Reality Check for Would-be Irish Wolfhound Owners

After the first romantic notion of living with the majesty and mess of an Irish Wolfhound, and before the actual decision to bring an Irish Wolfhound into your life, there is a need to do a reality check for your sake and for the sake of the dog.

Owning a dog who will mature to be the size of some of your human friends comes with more than the challenges of a fenced yard, a van to transport said Irish Wolfhound around the town and to the vet’s, and an open-minded approach to household tidiness.

Before embarking on the adventure of adding an Irish Wolfhound to your life, it is essential to assess what that addition will mean in terms of dollars and cents.

The heartbreak of bringing an Irish Wolfhound into your life and realizing too late it is a financial responsibility that is just not feasible at this time, is something you can avoid by reading on . . .

Here are some of the basic costs you can expect.

Vaccinations, which always occur in conjunction with an exam, will cost $75 to $140 depending on how many vaccines are required

It is important for you to spay/neuter your Irish wolfhound to avoid “mistakes” from happening and unplanned puppies ending up in a rescue situation. This procedure is not recommended until the dog is older (18 months minimum) with an associated cost of $450 to $650.

While antibiotics for a 20 lb dog generally costs about $20, expect to pay $30 to $50 for the same drug for a 100 because dosing is by the pound.

A six-month supply of heartworm medication and flea treatment for a 100 to 150 lb. dog will cost $125 to $250.

And for any basic surgery you can add $100 to $250 in additional cost because of the greater amount of drug the dog will require due to its weight.

These are some of the basic costs. The exceptional costs ring in something like this:

  • bloat - $1,700 to $2,500 (bloat does occur in Irish wolfhounds);
  • cruciate ligament repair - $1,700 to $2,400;
  • fractured limb - $2,000 to $2,500
  • dentistry - $450 to $750 depending on the time required.

These prices do not include follow-up care, complications or additional medications that might be required. While prices vary from clinic to clinic, and town to town, this gives you a reality check as to whether or not you can reasonably factor an Irish wolfhound into your current living costs.

Beyond these costs, there is the cost of feeding a quality dog food or raw diet to a living being the size of a human.  Whether your choice is raw or kibble or something in between the consensus seems to be that you should expect to pay $200 per month per hound.

Always remember it is kinder and wiser to wait for the right time for your Irish Wolfhound than to find yourself saying good-bye to a dear friend because you can’t manage the responsibility and financial reality of that friendship.


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