What are the best ingredients to serve Cocker Spaniels?

A good diet is essential to every single dog and, when selecting one, it’s important to look at activity levels, age and potential health problems.

Cocker Spaniels have hearty appetites, and will overeat if given the chance. They seem to be especially skilled at melting anyone’s resolve with those big, brown eyes. But don’t give in, especially given that dogs’ waistlines are expanding as quickly as human waistlines: 54 percent of adult dogs in the U.S. are now considered to be overweight or obese. So remember: An overweight Cocker is an unhealthy Cocker; overweight can reduce her lifespan by as much as 2.5 years.

As for how much, that depends on her size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Obviously, an active dog will require more calories than an inactive one and the quality and nutrient value of the food also makes a difference. Just like humans, all dogs are different and they don’t all need the same amount of food. A rough guideline, though, is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day—but do check with your vet about your dog’s requirements.

Try to avoid, as much as possible, any highly processed food because they could aggravate any potential health challenges: As always, stick with healthy , natural treats such as string beans, broccoli, melon, berries, oatmeal, pumpkin (dogs really love this taste), peas and apple slices (no seeds or core, because they can be toxic.)

You’ll want to have a discussion with your vet or pet nutritionist, because Cockers can be prone to certain health challenges. You’ll want to include foods that can help and avoid those that aggravate. You’ll also want to discuss supplementation.

Here’s a list of potential health problems—these are only things that could happen:
• Eye problems, including glaucoma, a condition in which pressure builds up inside of the eyeball; and other abnormalities. .
• Ear problems—those long, floppy ears can harbor bacteria
• Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), a condition in which a dog’s immune system attacks its own blood cells. .
• Hypothyroidism, a disorder of the thyroid gland that’s thought to cause conditions such as epilepsy, hair loss, obesity, lethargy, dark patches on the skin, and other skin conditions. It’s treated with medication and diet.
• Skin problems and allergies
• Epilepsy
• Joint, knee and hip problems

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