7 Best Foods to Feed and Adult and Puppy Irish Wolfhound in 2020

More and more people are falling in love with the shaggy appearance of the adorable Irish Wolfhound. They’re rapidly becoming one of the most fashionable breeds on the planet thanks to their effortlessly adorable yet rugged feel.

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Irish Wolfhounds were first bred in Ireland (as the name suggests) for the hunting of wolves. These days they’re much more at home being a pet. They’re a supersized dog that’s technically classed as a giant breed, and their loyal, intelligent, and reasonably reserved demeanor makes them a fine addition to any family.

Today we’re going to take a look at how much you need to feed these gentle giants (and what you need to feed them). We’ll answer some frequently asked questions before finally ending this article with what we think are 7 of the best dog foods on the market right now for Irish Wolfhounds.

Let’s Get Started

What To Look For In A Good Irish Wolfhound Dog Food

Many people like to feed an Irish Wolfhound a homemade raw diet. While there is certainly merit to this, it’s also completely possible to feed them properly with a premade food too. The Irish Wolfhound is a hardy dog and there are no specific things that need to be taken into account compared to other breeds of a similar size.

With that in mind, here are a few things you should be looking out for.


As always, we’re going to point out that Irish Wolfhounds (like all dogs) need a huge amount of protein in their diet. Dogs metabolize protein in a different way to us humans and they need it in much greater quantities.

The number one macronutrient in any good dog food (dry, wet, or homemade) should be protein. If you’re buying premade food in the store then you don’t have to worry about this as it’s standard stuff. If you’re making your own food, however, you should bear this in mind.

Artificial Preservatives

In small enough quantities there’s not that much wrong with artificial preservatives. We humans often try and avoid them as much as possible, but every now and again some probably slips into our diet. Dogs don’t have a choice of what they eat, and if their food contains artificial preservatives they’re going to be eating it for every meal of the day for months (or years) at a time.

This amount of preservatives (over this kind of timescale) is potentially harmful to your pooch. We strongly recommend that you avoid them wherever possible.


Irish Wolfhounds are extremely large dogs. As you can imagine, they need a huge amount of calories on a daily basis to fuel the huge mass of muscle that they are. Try and find foods that are specifically designed for large breeds (or that are high in calories) to make life easier. If you don’t you’ll end up feeding them massive portions of low-calorie food which is obviously a very inefficient (and expensive) way of doing things.


One of the best ways to pack a huge amount of calories into a reasonably small space is through the use of carbohydrates. Not all carbohydrates are created equally and some are more nutritious than others. Complex carbohydrates are commonly seen to be the best kind which includes things like sweet potato, potato, lentils, and brown rice.

Grains, on the other hand, should be avoided as much as possible. They are commonly used in dog food as a carbohydrate source as they are often the cheapest. However, many grains are allergens to certain dogs and excessive flatulence, upset stomachs, and rashes can all be experienced if your dog has a sensitivity to them.

Not all dogs will react badly to grains, but given the choice – we often recommend avoiding them completely.

How Often Should You Feed A Irish Wolfhound?

There’s a bit of a debate about how often you should feed an Irish Wolfhound. The breed needs an incredible amount of calories per day (around 2800 per day for an adult male) and eating this in two sittings can be a little problematic. Some people say that two meals per day makes the dog too hungry in-between meals and leads to them eating their next meal far too fast (which causes bloat and other issues).

We’re unsure about this, but there’s certainly logic to the argument.

These people recommend that you feed an adult Irish Wolfhound 3 times per day. This reduces the time in-between meals, reduces portion size, and removes the risk of bloat.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide which one is better for your pooch. Just know that both are viable options, and neither is going to cause serious harm.

Puppies need to be fed 4 times a day at minimum, perhaps even more. It all depends on the food you’re feeding them and the instructions on the packet. Try and have your Irish Wolfhound down to 2 or 3 meals per day when they are fully grown.

Because of how quickly the breed grows you should always feed a puppy Irish Wolfhound specialist puppy food to provide all the nutrients required for a healthy yet speedy growth spurt (we’ll list some great product recommendations later).

Best Value Food For Irish Wolfhounds

American Journey Large Breed Chicken & Sweet Potato

So now we know a little bit about the dietary requirements of Irish wolfhounds, and we know how often (and how much) we should be feeding them.

In the next few sections we’re going to be sharing with you 7 of the best products on the market right now that are perfectly suited to Irish Wolfhounds. We’ve left no stone unturned while researching for this article, and every single one of the products on this page is more than worthy of your consideration.

In our opinion, the best food on the market right now in terms of value for an Irish Wolfhound is the American Journey large breed chicken & sweet potato dry mix. It’s an exceptional product from an exceptional brand who uses the highest quality ingredients at an affordable price point. In terms of bang for your buck – this is hands down the best product on the market.

The chicken in this product is not low-quality chicken meal, it’s pure roasted real chicken that’s been carefully deboned. This means that not only are you getting super tasty protein, you’re also getting the natural amino acids and essential oils that are in the meat too. The carbohydrates in the formula are second to none in terms of quality and are mainly made up of sweet potato (which is considered to be one of the best ingredients used in dog food).

There’s an amazing amount of antioxidants and probiotics in the food thanks to the inclusion of vegetables like tomatoes and blueberries. It’s an exceptionally well-balanced formula that’s going to keep your Irish Wolfhound happy and healthy with a super tasty meal.

At only around $30 for a big bag, there is really no reason for you to try any other product on this page (unless you’ve already given this one a shot). It’s that good.

Best Food To Feed An Adult Irish Wolfhound

Let’s take a look at what we think are the best foods on the market right now suitable for an adult Irish Wolfhound.

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Chicken Meal & Lentils Natural Grain Free

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Chicken Meal & Lentils Natural Grain Free

This is one of the best large and giant foods on the market, it has been specifically formulated to meet the needs of the largest pooches on the planet. Its super high-calorie formula means portion sizes remain reasonable and the Lentils that make up the majority of the carbohydrates are complex and nutritious. The huge amounts of protein in this food come from chicken meal, which isn’t the highest quality protein source in the world (but it’s not the end of the world either).

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – High calorie
  • Pro – Great brand
  • Pro – Complex lentil carbohydrates
  • Pro – Made for giant dogs
  • Con – Chicken meal isn’t ideal

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

This is one of the best large breed foods on the market, we find ourselves recommending it for giant breeds time and time again. It’s another super high-calorie food that has been custom designed for the biggest breeds out there. The protein comes from real deboned whole chicken, which means it still contains a whole bunch of essential oils and amino acids. The carbohydrates are of an equally high quality and are mainly derived from brown rice (one of the best sources).

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Brown rice carbohydrate source
  • Pro – Real whole chicken protein
  • Pro – Great brand
  • Pro – Quality ingredients
  • Con – None

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe

The final product we’re going to be recommending in the adult section today is another giant breed formula from Holistic Select. It’s a little different compared to the product above as it gets most of its protein from oatmeal, which isn’t considered to be the greatest carbohydrate source in the world.

There’s a variety of different protein sources which include chicken meal, chicken fat, pork meal and sardine meal. There’s a whole bunch of added antioxidants and vitamins and minerals and the calorie count is off the charts – meaning your Irish Wolfhound will have more than enough energy throughout the day.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – High calorie content
  • Pro – Added antioxidants
  • Pro – Good brand
  • Con – Contains oatmeal
  • Con – Meal based protein sources

The Best Food For Puppy Irish Wolfhounds

The needs of young growing Irish Wolfhound puppies are different compared to their fully grown bigger brothers and sisters. Here are 3 of the best products that will ensure your pup gets all the nutrition they need.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Taste Of The Wild regularly feature in our product recommendations, and this is one of their best products. It’s an entirely grain-free recipe that uses high-quality complex carbohydrates (peas and sweet potatoes) to provide a huge number of calories per gram. The 3 protein sources are as impressive as you’d expect from a brand like this (roasted venison, roasted bison, and roasted beef) and they provide many oils and minerals to the formula.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – 3 Quality protein sources
  • Pro – High quality carbohydrates
  • Pro – Excellent brand
  • Con – None

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry

This excellent product from Merrick is a prime example of everything we love about the brand. The real chicken is sourced locally to their Texas facility from farmers they know and trust. It’s the same with all of their ingredients, which allows them to provide unbeatable consistency and quality time and time again. The complex carbs provide huge amounts of energy (sweet potato) and the added blueberries and raspberries provide much-needed antioxidants for a growing pup too.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Excellent brand
  • Pro – Real deboned chicken protein
  • Pro – Sweet potato carbohydrates
  • Pro – Antioxidants

Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Puppy

Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Puppy

The final product we’re going to be recommending here today is another formula that has been made specifically for young puppies of giant breeds. It’s super high in calories that will provide them with all the energy they need to explore their new and exciting world. The lamb and chicken meal that provide the bulk of the protein in the mix may not be the highest quality sources, but they are at least in a high quantity. Complex carbs enter the formula in the form of brown rice and a variety of fruits and vegetables make up the rest of this highly balanced food.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Designed for giant breed puppies
  • Pro – Brown rice carbohydrates
  • Pro – High in calories
  • Pro – High in protein
  • Con – Meal based proteins are not the best in the world.


So there you have it, everything you ever needed to know about how, what, and when to feed an Irish Wolfhound.

These gentle giants are some of the most loveable creatures on the planet, and they deserve a good meal. Any of the products we’ve mentioned above are more than worthy of your consideration – they’re all winners to have made it into this article today.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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