Making sure that you give your Cocker spaniel the best food possible will help him to grow and be healthy and strong, fit dog.
A lot of people get a Cocker Spaniel because they are cute, but not everyone takes the time to learn what their specific needs are.
What should I feed my Cocker? How often should I feed them? These questions can be answered by looking at what your Cocker Spaniel needs in their diet and the best types of food for them.
Cocker Spaniels are active dogs that need a good, balanced diet that provides them with a healthy source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Cockers fare well on a mixture of raw, tripe based food mixed with good quality kibble based dry dog food. We use a mix of raw tripe and Eukanuba which keeps our dogs fit, keen and healthy.
At a glance tips for feeding Cocker Spaniels
- Cocker Spaniels have a lot of energy, so they need to be fed high quality food with lots of protein
- They also need to eat 2 or 3 times per day, depending on the size of your dog.
- The best option is to feed them a wet or raw food, such as this type of tripe, mixed in with a quality dry dog food – such as Eukanuba.
- It is important that you feed your Cocker spaniel a food that has high levels of meat based protein – such as lamb, chicken or beef. Most quality dog foods use these ingredients.
- Vegetables and fruit can be given but you should always check first that they are safe to feed as there are certain ones that are dangerous for dogs to eat.
- There is no room for vegetarianism with dogs – their diet should always be predominantly meat based.
- Cocker spaniels enjoy treats and it’s important to feed them treats every now and then for good behaviour.
- Try to resist the temptation to feed your cocker spaniel table scraps, as these can lead to obesity.
- Always makes sure that your spaniel, has access to lots of clean, fresh water.
- Don’t change his diet for the sake of it. If he isn’t eating ( and he is healthy ) then don’t worry, he will eat when ready. Give him plenty of exercise and make sure he gets enough rest.
Their diet should be about 60% carbohydrates and 20% protein, and they need some fat in their food to keep their coat shiny.
You can feed your dog any high-quality dry dog food, as long as it’s appropriate for their age and size. – puppies will need a different food from adults to support their fast growth.
You can also feed them raw meaty bones, one meal per day along side fresh vegetables on an “as needed basis”.
Table scraps like cooked chicken are okay too as long as they do not have any sauces or salt added – table scraps should be given sparingly so that your Cocker doesn’t get fat.
The importance of proper feeding
When your puppy first comes home, in the early, initial stages, you should feed your puppy exactly the same food that he was eating while at the breeder’s home.
Doing this will help you in a number of ways. Firstly you will reduce any risk of the puppy developing any problems by sticking to the same food.
A puppy’s tummy is sensitive and, should you suddenly change his diet you could encourage tummy upsets, loose stools and other problems.
The other matter is that your puppy will have other things on his mind when he moves to a strange, new home and he doesn’t need the worry of unfamiliar food. So avoid the potential for problems, keep it simple and stick with the same food as used by the breeder for the first few weeks.
When your puppy has settled in then you can consider a different food if necessary.
You may have other dogs and want to feed them all of the same food, or you may have other reasons for changing the puppy’s diet.
At a glance some great dry foods for Cockers
Things to think about when getting dog food
When you are looking for a food for your Cocker Spaniel or other dog you should consider a few things:
- Is the food meat or vegetable based? – A dog’s digestive system works best with meat and fat based proteins. Too much vegetable protein is bad for your dog and will impact his development and growth. Any food that you select should contain more meat based ingredients than vegetable.
- Is the food balanced? – Simply put does the food contain all of the essential nutrients for your dog to be healthy and energetic?
- Can your puppy eat it? – This may seem obvious but is often forgotten. The size and shape of the food must be such that the puppy/dog can actually get it into his mouth to eat.
- Price – You must be able to afford the food. If you fall into difficult times then you will still need to feed your dog. In the early part of his life your puppy undergoes fast and dramatic changes to his mind and body and you should feed him the best food that you can get. If belts need to be tightened and savings made then you should look elsewhere and the puppy should take priority
- Human Foods – do lots of research before feeding human food to your dog. Some things such as canned tuna fish are fine but always check properly first.
Feeding your puppy
When feeding your spaniel puppy you there are a few simple rules that you should follow:
Always respect his privacy and don’t disturb him when he is eating.
You should always feed your puppy in a quiet area away from other animals ( cats, dogs, elephants etc) and you should make sure that he has plenty of clean drinking water.
You should use a bowl that your puppy cannot tip over – trust me dogs do all sorts with their bowls, Nimrod likes to dig in his water bowl and throw water all over the kitchen. You can get ‘Spaniel bowls’ with rubber grips underneath that are shaped so that they don’t tip and the rubber stops them from sliding on the floor.
Always take a look at the feeding instructions on the pack of dog food.
Dogs love meat and you should not dismiss canned dog meat as an option or treat for your dog.
Remember that all dogs differ and that they eat to satisfy their hunger and energy needs. Most spaniels have days when they won’t eat and thay can go on a self imposed fast. Don’t worry too much about this they’ll generally eat when they are hungry
What is the best dog food for Cocker spaniels?
They do not have any specific diet needs, but it is important for them stay fit and healthy by feeding the right type foods in moderation.
Some people feed their Cocker Spaniels raw meat or vegetables while others prefer dry kibble with canned wet options as well so there’s no one best option when choosing what your dog should eat.
You should always remember that spaniels are meat eaters and there is no room for vegetarian or vegan options if you want a fit and healthy pet.
The food that you choose should be easily available and should be the best that you can afford. If you are likely to experience supply issues then choose another food, changing your spaniel’s diet frequently can make him unwell and could result in health problems.
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What Do I Feed My Cocker Spaniels?
Over the years I’ve tried a variety of dog foods ( for my dogs, not for me ) and I have some preferences based upon the dogs’ apparent ‘like’ of the food, how it looks, what it smells like, cost, and the manufacturer.
My two spaniels love raw tripe. It sounds disgusting and it has a very distinctive smell, but they love it.
I would really recommend that you try your dogs on tripe, they devour it and my dogs are in really good shape from eating it.
I’ve found a really good and reliable supplier of tripe and related foods where you can order online and they’ll deliver.
Other foods that we have used and still do
As well as the raw tripe, the foods that our spaniels have done the best on over the years are:
Eukanuba Adult – This is one of our most popular choices of dry food and a food that I’d recommend for your Cocker Spaniel.
It’s available for order online and delivery via Amazon, the prices are frequently changing, so I’d recommend that you check the latest price here
We’ve also used two other dry dog foods as well. They are both good foods and again you can order them both online and get them delivered via Amazon.
Hills Science Diet Adult Food – Available on Amazon – check for the latest price
Pedigree Complete Nutrition – Available on Amazon – check for the latest price
Whatever food choices you make for your spaniel, always do some research before deciding.
Look at reviews of food and check out the suppliers and manufacturers, making sure that you can get the food easily and at a good price.
Always introduce new foods carefully if you have to change your dog’s diet.
We have put together some reviews of dog foods to help which you can read here.
Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API