No one needs convincing that cocker spaniels are one of the most charming and loveable breeds out there. I mean, just look at those huge eyes and adorable floppy ears! But not everyone is aware that cocker spaniels are also prone to several diseases and require very careful care. A well-balanced diet is crucial to keeping your furry pooch healthy and energetic.
Best dog food for cocker spaniels is one that addresses their dietary needs and prevents common health problems. Monosaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids will ensure that the skin and coat of your four-legged friend stay healthy, while a balanced recipe of protein and carbohydrates can stop it from gaining too much weight. Look out for corn or wheat filler because cocker spaniels are often allergic to these ingredients.
With such a delicate pup on our hands, it can be a lot of pressure to source the right dog food. After all, there are so many different aspects to consider and so many dietary traps to avoid!
This is why we’ve prepared this quick round-up of the best dog food for cocker spaniels that you can find on the market right now. We discuss the pros and cons in detail to help you find the right match for your furry friend and keep it healthy and happy for many years to come!
1. ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION
Owners disagree on whether there truly is a need for breed-specific formulas, but this dog food for cocker spaniels from Royal Canin has been getting some good rep from the humans and pooches alike.
- Size – 6lbs & 25lbs
- Why It’s Recommended – Formula tailor-made for cocker spaniels
Designed to battle the most common health problems among cocker spaniels, this dry dog food focuses on the few main areas: healthy weight, good skin and coat condition, and a strong heart. Royal Canin aims to protect our beloved cocker spaniels with a balanced diet and give them something yummy to munch on in the process.
The problem is that a lot of pups from this breed are allergic to corn or wheat filler. So it seems like a rather serious mistake on Royal Canin’s part to include those very ingredients in the cocker spaniel recipe. Sadly, for dogs with allergies, this dog food is out.
Despite this setback, most owners report that their four-legged friends are responding extremely well to the Royal Canin formula. Apparently, even picky eaters have converted to taking regular meals. The special shape of the kibble gives dogs extra joy while brushing dental plaque and tartar off – here’s hope for a less smelly breath, everyone!
- Promotes healthy skin and ears
- Supports maintaining the right weight
- Dogs love the taste
- Successful with picky eaters
- Only for cocker spaniels over 12 months old
- Contains corn, wheat, and rice
- Strong smell
The list of Royal Canin’s benefits also includes successful weight management. Cocker spaniel parents have noticed that this dog food helps their fur babies maintain a healthy weight or even lose a couple extra pounds.
2. Merrick Grain Free Real Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
The Merrick Grain-Free Dog Food boasts a pretty impressive ingredient list: deboned meat is always the first position followed by other high-quality natural proteins as well as real fruit and vegetables.
- Size – 4lbs; 12lbs & 25lbs
- Why It’s Recommended – Contains omega-3 and omega-6 acids
The high content of protein supports maintaining a healthy weight and building lean muscle tissue. This is especially important because cocker spaniels as a breed are prone to weight gain – their meals should be high in protein rather than fat so they can stay strong and energetic without getting too heavy.
It’s important to note that being a grain-free formula, the Merrick Dog Food sources carbohydrates from potatoes and sweet potatoes. Some pet owners would rather see more meat or other ingredients in the recipe, especially given the rather high price of this mix.
What’s particularly important for cocker spaniels is that this dog food includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. As we know, cocker spaniels are prone to skin and coat disease, so it’s important that they consume minerals that promote healthy skin and a strong, shiny coat.
- Number 1 ingredient is deboned meat
- No grain
- Great for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies
- Supports a healthy, shiny coat
- Contains omega-3 and omega-6 acids
- Picky eater approved
- Quite pricey
- Strong fish smell
- Gives dogs smelly breath
Omega-3 acid can be found in fish so it should be good news that the Merrick runs a salmon-flavored version of this dog food, right? Well, there is a problem. Owners report that this particular flavor has a very strong fish smell and, even worse, gives the pups a bad breath. But no one said that the road to having a well-nourished healthy pooch was going to be easy…
3. CANIDAE All Life Stages Dog Dry Food
This is a completely different approach than the Royal Canin formula. Instead of tweaking the ingredient list to meet the needs of one specific breed, CANIDAE firmly believes that all dog breeds and sizes can thrive on the same dog food recipe. Controversial? Let’s see.
- Size – 5lbs; 15lbs; 30lbs & 44lbs
- Why It’s Recommended – High-quality ingredients with no corn filler
The ingredient list for this dog food is definitely promising. It doesn’t include any of the substances that cocker spaniels should avoid: no corn, wheat, soy or chicken by-product meal. It’s also packed with natural ingredients and high-quality proteins from real meat. So far so good!
Moving on down the list we see ocean fish – the source of precious omega-3 fatty acids that your pooch needs to keep a healthy coat and skin. This dog food also contains probiotics which help pups with digestion and improve their immune system. Not a bad mix for our prone to infections and allergies cocker spaniels.
The ratio of fat to protein in CANIDAE All Life Stages supports maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, many owners claim that their pets saw an increase in energy after switching to this diet. High-quality and well-balanced ingredients can help pups to release energy throughout the day and have better endurance.
- No corn, wheat, soy or chicken by-product meal
- Supports healthy & shiny coat
- Gives dogs an energy boost
- Probiotics help with healthy digestion
- 24% crude protein
- Suitable for sensitive tummies
- Some dogs don’t like the taste
- Makes some dogs gassy
Overall, it sounds like this dog food could definitely be a good choice for cocker spaniels. Only problem? Not all dogs like the taste so if you’re dealing with a picky eater it might be a tough transition.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural
If you want your cocker spaniel to be full of energy, the Blue Buffalo Life Protection line might be a good solution for you and your pup. This dog food combines a high percentage of crude protein (minimum 18%) with a low content of fat (around 10% of crude fats).
- Size – 6lbs & 15lbs
- Why It’s Recommended – Good protein to fat ratio for extra energy
Why is this important? Because you want your pooch to be full of energy for play while maintaining a healthy and lean muscle mass. At the same time, cocker spaniels are prone to weight gain, so you need to make sure that the energy you’re giving them is not coming purely from fat. Owners have been reporting that after switching to this formula, dogs acted more playful and lively than before.
You might notice that the Blue Buffalo looks a little bit different than other dog food. That’s because the recipe consists of two types of kibbles: the main Blue Buffalo kibble and the LifeSource Bits enriched with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This combination makes the formula suitable for breeds with greater nutritional needs, such as cocker spaniels.
Unfortunately, the Blue Buffalo contains dried blueberries, cranberries and other ingredients that can deter picky eaters. If your cocker spaniel is particularly fussy, it might be a good idea to start with the smallest bag to test the waters.
- Enhanced with vitamins and minerals
- Meat is always the main ingredient
- Increased level of protein for extra energy
- No corn, wheat, soy
- No chicken by-product meal
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- Makes some dogs gassy
- Some picky eaters won’t eat it
Warning! We’ve heard from dog owners that some pups get extra gassy on Blue Buffalo Life Protection. If your pooch suddenly starts having stinky incidents, you know what can be to blame.
5. Instinct Original Grain Free
The dog food industry is catching up with the growing awareness of sustainability and environmentally-friendly eating. No, don’t worry, this is not a vegan formula. But Instinct Original is sourced responsibly, and all processes are carried out within the company-owned facilities. Your pup probably doesn’t care much for this aspect, but we’re definitely happy about it!
- Size – 4lbs & 20lbs
- Why It’s Recommended – Natural & raw ingredients
This dog food can work great for cocker spaniels with sensitive stomachs – it includes natural animal fats and protein as well as fruit and vegetable. If your pup can’t handle
corn, soy or wheat very well, you can safely put this formula in their bowl. Instinct Original steers clear of these common allergens.
As we’ve heard from some owners, it is truly a shame that this dog food doesn’t strictly follow limited diet principles. The red meat or fish options still include a chicken meal and chicken fat, so they’re out for cocker spaniels allergic to chicken. A stricter ingredient list would definitely be an improvement here.
- Contains 71% natural animal ingredients
- Probiotics support healthy digestion
- No preservatives or artificial flavors
- Responsibly sourced
- Produced in company-owned facilities
- Good for dogs with sensitive stomachs & allergies
- No corn, wheat, soy or grain
- No potato
- Quite pricey
- All flavors include chicken products so not good for dogs allergic to chicken
Despite this setback, the dogs who can eat Instinct Original seem to enjoy the taste and thrive on it. The carefully curated mix of vitamins and minerals supports their coat and skin, while the extra probiotics help to maintain proper digestion.
It’s not easy finding the best dog food for cocker spaniels, especially given their sensitive digestion and various allergies. These adorable-looking creatures can also be the most demanding food critics when it comes to things we put in their bowl. A compromise between healthy and tasty can be as difficult to achieve with your dog as in our own diets.
All things considered, our top pick from the list is CANIDAE All Life Stage Dog Dry Food. It’s a high-quality product that doesn’t include corn, wheat, soy or any of the cheap fillers like chicken by-product meal. Instead, it’s packed with protein from real meat (as much as 24%) and well-balanced fat and carbohydrates.
CANIDAE formula is suitable for cocker spaniels with sensitive tummies and good for dogs with allergies. The added probiotics further help with healthy digestion and the protein to fat ratio gives pooches energy all day long.