Skip to main content


The Deerhound originated in Scotland. They were bred to chase fast animals over rough terrain for a long period. As much as they love to run, deerhounds are also content to be couch potatoes. They are very affectionate, gentle, and great with children and other pets, making them great family dogs.

Caring for Your Deerhound

Deerhounds are very large dogs. They average about 2 ½ feet tall at the shoulder and can weigh 75 to 110 pounds so a larger space is needed. Deerhounds were bred to run and benefit from daily exercise. Their wiry hair coat requires minimal maintenance with just a weekly brushing.

Common Health Issues in Deerhounds

Bleeding issues: Some Deerhounds have genetic mutations that can cause bleeding issues during or after surgery. Factor VII deficiency is a lack of one of the factors necessary for the body to form clots. Before surgery, a coagulation panel should be done to see if your deerhound has this condition. Delayed post-operative hemorrhage occurs hours after surgery when the body breaks down blood clots prematurely causing bruising, seeping of blood along incision lines, or internal hemorrhage. Genetic testing can be done before breeding to determine if the parents carry either of these gene mutations.

Heart Disease: Dilative Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart condition in which the muscles of the heart are not able to contract properly. The muscles stretch causing heart enlargement and inability to adequately pump blood. In Deerhounds, DCM can be a genetic trait. Many dogs will not show signs of DCM until the end stages. Screening the parents prior to breeding is very important.

Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV): A GDV, or bloat, occurs when the stomach fills with air and twists. This causes severe shock and leads to death without treatment. Even with immediate and excellent treatment, some dogs won’t survive. 

Bone Cancer: Increased pressure on their bones makes Deerhounds more likely to develop osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer. Although bone cancer can develop on any part of the skeleton, in Deerhounds it is most commonly seen “away from the elbow and towards the knee”.

Nutrition for Your Deerhound

Deerhounds grow a lot during their first year of life, Proper nutrition is especially important during this time. A large-breed puppy food is essential for proper development. If these puppies have rapid growth spurts, their bones and joints do not have time to form properly, which can lead to orthopedic issues. A large-breed puppy diet is lower in calcium, phosphorus, and calories to slow down the puppy’s growth.

Elevated food and water dishes are also important, especially in adult Deerhounds. Bloat is a common condition in these large dogs and swallowing large amounts of air as they eat is a potential cause. Placing the food at the level of their head so they don’t have to bend down greatly reduces the amount of air swallowed as they eat.

Pet Insurance for Your Deerhound

If you are looking for pet health insurance for your Deerhound, you should ensure that many health issues that are commonly seen in Deerhounds are covered. You will also want to find insurance with short waiting times for treatment and surgery. If you prolong these procedures, your dog could have permanent health issues.

Many times, certain health conditions are considered genetic or are a pre-existing condition and they may not be covered for your Deerhound. 

You could also consider enrolling in Mint Wellness, a pet wellness plan that includes membership in Pet Assure, a low-cost pet insurance alternative and veterinary discount plan. This plan has no exclusions due to age, breed, or hereditary conditions. Even pre-existing conditions are covered! Get a quote today. It's perfect a Deerhound!

Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Shepherd, DVM

Get coverage today with Mint Wellness

Get a free quote