All Cocker Spaniel owners strive to feed their pooches the best way possible; however, there are a lot of things to get right when it comes to Cocker Spaniel feeding.
Feeding dogs and choosing the best Cocker Spaniel diet sometimes becomes challenging because of the different dog foods available on the market.
In this article, you will learn about a healthy Cocker Spaniel diet. You will also know the right amount of dog food you should feed your dog and the suitable time to provide it.
Cocker Spaniel Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Cocker Spaniel?
A Cocker Spaniel puppy must be fed 1 ¾ to 2 ⅕ cups of high-quality puppy food daily, while adult dogs need 2 ½ to 3 cups of dog food daily. On the other hand, senior Cocker Spaniels require 1 ½ to 2 ⅓ cups of food daily, depending on their activity level and overall health.
A Cocker Spaniel diet must be based on the dog’s weight, age, and activity level. By following this principle, Cocker Spaniel puppies and older dogs alike are sure to receive a well-balanced diet.
The information below will teach you the right way to feed Cockers, including how many cups, calories, animal protein, and fats are needed daily based on age.
Cocker Spaniel Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)
A Cocker Spaniel puppy will depend on its mother for its nutrition during the first four weeks of its life. But during the weaning phase, slowly introduce solid food.
There are different dog foods a Cocker Spaniel puppy owner can choose from. Be it wet food, organic dog food, raw food diet, dry food, or even a combination of these will do.
As long as the food of your growing puppy is of good quality and has all the nutrients it needs, it should help your pooch live longer and have a strong immune system against harmful bacteria.
The feeding chart below is tailored for a Cocker Spaniel puppy. It contains the required number of calories, proteins, and fats that must be present in your puppy’s food.
|Age||Daily Food Quantity |
|2 months||1.75 – 2.38||610 – 828||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
|3 months||2 – 2.75||697 – 959||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
|4 – 6 months||2.13 – 3||741 – 1,046||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
|7 months||1.88 – 2.88||654 – 1,002||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
|8 – 9 months||1.75 – 2.63||610 – 915||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
|10 months||1.5 – 2.25||523 – 784||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
|11 months||1.5 – 2.13||523 – 741||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
|12 months||1.68 – 2.23||586 – 777||22% – 32%||10% – 25%|
A growing Cocker Spaniel puppy needs good quality proteins for its developing body and fats as a source of energy. Also, a fresh bowl of water must always be available to keep these active dogs hydrated.
Don’t forget to check the nutritional requirements and contents of the puppy food you are giving. This way, you may adjust how much food you give and keep the puppy at a healthy weight.
You may also stock up on some puppy treats when you bring a puppy home. Treats are a great way of rewarding your pooch, depending on how well it does in training.
Adult Cocker Spaniel Feeding Chart ( 1 to 6 years)
While a puppy grows, it will need more vitamins and minerals for it to grow into a healthy adult dog. Once a Cocker Spaniel reaches the age of one year, gradually introduce adult food.
Any dog food brand will do as long as it has the essential vitamins and minerals needed by your Cocker Spaniel. It is recommended to divide your adult Cocker Spaniel’s food into three meals daily.
The table below will guide you on the right amount of dog food you must feed your pooch.
|Age||Daily Food Quantity |
|1 – 6 years||2.50 – 3||803 – 926||15% – 23%||8% – 10%|
Cocker Spaniels eat their hearts out, so to free-feed them is not a good idea. Free feeding may cause overeating, an upset stomach, and obesity. Those extra calories can make your dog go beyond its ideal weight.
Aside from feeding your dog wet food, there are owners who prefer kibble. But whatever your Cockers eat, always check for the nutritional values, vitamins, and minerals in your dog’s food.
Although Cockers are medium shedders, you might be surprised how these fatty acids can help a dog’s coat minimize shedding. Moreover, fatty acids also help maintain the coat’s shine, especially for black Cocker Spaniels.
Senior Cocker Spaniel Feeding Chart (7 years and above)
When a Cocker Spaniel reaches its senior age, feeding may become challenging. If your senior dog is sick, it is best to seek a veterinarian’s opinion regarding its diet.
Meanwhile, the feeding chart below will serve as a guide when feeding an older Cocker Spaniel. The number of cups may be fed once a day or can be divided into two equally portioned meals.
|Age||Daily Food Quantity |
|7 years and above||1.63 – 2.38||524 – 765||28% – 32%||12%|
One of the problems arising during the senior stage is muscle loss. As a result, protein becomes a very important part of the diet for Cocker Spaniels during this stage of life.
However, if a Cocker Spaniel is suffering from kidney failure, a low-protein diet must be given. This is to reduce the workload of the kidneys and slow down the progression of the disease.
On top of a well-balanced meal, extra vitamins may be given to supplement your dog’s nutritional needs.
Cocker Spaniel Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Cocker Spaniel?
Cocker Spaniel puppies aged 0 to 12 weeks can feed 3 to 4 times a day. Meanwhile, those aged 3 to 12 months must be fed thrice daily. As they reach the age of 1 to 6 years, adult Cockers may be fed only twice a day. Senior Cockers seven years and older may be fed with either one or two meals daily.
The table below shows the recommended feeding frequency of a puppy depending on its age and an adult dog. You may adjust this depending on your schedule and your dog’s health condition.
|0 to 12 weeks||Three to four times a day|
|3 to 12 months||Three times a day|
|1 to 6 years||Twice a day|
|7 years and above||Once or twice a day|
Puppies aged 0 to 3 months are best fed with three or four meals a day. This is because their digestive system can fully digest food within 4 hours. Feeding less frequently and with bigger meals can cause stomach upset.
Growing puppies aged three months and above can be fed thrice daily with small meals, while adults can do well with two meals that are equally portioned.
Senior Cocker Spaniels may be fed one to two meals a day because their digestive system works slower during senior years. Their lower energy requirements also explain why they are fed less frequently.
Optimal Feeding Times for Cocker Spaniels
A Cocker puppy aged 0 to 12 weeks should be given food every five hours, while those aged 3 to 12 months can be fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Once they reach one year, Cocker Spaniels can be fed once in the morning and in the evening. Meanwhile, senior dogs may be fed once every 24 hours.
It is important to follow the same schedule daily to promote discipline. Also, feeding your dog within a wide interval can cause hyperacidity and may confuse your dog when mealtime is. Hence, it is best to stick to a schedule.
The table below shows a sample feeding schedule. Make your dog’s feeding time in sync with your schedule so it will be easier for you.
|Age||Optimal Feeding Times|
|0 to 12 weeks||7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.|
|3 to 12 months||7:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.|
|1 to 6 years||7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.|
|7 years and above||7:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. if fed once a day; |
7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. if fed twice a day.
Dog treats may be given as part of training but should not exceed 10% of their calorie requirements.
Too many treats will not only make rewarding ineffective but will also make your dog feel full without eating proper meals.
Best Dog Foods for Cocker Spaniels
Now that you understand the importance of feeding your dog on a regular schedule and how much to feed it, the next challenge is choosing the best food for your Cocker Spaniel.
There are many diets you can choose depending on your dog’s needs. The list below contains the different foods you can give.
- Homemade Diet: A homemade diet is considered the best food choice for a Cocker Spaniel not only because it is freshly prepared but also because the nutrients it contains are uniquely tailored to the dog’s needs. However, this type of diet requires extensive knowledge and is time-consuming.
- Raw Diet: Raw feeding or Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet is gaining popularity among Cocker Spaniel owners. This raw food diet contains high protein content. Further, since this is raw and did not undergo cooking, nutrients were preserved and did not contain fillers.
- Wet Dog Food: Wet dog food or canned food contains water, which makes it great for slightly dehydrated Cocker Spaniels. This is also great for puppies and seniors because it is easy to chew. Some pet owners mix wet food with dry dog food to make it tastier.
- Dry Dog Food: Dry food or kibbles is good for your dog’s teeth because it helps cleanse them and prevent tartar build-up. Dry food is also a convenient option if you are too busy to prepare your dog’s food.
Always choose to give your dog high-quality food, as this will have a great impact on its health. Although high-quality food is often costlier, it is something your dog will benefit from.
To learn more about the cost of feeding a Cocker Spaniel, read our guide on the Cocker Spaniel’s overall costs.
Watch this cute video of a Cocker Spaniel feeding on a fresh tomato:
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cocker Spaniel
There can be times you want to feed your dog the same food you are eating. But there are human foods that are toxic to Cocker Spaniels.
The list below is a summary of some foods that are harmful to your Cocker Spaniel:
- Onions: Onions contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide, which breaks down the red blood cells of Cocker Spaniels. Ingestion of onions may lead to anemia and gastrointestinal problems for your pooch.
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that your Cocker Spaniel cannot digest. Once this substance accumulates in a dog’s body, this will lead to an upset stomach, seizures, and heart failure.
- Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts may cause muscle weakness in your Cocker Spaniel, especially on its hind legs. These nuts can also cause vomiting and pancreatitis in your dog.
- Corn on the cob: Cocker Spaniels can digest corn but not its cob. The cob may get stuck in your dog’s intestines, which is fatal.
- Avocado: This food contains persin, which can cause nausea and vomiting to your Cocker Spaniel. Keep in mind that this compound can be found not only on the fruit but also on the seed and leaves of the plant.
- Xylitol: Never let your Cocker Spaniel ingest anything that contains artificial sweeteners because this can cause insulin release to the dog’s body. This could lead to hypoglycemia and, in severe cases, liver failure and blood clotting disorders.
- Alcohol: Like humans, Cocker Spaniels will also experience diarrhea, vomiting, and brain damage when exposed to alcohol. This is especially true if they ingest a large number of alcoholic drinks.
- Grapes and raisins: The toxins in grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in your Cocker Spaniel, and it is best to keep them away from your pooch.
It is always best to ask a veterinarian if you are not sure which foods are good for your dog.
How to Transition Your Cocker Spaniel to a New Food
At times, you need to change your Cocker Spaniel’s diet. Some reasons could be age, daily activities, and current health conditions.
Never rush changing your dog’s food into new dog food because this may lead to indigestion.
The table below will serve as your guide when changing your Cocker Spaniel’s food:
|Day||Old Food||New Food|
|Day 1 – 2||90%||10%|
|Day 3 – 4||75%||25%|
|Day 5 – 6||50%||50%|
|Day 7 – 8||25%||75%|
|Day 9 – 10||10%||90%|
Start by adding 10% of the new dog food to your Cocker Spaniel’s meals. Slowly add some more until your pooch gets used to its new food. Don’t forget to look out for food allergies during the transition.
Transitioning your dog to a new diet can be challenging and require much patience.
Most dogs may refuse to eat at first, but never scold them for not touching their food because this can traumatize your dog.
It would also be great to ask your breeder what dog food they have been giving your Cocker Spaniel to avoid a sudden change in diet. This way, you can also choose which is the best dog food for your dog.
Feeding an Overweight Cocker Spaniel
It is easy to check if your Cocker Spaniel is overweight. The first method is by using a weighing scale and simply checking if your pooch is still within its ideal weight.
Another method is by touching its rib cage. If you can’t feel your Cocker Spaniel’s ribs, chances are your furry friend is overweight. This could lead to obesity, and your dog can be predisposed to other health concerns.
You can help your Cocker Spaniel lose weight by reducing the amount of food you are giving. Feeding your pooch several small meals a day is also recommended instead of one heavy meal.
If you are feeding your dog with a pet food pack, read its nutritional values to make sure you are giving the right amount based on its age and weight.
Cocker Spaniels are adorable by nature, so never give in to those eyes begging for more puppy treats.
Giving them more than what they should eat may seem like a great way to express your love, but it is unhealthy.
Adding sufficient amounts of exercise or quality playtime to your Cocker Spaniel’s daily schedule will also be a great help in reducing its weight.
Keeping your dog to its ideal weight will help it live healthier and longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Cocker Spaniel Not Eating?
There are several reasons your Cocker Spaniel may not want to eat. The first reason can be because they are feeling sick.
If your dog is not eating and is showing other symptoms, it is best to see a veterinarian right away.
Another reason is your dog might suffer from dental issues. If you notice your dog drooling, constantly paws on its mouth, or doesn’t want its mouth to be touched, chances are your dog has a painful mouth.
They might have also undergone recent vaccinations, which might have temporarily caused a loss of appetite or a change in an environment that they are uncomfortable with.
Also, keep your Cocker Spaniel’s food bowls clean. Dogs are sensitive to smell. An unusual odor of their food may discourage them from eating.
Do Cocker Spaniels Eat a Lot?
Yes, Cocker Spaniels eat a lot, and if not supervised, they will eat everything they may find tasty. This is also the reason this breed should not be free-fed.
Keep dog treats and dog food in a secure place where your pooch cannot reach them. Letting your dog eat at any time will not only ruin regular feeding times but may also cause obesity.
Can Cocker Spaniels Eat Bones?
Just like other dogs, giving your Cocker Spaniel cooked bones is not safe. It can wound your dog’s stomach, causing serious and fatal injuries.
However, you can give your raw meaty bones to help keep your dog’s gums and teeth clean and healthy.
Experts advise these bones should be big enough so your pooch cannot swallow them but chew on them instead.
Can Cocker Spaniels Be Vegetarians?
Yes, Cocker Spaniels can be given a vegetarian diet. However, make sure that your pet’s diet still meets the nutritional requirements of your pooch.
Giving your dog a vegetarian diet requires thorough research because you will need to look for vegetarian alternatives which are also safe for your Cocker Spaniel.
Another thing that you must consider is that your dog must not be allergic to any component of the new diet you are giving.
You can check with your trusted veterinarian before shifting your dog to this type of diet.
If you are bringing home a new puppy like the Cocker Spaniel, it is best to research everything about it, including the proper way of feeding it and the total costs of maintaining one.
You must also keep in mind that a dog’s diet will greatly impact its overall health and behavior. So what your dog eats will determine the future of your Cocker’s health.
Do you have experience in feeding dogs? Share your thoughts about Cocker Spaniel feeding in the comment section below!