18 Month-Old Cocker Spaniel Doesn't Always Eat

by Tom
(Carbondale, PA USA)

My Cocker Won't Eat!

My Cocker Won't Eat!

We have an 18-month old male cocker spaniel and he goes through periods when he just won't eat - he can go without food for 2 - 3 days sometimes. Is this normal?

We got him when he was 4 months old and the breeder recommended Eucanuba brand dry dog food.

He eventually seemed to grow tired of just the dry food so we started to mix it with a little wet brand food such as Cesar or Beneful. Unfortunately, after a while he grew tired of this too.

We have since been mixing the dry food with table food, such as roast beef or steak and he still will go through days when he won't eat.

Any suggestions or recommendations? Thank you.

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by: Andrea

My 2 year old sprocket won't eat either. Goes couple of days and sometimes sick with hunger she is so stubborn. Husband's fault for putting human food in her bowl. I won’t give in to her and she eventually eats it. I must have tried 6 different kinds of dry food. She will eat it at first then turn her nose up. I don’t give her anything else when she won’t eat, no treats or anything but lots of praise when she does. I even hand feed her the food sometimes 😩.

Is He Getting Food Elsewhere?
by: Pauline (Website Owner)


I think it might be advisable to try and find out what's causing your Cocker's lack of appetite before going on to deal with it.

Does your dog appear otherwise healthy?

Sometimes dogs lose their appetite when they're unwell (just like people). If your dog is feeling under the weather it may be causing him to go off his food for a while. If you're worried about his health, then a trip to the vet may be what's needed.

If he's been off his food for so long that he's underweight, I'd definitely take him to see his vet and have him checked out.

I'm assuming that you de-flea and worm him regularly.

If you're happy with his overall well-being, is it possible that he's getting food from elsewhere, (bins etc) or that someone else is feeding him? This could account for why he's not eating.

You say he's eating one day, but not the next. Forgive me for asking, but are you certain that you're not overfeeding him? It's very easy to do. Check the packaging to see what a dog of his age should be allocated each day and make sure you're sticking to it.

I wouldn't recommend free-feeding your dog because this can make them 'picky eaters'.

Leave his food bowl on the floor for 15 minutes and if he's not eaten it by then, remove it. This will help to regulate his eating because he will soon learn that if he doesn't eat at 'meal times' he will have to wait until the next one.

As for his food, I would choose one good brand of nutritious kibble and stick to it. If you feel you need to, you could soften it with a little warm water before you feed him.

If you don't want to feed him kibble, why not give him a little poached chicken and rice with a few green beans thrown in, or scrambled egg with a bit of salmon or white fish. Perhaps this could tempt him?

Have you tried hand-feeding him to get him going?

Generally, dogs will eat when they're hungry. (Unfortunately, mine will eat anything and everything, and at anytime of the day or night!)

It's difficult to give advice when I don't know your dog, or your circumstances, but I hope there's something in the above that you can try with success.

Good luck!

Kind regards,

by: Anonymous

Our 18 month old cocker spaniel is so hard to feed. We have tried dry food, raw food and tinned.

He will eat one day and won't eat the next. The only thing he will eat is a raw duck wing or a raw duck neck but you can't feed bone all the time.

Any suggestions?

Spaniel Won't Eat
by: Anonymous

I've never heard of cockers not wanting to eat - they're usually keen to hoover up anything that's going!

Could it be that your Cocker Spaniel just isn't hungry? Are you certain that you're not overfeeding him according to the manufacturer's recommendations?

I'm stumped!

I Used To Have The Same Problem!
by: Nichol

I used to have the same problem with both of my cocker spaniels. I don't know if it is cocker spaniels in general or just my luck, but both of mine have very sensitive tummies.

I have found that my male needs food that is corn and wheat free and my female needs food that is grain free.

Since the change in food my cocker spainels don't miss a meal.

Hope this helps. Good Luck!

Not Eating
by: Anonymous

I just got a 2 year-old male cocker spaniel today. I've tried two different types of dog food. He won't eat either one. The first kind wasn't a good kind, so I purchased a higher quality brand. He still won't eat, but he will eat some scraps. It's worrying me because he is on the skinny side.

I'm trying to get some advice from other owners - any ideas?

by: Anonymous

Don't worry, your cocker spaniel will eat when he's hungry!

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