The Irish Setter is a fairly large breed as well as one that was historically bred for strenuous activities like tracking and hunting. As such, their exercise needs tend to be very high and it's all the more important to ensure that they receive a properly balanced diet. Try and keep the following things in mind to make sure that your Irish Setter is on the right track.
An Irish Setter should ideally have a very large backyard to run and play in, in addition to regular walking by their owners. For an Irish Setter who lives in the city or in an apartment, it's important that you make up for the lack of a yard by making frequent trips to a nearby park and increasing the number of walks that you take your dog on.
Bear in mind that the Irish Setter will only entertain themselves for so long. Even if you do have a large yard for them to exercise in, they generally don't like to be left alone for more than a few hours or they will become bored and might act out their frustration in destructive ways like chewing. As such, the human element of exercise cannot be overlooked. Frequent walks and hands-on training are essential.
Consider enrolling your Irish Setter in certain field competitions such as agility courses or field trials. The training for these is generally very active and will provide good exercise as well as an additional measure of obedience that's necessary in order to be competitive. Because these activities call for the Irish Setter working in such close proximity to their owners for long periods of time, it's particular well suited for them because they're less likely to become bored and will find it easier to stay focused and dedicated.
Proper diet is essential for the Irish Setter, not only for the reason of good health and to support the large amount of exercise that he or she needs, but also because their coat is notoriously high-maintenance. In fact, the coat is a good indicator of how well your dog's current diet is measuring up. If the Irish Setter's coat flows well and retains a pleasing natural shine, it's a good indicator that he or she is receiving the proper balance of vitamins, oils, proteins, and fats that they need. By contrast, if their coat seems dull and lackluster or grows in patches, some changes will probably need to be made.
It is often said that the Irish Setter can benefit from some simple dietary supplements in addition to a well-balanced high-quality dog food. These include a simple spoonful of canola oil for easing digestion and keeping the coat shiny and alfalfa for its antioxidant properties.
The Irish Setter can be a very demanding breed in that they require a lot of attention in all aspects of their life, from training to exercise to nutrition to making sure they are emotionally satisfied. However, the potential rewards that this loving and affectionate breed can offer well justify the investment of time and effort.