To be a good dog owner, there are many things that you need to care about, ranging from hygiene to health. Honestly, one of the essential components is their nutrition, which comes from the food that a dog consumes.
Thus, picking the correct type of dog food is critical for your dog, as it has both long and short-term benefits. These days, you will be able to walk into any supermarket and find an entire aisle dedicated to dog food.
With so many commercial manufacturers out there, consumers like you are often spoilt for choices. This also means that it is very easy and convenient to simply just grab and take any dog food that you see right away.
However, without proper knowledge about dog food and what ingredients are good and bad for them, you are risking the lives of your dogs in place of convenience.
Overview of the Top Products
|Nature’s Variety Prairie Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Medley, 30-Pound Bag||No fillers, no corn, no wheat, no soy – proven to provide great taste and nutrition||All natural with essential vitamins and minerals||Currently Not Available, More Options|
|Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food||Made In The USA||For adult Dogs Of All Breeds||View Available Sellers|
ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food
|Grain free dog food||Limited ingredient and single-source protein||View Available Sellers|
|Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Dog Food||Contains 1 – 30 pound bag of dry dog food||Optimal balance of premium proteins & key nutrients created by Natural Balance’s expert nutritionists|
|Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Natural Dog Food||Holistic Nutrition, 28 lb. resealable bag||Quality animal and fish proteins such as chicken meal and whitefish meal help build and maintain muscle|
|NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food||Contains one (1) 30-lb. bag of NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food (Packaging May Vary)||NEW TO OUR SUPERFOOD BLEND: Coconut, Chia and Kale|
|Addiction Grain Free Dry Dog Food Formulas||PET FOOD’S BEST KEPT SECRET – New Zealand is the world’s cleanest place to produce dog food made with free-range venison from lush grasslands and pastures||WHOLESOME GOODNESS – Made from New Zealand Venison with sun-kissed berries and herbs for improved overall health and vitality of your dogs|
|Horizon Complete All Life Stage – 25lb||High quality grain based formula that combines a unique blend of human grade ingredients, in optimal balance, with a full menu of unique supplements and anti-oxidants||Trusted manufacturer of premium pet foods whose manufacturing process retains and preserves the key elements found in fresh, raw ingredients through lower temperature cooking|
|Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food||GRAIN FREE: grain free, complete and balanced everyday nutrition for your dog.||QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Nutritious and delicious recipe, made with quality ingredients and premium protein from real turkey.|
Fromm Gold Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food – 5 lb bag
|Made in the USA.||A holistic approach to complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.|
Proudly manufactured in the US of A, Nature’s Variety Prairie Dog Food offers wholesome, premium quality dog food that has been specially formulated to give Fido the nutrition he or she needs to stay healthy.
The good people at Nature’s Variety eschew cheap filler ingredients and instead, have opted to use quality ingredients like real meat (beef, chicken or lamb) and whole foods (brown rice, oatmeal and barley) to provide your doggy friend with a balanced, healthy diet.
Due to its ingredients, it’s an ideal dog food for Cocker Spaniels, as they are medium-sized dogs with active lifestyles. Top it all off with a delicious freeze-dried raw coating that dogs love and you have the ultimate in pet nutrition.
On top of that, Cocker Spaniels’ coats will benefit from this dog food’s vitamin-rich formulation that contains plenty of omega fatty acids for a more lustrous coat of fur.
- Made from 100% natural ingredients
- Recipe that is especially suited for animal physiology
- All ingredients sourced from reputable partners in the United States
- May not be suitable for grain-sensitive dogs
- Can be quite expensive
One of the defining characteristics of the Merrick Pet Care Company is the attention given into sourcing high-quality ingredients for their products.
Given the past controversy with ingredients sourced from China, Merrick has taken steps to ensure that all of the ingredients used in manufacturing their Whole Earth Farms adult recipe dog food come from local sources that have passed the company’s thorough vetting process.
Thus, you are able to rest assured that your Cocker Spaniel is receiving only the best nutrition that it can get.
Furthermore, rather than bulking up their food with cheap filler ingredients like rice and low-quality grains, Merrick uses only natural, organic ingredients. Thus, it’s ideal for dogs like Cocker Spaniels who are predisposed towards obesity if not fed properly.
- High quality, all-natural ingredients
- Sourced locally from the United States and Canada
- Zero filler ingredients
- Manufactured within the USA
- Highly rated by distributors and customers
- Some dogs with sensitive stomachs suffered from diarrhea after eating this dog food
Founded more than 25 years ago and manufactured in Canada by Champion Petfoods, Orijen Dog Food has built up a reputation as being one of the best manufacturers of dog food.
Thanks to a combination of premium quality ingredients, ensuring that hygiene standards meet or even exceed requirements and possessing an all-encompassing love for animals, it comes as no surprise that Orijen Dry Dog Food is renowned all over the world for their quality.
Besides using only the best ingredients that have been approved by Departments of Agriculture in Canada and the United States, Orijen also has one of the strictest processing methods in the world.
One reason why it’s great for Cocker Spaniels is because since they have a tendency of developing weight problems, this specially formulated dog food suits their energy and nutritional requirements.
- High-quality ingredients
- Biologically appropriate ingredients
- No filler ingredients
- Special formulation for dogs with varying lifestyles
- Patented processing method
- It can be quite pricey
- Changes in formulation in the past could put off finicky eaters or cause stomach upsets
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health is specially formulated to provide your Cocker Spaniel with a balanced, wholesome diet that will keep it strong and healthy from puppyhood to adulthood.
Moreover, the gluten-free formulation crafted by expert animal nutritionists offers a balance of proteins and nutrients to boost immunity and provide healthy development. In fact, this is ideal for Cocker Spaniels, as some have a tendency to develop skin and coat allergies.
- Gluten-free formulation
- DHA and EPA supplements for healthy brain development
- Encourages a healthier coat of fur
- Made from plenty of natural ingredients like fruits and vegetables
- High fiber content to aid in healthy digestion
- Some customers reported that their dogs became gassy and sluggish
- Formulation may disagree with some dogs
Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Natural Dry Dog Food is specially made to condition your dog for an active life. Made from top-quality animal proteins like chicken and whitefish meal, Adult Vantage helps your Cocker Spaniel build up strong lean muscle.
Moreover, the optimized levels of calcium and phosphorous ensure that your dog gets the right mineral balance to build strong teeth and bones.
Beta-carotene from added fruits and vegetables like blueberries and carrots help support a healthy immune system, while easily-digested grains such as oatmeal, barley, brown rice and rye provide natural fiber to maintain a healthy intestinal tract.
Finally, L-carnitine helps to convert body fat into muscle and energy, while omega fatty acids promote a lustrous and shiny coat.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals to promote healthy growth
- Contains plenty of real meat and fresh fruits and vegetables
- Highly recommended by pet owners
- High energy content may mean that food is less suitable for more sedentary dogs
NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food is made from whole proteins i.e. chicken, lamb and fish, combined with various whole grains to provide your beloved companion with the best that nature has to offer.
Packed with flavor and nutrition, there is no doubt that even the pickiest eater would have a hard time resisting. Moreover, it contains a blend of superfoods like coconut, kale and chia seeds to boost your Cocker Spaniel’s immune system.
- Made from whole proteins i.e. no chicken by-product
- No filler ingredients like soy, rice, or wheat
- Loaded with nutrition and high on protein
- Affordable price
- Blended formulation may put off some dogs
- Some owners reported that their dogs became bloated and suffered from gas
Loaded with free-range New Zealand venison and generous helpings of fruits and vegetables, ADDICTION Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Dog Food will have your Cocker Spaniel begging for more.
Not only does it taste great, but it has been enriched with probiotics to give your pup’s health and vitality a leg up. Additionally, it provides your Cocker Spaniel with low carb diet to help it stay fit and healthy.
- Made with top-quality venison that is rich in protein but low in fat and cholesterol
- Probiotic supplements boost your dog’s vitality and health
- Doesn’t contain filler ingredients
- Made with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Grain-free formula
- Venison may not agree with all dogs
- Contains chicken fat, which may cause an allergic reaction in some dogs
Made from carefully selected all-natural ingredients, Horizon Complete is specially formulated to provide dogs of all ages with the right kind of nutrition.
Instead of potatoes, corn, or tapioca, Horizon Complete has opted for a whole-grain approach to give your Cocker Spaniel a healthy, low-glycemic index diet.
- Healthy formulation
- Uses quality whole grains
- Reduces the likelihood of your dog suffering from health complications
- No filler ingredients
- Formulation specially designed to meet AAFCO dog food nutrition profiles
- Not suitable for dogs with grain allergies
- Some customers noted that the high fiber diet results in dogs passing motion more often
Holistic Select’s dry dog food is specially formulated from a combination of all-natural ingredients, active probiotics and digestive enzymes to aid in nutritional absorption and to promote healthy development.
Moreover, it contains antioxidant-rich superfoods like blueberries and pomegranate to promote cellular health and boost resistance. Hence, it’s especially great for Cocker Spaniels, since they are genetically predisposed towards eye problems and skin allergies.
This dog food is also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals that promote healthy joint and bone growth, which is a common problem for Cocker Spaniels.
- Contains superfoods
- Made from lentils and chickpeas
- Probiotic supplements aid your pooch’s digestive health
- Rich in fiber
- May not be suitable for dogs prone to allergies
- Taste may not be agreeable to all dogs
Made from quality ingredients like chicken and duck and paired with fresh produce, Fromm Gold Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food is made with a wholesome formulation that gives dogs the nutrition and vitamins they need to develop healthily and live a long and happy life.
Due to the fact that it uses all-natural ingredients that are organic, there’s a lower chance of your Cocker Spaniel developing an allergic reaction to this dog food.
- Made in the USA
- Uses all-natural, organic ingredients
- Enhanced with probiotics to aid and improve digestion
- Tasty flavor that dogs love
- Contains brewer’s yeast, which can cause allergies
- Unsuitable for grain-sensitive dogs
Choosing the Right Dog Food
Firstly, we need to understand that different dogs have different needs. Dogs come in many breeds, shapes and sizes. Although there are many processed dog foods in the market out there, they may not necessarily contain the right amount of nutrients that your dog needs.
Dogs are actually omnivores – meaning they eat both vegetables and meat. Hence, they require a rather large variety of nutrients from their food, which can be hard to fulfil if they are only eating processed food out of convenience.
The nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber are important for your dog’s digestive system and keeps them healthy. When purchasing dog food for your Cocker Spaniel, you must never assume that everything written on the packaging is the truth.
You have to take some time and read the ingredient label at the back of the package. If you see a lot of filler ingredients or ingredients that look like chemicals, it is probably not the best purchase for your dog.
Furthermore, look out for whole protein that should be listed first on the ingredients list, as it is an indicator that there is fresh meat and produce in the dog food. In addition, the manufacturer should also have high standards and quality.
A good guideline would be to purchase dog food that is manufactured in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Western Europe and Australia.
You must also ensure that there are fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Some examples are carrots, spinach and cranberries. Ideally, try to have probiotics and prebiotics in their food as well.
These bacteria help your dog’s digestive tract and allows them to prevent intestinal diseases.
A Cocker Spaniel’s Diet
Ideally, a Cocker Spaniel’s diet should consist of 5 main components, namely: protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins. This wide variety of nutrients and ingredients are bound to keep your Cocker Spaniel healthy and full.
Sources of Protein
Animal protein can be obtained from good meat and fish. Not only that, protein can also be found in eggs and vegetables as well. It is crucial for your Cocker Spaniel’s diet as it helps to build muscles, allowing them to exercise and be healthy.
Hence, you would want to see “beef meal” and “chicken meal” on the packaging label, instead of just “poultry meal” or “meat meal,” which definitely sounds very vague and ambiguous. You want high-quality sources of protein for your Cocker Spaniel, not just any low-class protein.
Suitable Portion of Fat
A good amount of healthy fat also brings good benefits for your dog. They can be found in meat, fish and even vegetable oil. The fats function as a layer of protection for their internal organs and help to keep them warm and cozy too.
But one thing to take note:
Cocker Spaniels are extremely prone to obesity. So, fat portion control is important and should be your priority when purchasing dog food. Excessive fat in their body may clog up their blood vessels, leading to high cholesterol and many other health problems.
Carbohydrates for Energy
Similar to humans, carbohydrates provide a huge source of energy for your dogs, which they require for exercise. This is because carbohydrates will eventually be broken down into simple sugars such as glucose, which is easily absorbed by their bodies.
Carbohydrates can come from grains such as rice, wheat and barley. Moreover, a Cocker Spaniel’s source of carbohydrates should be mainly made up of good quality whole grains and not processed grains.
This is because processed grains are usually milled and important components such as dietary fiber, iron and Vitamin B have been removed.
Fiber to Aid in Digestion
Fiber can be found in fruits and vegetables and they aid in digestion and keep the digestive tract healthy. However, take note that you must not give too much fiber to your Cocker Spaniel, as it will result in your dog being unable to control its bowel movement.
If your Cocker Spaniel is experiencing any issues with their diet, such as weight management, constipation and even diarrhea, fiber will be a good addition into its food. Seek a vet’s advice on how much fiber to feed your dog if you are unsure.
Vitamins as Supplements
Think of vitamins as extra supplements for your Cocker Spaniel. Vitamins are always good to have and they can already be conveniently found in most of the ingredients listed above as well.
However, too much vitamins and minerals are also harmful because there can be excessive nutrients. Most of the time, the amount of vitamins from their meat and vegetables should be sufficient.
What to Avoid
If you accidentally allow your Cocker Spaniel into the kitchen, chances are it will start looking for food and eat anything and everything in its way. However, you need to know that there are some foods which may harm it if it is unable to digest the food properly.
Although we mentioned earlier that fruits are good for your dogs, two fruits your Cocker Spaniel must avoid are grapes and raisins. Consumption of these may result in permanent, or even life-threatening kidney failure.
Moreover, when you feed your Cocker Spaniel apples or pears, you must take the seeds out. Those seeds contain a certain form of cyanide, which cannot be digested in their digestive system.
In addition, remember to remove the pit of the fruits out because your dog may end up choking or consuming the pit without realizing it. The pits will not be digested into your Cocker Spaniel’s body and this may cause other serious problems related to their digestive tract, or excretory system.
It is already well-known that dogs must not eat chocolate. It is true that the harmful effects of chocolate is dependent on your dog’s size, but it should not be neglected. Chocolates are still deadly for dogs and can cause serious consequences like death.
This is also the case for many animals, not just dogs. Chocolate contains cocoa, which has the compound theobromine in it. If your dog has accidentally eaten chocolate, they might show symptoms of hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea and increased urination.
If your dog has ingested a piece of chocolate, don’t hesitate to bring it to a vet immediately.
Unknown Sources of Food
There are some manufacturers in the market who include “generic fat” instead of actual fat in dog food. So, you must not purchase the product if it just has “fat” on it.
This is because the source of the fat is unknown and it could even come from grease or other questionable sources. Hence, look out for “beef fat” or “chicken fat” on the ingredient list instead.
When you are purchasing sugar-free products for your Cocker Spaniel, do look out for Xylitol. Sugar-free foods may seem to be healthier for you and your dogs, but Xylitol is hazardous for your pup.
It is increasingly common in sugar-free foods, but your dog can suffer from liver diseases just from consuming it.
Sweeteners and Artificial Flavoring
Manufacturers will often add sweeteners and artificial flavoring to “enhance” the taste of their dog food. If the dogs enjoy eating them so much, you as an owner will most probably purchase from the same brand again. This is especially so if you are unfamiliar with the ingredients listed.
However, you must remember that ingredients such as sucrose, corn syrup and ammoniated glycyrrhizin should be avoided. Not only are they fillers in dog food, they also increase the chances of health-related diseases such as diabetes.
To increase the shelf life of their products, many commercial manufacturers have added in cheap preservatives. Rather than BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin, natural preservatives should be used instead.
Alternatively, look out for tocopherols, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and rosemary extract in the ingredients list. It is better for your Cocker Spaniel’s health, but they do not last as long. So, do not purchase too much when you stock up and always check for the expiry date.
If you were not aware, your Cocker Spaniel’s hair is made up of 95% protein. This proves how important good quality protein is in their diet. Furthermore, this breed to especially susceptible to digestive problems, so you have to be careful when feeding them.
Feeding Puppies Until One Year Olds
When puppies are just born, they feed on their mother’s milk. However, after they start weaning off slightly before six months, you need to take note of their food portions. At that time, Cocker Spaniel puppies eat very little – only 150 to 200 grams.
Medium breed special dog food should be given to them twice a day, once in the morning and another time in the evening. Since they are still very young, it will be helpful to break down their food physically into smaller pieces, or mix it up with some warm water.
After six months, they are ready to start chewing. You are then able to start increasing their food intake to 300 grams. Moreover, remember to fill up their water bowl consistently, as Cocker Spaniels get thirsty very easily.
If they do not drink enough water, dehydration can possibly occur. So, keep their water bowl full constantly.
Feeding an Adult Cocker Spaniel After One Year
Upon reaching one year old, your Cocker Spaniel is finally an adult. As they transition from puppy to adult, their diet changes as well. They need to increase their food intake, but they tend to get obese very easily too.
Hence, portion control is essential and you need to be careful about the ingredients and nutritional level in their food as well. That said, you are able to purchase dog food that is moister and comes in a can.
Those dog foods usually contain more important ingredients and nutrients that your Cocker Spaniel requires in a balanced diet. You still have to feed them twice a day though, once in the morning and once at night, each time with 180 grams of food.
Another great alternative is to prepare normal food for them, but note that you cannot combine your personal portion with theirs. You need to cook both portions separately because your Cocker Spaniel cannot take any seasoning.
This is because excessive salt or pepper is dangerous to their taste buds and digestive system. For each meal, you are able to feed them 100 grams of meat, either chicken or beef and 40 grams of rice.
All in all, purchasing and preparing the right dog food for your Cocker Spaniel may seem like a tumultuous task. But, do remember that this effort will go a long way for your dog.
By ensuring that they receive the correct and right amount of nutrients, you are able to bring about good health to your dog and prevent them from getting unwanted diseases. Remember to also bring your Cocker Spaniel out for some fresh air and exercise to keep them healthy too.