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Irish Wolfhound Lifespan – How Long Do They Live For?

How Long Do Irish Wolfhounds Live For?

The average lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound is 6-8 years, although some have been known to live up to 10 years. This is relatively short compared to other breeds, particularly smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas and Miniature Poodles, which can live up to 15 years or more.

Irish Wolfhounds are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, with a rich history that dates back to ancient times. They are known for their impressive size, gentle nature & loyalty to their owners. However, they also have a relatively short lifespan compared to other breeds, which can be a concern for potential owners.

Irish Wolfhound Life Expectancy Compared to Other Breeds

Irish Wolfhounds have a shorter lifespan compared to other breeds of similar size, such as Great Danes and Mastiffs. This is thought to be due to their size and the associated health issues that can arise, as well as their breeding history. Irish Wolfhounds were bred for hunting and were not necessarily selected for longevity. This is in contrast to smaller breeds that were often bred for companionship and therefore selected for longer lifespans.

Factors Affecting Lifespan of a Irish Wolfhound:

There are several factors that can impact the lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound, including genetics, diet, exercise & the environment. Understanding these factors can help owners take steps to extend their dog’s lifespan and improve their quality of life.

  • Genetics and Breeding Practices: Genetics plays a significant role in the lifespan of Irish Wolfhounds, as well as their overall health. It is important to ensure that your Irish Wolfhound comes from a reputable breeder that conducts genetic testing and screens for health issues.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Proper nutrition is essential for the health and longevity of an Irish Wolfhound. They require a balanced diet that is high in protein and fat, with limited carbohydrates. It is important to feed them a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs and to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to obesity and associated health issues.
  • Exercise and Physical Activity: Irish Wolfhounds require regular exercise and physical activity to maintain their health and longevity. They enjoy going for walks and playing in a fenced-in yard. It is important to ensure that they receive enough exercise without overexerting them, as their size can put them at risk of injury.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors, such as living conditions and exposure to toxins, can also affect the lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound. They should be kept in a safe and clean environment and protected from exposure to harmful toxins.

Common Irish Wolfhound Health Issues

Like all dog breeds, Irish Wolfhounds are prone to several health issues that can affect their lifespan and overall quality of life. It is important to be aware of these issues and to work with a veterinarian to manage them.

  • Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, is a common health issue in Irish Wolfhounds. It is more common in males than females and usually affects dogs over the age of 5. Symptoms include limping, swelling & pain in the affected area.
  • Heart Disease: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to heart disease, including dilated cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation. Symptoms can include coughing, lethargy and difficulty breathing.
  • Bloat: Bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus, is a potentially life-threatening condition that can affect Irish Wolfhounds. It occurs when the stomach twists, cutting off blood flow and causing the stomach to expand. Symptoms include restlessness, drooling, vomiting and a distended abdomen.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a common issue in many large dog breeds, including Irish Wolfhounds. It occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to pain and discomfort. Symptoms include limping, stiffness and difficulty getting up or lying down.
  • Eye Problems: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to several eye problems, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and entropion. Symptoms can include cloudiness or blurriness in the eye, sensitivity to light and redness or swelling around the eye.

Leading Causes of Death in Irish Wolfhounds

As with all dog breeds, Irish Wolfhounds are susceptible to certain health issues that can ultimately lead to death. Here are some of the leading causes of death in Irish Wolfhounds:

  • Cancer: The most common cause of death in Irish Wolfhounds is cancer, particularly osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer. Other types of cancer that can affect Irish Wolfhounds include lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma. Cancer can be difficult to detect and treat, so it is important to work with a veterinarian to monitor your dog’s health and detect any potential issues early.
  • Heart Disease: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to heart disease, which can lead to heart failure and death. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease that is common in Irish Wolfhounds and can lead to weakened heart muscles and reduced cardiac output. Atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm, can also affect Irish Wolfhounds and lead to complications such as blood clots and heart failure.
  • Bloat: Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus, is a potentially life-threatening condition that can affect Irish Wolfhounds. It occurs when the stomach twists, cutting off blood flow and causing the stomach to expand. Bloat can lead to shock, organ failure and death if not treated promptly.
  • Infections: Infections, particularly those affecting the respiratory or urinary tract, can be a cause of death in Irish Wolfhounds. These infections can be difficult to treat and can quickly progress to more serious health issues.
  • Neurological Disorders: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to several neurological disorders, including spinal cord disease and degenerative myelopathy. These disorders can lead to weakness, paralysis and loss of mobility, ultimately leading to a decrease in quality of life and potential euthanasia.

It is important to work closely with your veterinarian to monitor your Irish Wolfhound’s health and detect any potential issues early. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care can help extend your dog’s lifespan and improve their overall quality of life.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Irish Wolfhound

There are several things that owners can do to extend the lifespan of their Irish Wolfhound and improve their overall quality of life.

  • Proper Nutrition: Feeding your Irish Wolfhound a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs and avoiding overfeeding can help prevent obesity and associated health issues.
  • Regular Exercise: Providing regular exercise and physical activity can help keep your Irish Wolfhound healthy and prevent obesity and associated health issues.
  • Veterinary Care: Regular veterinary care, including preventative measures such as vaccinations and parasite control, can help prevent and manage health issues that can affect lifespan.
  • Safe Living Environment: Providing a safe and clean living environment and protecting your Irish Wolfhound from exposure to harmful toxins can help prevent health issues and improve their overall quality of life.

What is the Oldest Irish Wolfhound of All Time?

The oldest recorded Irish Wolfhound was named Bran, who lived to be 12 years and 9 months old. Bran was born in 1963 and died in 1976.

Irish Wolfhounds are a wonderful breed that are known for their gentle nature and loyalty to their owners. While they do have a relatively short lifespan compared to other breeds, there are steps that owners can take to extend their lifespan and improve their overall quality of life. By providing proper nutrition, regular exercise, veterinary care and a safe living environment, owners can help their beloved Irish Wolfhounds live longer, healthier lives.

Irish Wolfhound Lifespan – How Long Do They Live For?