The Irish doodle, a mix between the Irish setter and the poodle, is a gorgeous dog known for their friendly disposition, strong work drive, and quick wit. While this mix is still relatively rare, they’re winning over the hearts of pup parents around the world — and since you’ve arrived at this post, we assume that’s the case for you too!

There are plenty of factors to think about when adopting an Irish doodle, from their personality and energy level to how easy their coats are to maintain. However, one of the most overlooked (yet just as important) things to consider is the breed’s overall health.

That’s why today we’ll shed some light on the Irish doodle’s health. We’ll explain their average lifespan, common health concerns, and how to improve their chances of leading a healthy (and happy) life.

What Is an Irish Doodle’s Life Expectancy?

The Irish doodle’s parent breeds — the Irish setter and the poodle — are both healthy breeds that lead long lives. Due to this, you can expect your Irish doodle to lead a long life too, with an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Some Irish doodles may even live for up to 18 years, especially with proper care and good lineage.

Keep in mind that this is a rough guideline. A whole range of factors can affect how long your pup lives for, from their diet and lifestyle to their genetics. Their lifespan can also potentially be shortened if they experience injuries or other health complications. To help your Irish Doodle live as long as possible, you should follow the breed-specific care guidelines included in this in-depth guide.

What Health Issues Are Irish Doodles Susceptible To?

While Irish doodles are healthy overall, they are prone to the same health issues that their parent breeds often experience. Let’s take a look at the most common ones:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition where the hip joint develops improperly and eventually deteriorates. The most common symptoms of hip dysplasia include exercise intolerance, stiffness, lameness, difficulty climbing stairs, and a loss of muscle mass on the thigh.

Another strong indicator of hip dysplasia is a bunny hopping gait, where a dog runs while lifting their hind legs together and “hops” instead of typical strides.

Hip dysplasia can be treated with surgery and lifestyle changes such as exercise restriction, weight reduction, physical therapy, and joint supplements. Anti-inflammatories are also often prescribed to ease pain and inflammation.

Bloat (Gastric Dilation and Volvulus)

Bloat is a sudden, life-threatening condition where the dog’s stomach fills up with gas or food, stretches, and then twists. Irish doodles suffering from bloat require urgent care and should be taken to an emergency vet immediately. Without timely treatment, many dogs unfortunately go into shock and pass from bloat.


Symptoms to watch out for include retching, excessive drooling, restlessness, belly pain, and a swollen abdomen. You can help prevent bloat by slowing down your Irish doodle’s eating with a specially designed slow feeder bowl.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an inherited eye condition that causes an Irish doodle to lose vision gradually, usually over a period of months or years. While there is no known effective treatment for PRA, the condition itself does not cause pain and many Irish doodles cope well with blindness and still lead a high quality of life.


Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, causing your Irish doodle’s metabolic rate to slow significantly.

Irish doodles with hypothyroidism often show symptoms such as lethargy, weight gain, cold intolerance, excessive shedding, dull fur, and a slow heart rate. The condition can be treated with thyroid replacement hormone medication.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease is when the adrenal glands stop producing the necessary hormones (cortisol and aldosterone) your dog’s body needs to function. Without treatment, the condition can be fatal.

Common symptoms of Addison’s disease in Irish doodles include appetite loss, lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, excessive thirst or urination, and weakness. Addison’s disease is managed with cortisol and aldosterone supplementation, usually in the form of daily steroid tablets and monthly injections.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is an allergic skin condition associated with excessive itchiness. Left unchecked, the condition can lead to redness, inflammation, fur loss, and skin infections.


Treatment of atopic dermatitis involves identifying the allergen that’s triggering the allergic reaction and then reducing your Irish doodle’s exposure to it. Medication can be provided to offer pain relief and reduce inflammation and itching.

Help Your Irish Doodle Live a Long Life

Irish doodles are extremely devoted companions who would do anything to make us happy — and they deserve the same devotion from us too! As responsible dog owners, it’s our duty to give them the best care possible and help them to lead long, healthy, and happy lives.

Below, we’ll share a few tips on how to keep your Irish doodle in good shape for years to come:

  • Take your Irish doodle to the vet at least twice a year for a general checkup, or more frequently if they’re reaching their golden years or are suffering from health complications
  • Keep an eye on their behavior and eating habits, and consult a vet if they exhibit sudden changes
  • Ensure they have a healthy, nutritious diet, and avoid feeding them table scraps
  • Don’t forget to brush their teeth with dog-friendly toothpaste every day (dental disease is one of the most common health conditions seen in dogs!)
  • Make use of slow feeder bowls to minimize bloat
  • Exercise them for at least an hour every day

If you keep up with these things, you and your Irish Setter should have a happy, healthy, long life together.