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Cocker Spaniel Care

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 Grooming, Feeding And Exercise
Last Updated: Wed Aug 18, 2004

Feeding

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:

  • Complete (dry) foods

  • Tinned dog foods mixed with biscuit meal

  • Homemade dog foods (made by the dogs owner)

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.

  • Beef knuckle bones are readily available from butchers and pet shops. They are rich in calcium and marrow, provide hours of enjoyment and will help keep a dogs teeth clean.

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.

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.

All-Breed Dog Grooming. Gives step-by-step illustrated instructions.

 

All-Breed Dog Grooming
Gives step-by-step illustrated instructions on:

  • Bathing

  • Trimming

  • Scissoring

  • Grooming Dog Breeds recognised by the A.K.C and The Kennel Club

  • 160 colour clips

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Price: New 26.50, Used from 15.00


 Books
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Cocker Spaniels by Jennifer-Lloyd Carey

Cocker Spaniels
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Cocker Spaniels Today by Joyce Caddy

Cocker Spaniels Today
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Pet Owner's Guide to Cocker Spaniels by Frank Kane

Pet Owner's Guide to Cocker Spaniels
by Frank Kane

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