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.
At some point in his lifetime your Cocker Spaniel may become ill and need medication and a little tender loving care.
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.
Prescription food for dogs is available in both dry and wet forms and can be formulated for:
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!
Elevated dog food bowls can also help to keep your pet healthy as it is believed that they reduce stress on arthritic pets and help improve their posture and digestion.
Not only that, but they can be quite stylish too.
Raised dog feeders are raised feeders which are designed to improve your pet's posture and aid digestion.
This type of feeder is also said to relieve stress on your pet's joints by lifting their head above ground level when eating, helping to relieve any strain on the dog's neck and joints.
There are many different styles of elevated food bowls available; some are simply practical (like the one in the picture on the right) and others are more stylish in their design. (See below)
The more stylish bowls can be made from beautiful woods, slate, or stone, and are often designed to look more like a piece of furniture.
They certainly wouldn't look out of place in a trendy kitchen or stylish hallway!
Aside from looking rather stylish, there are many advantages of using raised dog food bowls. They can:
However, there is one small (potential) disadvantage to using elevated dog bowls which I feel I should mention.
If you decide to invest in elevated dog food bowls for your pet, it's important to make sure you order the right size for your pet.
You can do this by measuring your Cocker's wither height (the distance from the ground to the top of his shoulder) then subtract 15 cm (6 inches) to give you the correct height of elevated dog feeder for him.
I feel it's important to give you (but particularly larger breed owners) a word of warning about elevated dog food bowls.
They have been said to pose a small risk factor for dog bloat. Now, not all dogs are susceptible to bloat, but some are quite prone to this condition.
That's why I don't recommend using raised dog feeding stations for breeds prone to bloat as these type of feeders could increase the risk.
Luckily for us, however, Cocker Spaniels don't tend to suffer from dog bloat (although it's not unheard of) so if you think these stylish bowls would look good in your home, go ahead and try them.
If you'd like to learn more about dog bloat simply follow the link.
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.
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!