The English Cocker Spaniel belongs to the class of hunting dogs that fit perfectly into urban living conditions. He feels great in apartments and his houses, in the company of the owner and his family members. If you take good care of the dog, spend time with him in the fresh air for active games, and feed him correctly, he will be able to live up to almost 20 years. However, most owners, yielding to the look of sad eyes, overfeed pets, provoking them to develop various health problems.
Natural Dietary Requirements
You need to learn how to feed a dog to keep it healthy before the puppy’s paws cross the threshold of his apartment. You can ask an experienced breeder, veterinarian, or read on the Internet to find out what the diet of a puppy and an adult dog consists of.
Important! Depending on the age of the English cocker, the volume and components of daily portions, the calorie content of food, the number of feedings should change. Babies are more in need of protein and frequent fractional feeds. Adults should get enough carbohydrates. Older dogs need fewer calories.
Natural food, according to most breeders, is considered more beneficial for animals than dry food. With this type of feeding, it is possible to adjust and select the ingredients, depending on the needs of the dog. However, there are also disadvantages, which include the constant need to prepare fresh meals for the dog and draw up the menu.
What Must Be in the Diet
In order for the food to be healthy for the cocker, and the hours spent at the stove do not become wasted, the dog’s natural nutrition should include:
Meat. After freezing, natural meat, raw or cooked, will provide the pet with the necessary amount of proteins and carbohydrates. Cocker tastes most of all sinewy beef, lamb, or chicken (boneless).
A fish. Sea fish should be given to dogs boiled or baked after defrosting. It can be added to porridge or soups.
By-products. Sometimes meat can be replaced with beef heart, tripe, or lung. They, like any other meat or fish product, must be frozen and only then offered as a treat to your pet.
Cereals. Buckwheat, rice, and wheat porridges are an integral part of Cocker’s diet, which is on a natural diet since they are a source of carbohydrates for him. On the menu, they should occupy 50% of the volume.
Milk. Fermented milk and dairy products can be given to dogs as a snack. Cheese, curdled milk, and cottage cheese are best suited for cockers.
Vegetables and fruits. Vegetables can be offered boiled to dogs along with cereals. Fruit should be on the menu, but only seasonal and within reasonable limits.
Mineral and vitamin complexes specially developed for dogs can be added to food only after consulting a veterinarian. He will be able to clearly say which component is more relevant in a given period.
What Shouldn’t Be
The strict ban on eating by English cockers applies to:
- raw river fish, distinguished by its bony;
- bird bones and beef or pork ribs, distinguished by their tubular structure;
- freshly baked white bread, baked goods;
- semi-finished meat products;
- sugar, candies, and other factory sweets;
- raw cabbage (broccoli, white cabbage).
Of particular danger to the health of dogs are the long bones of birds and animals, which can damage the mucous membrane of the esophagus and stomach. Fish in raw form is dangerous due to the possibility of the presence of parasites in it. Sweets provoke the development of obesity and diabetes.
There are many controversial opinions about whether dry food is good for the health of dogs. Whether or not to feed the dog with drying is an individual choice of each owner. If there is no opportunity to cook natural food for the cocker, dry food may well become a full-fledged substitute for it.
When choosing which dry food to buy, you must first of all focus on the manufacturer and the price. Cheap food is of inferior quality and will not benefit your pet.
Many manufacturers develop separate feeds for each breed. If there is no separation, then for cockers you need to purchase one whose packaging has the inscription “small breed dogs”.