Cocker Spaniel Feeding Guide

There are records of the cocker spaniel dating as far back as the 14th Century. However, it is thought that these gorgeous pups originated in Spain, with “spaniel” coming from the word “Hispania”, which we now know as Spain.

Source: Pixabay

A Brief History of the Cocker Spaniel
Throughout history, cocker spaniel breeds have been used mainly for hunting, such as retrieving game and sniffing out rabbits, due to their small size that could fit through bushes and warrens that larger breeds could not.

Even now, cocker spaniels are still one of most-loved breeds in the UK, as their even temperament is ideal for first time pet owners, and their ability to adapt to apartment living is handy. However, they also love the sound of their own voice, so teaching them the “quiet” command’ is absolutely necessary when young!
Cocker Spaniel Size and Life Expectancy
Cockers, when fully grown, should be around 38 - 41 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh around 13 - 14.5 kg. They a small in size with a silky coat and long and lobular ears. Cockers carry their tails level with their body and, due to their breeding as a hunting dog, are fast and have a strong jaw.

The life expectancy of a cocker spaniel is 11 - 13 years, though they can live longer - dependent on their living conditions and any illnesses that may occur.

Source: Pexels

Celebrity Cocker Spaniels
An inherently British pet, it’s no wonder that Prince William and Kate Middleton have steered away from the Queen’s corgis and adopted their cocker spaniel pup Lupo into their family.

Other celebs who shared their love with cockers include Oprah (with Sophie), George Clooney (and Einstein) and former US Presidents; John F. Kennedy (and Shannon) and Richard Nixon (with his pup Checkers).
The Cocker Spaniels Diet
Cocker spaniels are known to enjoy their food quite a lot, so a properly portioned meal is key to prevent obesity and weight related illnesses. It is best to feed them a hypoallergenic diet so as to remove any allergens your dog may have. This also means that your pet shouldn’t be fed any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

The best food for a cocker spaniel is an adult dog food that has an optimal level of protein at around 25% and contains the necessary nutrients to keep your dog looking and feeling good. On the other hand, working cocker spaniels need a higher amount of protein in their diet in order to replenish the energy they use on hunts.

Source: Pixabay

Cocker Spaniel: Feeding guide for Adults and Puppies
The best dog food for cocker spaniel puppies is one that supports healthy bone growth and strong teeth development, as well as something for energy, healthy skin and a glossy coat. Feeding your cocker spaniel puppy is marginally different from the adults, as you will have to get them used to the food. Specialised puppy food is formulated for their delicate tummies and for their growing frame. Between 2 to 6 months, an amount of around 150 - 250g per day is best, and then gradually reducing over the next 5 months to about 130 - 190g per day. At a year old, your dog is then classified as an adult so can then eat the adult dog food required.

How many grams of food for a cocker spaniel all depends on the weight of your pet. On average, a healthy cocker spaniel weighs in the range of 13 - 14.5 kg, the ideal amount is 175 - 260g each day. If feeding twice a day, one third is recommended in the morning and the rest at night, but not too late so not to have a walk before bed.

Potential Allergies
Even dogs can have allergies! Common triggers are their diet, environment, parasites, pollen and some chemicals found in house cleaning products. Some symptoms include itching or watery eyes, sore patches on their skin and bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhoea.

In order to limit the number of allergic reactions, your cocker may have, feed them hypoallergenic food, which purposely removes any allergens that may be in the food. The earlier you introduce this food to your dog, the easier it will be to identify any other allergies they may have.

You should also try not to feed your spaniel scraps from your plate, as they can do more harm than good.
Keep Your Pup Active
Cocker spaniels are very lively and playful, so an active lifestyle is highly recommended for this breed. They need regular brisk walks as well as mental stimulation in order to be well-balanced. Cocker spaniel puppies need a lot of sleep (can be up to 21 hours per day in between play) in order to grow and develop properly, so letting them out to play in the garden when they’re young is essential.

Source: Pixabay

Around 6 months is a good time to start taking them on longer walks, as by then their bones are developed enough to not get damaged.

Obesity is common with Cocker Spaniels, as they have a habit of enjoying their food a bit too much! Limiting the number of treats you give (that means resisting the puppy eyes!), regular exercise and feeding the correct amount to your dog each time helps combat this.

If you notice your pooch looking pudgy, sluggish or unhappy, increasing their exercise regime and not overfeeding them helps. It is recommended to visit your local vet regularly to keep on top of any health issues, but for more tips, get in touch with the experts at Lovejoys to see how our hypoallergenic dog food can get your Cocker Spaniel off to the right start.


13 thoughts on “Cocker Spaniel Feeding Guide”

  • Frances Butcher

    dear lovejoys. our blue roan cocker spaniel henry was 13 kg when we received him from the breeder at 11 mths old. he is now 2 yo and 17 kg. to date we have fed him 225 g human quality minced beef plus 3/4 cup pellet food in the morning. and 3/4 cup pellet food at night. in addition he has a small biscuit before bed. and small treat in the morning. not many treats or training pellets during the day. he is tall. an inch taller than the breed standard the breeder shows.
    and now he is too heavy. your chart recommends say 250 g/day. how do you seggest we give him that? say 200 g beef in mormning and 50 g pellet food at night? we would be most grateful for your advice
    all the best brias and frances (butcher)

    • Lovejoys

      Please note that the feeding guide provided, is solely based on feeding the Lovejoys dry food range. Each manufacturer will have a slightly different recommendation in terms of quantity due to the ingredients in the mix. However like most guides, it does not take into consideration any other food that is given for your dog.
      As a rough guideline if feeding twice a day, we normally recommend a third of the allowance for the day in the morning and the remainder at night, but not too late so not to have a walk before bed.

      Our recommendation would be to speak to your local vet for some guidance on the best way to bring his weight back down to a healthy level.

  • Jo

    Hi how much exercise does a cocker spaniel puppy need? Eg distance/ time

    • Lovejoys

      Hello Jo,

      According to the PDSA, Cocker Spaniels have high energy levels and will need 1-2 hours exercise per day when fully grown. The Kennel Club advise that for a puppy, A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc.

      I hope that helps.

  • Rita Shipley

    My cocker is 3 months old..we are giving him 1/3 cup of chappy dry food and 1/3 CUP OF CHAPPY MEAT. this to much or not enough..
    Look forward to hearing back from you

    • Lovejoys

      Hi Rita,
      Unfortunately we can't comment on another brand of food. They would be better placed to advise you.

  • Jean boakes

    My daughters cocker spaniel keeps chewing his bed up getting all the stuffing out
    What can she do about it .please

    • Lovejoys

      Hi Jean,

      We aren't dog behaviourists, and it may be worth talking to a trainer. However, it sounds like they are bored, and so would benefit from more exercise and stimulation. Puzzle toys can help keep your dogs mind occupied.

  • Zita Freke

    I have a Coca Spaniel and I have been feeding her Tails . Com
    She loved it to start with but now she turns her nose up and spits it out even though I mix it up with some wet food.
    She is quite an active dog.
    What food would you recommend that would give her an all round diate.

    • Lovejoys

      Hi Zita,

      Any complete dog food, such as Lovejoys Original, would give your dog all the nutrients they need. You could start to introduce a different food to slowly replace what she is eating now to see if you have more success. Sometimes you may have to try a few different types of food until you find one that works.

  • Alicia Mundell
    Alicia Mundell 17th May 2019 at 5:06 pm

    My cocker spaniel will only eat alpo canned dog food. I’ve read your suggested amount of what she should be eating & I think I may be over feeding her but she acts like I don’t feed her enough. The cans I feed her are 12ounce cans. She is 4-5yrs old & is at an ideal weight for her age & size. But I just got her & really don’t know how much can food I should be feeding her.

  • Melinda Bakos
    Melinda Bakos 5th June 2019 at 2:02 pm

    To whom it may concern,

    How much and how often should I feed my 8 week old Cocker Spaniel baby girl (Angel) ? I bought her a bag of Nutriphase for puppies??

    Your input is much appreciated!


    • Lovejoys

      Hi Melinda,

      We're unable to comment on another manufactures food guidelines. You could contact them directly, or see if there is any advice on the pack.

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