If your Cocker spaniel is overweight then he will most likely be less healthy than he should be and will probably be prone to a number of diseases due to his excess weight.
You’ll want to help him to lose weight and to regain his fitness and health. Find out how you can help your Cocker spaniel to shed those excess pounds and get back to being a fit and healthy dog.
There are many ways for you to help your Cocker spaniel to lose weight including lower calorie foods that are designed specifically to help dogs with dieting. These foods can be bought online and I’ve found several here on Amazon that are suitable for Cockers.
Canine obesity is a common problem in the West with many spaniels and other dogs suffering from the same benefits of modern life as many human beings.
Many Cocker spaniel owners literally spoil their dogs with kindness, feeding them human foods or excessive amounts of food and treats, leading to obesity and risking health conditions such as:
- Breathing problems
- Heart disease
- Circulatory problems
- Adverse immune system conditions
Just as excess weight causes problems for humans, being obese can also cause difficulties in walking and running with high presssures being placed on bones and joints which can lead to conditions such as arthritis and other muscle and bone complaints.
Being overweight will also impact the quality of life that your Cocker spaniel enjoys. As an active, outdoors dog he loves to run free and explore. If he is overweight then his ability to do this will be impacted and his enjoyment of life badly affected.
An overweight spaniel, like and overweight person, will be less active and more likely to adopt an unhealthy and lazy lifestyle, sleeping more and generally being less able to exercise.
This can quickly become a vicious circle where because the dog is overweight he doesn’t exercise which means he does not burn calories meaning he is in danger of becoming more overweight.
It’s clear that we need to keep our Cocker spaniels at a healthy weight but how do we do this and what do you do if your Cocker is currently overweight or even obese?
The ideal weight of a Cocker spaniel will vary depending on a few factors – is the dog male or female and his age.
Dogs ie. males will generally weigh more than females (bitches) and in general the ideal weight for a fully grown adult Cocker spaniel is between 12 and 18 kgs or 26 to 40 pounds.
Like people, dogs do vary in weight and the above weights should be used as guidelines as no two Cockers are the same. A show Cocker is likely to be a heavier build than a working Cocker, but the latter is more likely to carry more muscle than the former.
You can weigh your Cocker using bathroom scales, such as these ones which are ideal, and the easiest way to do this is to weight yourself first, then holding your dog weigh both of you. Deduct the first figure from the second and you have the weight of your spaniel.
Often you won’t need to weigh your Cocker to see that he is too heavy. By using a visual check you should be able to tell whether he is carrying too many pounds. If he looks chubby then he probably is. he should look finer towards his hips and should have a visible waist.
You can also feel the sides of your Cocker spaniel and if he feels a bit ‘fleshy’ then he may be overweight.
If you are in any doubt then you can always visit your vet and ask them to give your spaniel a health check. They will tell you if he is overweight and will often provide you with feeding and exercise advice and recommendations that will help your Cocker to trim down.
How to help your Cocker spaniel to lose weight
Many spaniel and other dog owners are killing their dogs with kindness. Their love for their pets leads them to feed titbits from the kitchen table, often foods that dogs really should not eat and, in many cases treats and more food at mealtimes than the dog really needs.
Like children, people are feeding their Cockers between meals, which can result in obesity and other weight related health complaints.
According to the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association 51% of dogs in the UK are overweight or obese. ( source: Vet Times – link)
There are several steps that you can take to help your Cocker spaniel to lose weight:
- Make sure that you feed him the right amount. It is easy to overfeed your dog and you should look carefully at the dog food packet to make check on the quantity of food that should be fed to your spaniel. Often the amount of food to be fed depends on your dog’s weight so be sure to weigh him if this is the case.
- Give him more than one meal daily. Split his daily food allowance into smaller meals that you can feed to him twice or three times a day. Simply look at how much he can have a day and split it up. This will help to stop him from becoming hungry while making sure that he gets the right amount of food.
- Resist the temptation to feed him human foods. Most human based foods are not intended for dogs although dogs can and will eat most without any ill effects. If you feed your dog leftovers or other treats then you will increase his food intake and he is more likely to put on weight.
- Dog treats. Just as children love sweets, dogs love treats and Cocker spaniels will scoff them for as long as your provide them. Reduce the amount of treats that you give to your Cocker or remove them totally to help him to lose weight.
- Try healthy treats. If you simply cannot bear to take away the treats completely then change them for something that is healthier. I’ve found that things such as carrots are great for Cockers, remove the tops and cut them length ways for a healthy crunchy treat. You can also get low fat dog treats and these ones from Lily’s Kitchen are a great way to treat your dog while helping him to lose weight.
Increase your Cocker spaniel's activity levels to help him to lose weight
One thing that you can and should do to help your Cocker spaniel to lose weight is to increase the amount of exercise that he does.
Cockers love to go for walks, swim, run and play games around the house. As natural retrievers you can play games such as fetch with your spaniel, gradually making the game more difficult for him so that he spendslonger looking for the ball or dummy.
If your spaniel is really overweight them you should visit your vet for exercise advice and you should gradually introduce exercise into his daily routine.
By increasing the distance of your walks and the intensity of play sessions, your Cocker spaniel will become fitter and will quickly lose weight becoming healthier in the process.
If you have a secure garden then why don’t you let him play out as well, Cockers love being outside and if he has some toys as well then he will play and enjoy himself.
The aim is to increase the levels of activity of your Cocker which will help him to get rid of those excess pounds that he is carrying.
By keeping your Cocker spaniel fit and healthy and by helping him to control his weight you will give your dog the best chance of enjoying a healthy and active lifestyle.
Regular exercise supported by the right type of feeding and foods will ensure that your dog maintains the best weight and condition and will help him to shed extra pounds if he is overweight.
Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API