Afghan Hounds are a member of the ‘Hound’ breed group. The Hound group include breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or sight. They require a substantial amount of exercise and are considered to be aloof but trustworthy dogs. Afghans are often described as having ‘clownish’ behaviour, and for this reason (amongst others) Afghan Hounds, if well socialised, are good with children. They have long silky coats that will require daily brushing as their adult coats in particular are prone to matting.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Afghan Hounds are prone to include:
- Hypothyroidism – a condition in which there’s a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
- Necrotic myelopathy – a loss of myelin from the spinal cord, which can result in paralysis.
- Sensitivity to anaesthesia and cortisone. Your vet will be able to guide you through the most appropriate anaesthesia options for your Afghan Hound.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
- Panosteitis – a painful, inflammatory bone disease.
- Laryngeal paralysis – a progressive paralysis of the larynx.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Afghan Hounds have high energy levels and will need plenty of exercise – ideally over 2 hours per day is needed for their mental and physical wellbeing. They do have a strong chase instinct, so be aware of this if they are around other pets at home and when out and about. For this reason, exercising in a contained area is important, as once the chase instinct has kicked in, it can be hard to regain their attention – so bear this in mind when training, as even basic training – and especially recall – will not always be easy. To learn more about reward-based training for your dog, visit our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for an Afghan Hound are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Afghan Hound with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Afghan Hounds that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Afghan Hound with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.