With hundreds of dog food brands out there, the competition is pretty high.
Sadly, the decision-making process is just as hard too. With so many good options, it’s hard to pick one.
Luckily for you, I’ve put my research skills to use. From ingredients to caloric content, I have looked into every detail that matters. After going through a long list of dog foods, I was able to choose 17 that couldn’t have been made any more perfect for Cocker Spaniels.
Not only will these foods make your dog’s coat shinier, but they will also boost their internal health. I have specifically categorized 7 options for sensitive, allergy-prone dogs. Read till the end to find out all about these dog foods and other important information!
The Best Dog Foods for Cocker Spaniels – My Top Picks
Let’s start with my top 10 best cocker spaniels dog foods. These will be good for all Cocker Spaniels. However, some of the options may not be right for a sensitive dog. Other than that, these foods are well-balanced and full of nutrients!
1. American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
No pet parent ever wants anything less than the best for their furry friend. The first step to choosing the perfect dog food is making sure it is free of wheat, corn, and soy. Cocker Spaniels have a hard time digesting these ingredients. Also, there should be a good blend of meats with fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates and fiber are equally as important as any other nutrient.
This gluten-free and grain-free recipe ensures that your dog stays energized. Say goodbye to lethargy with all the antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fibers. DHA and omega-3 fatty acids are also a major part of this formula. Additionally, chickpeas and sweet potatoes mixed in with blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp enhance the taste of the deboned chicken. The American journey dog food is definitely one of the best dog foods for Cocker Spaniels. Highly recommended!
2. Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
Looking for a chicken alternative that is equally delicious and full of proteins? Well, here it is. Deboned beef paired with lamb meal and salmon meal not only boosts the taste of these kibbles, but it also provides plenty of proteins. Once again, it is a gluten-free and grain-free recipe to avoid any issues with digestion.
Cocker Spaniels really need a lot of skin-enhancing ingredients to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Omega 3 and 5 Fatty Acids do this job efficiently. It has been made without poultry, artificial colors, and other additives that may prove harmful in the longer run. Most importantly, the manufacturer is reputable, known for following the mandatory quality standards to produce healthy dog food.
3. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Do you know what’s better than lamb? Lamb paired with roasted lamb. This recipe is irresistible for dogs so if you own a picky eater, try out this formula. Real lamb is perfect for dogs who need to build some muscles. The additional K9 strain probiotic blend supports your dog’s digestive system.
It is grain-free but one downside to this recipe is the addition of egg product. Although this isn’t harmful, it can be a cause of allergies in some dogs. If your pet doesn’t have this issue, then this formula is a safe option. Free of artificial additives, this recipe is made of high-quality ingredients only. The Siera mountain Taste of the Wild dog food is among the best dog foods for Cocker Spaniels. I highly recommend it!
4. Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin is known for producing dog food for specific breeds. This is their formula for Cocker Spaniels. Since it has been designed specifically for this breed, it really couldn’t have been any more perfect.
You can start feeding this dog food to your canine after it reaches 12 months of age. The caloric content is ideal for maintaining the perfect body weight for adult Cocker Spaniels. Chances of obesity are very minimal with this diet. The ingredient list is free of anything that could trigger an allergy. In fact, it includes healing ingredients to cure any possible infections.
5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Dog foods with more than one meat are usually a pet favorite. The reason is mainly the flavor. However, a more necessary benefit is that it offers plenty of protein. This particular pea-free and grain-free recipe is easily digestible. Since there is no corn, wheat or soy in the recipe, Cocker Spaniels can east it without risk of digestive problems.
Additionally, it is wet food. This further aids the process of digestion. While fulfilling the hydration levels of your dog’s body, it also checks off the requirements of vitamins and minerals that are mandatory for a strong immune system. This is a well-balanced diet that leaves behind no need for additional supplements.
6. Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
You can never go wrong with a limited ingredient diet. One protein source along a few other necessary ingredients ensures that the formula is free of harmful ingredients. But, the concern that such recipes raise is the nutritional value. With this option, you don’t have to worry about that either. Despite having minimal ingredients, it offers a balanced diet. You can feed this product to puppies as well as adults therefore, it is a good option to use for transitioning between dog foods during the shift of life stage.
This recipe is rich in fiber but low in harmful carbohydrates. Similarly, it is full of phosphorus which promoted bone health. But the amount of saturated fat is very less. Selenium and riboflavin are also found in this formula. Not to mention, it is free of common allergens such as dairy, wheat, chicken, etc.
7. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
Fish-based dog foods are usually Cocker Spaniels’ favorite. Even in the form of kibbles, fish enhances the flavor immensely. A taste conscious dog is not a rare sight, hence why I’ve included a lot of irresistible flavors in this list. As for this one, it doubles as a source of protein as well as omega fatty acids. Topped off with a unique blend of flavors, this recipe is unbeatable.
With only 8 key ingredients, there is no chance that this formula could trigger a digestive problem. The additional fibers further confirm easy digestion. You can only expect a shinier coat, stronger immune system, and a more energized dog with this dog food.
8. Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Grain-Free Adventure Variety Pack Wet Dog Food
Real meat is the most important ingredient in dog food for Cocker Spaniels. This product has two of those so it’s double the goodness! For when you want to treat your dog with delicious wet food, this is a great option. It is high in protein, easy to digest, gluten-free, and full of nutritional value.
The only thing that may keep your dog from enjoying this dog food is the addition of dairy products. Some Cocker Spaniels are allergic to dairy. In that case, do not think twice and skip this option. But for the rest of the dogs, this dog food is definitely a treat, and that too a healthy one!
9. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Turkey & Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
No grains, no fillers, and no poultry by-products, this product is already winning. Together with farm-raised turkey and digestible fruits and vegetables, it is safe to say that this dog food is one of the best for you Cocker Spaniel adult dog.
The beet pulp ticks off the need for fibers, the potatoes, peas, and tapioca fulfill the carbohydrate requirement, and the turkey provides the proteins. The manufacturing process is up to standards. In fact, the unique technique does not let any flavor escape.
10. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe with Beef, Lamb & Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Freeze-dried food is basically all nutrients without too much moisture so your dog can maximum benefit out of the diet. This recipe includes freeze-dried red-meat which has a mouth-watering texture and flavor. The additional real vegetables and fruit boost the flavors even more.
It is gluten-free and without any artificial ingredients. Moreover, the Omega Fatty Acids from the salmon meal ensure healthier skin. There is enough of glucosamine and chondroitin in this formula to boost the condition of your dog’s joints and bones. This minimizes the risk of bone disorders in older age.
Dog Food for Cocker Spaniels FAQs
The more you familiarize yourself with your dog’s breed, the better care you can provide. Simply being educated about your dog’s nature can help you improve the meals by a whole lot. You can also catch onto unusual habits that could be indicators of a serious health issue.
For all these reasons and many more, I’ve answered some commonly asked questions about Cocker Spaniels. I’m sure that these will answer most of the questions you have in your mind.
Do Cocker Spaniels have a lot of health problems?
This breed is no different than any other dog breed. The common dog-related issues are equally likely in a Cocker Spaniel as in another dog. However, there are certain health risks that this breed is more vulnerable to. These include bone dislocation, urinary stones, heart failures, and eye problems. As long as you keep an eye out for the symptoms and offer a good environment along with a balanced diet, you shouldn’t be worried about these health problems.
How long do Cocker Spaniels usually live?
An average healthy Cocker Spaniel can live for 12 to 15 years. Of course, this is affected by a lot of factors including diet, health, and other environmental conditions. But if you provide a guaranteed healthy lifestyle, expect your dog’s companionship for over a decade!
Do Cocker Spaniels sleep a lot?
No, they don’t sleep more than an average dog. Around 12 to 15 hours of sleep is mandatory but other than that, your dog should remain active for the most part. If this isn’t the case, observe closely as lethargy can be a sign of a more serious problem. Also, these dogs tend to snuggle and cuddle with their owner a lot. They may look sleepy in such positions but the truth is, although they are getting comfortable, they won’t sleep in your lap.
Are Cocker Spaniels good family pets?
This is a pretty subjective question. It depends on what you consider a good family dog. As for Cocker Spaniels, they are among the top 15 registered breeds because they are loved. Their loving nature and calm temperament make them good companions. On top of that, they are also friendly with kids. If these are the qualities you are looking for then they definitely are great family pets.
Are Cocker Spaniels intelligent?
Yes, this breed is one of the smartest ones in the category of small and medium-sized dogs. Their breeding originally was done with the intention of making them hunter dogs. Therefore, they possess the quality of outsmarting whoever or whatever they consider the game. However, they are easy to train even for beginner-level pet owners.
Are male or female Cocker Spaniels better?
The personality traits of this breed vary according to their gender. Females are more sensitive whereas the males are on the independent side of the scales. Females also get more attached to their owners. On the other hand, a male can do better if left alone. Therefore, which one is better for you depends on your requirements. Whichever one you opt for, do consider spaying or neutering since that improves the dog’s moods by a whole lot.
I can never choose anything less than the best for my little furballs. I’m sure you share this feeling. But this isn’t an easy task. There is a lot of research and time that goes into making the ‘right’ decision. We all know that a dozen qualities have to be cross-checked to ensure that what we put in our dog’s bowl at the end of the day is of the highest quality.
So without further ado, let’s dive into all that you need to consider while purchasing dog food for your Cocker Spaniel. Bear in mind that not all of these may apply to your scenario. Your dog may have different preferences and so, you’ll have to make a decision accordingly.
The English Cocker Spaniel is a gun dog breed. They were basically bred to be companions of hunters who used the dog to retrieve their game. Similar qualities have continued down the line but now, Cocker Spaniels are mostly house pets. American Cocker Spaniels were also developed from English Cocker Spaniels. The American breed is generally shorter but other than that, all Cocker Spaniels share pretty much the same traits.
This dog breed is recognized by its shiny coat and long ears. When you think of a Cocker Spaniel, usually a golden-orange colored comes in the mind but in reality, these dogs also come in many other colors including black, blue roan, tri-color, etc. As for their physical appearance, they are medium-sized. A female’s height is somewhere in the range of 36cm to 41cm whereas a male can grow between 38cm and 43cm. Similarly, males weigh a couple of kilograms more than a female of the same age. An average Cocker Spaniel’s weight is between 12kg and 16kg.
You’ll hardly ever find a dog of this breed in an unfriendly mood. Although they are known to attach to only one person, they are very loving and affectionate. Expect your buddy to be very active and energized at all times. Their calm nature makes them ideal pets for people who own more than one pet. Moreover, they are also very good with kids and the elderly.
I always emphasize on feeding charts for one sole reason:
Feeding right can change your dog’s entire life. The correct amount of calories, balanced nutrients, and varying requirements with age all need to be kept in mind. Overfeeding and underfeeding both can bring forth serious consequences that no loving pet parent wants to go through.
Let’s start with Cocker Spaniel puppies. As soon as they start weaning, they should be gradually introduced to dog food. Now, like most puppies, this breed requires a hefty amount of proteins too. Proteins are broken down by the digestive system into amino acids which are the building blocks of muscles.
Puppies grow very rapidly and so, it is vital to keep the protein content high. Only then will your dog be able to grow strong muscles. Your puppy will be growing in every aspect. You must also cater to the cognitive needs. A balanced amount of vitamins and omega fatty acids is necessary for the growth of a healthy coat.
Always feed your pup in small amounts. During the first 4 months, there should be 4 meals per day. Time these meals evenly. From 4 to 6 months, feed 3 meals per day. After your puppy gets 6 months old, 2 meals a day are fine. As for the exact amount of food, you should consult a vet. A professional will guide you according to your dog’s age, weight, and activity. Since every puppy is different, there is no average amount I can suggest.
As your dog hits the one year mark, it’s time for you to switch to a different kind of food. This is the stage where most of the health risks can potentially kick in. At the same time, your dog will be the most active in this life stage. The caloric requirement for Cocker Spaniels is generally lesser than other dog breeds. An active dog needs 740 calories per day. In case your dog is extra lazy and doesn’t move around as much, 600 calories should suffice. On the contrary, if your dog is extra active for whatever reason, up to 1100 calories a day are fine.
Once again, the exact amount should be cross-checked with a vet. Generally, 150g to 210g per day is sufficient for an adult Cocker Spaniel. However, the weight of your dog will play a major role in determining the final amount. Let’s say your dog is underweight, the vet will suggest more calories and vice versa.
An adult dog should be given two meals a day: once in the morning and the other in the evening. Keep the meal size moderate as eating too much at once may lead to digestive issues. Up the amount of calcium. The protein content should be slightly lessened but the carbohydrates and fats should be increased. Animal-based fat is preferable.
The end-stage of your dog is here. It won’t be as active anymore. The majority of the day will be spent lounging around. Of course, a dog in this life stage will not need as much food. The growing process has also stopped. All that needs to be done is to offer enough food to keep the dog energized enough to fight against health risks.
The calories per day should be no more than 600 to 700. However, these calories should be made up of prebiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants. More than proteins and carbohydrates, your dog will need ingredients that strengthen the immune system. Also, at this stage, your dog will have a harder time digesting food so it is best to keep the meal sizes small. Offer no more than 2 meals per day.
There is no such thing as a must-have ingredient, to be honest. It is all about the nutritional value that these ingredients offer. So, I won’t be talking about the exact ingredient you should be looking for. Instead, I’ll mention the qualities and you can then choose a suitable option yourself.
Ingredients to Avoid
Here’s what an average Cocker Spaniel is allergic to:
It is obvious that if your dog is allergic, avoid these ingredients. Moreover, any other ingredient that has previously triggered a health issue should also be eliminated from your dog’s diet. But that’s not all. There are a few more ingredients that seem to be harmless but in the longer run, they are not good for Cocker Spaniels.
Health Risks and Allergies
The following are the health issues that are affected by diet and so, they can be avoided or treated with a specialized diet.
There’s hardly a dog breed that does not overeat. The more food you put in front of your dog, the more it will eat. There is no rocket science in this. The real concern here is the risk of obesity. Maybe you don’t mind an overweight dog, but the risk here isn’t just that. Obesity leads to liver and kidney diseases. Moreover, there is a higher chance of bone dislocation in overweight dogs.
What can you do to prevent this? Basically, you can only help in one way. Do not overfeed your dog. Keep the calories in check and increase the fiber content in the diet. No matter how much you love your dog, you will ruin its life by providing more food than it needs.
Ear disorders are very common in Cocker Spaniels. From infections to deafness, your dog’s floppy ears have a lot to deal with. You can’t really prevent these issues. Though, you can keep an eye out for the symptoms to be able to treat it in the early stages. In the case of ear infections, you should minimize the carbohydrates in your dog’s food. Other than that, visit a vet for professional help.
This is a skin infection. It leads to smelly and itchy skin. Although it is an autoimmune allergy, you can treat it. Make sure to groom your dog frequently. Keep the diet balanced with a higher amount of omega fatty acids. Your vet may also suggest a shampoo to treat this issue.
Patellar Luxation and Hip Dysplasia
There is a high chance of loose knees and dislocated hip bones in this breed. In fact, this breed has the 3rd highest rate of patellar luxation. Weak bones and obesity definitely contribute to these conditions. Calcium and vitamin D in your dog’s meals can prevent such issues. If you don’t think the dog food alone is doing enough, you can add in supplements after consulting your vet. Also, keep your dog as active as possible.
Wet or Dry?
One of the most common questions I always get from dog owners is about the pros and cons of wet vs. dry food. Let me break it down for you in detail today.
The only difference between wet and dry food is, yes you guessed it right, the moisture content. While dry food has no more than 12% moisture, wet food has up to 85% water. While this is one small difference, it leads to a number of other dissimilarities.
As there is more water content in wet food, its shelf life is much lesser than dry food. So, once you have bought canned food, you’ll have to use it within a short period. Now, the presence of water also affects the amount of food your dog will consume. The caloric content is not very different. But, the additional water fills up your dog’s stomach quicker. There is a higher chance of a dog overeating kibbles than wet food.
Moving on, wet food can get stuck to your dog’s teeth. It is harder to brush off. But it tastes better. Dogs like the texture of wet food over kibbles. The aroma is another way of encouraging the dog to eat. With the high water content, the body’s water levels are maintained. Since the majority of the wet food is water, dogs can eat it in bigger quantities without exceeding the caloric limit.
On the contrary, dry food has the ability to clean the teeth while also strengthening them. On top of that, dry food is cheaper, generally more environmentally friendly, and odorless. It is also easier to travel with. In case dry food spills, you can vacuum it or pick it by hand without much hassle.
The Final Word
As you can see, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, what matters is your dog’s preference and lifestyle. In case your pet is likely to overfeed, wet food will be a safer option. However, if your dog’s teeth aren’t in the best shape, kibbles are better.
The choice also depends on the life stage. Puppies can eat more kibbles but seniors need more wet food. The moisture aids digestion. Canned food is also quick to prepare, hence more suitable for busy pet parents. Some people also mix up dry and wet food to maintain a good balance. You too can find a mid-point that suits your dog’s needs as well as your budget.
Other Factors to Look for in Dog Food
A clean ingredient list, balanced nutritional value, and perfect caloric content still don’t guarantee high-quality dog food. Yes, I know you’re surprised. What else is left to look for? Well, here’s the list:
7 More Options for Sensitive Cocker Spaniels
It’s pretty normal to own a sensitive dog, no matter which breed it belongs to. Most dogs have some sort of allergy triggers. However, those who are sensitive to food are a tad trickier to deal with.
You will have to eliminate the exact ingredients that your dog is sensitive to. But, in the process of figuring this out, you can try out one of the following 7 options. They are all free of by-products, grains, and dairy. Since these are the main culprits, there is a high chance that they will suit your dog. Moreover, most of the options offer chicken alternatives, so if your furry friend reacts to chicken, you have a number of suitable options to consider.
11. American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
This limited ingredient diet is a fool-proof dog food option. It is almost risk-free to try out this formula due to its clean and high-quality recipe. It is free of all ingredients that are likely to cause an allergy including wheat, corn, soy, and other grains.
This formula is easy on the stomach. Since turkey is the main source of protein, it is also a great option for dogs who dislike or are allergic to chicken. Other than that, this product promotes healthier skin as well. The carbohydrate content is moderate with easily digestible ingredients such as peas and sweet potatoes.
12. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Salmon is an ideal protein source for Cocker Spaniels. It encourages a shinier coat, prevents skin infections, and is also easily digestible. In fact, salmon is the most highly recommend protein source for sensitive dogs. It is a generous source of Omega Fatty Acids so there wouldn’t be a sign of itchiness or redness on the skin.
On top of that, this recipe is grain-free and gluten-free. There are no fillers, by-products or artificial colors. The additional vitamins and minerals further enhance the easy digestion while also keeping the dog energized. Lastly, it has been manufactured under the safety and quality standards of the USA.
13. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Duck & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
Here’s another alternative for chicken. Deboned duck is a delicious and fulfilling protein source. This recipe is an amazing option for dogs who need support to grow. From lean muscles to healthy bones, this formula boosts all kinds of growth in your dog. Glucosamine, calcium, and phosphorus work together to strengthen the bones, joints, and teeth.
It is an antioxidant-rich recipe. The immune system definitely strengthens with this dog food. The omega fatty acids also play an important role in maintaining the skin and coat. There is one downside, though. If your dog has ear infections, this carbohydrate-rich formula will not be suitable.
14. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
If you want something with low carbohydrates, this is it. It is an ideal recipe where all the other nutrients are balanced but the carbs are kept minimum to suit sensitive dogs. The overall recipe is formulated to allow easy digestion. Sweet potatoes provide enough fiber to clean out the dog’s digestive system of toxins.
Flaxseeds and salmon are both a source of Omega Fatty Acids. This way you can tackle skin infections with this food too. Moreover, since there is only one meat, there is a minimal chance of a digestive issue. However, this does not compromise the amount of protein content at all.
15. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food
A good recipe is one that has enough of everything. Ultimately, something that keeps your dog energized and away from health problems is the best. This dog food in particular ticks off all these requirements. The animal-based protein comes from salmon. The small amounts of pumpkin and sweet potatoes offer carbohydrates and fiber without risking an allergic reaction.
It is also grain-free. Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables ensure a healthy immune system too. There are enough Omega Fatty Acids to keep the skin in good condition. All in all, this recipe is pretty well-balanced and safe for sensitive dogs.
16. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food
Dogs who are underweight definitely need more protein. But, it can be hard to fulfill this need if the dog is also sensitive to allergies. This product is basically a solution to this problem. Chicken, lamb, and salmon in this recipe provide enough protein for building lean muscles. At the same time, it is grain-free and pea-free to aid digestion.
The addition of sunflower oil provides linoleic acid which boosts the appearance and health of the skin and coat. Moreover, antioxidants keep the immune system in good shape. To make it even better, this recipe has been made without artificial additives.
17. VICTOR Hero Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Let’s say your dog needs more protein, is sensitive to allergies, and also cannot eat chicken. It’s a pretty complicated situation that can be solved with this dog food. Beef, fish, and pork meal make up 79% of the protein in this recipe. This formula is ideal for active adult dogs.
The recipe also promoted joint health. Glucosamine and chondroitin prevent bone-related issues in the later stages of the life of the dog. Your pet will also get enough vitamins and minerals. Since it is grain-free, there is no risk of digestive problems.
With all this in mind, may you choose what’s best for your dog!