The 10 Best Dog Food for Cocker Spaniel
Author: Vicki Smirnova
Vicki Smirnova is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. She has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.View all 94 articles Learn about our editorial process and veterinary review board.
Vet reviewed by:Dr. Chyrle Bonk
by Dr. Chyrle Bonk
Dr. Chyrle Bonk is an associate veterinarian since 2010 and was a volunteer for Clearwater County Youth 4H. Dr. Bonk contributed to various animal and veterinary related websites and magazines as a way to help keep animals across the globe safe and healthy. When Chyrle not working she spends her time with her own furry crew of dogs, cats, and horses.View all 10 articles Learn about our veterinary review board
Updated on: 02/22/2021
The Cocker Spaniel is one of the oldest breeds of hunting dogs. They are characterized by a cheerful and sociable personality, long ears, and a good appetite. The head of these dogs is rectangular, the eyes are medium-sized. The paws are powerful with large feet and webbing between the toes, which allows these dogs to quickly move around the swamps. The coat is quite long and curly, especially on the ears, legs and paws.
Cocker Spaniels originate from Spain. Initially, breeders divided this breed into two varieties — for hunting in the field and for hunting in the water. The first breed standards were established in the early 20th century.
Cocker spaniels are friendly, kind and responsive pets. They don’t like long separations from their families and are more happy when taken along.
The Cocker Spaniel is non-aggressive, with a balanced and harmonious character. This pet is unlikely to start a fight with another dog in the park or cause conflicts in the family. They are an intelligent animal that understands people perfectly, recognizes changes in the mood of its owners well, and can be used as a companion for an ordinary person and as a companion for a person with disabilities. These dogs perceive children well, they like to spend time with them.
This dog needs long walks, physical activity and games.
Without enough exercise, Cocker Spaniels can be prone to weight gain. With their new role as a companion and family pet, instead of a hunting dog, weight gain can be even more of an issue.Dr. Chyrle Bonk
These dogs are also prone to overeating, so you can not give them large portions or food that is high in calories and fat. Cocker spaniels require a balanced diet for healthy growth and full development.
Different types of food can meet the energy needs of any dog:
- Raw diet. Some pet owners choose to feed a homemade or commercial raw diet that consists of whole ingredients with very little processing. Benefits include reduced nutritional loss due to processing, but may contain harmful bacteria. They may also require some supplementation to be complete and balanced.
- Commercial diets. Commercial products provide complete and balanced nutrition for various life stages of Cocker Spaniels. No additional supplementation should be needed. It may be canned or dry, is easy to feed, but may not be as nutritionally packed as raw diets. Quality varies depending on what ingredients are used, mainly whole meat versus meat meals or by-products. Many breeders choose dry food. It is not only convenient but also reliable. Its composition is developed by qualified nutritionists and veterinarians, so the diet is balanced and does not need vitamin supplements
- A mixed type of feeding is not recommended because the animal’s body does not accept this feeding type (for the digestion of natural or dry food, different enzymes are needed and, accordingly, time for absorption).
If you decide to feed your dog with ready-made food, it is better to choose products of the “super-premium” class. They are higher quality based on whole meat, grains, and vegetables.
Choosing the right dog food for a Cocker Spaniel depends on a variety of characteristics, including:
- Activity level: lower activity levels require fewer calories and vice versa.
- Age: puppies and senior dogs require fevew calories and higher protein than adults.
- Weight: overweight dogs should eat fewer calories.
- Special needs: Cocker spaniels are more prone to the development of cataracts and visual impairment with age. Therefore, manufacturers have developed specialized feeds for Cocker spaniels enriched with vitamins and carotenoids. They support health and visual acuity of a family friend. Also included are fatty acids and biotin to make the dog’s coat shiny and soft.
Cocker spaniels often suffer from inflammatory processes that occur in the ear canal. In addition to infection, Cocker spaniels are also more prone to food allergies, so choosing a limited ingredient or novel protein diet may be beneficial.
At a Glance: Our Favorite TOP 3 Picks
Many breeders prefer ready-made dry dog food. We have selected some of the best choices for cocker spaniel.
Our Top Pick
1. Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry Dog Food
2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Roasted Bison & Venison Dog Food
3. Merrick Grain Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
The Best Dog Food for Cocker Spaniels — Our Reviews & Ratings
1. Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry Dog Food
This special food for Cocker spaniels is designed to meet the unique needs of this breed. This diet is intended for adults and mature, English or American Cocker Spaniels.
It helps maintain the skin’s health and makes the wavy coat shiny and beautiful. Thanks to an exclusive complex of nutrients, vitamin A and omega-3 acids (EPA and DHA), the hair coat will shine with health.
This formula is also designed to maintain a healthy pet weight, as this breed is prone to weight gain. Also, it helps maintain the heart muscle’s health with the addition of antioxidants and certain nutrients. This formula helps reduce the risk of tartar formation on the teeth thanks to calcium.
- Hard texture.
- Supports the health of cardiac muscle.
- Kibble shape designed to make grasping easier while encouraging chewing.
- Not found.
Summary: This food for cocker spaniels helps maintain the skin, coat, dental health and heart muscle.
2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Roasted Bison & Venison Dog Food
Here is a dry dog food that is made without grain. The feed contains only high-quality proteins, including buffalo and bison. The formula also includes peas and sweet potatoes. This diet provides your pet with the well-absorbed energy that your active puppy needs.
Natural antioxidants from fruits and vegetables are added for overall health. Essential minerals with amino acids help the pet’s body optimize food absorption and provide maximum benefits for a full and balanced diet!
- With added vitamins and powerful antioxidants.
- Made in the USA.
- Older dogs may have difficulty with hard texture.
Summary: This product provides a balanced diet that is best suited for small breeds such as Cocker spaniels.
3. Merrick Grain Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
Merrick’s grain-free recipe offers your pet high-quality nutritious food. It contains only high-quality protein from meat, fish, or poultry without grains. This formula also includes a blend of fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm.
Real boneless beef is the first ingredient in this food. This product is 65% protein and healthy fat, 35% food, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients. The food does not contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
- Recipe offers the ideal combination of protein and healthy fats.
- With 60% of protein from animal sources.
- Fiber, vitamins, minerals and other natural ingredients.
- Grain free may be linked to certain heart issues, according to the FDA.
Summary: The recipe offers the perfect combination of protein and healthy fats to help your dog maintain an optimal weight and increased energy.
4. Orijen Adult Dog Freeze Dried Original
This high-protein Orijen product is made up of excellent ingredients. Thanks to the biologically appropriate formula, your Cocker Spaniel will get all the benefits from this product. Protein in the feed is beef, wild boar, goat, and lamb grown without antibiotics. Wild-caught mackerel is delivered fresh and raw to the kitchen in Kentucky, where they are minimally processed.
Two-thirds of this dog food comes from an animal source. The remaining ingredients are vegetables and fruits obtained from farms and orchards in Kentucky. Keep in mind that this formula does not contain grains, which may be associated with certain health problems.
- Fresh, whole, locally sourced fruits and vegetables.
- Superior quality ingredients.
- Naturally supplies nutrients.
- Some puppies do not like flavor.
Summary: This protein-rich food is a natural source of nutrients. Most dogs like the taste.
5. Blue Buffalo Canned Dog Food
Blue Buffalo canned food can be served as a main meal or mixed with other Blue Buffalo diets to improve flavor. This product will help you diversify your dog’s diet while keeping its digestive tract healthy.
It is a combination of unique proteins and low-carb content. Each formula is gluten-free, completely natural, and contains no by-products from corn, wheat, or soy.
- Made with quality, protein rich meats.
- Healthy & nutritious for all life stages & breeds.
- Grain-free, gluten-free & high in protein.
- Bit pricey.
Summary: This canned dog food is filled with the highest quality meat.
6. Feed Me Turkey Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood
TruDog’s feed is a premium raw superfood. The formula is made from simple, nutrient-rich ingredients. The feed includes turkey meat, turkey heart, turkey liver, and turkey mince, with a small amount of herring oil added to aid digestion.
Most commercial feed is prepared at a high temperature, which kills the nutrients. TruDog isn’t as processed, so retains more the original nutrients. Feed your puppy with high-quality products from natural sources of protein, which are necessary for all dogs.
- Supports healthy gums and teeth.
- Helps maintain healthy digestion.
- Supports a strong immune system.
- Strong smell.
Summary: TruDog’s is made from 100% real products. No hard-to-pronounce or unrecognizable ingredients.
7. Nutro Cuts in Gravy Grain Free Wet Dog Food
Real chicken is the first ingredient in this recipe. This wet puppy food is grain-free and is made from ingredients that contain balanced protein and fat, without GMOs, by-products, corn, wheat or soy, and artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The product promotes optimal growth of puppies and young dogs.
This recipe with high-quality ingredients ensures the healthy development of the puppy. NUTRO PUPPY is made according to recipes created using real, recognizable, non-GMO ingredients.
- Made in USA facilities with the finest ingredients from around the world.
- Real chicken is the first ingredient.
- Made with non-GMO ingredients.
- Not for pups with a poultry allergy.
Summary: Specially designed for a full and balanced diet of growing puppies.
8. Zignature Limited Ingredient Trout & Salmon Meal Formula
Zignature Dry Food will provide your Cocker Spaniel with a high protein and nutrient-rich diet. The recipe is designed to meet all the biological needs of your dog.
This formula is hypoallergenic, without corn, wheat gluten, soy or dairy products. The feed does not contain chicken, including all types and forms of chicken products. Many dog owners report that it helps eliminate ear infections.
- Hypoallergenic meat-first recipe.
- Good source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Features fish from the Pacific Ocean.
- Rather expensive.
Summary: It contains essential omega-fatty acids, powerful antioxidants and healthy carbohydrates with a low glycemic index.
9. PureVita Turkey & Sweet Potato Entrée Grain Free Dog Food
The formula of this food supports the proper absorption of important nutrients, which supports the development of immunity to protect against infections and diseases. PureVita contains all the necessary trace elements to help maintain a healthy gut.
This diet helps maintain a healthy skin and coat, promotes digestion, and supports immune function. It contains probiotics for excellent microbial digestion.
- Packed with probiotics for superior microbial digestion.
- Supports the gut integrity and overall intestinal health of dogs.
- Featuring pre and probiotics to help support a healthy gut.
- Rather expensive.
Summary: The product is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
10. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This food from American Journey is full of nutritious ingredients. This diet will supply your pet with energy for everyday adventures. The formula includes real, boneless lamb as a source of protein and amino acids. The diet helps to build lean muscles. Omega-3 fatty acids support healthy brain and eye development. These trace elements come from several sources, such as salmon oil and flaxseed.
It also includes delicious sweet potatoes and chickpeas, fruits, and vegetables. Thanks to healthy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, dried seaweed, and blueberries, your dog gets healthy fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The product helps to maintain the health of the pet’s skin and coat. This recipe does not contain grains, corn, wheat, or soy.
- Free of corn, wheat and soy.
- Provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants for immune system support, and phytonutrients.
- The bag doesn’t reseal.
Summary: Salmon oil is also included which is great for your Cocker Spaniel’s coat and skin health.
Our best choice is the Royal Canin Food specifically for the Cocker Spaniel. It is uniquely designed to meet the nutritional needs and to help solve the specific issues related to this breed. Each piece is designed specifically for the wide muzzle and square jaw of your Cocker Spaniel. The piece has a shape and texture that makes chewing easier.
Many Cocker Spaniels are prone to gain weight. This product is designed in a balanced way, which helps prevent this problem. It also contains essential nutrients to maintain healthy skin and coat. Royal Canin contains taurine, as well as EPA and DHA from fish oil, which promote healthy heart function.
Buyer’s Guide: Must-have Ingredients in Cocker Spaniel Diet
When choosing an industrial feed, you should pay attention to the following factors:
- Animal Protein: The first ingredient in your high quality dog’s food should be whole meat (chicken, turkey, salmon).
- Calcium: Cocker spaniels are prone to a variety of bone problems. Calcium is essential to prevent bone dislocation and other joint problems.
- Antioxidants: Fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants. They should definitely be included in your dog’s diet to strengthen the immune system.
- Omega-fatty acids: Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are needed to maintain the shine of the coat. They are usually an excellent source of fish or fat.
Any food for spaniels should contain everything necessary for the pet’s health, not cause digestive disorders and allergies. In order not to pick up food by experimenting on an animal for a long time and without success, you can consult with professional breeders of the breed in this matter.
If you feed your pet with natural food, then the following products should be on the dog’s menu:
- Meat. The meat is given boiled and boneless.
- Vegetables and fruits. The following vegetables are suitable for feeding the cocker – carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, turnips, zucchini. You can add chopped greens as an additional source of nutrients. Fruits can be given as a treat in small quantities, as they contain a lot of sugar. Treat your pet with a slice of apple, melon, watermelon, a few berries of currant, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, or cherry.
RELATED ARTICLE: Best Interactive Dog Toys
The following controversial products can be given after consultation with a veterinarian:
- Offal. No more than two or three times a week. You can replace one meat dish with carefully cooked offal – liver, heart, lungs. The portion size in this case, should be increased by a third.
- Dairy products. In the diet of the cocker must be present cottage cheese, kefir, various cheeses. Whole milk can have a laxative effect on an adult pet.
- Eggs. 1 — 2 times a week is enough. It is recommended to give soft-boiled egg.
Ingredients to Avoid
You can diversify the pet’s menu with boiled sea fish. It is not recommended to give your pet any fish with bones in raw form. You can’t feed these dogs with river fish.
Bones for spaniels are harmful; they can cause constipation, intestinal perforation and even cause damage to the tissues of internal organs. Also, the use of bones may lead to the grinding of tooth enamel.
It is not recommended including bread, pasta, sausages, pastries, legumes, potatoes, and sweets in the cocker spaniels menu. Cabbage is allowed to be introduced into the diet, but after heat treatment or in sauerkraut. It is better to completely abandon broccoli.
It is important to understand that whatever type of food the pet owner chooses, the main thing is that it is correct, balanced, and healthy.
The list of prohibited products also includes:
- citrus fruits;
- smoked meats;
- salty, spicy and fried food.
Wet Food vs Dry Food
Today, feeding pets with dry food is quite common. The high-quality industrial feed has a balanced composition, enriched with useful additives. For Cocker Spaniels, it is recommended to use premium and super-premium brands, as well as special food for pets with allergies.
Puppies receive their first solid foods at around three weeks of age. The food should be moist and soft otherwise, the little puppy will not be able to eat it.
As the puppy grows and develops, the consistency of the feed and its density may change depending on the animal’s condition and needs. For example, when a puppy is teething, hard pellets of dry food help to relieve the gums’ condition by massaging them. Also, dry food is very convenient for traveling.
Once a puppy has their first baby teeth, they are ready to eat solid food. Wet food can be used as an addition to a dry diet or offered as a treat. It is worth remembering it is better to use one brand so as not to disrupt the balance of nutrients in the diet.
READ MORE: Wet vs Dry Dog Food
How Much Food Should a Cocker Spaniel Eat?
The amount of food that a puppy eats depends on their age, weight and brand of food. Check the recommended feeding guidelines on the side of the bag for the total amounts per day. The number of meals that a puppy should receive depends on their age:
- from 2 to 4 months — 5 meals;
- from 4 to 6 months — 3-4 meals;
- from 6 to 12 months — 2-3 meals.
Choosing a complete and balanced puppy food will ensure that your Cocker Spaniel puppy is receiving the nutrition that they require. Additional supplementation is not necessary for healthy puppies eating a high-quality diet.Dr. Chyrle Bonk
If you choose to transition your puppy from a canned diet to a dry one, do so gradually. It is recommended to use a four-day plan. On the first day, dry food should make up 25% of the total diet, on the second — 50%, on the third-75%, on the fourth-100%.
It may be beneficial to feed the pet from a bowl on a unique stand, otherwise, the ears may fall into a bowl with food and water. For spaniels, special containers with high sides were developed. Also, long ears can be carefully fastened on the back of the head with a clip feeding.
Adult dogs do well with two meals per day, constant access to clean water, and no human processed food.
READ MORE: My Dog is Getting Older (Vet Advice)
How to change my Cocker Spaniel’s food to a different one?
Transitioning your Cocker Spaniel to a new food can be done so by following:
- Days 1 and 2 — feed 80% of the old diet and 20% of the new diet
- Days 3 and 4 — feed 60% of the old diet and 40% of the new diet
- Days 5 and 6 — feed 40% of the old diet and 60% of the new diet
- Days 7 and 8 — feed 20% of the old diet and 80% of the new diet
- Day 9 and on — feed 100% of the new
Naturally, these are approximate recommendations, and with the entire stage of the transition to a new dry food, you need to carefully monitor the reaction of the pet, and in case of the slightest deviations in its well-being, return to the previous stage or extend each of them for a few days.
It is better to choose food of the “super-premium” class. If you feed your dog raw food, then the diet should consist of the following products: meat, sea fish, cereals, vegetables, and fruits.
The number of recommended meals depends on the age of the animal:
- from 2 to 4 months — 5 times;
- from 4 to 6 months — 3-4 times;
- from 6 to 12 months — 2-3 times.
- a year or more — 1-2 times.
Cocker spaniels are predisposed to food allergies. The main symptom is itchy skin. In cocker spaniels, itching mainly occurs in the ears, which are prone to ear infections. Depending on the severity, the cocker may also have intestinal problems such as diarrhea, gas, or an increase in the number of bowel movements.
A puppy shouldn’t be transitioned to an adult diet until about a year of age as the body will continue to grow, and it will need more energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals than an adult dog.
- Walsh, John H. “The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries: Their Breeding, Training, And Management In Health And Disease.” Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0548990166/
- “Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 25 Jan. 2021, akc.org/dog-breeds/cocker-spaniel/.
- “Role of Dietary Antioxidants to Protect against DNA Damage in Adult Dogs.” OUP Academic, 1 June 2002, academic.oup.com/jn/article/132/6/1720S/4687748.
- “Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs. A Science-Based Guide For Pet Owners.” National Research Council of The National Academies, https://www.nap.edu/resource/10668/dog_nutrition_final_fix.pdf
ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.
You May Also Like
The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu (Vet Approved Review) in 2021
The Best Grain-Free Dog Food (Vet Review) of 2021
Dr. Joanna De Klerk
The 20 Best Raw Dog Food (Vet Review) of 2021
Dr. Linda Simon
The 15 Best Cheap Dog Foods (2021 Reviews)
The 15 Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies — 2021 Reviews
Most Popular Best Pet Products Posts
TOP-20 Best Small Breed Puppy Food
The 15 Best Automatic Cat Feeders (Review) of 2021
The 25 Best Dry Dog Foods (Vet Review)
Dr. Linda Simon
The Best CBD Oils for Dogs (2021 Review)
The 20 Best Dry Puppy Food (2021 Review)
The 10 Best Aquarium Canister Filters