Nutrition for the Cocker Spaniel
Learn how to properly feed the skin they're in.
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Just as adult and senior Cockers need their own special diets, so do growing puppies. Rick Shields, who holds a doctorate in animal nutrition and is general manager of the Science and Technology department at Natures Recipe with Heinz Specialty Pet Foods, says, Pre-weaned puppies are getting a milk diet that is basically fat, protein and lactose (a carbohydrate found in milk). I believe in feeding a transitional diet as close to the mothers milk as possible. When mom walks away, give the puppies some gruel. Start this the last couple of weeks during weaning. Post-weaned puppies need a diet higher in fat. Over the next few weeks, slowly go to a puppy diet with less fat.
With all of their special needs, what is the correct diet for a Cocker? Believe it or not, the answer may be found where owners are least likely to look. Do you ever check your dogs stool? You should. As you're cleaning up, look. The stool should be consistent from day to day. If it isn't, maybe the dogs diet isn't right, says Dr. Carey. "Our consciousness has been raised about what we eat. It needs to be raised for our dogs, too.
Should pet Cockers be fed differently than those in the show ring? No, Bravo says. A pet dog needs the same good nutrition as a show dog. Although not all of Russells Cockers are show dogs, she feeds them the same food, saying, They are all healthier on the premium food.
Choosing the best type of food for your dog may require some research. Owners really have to watch their dogs nutrition," says one breeder. "Cockers are different than other breeds with all their coat, skin and ear problems, so its very important to talk with other owners and reputable breeders to see what they are feeding that works.
Testing various foods may also be helpful. Try a brand, says Russell. If it doesn't work, go on to the next. Compare ingredients. What didn't work? What was in a food that was good?
For owners who are still uncertain about which commercial food to use, some manufacturers offer service numbers to help customers select the appropriate product for their dogs life-stage or activity level. For example, an Iams product decision maker can help them pick the right food, says Dr. Carey. After that, if they enter their dogs ideal weight into our food calculator, it will tell them how much to feed.
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