What Is Prescription Dog Food?

A prescription dog food diet may be just what the vet ordered if your pet's health is poor or he's been ill recently, or he has a stubborn allergy. The prescription diet replaces your dog's normal food and will help to nurse him back to full health. 

Health Giving Prescription Dog Food

At some point in his lifetime your Cocker Spaniel may become ill and need medication and a little tender loving care.

Black cocker spaniel lying on wooden floor, wearing red collarThis little Cocker is on a prescription diet and looks healthy

In many cases, your vet may treat your dog's illness by using drugs, but there are many instances where his condition may be treated simply by moving your pet onto a special diet to make sure he receives the correct nutrition and medication his body needs to restore him to good health.

Prescription dog food (sometimes known as veterinary dog food) is often a little more expensive than normal dog food but this expense is well worth paying to see the improvement in your dog's health.

Although prescription foods are widely available in good quality pet stores, I strongly recommend you visit your vet for an accurate diagnosis before changing your Cocker Spaniel's diet.

All dogs are different and have different levels of resistance to health problems, which is why it's so important that your vet makes the diagnosis, not the owner!

Once your vet has confirmed the problem and recommended a particular prescription diet, you may want to shop around for the best price as these foods are often overpriced and can be found cheaper elsewhere.

Types Of Prescription Dog Food

Prescription food for dogs is available in both dry and wet forms and can be formulated for:

  • Senior Dogs:  this has fewer calories and contains ingredients which are easily digested for the more sedate senior dog;

  • Arthritis: high in omega oils to help with arthritis, bone and joint functionality;

  • Canine Diabetes: low in sugar, high in fibre to help combat diabetes;
A blue roan cocker spaniel jumping up in the air, on moorland.Yippee!
  • Canine Allergies: specially formulated without allergy-causing 'fillers' such as wheat-based foods, and they're usually gluten free too! Great for pets that suffer from food allergies.

    Most good pet stores will stock a variety of reasonably priced hypo-allergenic foods;

  • Obese Dogs: low in fat and slightly reduced in protein to help overweight dogs lose those extra pounds!  Most pet food retailers offer food that is low in calories and not too heavy on the pocket!

    Obesity is often caused by a poor diet and/or lack of exercise so it's important to feed your dog well and ensure he has plenty of long brisk walks;

  • Boost your dog's immune system: prescription diets can improve your pet's immune system;

  • Weight gain: if your dog needs a little boost prescription food can give him those extra calories he needs to help him put on a few pounds;

  • Kidney Disease: can be specially formulated to provide a high quality, low protein diet to help fight kidney disease;

  • Urinary Tract Infections: if your dog has a urinary tract infection he may need to follow a prescription diet for a while, but as symptoms recede, you should be able to move your pet onto a high quality dog food. 

    Urinary tract infections are often caused by a poor diet; feeding your Cocker a good quality, nutritious diet will help to keep your pet health;

  • Dental problems: yes, there's even a prescription pet food to combat bad teeth!
  • If your vet suggests a prescription dog food for your Cocker Spaniel, portions must be carefully controlled. Follow your vet's instructions to the letter and according to your pet's weight.

    If your Cocker is prone to weight gain (aren't they all?)  keep the treats to a minimum and don't give him any table scraps.

    Unfortunately, prescription food isn't always as tasty as normal dog food which sometimes makes it a challenge to get our dogs to eat it. Perseverance is the key here!

How Long Will My Cocker Need A Special Diet?

If your dog suffers from diabetes your Cocker Spaniel may need to follow a special diet for the rest of his life.

However, not all prescription foods are meant to be fed to pets for their lifetime.

Some are only prescribed for a short time, for example, to help your dog recover from an illness by including certain foods to help build up his strength, others can be prescribed for years, depending upon the problem.

Your vet will always advise you on what kind of prescription dog food to feed your pet and for how long.

If you prefer to feed your pet homemade dog food, this may still be possible.

Speak to your vet, he will give you the best advice and may perhaps offer you recipes to help you duplicate your dog's special diet.

Prescription Dog Food Diet: Summary

If you feed your Cocker Spaniel on good quality human grade food and exercise him regularly you may never need to put him on a prescription diet.

However, dog's do become ill and a specially formulated prescription diet will meet all your dog's nutritional needs.

It can also help to treat most health problems in dogs of all ages and at some point in his life, a prescription dog food may just be the ticket to get your Cocker Spaniel back to his normal self!

Beautiful cocker spaniel looking in the best of health!Health problems in dogs

Photo Credits: Prescription Dog Food
1. John Amato at Flickr.com
2. Barnaby Kerr at Flickr.com - https://www.flickr.com/photos/34878285@N06/5123769432