Many visitors ask, how much should I feed my dog? Am I underfeeding my dog? Some feel their dogs are overweight or underweight, some just want reassurance that they're doing the right thing.
Here are some of our visitors questions about their dog's weight, you may be able to relate to some of them.
Hi, I'd like to know how much to feed my dog.
I have a 13 months old cocker spaniel called Macy. I feed her twice a day, approximately 150-200 grams each meal.
Now I'm wondering if maybe I'm not feeding her enough because she often licks her bowl as if she is hungry and always looks for and picks up scraps of food in the street when I take her for walks.
Am I underfeeding my dog?
By: Stefan - London, England
Cocker Spaniels are always hungry - no matter what time of day it is!
However, we must be careful not to overfeed them because cockers can quickly become obese, especially as they grow older. Overweight dogs are more unhealthy and suffer more illnesses, and once those extra pounds are on, they're difficult to move.
The amount you should be feeding your Cocker Spaniel will depend on her age and stage in her life.
For example, an older dog won't need as much food as a younger dog because its lifestyle will not be as active and, therefore, will be unable to burn off the equivalent calories.
It also depends upon the food you intend to feed your dog and whether or not she's been spayed. (Neutered dogs don't need to eat as much as intact dogs).
If you're feeding your puppy a good quality kibble, she will probably need less of it, especially if it's not loaded with fillers such as corn.
I think you're doing the right thing by feeding her twice a day rather than just once - I think it's much better this way.
The answer your question (how much do I feed my dog?), the best way is to check the puppy food manufacturer's feeding instructions.
There will usually be a puppy feeding chart setting out just how much you should feed your puppy. It's usually categorised by weight and by age, but they're usually pretty easy to understand. In my experience, these weights are often exaggerated (after all, they want to sell more puppy food!) so you might want to reduce the recommended levels slightly.
If you're still not sure, why not ask your veterinarian's practice nurse? I'm sure she'll be only too pleased to advise.
You can read more about feeding your puppy here.
PS: If your puppy is scavenging outdoors, don't forget to worm her regularly.
Pauline (Web Owner)
How Much Should I Feed My Dog? Am I Feeding Her Too Much?
I have a 1-year-old female spayed cocker spaniel and in the last few months, she has put on more weight.
In September, she weighed 21 lbs, now in mid-January, she's 27 lbs.
She eats 1/2 cup of dry kibble twice a day. She has about 5 mini milk bone cookies in a day, along with a chew bone that takes her about 3 days to chew.
Of course, she'll do anything for food or treats, which is typical of cockers. She is on Blue buffalo adult food now.
Should I switch to something else?
If your dog seems to be happy on Blue Buffalo, I wouldn't recommend that you change her brand of food.
Cockers tend to gain a little weight once they have been neutered and as they get older; plus, because they're so gorgeous, it's too easy to spoil them with titbits and treats.
We all do it!
It doesn't sound like you're over-feeding Bella; I think she's pretty average for her age. However, just to be sure, you might want to do the following:
Check your dog's food packaging to see what they recommend for her age and weight, and then reduce that slightly. (This is because manufacturers' recommendations are often over-generous - after all, they want to sell more food, more often).
Try to reduce her daily treats slightly and space them out more.
Try increasing her exercise a little, which will also help get rid of any excess weight, should there be any.
If you don't see any change within a couple of weeks and are still worried, why not call your local veterinary nurse? They may be able to offer you supplementary advice and support.
Good luck to you both!
Pauline (Website Owner)
Ha! My cocker spaniel is always hungry, no matter what time of day it is. He's genuinely motivated by food; he'll do anything for a piece of meat or cheese.
He licks his food bowl for what seems like forever after he's finished his dinner. It's a good job there's not a pattern on his bowl! :)
How much you should feed him will be shown on the dog food tin or package. Stick to that, and you can't go wrong.
I also give my spaniel a dental stick once or twice a week, a biscuit or two each day (only after he's behaved well), and my wife is constantly slipping him an extra morsel or two when my back is turned.
He's not overweight, so I guess we're doing okay.
Feeding Your Cocker Spaniel
Hi, I'd like to know what food I should give my Cocker Spaniel?
I was told that cocker spaniels cannot have wheat in their diet. My mother-in-law had a cocker, who recently passed away, and she ate a science diet which I know contains corn and such like items.
Would it be wrong or dangerous for me to feed my new cocker spaniel puppy kibble and bits which contains corn and wheat?
By: Maggie - Texas
What Should I Feed My Dog?
Many dogs and puppies fare well on a diet that contains corn and wheat; however, some dogs simply can't tolerate it and develop either a food allergy or an intolerance.
Corn and wheat are often considered 'fillers' for the cheaper dog food brands. Always check the food manufacturer's ingredients label to view the total nutritional value of the food.
Vets often recommend a diet of hypoallergenic food to help fight the allergy.
It's always best to feed your cocker spaniel the best dog food you can afford; you get what you pay for!
Hope this helps!
Pauline (Web Owner)
Our purebred American Cocker Spaniel, who is 15 years old, grew up on Nutrience (before they changed the formula 3 years ago) as she is allergic to Glucosamine & Chondroitin.
Unfortunately, all the Nutrience dog food range has both ingredients, and most American Cocker Spaniels are allergic to Glucosamine & Chondroitin.
Our vet has always been pleased with our Cocker because she's very healthy and has teeth like a 5 or 6-year-old dog. We believe this is due to the quality of the food we feed her. The secondary food for her was TD Science Diet Dog Food that can only be bought from the vet.
Now our dog eats the TD Science Diet and a Royal Canine Special Mini dog food that is free of her allergies. She has been doing well with that range of dog food.
The American Cocker Spaniel prefers chicken, rice, veggies, and fruit, so look for a dog food that starts with chicken and see how they do.
What Do I Feed My Dog? Try a Chicken Based Dog Food
My mother adopted a 4-year-old cocker/cavalier king Charles spaniel a few months ago (32 lbs - looks like a small cocker).
Molly had anal gland problems and had to have them expressed every 6 weeks. We put her on a diet of Natural Balance Duck and Potato with treats that do not have any wheat, corn, or soy.
After a few weeks, she has never had a problem; no scooting, nothing.
I highly recommend this diet.
Best Food For Cocker Spaniels
We started our cocker on Nature's Choice Lamb and Rice, as our family began using Lamb and Rice dog food when I was young because they "poop" less.
After much research, we changed to Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb and Rice. It does not have the corn gluten, corn meal, etc., that you find in many dog foods, including Blue Buffalo, and the dogs actually eat less because their system absorbs more nutrients with the better quality food.
We've found that in the long run, we aren't spending any more on this food than we were on the cheaper options.
When we first switched him, he had terrible gas for about a week, but now that's gone, and he is happy and healthy, with a shiny, full coat.
By: A Jackson
I owned a cocker spaniel that passed away four years ago...I was devastated.
He had skin and ear problems for 7 of his 11 years and was on Science Diet. I tried very hard with him, but he was always on meds.
I purchased another cocker three months after he passed as I couldn't be without a dog. I have him on Blue Buffalo, and so far, he is 4 years old and has no health problems.
His fur grows so quickly that he has to be groomed very often. I so far think that the food is responsible for his excellent health.
It is a little bit more than other dog foods, but it costs me more for shampoos, ear meds, and skin meds...in the long run, the food is a cheaper fix.
Best Food for my Cocker Spaniel
One reader commented about losing a cocker spaniel that had been fed on a Science diet and then buying another cocker but feeding him Blue Buffalo.
I would like to know from that person what kind of Blue Buffalo dog food and what ingredients does it contain?
If you're a new puppy owner (or even if you're an experienced Cocker owner!) you're bound to have many questions you simply don't have the answer to.
This is where you can ask them and find all the answers. There's no such thing as a silly question here, so what are you waiting for?
Please make sure you give lots of detail when asking your question(s) to help our visitors give you a clear answer. If your question isn't understood or isn't clear enough, you may not receive a reply.