.

You should choose food with a meat source as the main ingredient to ensure your dog is eating quality protein, I’ll talk more about that in the meat by-products section further down.

I’ll list a range of dog foods below with varying protein levels so, depending on your dog’s activity level, you should be able to find the appropriate one.

Fat

Despite their giant size, Irish Wolfhounds don’t need a huge amount of fat in their diet, although puppies will need higher fat content food as they grow.

Irish Wolfhounds are slim in build but of course, use a high amount of energy. Therefore, I would suggest a dog food containing an average amount of fat at around 14% would be perfectly suitable for most Irish Wolfhounds.

If in doubt whether your Irish Wolfhound is at the correct weight, you can check the weight of your dog quite easily by feeding their chest.

You should be able to feel the outline of their rib cage easily, without being able to clearly fit your finger between the ribs.

Of course, if you have any doubts about whether or not they are at the correct weight you should consult with your vet.

As long as you stick to the recommended feeding amounts for dog food with around 14% fat, your Irish Wolfhound is unlikely to become either obese or underweight.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

Often overlooked, many high street brands of dog food have little to no omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, omega 3, in particular, is often entirely missed.

It shouldn’t be, a good quality dog food will always contain both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and they are great for your dog’s health.

They are also an essential fatty acid because your dog cannot produce them itself, they must obtain them through their diet.

They both play vital roles in the body. Omega 6 is essential for cell membrane structure and cell function and helps to maintain the proper function of the immune system.

Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing inflammation of the skin and joints. That’s helpful for sensitive skin which may flare up or become red, possibly due to allergic reaction, and it’s also good for arthritis, reducing inflammation around the joints.

Added to that they are great for general skin and organ health, helping to maintain good cognitive function too.

They are an all-round essential part of your dog’s diet, so always make sure your dog food clearly labeled the minimum amount of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

It’ll only be small, around 1.5% for omega 6 and 0.4% for omega 3 is quite standard for a quality dog food. Fish based foods will usually contain more.

Check ingredients for meat by-products

I’ve already spoken about the importance of a quality protein source, one that can be easily digested.

That’s quite similar to this point. Avoid any food with meat by-product listed on the ingredients. It’s going to help the manufacturer increase the protein and fat content but it’s essentially all the parts of an animal no one else wants to use.

To understand meat by-products, it’s important to know that meat is defined as the muscle of an animal.

Here’s the AAFCO definition of what meat by-product is:

‘lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, & stomachs & intestines freed of their contents’

Ok, you might say, what’s wrong with a dog eating lungs, they would do that in the wild right?

Indeed they would, but they wouldn’t also ignore all of the quality meat and only eat the parts such as lungs and fatty tissue. And they would certainly eat the quality muscle meat first.

That’s also no knowing how much of that by-product amount is something relatively ok, like kidney, and how much is poor quality food like fatty tissue.

There are lots of dog foods that’ll include parts like chicken liver on their ingredients separately. That’s fine by me, it’s clear and open and you know exactly how much liver is in that product. But if it just says ‘meat by-product’, well that could be 99% fatty tissue and you would never know.

So when a dog food has meat by-products as one of their main ingredients, it’s basically like only feeding your dog all the leftover bits from the hunt, the stuff that the wolf lowest in the pack hierarchy on an Animal Planet show gets when all the others are hungry.

For a majestic and athletic dog like the Irish Wolfhound, that’s just not good enough.

Best dry dog food (kibble) for Irish Wolfhounds

I’m going to recommend three different dog kibbles here. I wanted to have a range of flavors but also a range of protein levels.

None are low in protein, as Irish Wolfhounds do enjoy lots of exercise, but I’ll start with the highest protein choice first and work down.

They are all good quality dog foods so your choice should mainly be on how much exercise your Irish Wolfhound is getting and your budget, high protein dog food usually costs more (if they don’t they’re probably using poor quality protein sources).

Orijen Fit & Trim High Protein – A selection of meat & fish

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Orijen produces high fantastic quality dog food. Their range is great so I would recommend taking a look through if you’re interested in their products, their fish-based foods are especially good.

However, for an Irish Wolfhound, I think their Fit & Trim dog food is perfect. It’s very high in protein with a crude protein level of 40%, and being Orijen this is a high-quality protein, but it’s also still reasonable in fat content at 13%.

That’s best for a highly active Irish Wolfhound that enjoys frequent, prolonged exercise. This food will really help to build their muscles and keep them strong and well maintained.

I wouldn’t recommend it for Irish Wolfhounds who have short daily exercise and longer weekend walks as it would be unnecessarily high in protein and you wouldn’t really be getting the full benefit of what you’re paying for.

This dog food has been designed to support lean muscle mass dogs in particular so I think it fits the Irish Wolfhound build perfectly if they are highly active.

The ingredients list for Orijen foods is always good.

The first 5 ingredients:

Deboned chicken, chicken liver, turkey liver, cod liver, eggs.

Honestly, if you look at the whole ingredients list it just goes on and on with quality ingredients, no secretive ‘meat by-products’ label in sight.

Orijen products usually contain a lot of fish, as a result, their omega 3 and 6 fatty acid levels are good at 1% and 2.5% respectively.

It certainly isn’t a cheap product, but it’s a testament to the quality that despite the price it still gets some of the best review scores you’ll find for dog food. This product, in particular, has well over 100 Amazon reviews with an average score close to a perfect 5.

That’s so hard to achieve for dog food producers because dog owners are (rightly so) very particular about what they feed their dog.

In my mind, it’s just about the best food you’ll find for an active Irish Wolfhound, you can take a look at Orijen Fit & Trim High Protein dog food on Amazon here.

Instinct Be Natural Recipe – Beef

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Not every Irish Wolfhound is going to get lots of exercise every day, that’s perfectly normal. If your Irish Wolfhound has short daily exercise with long weekend walks I’d recommend a dog food with a moderate protein level.

For those Irish Wolfhounds, I would recommend this Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food.

It’s also lower in price than the high protein Orijen food I’ve mentioned above.

This kibble by Instinct is not low in protein, it’s just about average for dog food, which I think is right as even a less active Irish Wolfhound will still be more active than many other breeds.

I’ve chosen the beef version for a bit of variety on this list but it also comes in chicken too. That results in a protein level of 24% with a crude fat level of 13%.

The first 5 ingredients:

Beef, Turkey Meal, Barley, Oatmeal, Brown Rice.

It contains no chicken or poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, brewer’s rice, artificial colors or preservatives.

The sixth ingredient is Menhaden fish meal and as a result, it contains a good amount of both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids at 0.5% and 1.9% respectively, not bad for predominantly meat-based dog food.

It has received over 400 reviews on Amazon with very positive feedback. In particular dog owners have left lots of comments praising the high quality of the ingredients.

If your Irish Wolfhound isn’t getting long daily exercise, or if they have slowed down a little as they have got older, this could be the perfect choice for them.

You can take a look at Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food on Amazon here.

Best wet (canned) dog food for Irish Wolfhounds

Wet dog food can be a great treat for your Irish Wolfhound. It’s extra tasty and your dog is sure to enjoy it.

Here’s an interesting fact. Canned food was by far the most predominant way to feed your dog prior to WWII. Then, due to a shortage of tin which was required for ammunition production, manufacturers had to find another way to feed our pets. Kibble replaced canned dog foods during that period and has stayed as the most popular dog food ever since. (That’s nothing to do with Irish Wolfhounds but I think it’s interesting nonetheless!)

You can either feed your Irish Wolfhound a staple diet of wet food, or you can mix it in with their kibble, either daily or as an occasional treat.

Remember though, if you’re mixing it with kibble you should reduce the amount of kibble they receive so they aren’t being overfed by accident.

Either way, I’ve chosen two great canned foods here both with varying levels of protein depending on the activity levels of your Irish Wolfhound.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein – Duck & Chicken

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First up is my high protein choice and it’s one from Blue Buffalo.

They always make high-quality dog foods and this one is no exception. It’s suitable for an Irish Wolfhound that gets plenty of exercise as it has a high protein level, with protein at 10% and fat at 9%.

If that seems low compared to the 32% protein kibble I mentioned above, just remember that canned food is very high in water content (this one is around 78%). If you removed that then you’ll see protein makes up a huge section of the remaining nutrients.

The first 5 ingredients:

Duck, Chicken, Chicken broth, Potatoes, Potato protein.

The ingredients are high quality and contain no poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.

When quality meat protein sources are listed as the first 5 ingredients you always know there’s a high chance this is going to be good dog food!

And this one certainly is. It’s a great, high-quality option for the active Irish Wolfhound and contains all the vitamins and minerals they will need for a healthy, active life.

That’s reflected in the review scores with over 900 reviews with a very strong average score. There are lots of positive comments from happy dog owners remarking on the quality of ingredients, how much their dogs love the taste and how much more healthy their dogs look after switching to this dog food.

You can take a look at Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein dog food on Amazon here.

Natural Balance Ultra Premium – Beef

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Natural Balance also makes a great range of quality dog foods. As a side note, they are actually particularly good at producing quality limited ingredient dog foods, ideal for those dogs with food allergies and intolerances.

This isn’t a limited ingredient food though. I’ve chosen it because it offers lower protein and fat than the Blue Buffalo option below, so if your Irish Wolfhound isn’t out on long daily exercise, or is slowing down as they age, then this might be more suitable.

The protein level is at 8% and the fat level is at 5%. That’s by no means low, more like average for dog food. Irish Wolfhounds are such naturally athletic dogs that I don’t think there’s any need to go for a low protein dog food unless they become extremely inactive (perhaps only very late on in their senior years).

The first 5 ingredients:

Beef, Beef broth, Beef liver, Potatoes, Carrots.

Again, this dog food starts off with three great protein sources as the three main ingredients. You’re always assured that Natural Balance products will offer a great balance of the required nutrients and minerals too.

This is great wet dog food and it also comes in chicken and lamb flavors too if you wanted to match it with your kibble.

It has positive reviews with many comments around the quality of the ingredients and how it has been great for dogs with previously sensitive stomachs.

You can take a look at Natural Balance Ultra Premium dog food on Amazon here.

Best dog food for Irish Wolfhound puppy

As a general rule, puppies need plenty of protein, plenty of fat and plenty of calcium to fuel their growth.

The Irish Wolfhound puppy food I’m going to recommend has all of those in abundance, from top quality ingredients.

Orijen Puppy High Protein – A selection of meat & fish

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I have already said in the dry kibble section how I think Orijen is difficult to beat when it comes to quality, the only difficulty with them is the price which is certainly at the higher end.

Honestly, when it comes to puppy food, I think taking the short term hit on price is always worth it. Your dog won’t be a puppy for long and this is just about the best dog food you can give them.

They’ll only be eating it for around 9 months to a year and then you can move them on to different adult dog food for a more moderate price. But whilst they’re a growing puppy I would recommend giving them the best.

The first 5 ingredients:

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel.

You just know that the ingredients on that list are going to give you a healthy strong adult dog once they’ve grown up!

The protein level is high at 38% with a high-fat content of 20%. That’s fine for a puppy, especially a super active one like an Irish Wolfhound.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are at 0.8% and 3.5% respectively and calcium, especially important for puppies, is at 1.3%.

Like most Orijen food this one has lots of great reviews. It’s a great choice for your young Irish Wolfhoundand, for the price difference over just 9 months to a year I really think it’s worth paying. Then you can switch one of the more budget-friendly options I’ve mentioned above once they have grown up.

You can take a look at Orijen Puppy High Protein food on Amazon here.

Final note – All Irish Wolfhounds are individuals

In these dog food articles, I always like to point out that each and every dog is an individual.

Just like humans, every Irish Wolfhound will have their own tastes, and possibly their own food intolerances and food allergies.

That’s why it’s always important to take care when introducing new food to your Irish Wolfhound. I only try to list quality dog food that I think will be ideal for most dogs, but I know they won’t always be.

My own dog was very allergic to many foods that are fine for most dogs. He had to be on a special limited ingredient diet and most of the foods I’ve listed above wouldn’t have been suitable.

You should always monitor your dog for a few days whenever you give them new food.

Check for digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. That might indicate intolerance to the food, or it might be hard for them to digest.

Also, be aware of skin sensitivities such as red or flaky skin around the eyes or beneath the hind legs. Watch for excessive scratching or hair loss, particularly around the eyes.

Skin issues could be a sign of an allergic reaction to the food.

Allergic reactions can occur at any time in your dog’s life. Your dog may suddenly develop an allergy to a food they have been eating for years. So if you see those symptoms don’t discount the food just because they have been ok with it in the past.

If you see these symptoms or are concerned in any way you should consult with your vet. I would advise taking with you a full list of what they eat too.

Thank you for reading this article, I hope you found it helpful and I hope you find the perfect food for your beautiful Irish Wolfhound.

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