Based on the breed’s name, you might think that the Irish Wolfhound originated in Ireland. While this is partially true, the breed isn’t new at all and it isn’t entirely from Ireland alone. If records and ancient paintings are to be believed, wolfhounds like the Irish might have existed since the 4th Century BC from the time of the Roman Empire.
These massive dogs are known to have powerful jaws due to which they were used as war dogs. Today, however, Irish Wolfhounds are mainly bred as guard dogs and companion hunting dogs.
Do not let the breed’s massive size fool you. Irish Wolfhounds are known to have a gentle disposition and loving personalities and can even be trained as service dogs and therapy dogs.
Physically, the Irish Wolfhound is one of the tallest dog breeds – after the Great Dane. Male Irish Wolfhounds reach almost 32 inches at withers at adulthood and weigh between 100-125 lb. Female Irish measure around 30 inches and weigh about 110 lb.
The Irish have a rough and thick coat that is designed to keep them warm and dry in wet and cold weather. Some of the common coat colors available in the breed are black with white and gray mixed in, blue (these dogs have grey eyes), brindle, fawn, grey, red, wheaten, and white. White Irish Wolfhounds are especially striking animals to behold.
Are you looking to add the Irish Wolfhound to your household? Do you want to know how much this dog breed costs to keep as a pet? Then this guide is for you! Here, we will discuss the cost of buying or adopting an Irish along with the cost of food, medical care, grooming, training, and other expenses. Here is a summary:
How Much Does an Irish Wolfhound Puppy Cost?
The average cost of a purebred Irish wolfhound is $1950 with most breeders charging between $1400 and $2500 per pup. Some coat colors and traits can even go for $4000 and above. Adopting an Irish Wolfhound is much cheaper and costs around $50 to $500.
To find a reputed breeder, visit the official website of the American Club of Irish Wolfhound. Here are some factors based on which good breeders charge for their pups:
Purebred Irish Wolfhounds will cost more than mixed-breed pups having one Irish Wolfhound as a parent. Also, puppies from champion dogs or show-winners cost more.
Colors and traits
The coat colors, markings, and traits of the dogs also factor into the price. White and grey Irish wolfhound coat colors are in greater demand so breeders tend to charge more for them.
Quality and age of puppy
Show-quality Irish wolfhounds from pure bloodlines can cost more than pet-quality dogs. The pup’s age is also a factor. A puppy aged between 4 and 6 months is 8% cheaper than an older/adult dog. Also, pre-booking of a pup to come from a litter is 28% more expensive than newborn pups or those aged between 2 and 4 months.
Cost to breeder
A breeder may also try to recover the cost of deworming, initial vaccinations, microchipping, health screening of parent dogs, etc. from potential buyers. Also, if the breeder is from another state or country, you’d need to pay for shipping expenses.
The table shows these minimum and maximum costs:
|The average cost of an Irish Wolfhound
|The price range of an Irish Wolfhound puppy from a reputed breeder
|$1400 to $2500. Some breeders charge up to $4000 for purebred show-quality dogs belonging to show-winner parents and based on colors and traits
|The maximum price of an Irish Wolfhound
|Adoption fees for Irish Wolfhound
|$50-$500 – This price could cover vaccinations, deworming, flea/tick prevention, and spaying/neutering
The Cost of Basic Supplies for Irish Wolfhounds
Here are some basic supplies to buy and keep before you bring home your Irish puppy. This will make both your lives more comfortable.
Dog food and water bowls are available in a variety of sizes. However, the cheap ones will tip over and skid and also break. It is best to invest in sturdy stainless steel or ceramic bowls. The high-quality ones can hold almost 8 cups of water and won’t tilt or skid or spill over. The average cost of sturdy stainless steel water and dog food bowls cost around $30-$50.
These are very important for the training phase. Select small bite-size, low-calorie treats as you don’t want to fill up your puppy too much. Healthy, grain-free, low-calorie dog treats can cost around $4 per ounce.
Engage your doggo physically and mentally with sturdy, stimulating toys. Also, add in some dental chews and teething toys to soothe those irritated puppy gums. These can cost around $50.
Irish wolfhounds are known to destroy their beds so select sturdy nylon beds or ballistic beds. Make sure the bed cover is washable too. Chew-proof beds can cost up to $100.
Harness and leash
One of the most important parts of dog training is teaching your Wolfhound to walk politely on a leash. Harness and leash are important to teach your dog restraint and stop chasing squirrels or jumping on other dogs. A durable set of harnesses and leashes can cost around $40 each.
Pet grooming kit
Irish Wolfhound dogs do not shed too much since they do not have an undercoat. All you need to do is brush your pet once or twice a week. This is a fairly easy process and you only need a slicker brush. To bathe your dog once a month, use a good vet-approved shampoo. You will also need a toothbrush and paste to keep those chompers clean. A basic grooming kit for dogs costs around $20-$50.
|Up to $50
|Up to $200
|Leash and collar set
|Training tools, potty pads, poop bags, no-pee sprays
|Dog training treats
Dog Training Costs for Irish Wolfhounds
Your Irish Wolfhound needs firm training and handling right from day one. Failure to train your dog can cause behavioral issues and unnecessary owner frustration. Only if you have prior experience in dog training should you consider training your pet on your own. This is a cheaper option but you need to be consistent with it. Follow tips and guidelines from experts on their social media channels or pick up a book or two on dog training from the local library.
Here are other dog training options:
Puppy Good Start Training – 8 to 18 weeks
Your pup can start this training with a private trainer after it has received its vaccinations. You and your kids can join the training to learn the same commands that the trainer uses. The cost of private training for 6 classes is around $180 in total. Your Irish will learn how to greet people, deal with being touched, basics of socialization, calm behavior, basic skills like walking on a leash, drop it command, stay, sit, heel, etc.
This is a group training conducted by experts at a Dog Park or places like PetSmart or PetCo. Group training usually costs between $30 and $80 per session. Your Irish will also get to socialize with other dogs.
You can also choose this option where your puppy will live with the trainer. During the week, your Irish will learn basic commands, potty training rules, and other obedience rules. You will be called in during the last two days of training so you learn how to train your pup with the same commands. This type of training is fairly expensive and can cost around $500 to $1250 per week.
Here is a table showing the average costs of different types of dog training:
|Type of training
|Online resources and books
|$10 or free
|Between $40 and $120 per session
|Training for specific issues
|$2000 to $5000
|$30 to $80 per class
|Board and train
|$500 to $1250 per week
How Much Does Dog Food Cost for the Irish Wolfhound?
It is difficult to estimate how much it can cost to feed the Irish as there are several variables involved. For example, if you live in California, it could be more expensive to feed your Irish there than it would be in, say, Indiana.
Also, feeding costs will depend on your dog’s age and activity levels. Puppies can eat the same food as the breeder was feeding it. As your pet grows, you can change the food slowly. Pups need around 4 meals per day, while an adult Irish needs to eat twice a day.
The food costs will also depend on your pet’s calorie needs. An Irish Wolfhound puppy needs up to 3000 calories per day while an adult weighing around 100 lb. needs around 2450 calories a day. A pregnant or nursing bitch will need almost 3500 calories per day. A senior Irish Wolfhound will need around 1500 calories depending on its health and activity levels.
On average, feeding a 100 lb. Irish high-quality food could cost $30 per week or up to $120 per month. Canned food is generally more expensive as you need to feed more of it since it contains a lot of moisture.
Freeze-dried food is also fairly expensive so most dog owners use it as a food topper. Many Irish owners feed raw or BARF diets to their dogs. The cost of raw feeding is generally more expensive than feeding commercial dog food, but it also depends on what cuts you feed. For example, super-premium commercial kibble costs around $2 a day whereas a raw diet with chicken or lamb can cost almost $5 a day.
Check out the table for these costs:
|Monthly quantity of food for average-sized Irish Wolfhound of 100 lb.
|Cost per month
|Premium dry food
|30 to 45 lb.
|$60 to $120
|Premium wet food
|$150 to $250
|Freeze-dried food (topper)
|$280 to $300
|50 to 75 lb.
|$30 to $50
Best Dog Food for Irish Wolfhound – Cost Comparison
Irish Wolfhound puppies are extremely energetic and they need nutritious and nourishing foods to aid their growth. Your breeder or the vet can guide you regarding the best food to feed your puppy.
As with most large breeds, puppyhood can last a long time in these dogs. Make sure your pet is growing properly by scheduling routine veterinary checks. You can feed a large-breed puppy food or opt to feed the same food that the vet was feeding it. Make sure the food meets the AAFCO guidelines. Look for foods that contain protein, calcium, and omega-essential fatty acids.
An adult Irish does well with chicken, fish, lamb, or other animal protein sources. Look for natural or organic dog foods made with responsibly sourced animal protein as the first ingredient.
Avoid foods containing fillers like corn, soy, and wheat as they do not provide any real nutrition and are simply added to increase the food’s weight. Instead, go in for foods with ancient grains or grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and/or barley.
Here are some of the best dog foods for Irish Wolfhounds:
|Name of food
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
|Packed with real protein, antioxidant-rich natural dog food
|Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Large Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
|Contains real chicken as the #1 ingredient. Packed with glucosamine for joint health
|Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dog Food
|Contains glucosamine & chondroitin. Made in the USA. Formulated with natural ingredients. Recommended by vets.
|“I and love and you” Naked Essentials Wet
|Grain-free, no fillers, no carrageenan, real meat as #1. Ingredient, packed with omegas
Medical Costs for the Irish Wolfhound
Keeping your Irish healthy is your number one priority. The first-year medical costs for large dog breeds like Irish Wolfhounds can come to almost $1000. They include routine exams, vaccinations, de-sexing surgery, external parasite prevention, and deworming costs.
Vaccinations are very important for preventing diseases like distemper, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Your pet will also need vaccines for the prevention of rabies, Lyme disease (should you live in an area having ticks), and kennel cough.
Most vets charge between $10 and $100 for combined vaccines to prevent distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Rabies shot cost around $15-$35. The table below shows you the age of the puppy and the approximate cost of the vaccine.
|Name of the vaccine
|Age of puppy
|At least 3 doses are to be given between 6 and 16 weeks of age. (2 doses to be given 3-4 weeks apart)
|$15 to $25
|Same as above
|Adenovirus, type 1 (CAV-1, canine hepatitis)
|An intranasal vaccine may be boostered at one year. Your Cavalier will also need a booster at 1 year after completing the initial series, then again, every 3 years.
|Adenovirus, type 2 (CAV-2, kennel cough)
|Between 6 weeks to 16 weeks, at least 3 doses.
|Rabies 1 and 3 years
|Can be given as early as 3 months of age. States have laws about this core vaccine
|$35 to $50
|Administered at 6-8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 12-14 weeks old. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, a booster may be needed after a year and re-vaccination every 3 years.
|Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)
|2 doses of injection or one dose of intranasal vaccine given based on manufacturer recommendation
|Given at 9 weeks and repeated after 2-4 weeks
|2 doses at least 2-4 weeks apart. First dose is around 8 weeks.
Flea and tick prevention can cost almost $50-4200 per year. However, it is important to get it done regularly, since treating diseases caused by these parasites can be even more expensive.
Deworming costs for most dogs come from $8 to $55 for a 3-month supply.
Spaying and neutering surgeries are also a major expense in the first year but you should get it done if you do not plan to breed your dog or take it for shows. Spaying costs around $400 and neutering is around $200.
Dental cleaning is another major expense. Most vets charge between $50-$300 for dental scaling procedures.
If you feed your dog a healthy diet, you need not have to worry about diarrhea or intestinal upsets. However, should your dog happen to suffer from it, then the cost of treating can come to almost $300.
Emergency surgeries can cost around $2000-$5000. Blood tests are around $20 to $190 while X-rays can also cost around $200. Allergy testing (skin test) can be about $100-$300 while blood testing is around $200.
Medical Issues in Irish Wolfhounds
All purebred dogs have the proclivity to develop certain genetic health issues. Here are some health issues are seen in Irish Wolfhounds from time to time:
Bloat is very common in deep-chested dogs like Irish Wolfhounds. One minute your dog is fine, the next, it may be writhing in pain. In bloat, gas and acids twist the stomach and intestines causing symptoms like vomiting, retching, abdominal pain, etc. The cost of surgery for bloat is around $2000.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
These are genetic diseases which is why good breeders conduct health checks on their dogs prior to breeding. Hip and elbow dysplasia can be very painful for dogs and cause pain or limping while walking. The cost of surgery for treating hip/elbow dysplasia is around $2000 per joint.
Von Willebrand’s disease
This too is an inherited disorder so dog breeders should prevent breeding affected dogs. It causes bleeding from the eyes, nose, gums, and other tissues. There is no cure for the disease and affected dogs need plasma and transfusions.
Heart-related issues like cardiomyopathy are also seen in these Wolfhounds. Breeders have their dogs checked by veterinary cardiologists and also make sure they get the OFA certification. However, despite these checks, a perfectly healthy dog could also develop the issue. Most dogs diagnosed with cardiomyopathy pass away within 6-8 months. The cost of treating the condition is between $500 and $1000 for tests and around $200 per month on medications.
Should You Purchase Pet Insurance for Your Irish Wolfhound?
Yes, it is indeed sensible to purchase pet insurance for an Irish Wolfhound. As you can see, medical costs for most large dog breeds like this Wolfhound can come to around $2000 in the first year alone.
An average veterinarian charges between $45 and $100 for routine visits. If your dog develops an ear infection, you might end up spending almost $200 on treating it. Diarrheal upsets can cost around $300. A fracture can cost almost $2300 for fixing. Cancer treatment can come to $4000 or more. In short: medical expenses can cause a huge dent in the pocket of a Wolfhound owner.
Pet insurance can cover a majority of these costs. Some pet insurance companies even cover routine and preventive care treatment. Many also cover alternative therapies. Some companies offer convenient reimbursements like paying the service providers directly. This can prevent out-of-pocket expenses and the hassles of chasing claims.
Here are some top pet insurance companies and their costs. Note that the pet insurance premiums for a purebred Irish Wolfhound are higher than other dog breeds.
|Comprehensive coverage, great customer service
|Expensive compared to other companies
|$50-$80 a month
|Covers vet exam fees for illness and accident visits
|Currently available only in a few states
|From $20 a month
|100% reimbursement option, short wait periods for accident coverage
|No dental coverage
|Starting from $20 a month
|Farmer’s Pet Insurance
|Received excellent rating by Better Business Bureau. Has 24 x 7 claims reporting.
|Some users have paid higher premium rates
|Starting at $16/month
|Embrace Pet Insurance
|Short waiting periods for accident coverage, optional wellness plans, 24×7 tele-pet helpline
|Basic coverage starts at $14 a month.
Additional Costs of Owning an Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds are loyal and affectionate dogs but they could trigger certain unexpected costs that owners often forget to budget for:
In case you have to travel, you will need someone to watch your pet. Pet sitters charge almost $50 per day depending on the services, the size of your dog, etc. You could even consider boarding your Irish at a pet facility. These can cost up to $75 per night for big dogs like Irishes.
In your pet’s first year, there may be events where it destroys beds, slippers, and other household items. You can curb this behavior through training, exercise, and firm handling but replacing these items will still cost you money.
If you live in a rented condo or apartment, then you may want to factor in lost security deposits. Many landlords charge around $200 as pet deposit fees and some even charge a non-refundable amount in the monthly rent.
Irish Wolfhounds are easy to groom and do not need too much brushing or bathing. Some owners choose to get their dogs professionally groomed once or twice a year. This can cost around $50 to $75 per session.
Dog Walking Services
Irish Wolfhounds need plenty of exercises. They were bred to participate in hunts and also in wars. Without physical activity, they can get bored and destructive. If you do not have time to exercise your dog, enlist the help of a dog walking agency. Most charge between $20-$50 per day for a single walk of 30-45 minutes.
Key Takeaways – How Much Does an Irish Wolfhound Cost?
The exact cost of buying and keeping an Irish Wolfhound varies based on the pet’s health, your city, and also your style of dog parenting.
It is worth noting that the Irish Wolfhound comes in the list of some of the most expensive dog breeds. The average price of an Irish is between $1400 and $2500 and certain coat colors and traits can be priced even higher.
The long-term ownership of an Irish Wolfhound also tends to be higher than most dog breeds. These are large dogs so they need large everything. The cost of basic supplies like beds, crates, toys, leashes, collars, etc. can come to almost $400.
Annually, you could spend between $2000 and $9000 on this large dog breed. Their nutritional needs are very specific so many Irish owners spend almost $2500 annually on food alone.
Add to this medical care, boarding, pet insurance, and travel costs and you have a rather pricey dog to own.
Since most Irishes live for an average of 8 years, owners could spend a whopping $30-50,000 over their pet’s lifetime.
We hope this guide helps you plan financially for your pet.