Skin And Health Condition

by Sue Thorne
(Bristol, England)

My cocker spaniel, who is a blue roan, has developed dry itchy patches all around his body and they don't look nice and certainly bother him - he also has an odour to his breath.

I having been feeding him dog food, but have not been happy for a while that this is the best thing for him and want his food to be more natural for him.

I want to be able to treat him with bones etc - what is best?

I am looking to give him a natural diet such as meats, fish, eggs, etc and on top of that give him supplement but what would you suggest?

Where could I get coconut oil and fish oil from to help him?

I am worried that the dog food is processed rubbish and probably not helped with his condition.

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

Hello Sue,

Thank you for your email about your Cocker Spaniel's health, and what a handsome fellow he is!

First of all, I recommend you take him to see his vet so that you can be certain that the bad breath and dry skin aren't signs of an underlying illness, just to be on the safe side.

It may simply be, as you suspect, a food allergy or he's no longer suited to the dog food that you've been feeding him, but it's best that your vet diagnoses his symptoms.

If you'd like to move your Cocker onto more healthy, natural food, you have many options. You might also like to consider a raw dog food diet, also known as the BARF diet, and we have a few raw dog food recipes on this page.

As for supplements, your vet may be able to recommend something or you can pick something up at your local pet store, but if his diet is nutritious and varied, he may not need them.

If you plan to give your pet bones as a treat, that's no problem, simply ask your local butcher for a couple of bones suitable for a Cocker Spaniel and he'll choose the right size for him.

Your dog should eat raw bones, never cooked, as they can splinter and could pierce his stomach and intestines.

I'm sure you're already aware that chicken bones shouldn't be fed to your dog either as they can be very dangerous, and try to be around when he's chewing on a bone, just in case.

I feed my Cocker mostly on kibble, but occasionally, I'll 'cook' for him. He loves boiled rice with an egg chopped into it, or rice with lamb or salmon and fish trimmings mixed through it. I also give him raw vegetables. Would you believe red pepper is his favourite?

Max is 7 now (officially classed as a senior) so I drop one omega oil capsule into his dish every other day just to help his bones a little - and as an added bonus, it's also good for his skin and coat too!

If the dry patches on your Cocker's skin turn out to be caused by a food allergy, you might like to try an exclusion diet to work out exactly what's causing it - you can read more about that here.

I hope this has helped and that you soon get your Cocker back to his normal self. Good luck to you both, and I'd be delighted to hear about your progress.

Kind regards,

PS: If you'd like to make some homemade treats for you pet, just follow this link for some tasty recipes!

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Skin Condition
by: Anonymous

Hello, My cocker spaniel has had similar problems until I decided to change his diet over to raw food. I began slowly and worked up until his entire diet consisted of raw food.

It was difficult at first because I didn't really know what I was doing and it's more time consuming than giving him regular dog food.

I spoke to my vet and told her what I was planning on doing. She tried to sell me some special dog food, but I was determined not to use it, besides, I couldn't afford it. Eventually she agreed to what I was suggesting and seemed okay about it. She said she would like to see him in 3 months time just to check on his health and said he may need some supplements. (Who knew?)

I give him half raw meat and half raw vegetables. He also gets a raw egg sometimes and plenty of bones to gnaw on. I also give him rolled oats mixed into his food.

He seems to be doing fine.

I hope you enjoy preparing your dog's meals. Good luck.

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