Healthy Cocker Spaniels
have do not have special dietary requirements above and beyond those of any
other dog breed. Other than taking age and a balanced diet (containing the
correct minerals and vitamins) into consideration, it is a matter of both
personal preference and trial and error to find the right amount and type of
food that a dog should be given. Options include:
When using complete and tinned foods, the manufacturers
directions should be read and followed to ensure that they are suitable for
puppies in particular and to prevent over or under feeding. Dog foods made at
home by owners should contain minerals and vitamins, which can be purchased
from pet shops, to promote healthy growth and development.
The daily food intake of a puppy is the same as that of an adult dog
but, depending on age, this should be split into three or four meals a day.
Rather than make immediate changes to their diets, owners should be guided by
the puppies breeder at first and gradually wean them onto the chosen foods by
making gradual changes over a week or so. Water should be available at
all times during the day and changed as required. It helps with toilet training routines if it is
not available during the late evening and night.
Exercise & Stimulation
Puppies should be confined to the garden
and home until they are immune from common infections following their
vaccinations before they can be taken for short, gentle walks around 13 weeks of age.
Other activities that involve a dog running, chasing and retrieving objects
also promote exercise. Walks can be steadily increased to a brisk, 20 minute walk morning and evening by the
time a puppy is 6 months old.
As an adult, 30 minutes brisk walking, twice daily is adequate
but adult Cockers are quite happy to go for longer walks.
Cocker Spaniels are intelligent dogs and thrive on human
company. Owners can stimulate them and achieve better bonding with walks,
basic and advanced obedience training, playing games and daily grooming.
The distinctive, flat silky coat of the Cocker Spaniel
requires routine maintenance. To maintain "breed standard" looks, regular
trimming and daily combing and brushing are necessary. Additionally it is good
practice to check ears, eyes and teeth every time grooming is undertaken. In
young dogs there can be a noticeable and regular build up of wax in the ears
while the ear canal is developing. Ears can be cleaned with cleaning drops
available from pet shops, chemists and Vets.
Cocker Spaniel grooming can be learned with practice and
perseverance but some
owners will choose to use "professional" grooming services for trimming. Often
they don't get what they bargained for! References, pictures of client dogs
and recommendations should be sought before taking dogs to a parlour.