I am getting my second Irish Wolfhound in about 8 weeks. 🙂 I am having issues deciding on what to feed the new girl. I fed my last wolfhound innova, but he did awful on it, so I would like to try something different for this new puppy.
So I was wondering what other foods would be good? Money is no issue, I just want a high quality food. I swear this is the most stressful part! 🙂
Also, my last wolfhound had issues with easty/westy feet, which I think was caused by his food more than genetic, as all of his litter mates ha perfectly straight feet. I try to research the foods, so I am currently thinking something from the Fromm line of foods.
Have you joined any of the Irish Wolfhound forums or IW Facebook pages to ask this question? Hundreds of experienced IW owners would be better to ask about food-related breed specific problems/growth issues (i.e. his feet). On Yahoo groups you have the Irish Wolfhound Fellowship, the Irish Wolfhound Club of America, the Irish Wolfhound Discussion Group. On the internet you have the International Irish Wolfhound Forum. On Facebook you could start out with the Irish Wolfhound Fellowship. Please join one or all of these groups. A breed that grows as fast as an IW pup has issues with protein and growth plates.
Hi caoimhe –
If you go to the “Diet and Health Issues” forum, the first topic (highlighted in yellow) is “Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition.” There are links to several good articles and a list of 4 and 5 star grain-free foods appropriate for large and giant breed puppies. Large and giant breed puppies need foods with controlled calcium levels. Fromm’s grain-free foods made the list. Feconri stated giant breeds need reduced protein – this is NOT true. Read the articles written by veterinarians and nutritionists, there is no link between protein levels and growth issues. Excess calcium and excess calories can cause growth issues.
There is NO link between high protein levels and developmental orthopedic diseases in large and giant breed puppies – this is a common myth. I suggest you go the large and giant breed puppy nutrition topic and start researching by reading some of the articles posted (written by veterinarians and nutritionists). I have giant breeds and my last two puppies were raised on high protein (>40%) grain-free food with low calcium levels. They had slow and controlled growth with no incidence of DOD.
Again, Caoimhe, I encourage you to research it with feedback from hundreds of IW owners with years of experience in the breed, through the health studies of the Irish Wolfhound Foundation (and health forum) or the Irish Wolfhound Club of America.
It would be nice if one answer fit everything – but life is full of grey areas – not black or white. Educating yourself in a breed-specific way is very good.
Then you can form your own opinion and do what you feel is best for your pup.
Strangely, “Hound Dog Mom” is attributing words to me that were not written.
“A breed that grows as fast as an Irish Wolfhound has issues with protein.” Direct quote from your post.
“Feconri stated giant breeds need reduced protein”
A direct quote from your post. Please compare the words you are attributing to me and to what I actually wrote as you posted above. They are not the same.
There weren’t quotes around the first statement I made, meaning it wasn’t a direct quote. There were quotes around the second statement, meaning it was a direct quote. If I misinterpreted your statement, my apologies. Would you mind elaborating on what you meant by “A breed that grows as fast as an Irish Wolfhound has issues with protein.” – because that sounds to me like you are implying that rapidly growing dogs shouldn’t have high levels of protein in their diet.
I can’t answer your questions but wanted to say, you are so lucky, not just one but soon to be two Irish Wolfhounds! I’m very jealous!
Thank you for the responses!
I am just worried about the puppy growing too fast with the higher protein levels? I have heard from so many irish wolfhound breeders to keep the protein very low, but then again it sounds like the new studies are proving it wrong and that calcium is the issue. :/ It is hard to go against the grain of what breeders are saying, but I want to do what’s best for the pup.
I am fairly certain it was the diet that caused my male’s east/west feet, so I am just worried putting the new girl on a higher protein diet will cause it. There is so much to think about. I also had one lady recommend I put the pup on ester c to help keep the feet straight, but I’m not sure how it would help?
I would vouch for what Hound Dog Mom has to say. She knows her stuff. Seriously go to the Diet and Health Issues forum and look at the first topic there about Large and Giant Breed Nutrition. You will find ALL your answers in that topic. I know I did.
My breeder also suggested a low protein diet and extra calcium to fix my dogs crooked leg. Turns out I was feeding a diet much to high in calcium and in doing more research on the calcium issue learned that it is the high calcium that causes most issues. Not the protein. Took him to the vet, got a splint right off the bat, took splint off in 4 days, completely fixed his leg. Haven’t had an issue since switching his food and getting that splint.
I just looked over the list! Great stuff, and I am considering the Canine Caviar wilderness now. I like that it is lower in calcium. What a great thread!
Glad you found it helpful! If you have any cute pictures of your Irish Wolfhounds I know I’d love to see them! I’ve only ever met one in my entire life when I was younger. He was HUGE.
It should be noted that the veterinarians who say there is NO LINK between protein levels and developmental issues are also the same vets who are still pushing annual vaccinations and early castration. I would always err on the side of caution. Therefore, as the owner of an Irish Wolfhound and Great Dane, I would NEVER feed puppy food and I would always use a low-protein diet, which (by the way) is suggested by the Irish Wolfhound Club of America. I feel they are the utmost authority on the subject versus random veterinarians – most of which have little experience with giant breed dogs like Wolfhounds. Furthermore, if you must spay/neuter your Wolfhound, I would highly recommend waiting until the dog is a minimum of 18 months (I wait two years). I know what I’ve said is a direct contradiction to what some others have said on the issue, but my info comes from the IWCA and the Irish Wolfhound Foundation who I trust more than veterinarians when it comes to certain topics, such as food, exercise, and castration.
The stuff said here about not worrying about protein levels in food doesn’t come from someones vet. They have done studies on Great Danes that have conclusively proved that protein is not the issue, calcium, over feeding, and over exercising are. The vets are the ones still saying to limit protein in large breed dogs. Bad science is bad science everywhere, no matter who listens to it.
OK so everyone says check this thead or that thread, some say trust then vet. others say trust the breeder…… then you read up on all the different dog foods that are out there and discover all the recalls and melamine etc found in certain foods. Some vets say if “the food is AAFCO approved then great”… yet the internet indicates that AAFCO does NOT police any dog food that is manufactured in the states, instead it says “AAFCO doesn’t test, approve, certify or regulate pet foods. Its stated goals are to provide protection for consumers, safeguard the health of animals and humans, and provide “a level playing field of orderly commerce for the animal feed industry.” So one of my last vets push to buy Royal Canin and the breeder is using a cheep brand fromm Peavey mart and is insisting on no more than 22% protien and no more than 10% fat…..Doesn’t a dog than big growing that fast with thbat much muscle require more protien than that? God who do I believe? I just want to feed my puppy to help him stay healthy and grow well and at a safe rate but none of this is helping there seems to be too many camps and it is turning into a crap shoot!
Frustrated and at a loss.
This is what the homeopathic veterinarians say.
I recently read something about high protein diets being inappropriate for Irish Wolfhound pups. Both my pups, now 8 months old, are on high protein diets. I stumbled on this site whilst researching, as I was concerned that we had unintentionally harmed our dogs by feeding a high protein diet. However, after doing some extra research and considering the size and condition of our dogs, I think the higher protein diet has been ideal for them. They have grown quickly compared to smaller breeds, yes, but they are a giant breed. When comparing their size to growth charts for the breed, they are much smaller and so would appear to be growing slower than what is considered the norm by breeders. At the moment, we feed our male pup a bit more than our bitch because he is taller and leaner than her. We feed 500-600 grams kibble in the mornings (Ivory Coat grain free for pups, alternated with Black Hawk for pups – does contain some grain) and we feed 500-600 grams Raw Puppy 76 or sometimes BARF in the evenings. They receive meaty bones like lamb shanks once a week as a treat, and other natural treats during training. The dogs are happy, energetic (when not sleeping), have good coat condition with no itches, rashes or hair loss, no stomach upsets and regular healthy stools. So I’m inclined to think that a higher protein diet has been very good for them. I hope someone finds this post useful or has any feedback to provide.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Danni A. Reason: spelling error and clarity
“When comparing their size to growth charts for the breed, they are much smaller and so would appear to be growing slower than what is considered the norm by breeders.”
There are responsible breeders who constantly strive to meet the breed standard when they plan a litter, and they prove that their hounds meet the breed standard by being successful in the show ring. The breed standard includes the acceptable height and weight range for a male and female. The size of puppies bred from parents who meet the breed standard are reflected in the breed parent club’s puppy growth charts. They can be found at http://www.iwclubofamerica.org
Then there are commercial breeders who sell puppies on the internet and their concern is money. Their puppies are from parents who have not been proven to meet the breed standard in the show ring. Size is the first attribute in irish wolfhounds to slip away unless you are breeding hounds that consistantly meet the breed standard.
Your puppies are growing at the rate they are genetically programmed to grow. Some mature sooner and some later. Some have growth spurts. I would not compare them to the puppy growth charts as it could be a source of frustration. Revel in them for being their beautiful, sweet and unique selves.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Feyconri.
Hi Danni A- It was long thought that protein affected the growth rates of large and giants breeds and could cause weight issues and rapid bone growth that lead to horrible orthopedic disorders. Since all those years ago, many nutritionists interested in large/giant breed puppy growth re-researched the subject and found that it was not protein at all in fact that was the cause, but too much or too little calcium.
That being said, so long as you not overfeeding and your dogs are maintaining an ideal weight and you are feeding a food with an as fed calcium to phosphorus ratio between 1.1:1 – 1.5:1 your pups should keep up an optimal growth pace.
If you’re ever concerned that your pups food might not be meeting these requirements, contact the company by email, ask for the MAX levels of calcium and phosphorus and use the calculator tool near the end of this article to check if the food meets your giant breeds needs for safe levels of calcium.
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