Nutrition for the Cocker Spaniel
Learn how to properly feed the skin they're in.
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How often and how much does an average size Cocker Spaniel need to eat per day? Some breeders recommend allowing puppies to eat as much as they choose throughout the day until they are 8 weeks old, then wean them down to three daily meals. Some feed once a day, while other owners do well giving two feedings. Cockers are agreeable. They tend to adapt to whatever routine works.
About one cup per day of dry food is a good rule of thumb for an adult Cocker. If they're slim, add more; if they're overweight, feed a little less.
Additionally, Cockers should not eat spicy foods, sugar or chocolate. Many Cockers also have problems with soybeans and dairy products, and some don't tolerate beef or pork. Beet pulp, which is a fibrous carbohydrate contained in some pet foods, can adversely affect some dogs, while others do very well with a commercial food containing the ingredient. Fiber is beneficial in the diet because it promotes intestinal health and maintains normal movement through the colon and fluid balance of the stool.
Avoid giving table scraps, but if you can't resist feeding tidbits from your plate, give healthy treats such as carrot sticks or pieces of apple. Because of their tendency toward obesity, Cockers should be fed at a set time rather than allowing them to free-feed.
Nutrition For Life
Plan ahead when it comes to nutrition. Start early in life preparing for what will happen later. Don't wait until a Cocker is fat, then put it on a dietfeed it a light diet to prevent obesity, he says. I believe in preventive nutrition, not just treatment after the fact. In the past, nutrition was defined as the level of food required to prevent a deficiency disease. This is changing. What about wellness? What is required to live well? If all were doing is preventing an animal from dying, that's not nutrition. Choose a dog food from a company that's doing research. Without research its just a diet for the present, not a diet for the future of your pets health.
Where the Cocker Spaniel is concerned, the best advice might be just realizing how much of an affect diet has on health. Don't wait until you detect a problem. Plan ahead, says Dr. Carey.
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