Best Overall for Cocker Spaniels: Acana Singles Dry Dog Food
“This is a highly recommended dog food for your Cocker Spaniel as it is high in Omega fatty acids, which is ideal for your pooch’s long coat. It has a significant amount of DHA, EPA, vitamins, and minerals that supports proper growth and development of your beloved pooch.”
Best For Senior Cocker Spaniels: Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food
“Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food is a good source of protein for your senior Cocker Spaniel who is less active than usual. It contains joint supplements for your dog’s movement and L-carnitine for metabolism which are necessary for aging pups.”
Best For Cocker Spaniel Puppies: Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food
“This puppy recipe helps your growing Cocker Spaniel to develop into a healthy adult. It contains good Omega levels and DHA, essential for proper development and a good amount of immune boosting minerals to protect your pooch from potential health risks.”
The delightfully fluffy, high-energy, affectionate Cocker Spaniel has always been a hunting dog, and as such, needs a dog food that’s going to support his buzzing, bouncing energy levels.
Additionally, they need a complete and balanced diet with the right protein and fat content that supports muscle development and provides ample energy while preventing obesity and hypothyroidism which are quite common for this specific dog breed.
Table of Contents
- The Rundown
- Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels
- 1. Acana Singles Dry Dog Food
- 2. Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food
- 3. Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food
- 4. Wellness Core Adult Dry Dog Food
- 5. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food
- 6. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- 7. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers
- 8. Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food
- 9. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
- 10. Solid Gold Weight Control Dog Food
- 1. Acana Singles Dry Dog Food
- Factors to Look For in the Best Dog Food for Cocker Spaniels
- Common Health Conditions Cocker Spaniels Suffer From
- Questions & Answers
Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels
Here are our top recommendations for the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels:
- Best Overall for Cocker Spaniels: Acana Singles Dry Dog Food
- Best for Senior Cocker Spaniels: Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food
- Best For Cocker Spaniel Puppies: Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food
- Best Omega Fatty Acid Content: Wellness Core Adult Dry Dog Food
- Best Value For Money: Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food
- Best Flavor Range: Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- Best Dog Food for Skin & Coat: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers
- Best For Highly Active Cocker Spaniels: Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food
- Best Raw Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
- Best Weight Management Dog Food: Solid Gold Weight Control Dog Food
1. Acana Singles Dry Dog Food
Best Overall for Cocker Spaniels: A balanced limited ingredient diet packed with nutritional supplements
- Great range of flavors for dogs with food allergies
- Limited ingredient and grain free formula
- Every flavor is high in Omegas and also contains DHA and EPA
- High levels of joint-strengthening supplements
- Slightly pricey, but not unusual for a limited ingredient food
Acana Singles Dry Dog Food is a superior limited ingredient formula because of its amazing recipe variety, none of which contains chicken, potatoes, or grains.
Limited ingredients does not mean limited nutrition. In fact, this dog food contains 31% protein, 17% fat, and a host of supplements that ensure your cocker Spaniel is well-protected from any disease and supported in all his activities.
The fewer ingredients they are exposed to in their dog food, the lower the chances of them reacting badly to the food. Vets will often recommend this kind of diet especially to pups like your Cocker Spaniel, who are prone to allergies.
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2. Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food
Best For Senior Cocker Spaniels: High Protein and adequate joint supplements for aging dogs
- High in protein and lower in fat for Cocker Spaniel seniors who may be slightly less active than usual
- No chicken, beef, grains, or potatoes, making it very easy to digest
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to keep older joints strong
- Contains L-carnitine for energy regulation and metabolism
- One of the more expensive dog foods
- Slightly lower in Omegas
Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food is ideal for Cocker Spaniel seniors. It’s natural for your dog to be slightly less active as they age, and the lowered fat content in this food accommodates that very well while providing their day to day energy requirement. The protein content is still high, ensuring the muscles are well-supported even as they age.
This dog food also contains joint supplements to keep them agile. The added L-carnitine does wonders for regulating energy and helping the body to metabolize fats. In addition to all these great inclusions, it avoids many common dog food allergens which a Cocker Spaniel can develop a bad reaction to as they age.
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3. Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food
Best For Cocker Spaniel Puppies: Good Omega levels and DHA for healthy growing puppies
- Premium beef and chicken source
- Contains good Omega levels and DHA for healthy development
- Added glucosamine and chondroitin to strengthen joints early on
- Free from grains, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, and artificial stuff
- Potato may be an allergen for some puppies
- Slightly pricey
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food is a fantastic option for growing Cocker Spaniels. It comes in two flavors (beef and chicken), allowing you the option to avoid one or the other if your Cocker Spaniel has any specific health issues or allergies.
The ingredient list is top-notch, starting with its premium protein ingredients. In addition to the excellent protein, fat, and carbohydrates sources (all-natural, wholesome, real food ingredients), you’ll find high levels of Omegas for skin & coat health, added DHA for proper eyes and brain development, and joint-strengthening supplements for improved agility starting from a young age.
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4. Wellness Core Adult Dry Dog Food
Best Omega Fatty Acid Content: Great protein source in a flavor your pup will surely love
- High-quality protein sources excluding beef and chicken
- Great Omega fatty acid levels to maintain a healthy coat & skin
- High protein and decent fat counts for moderate to highly active pups
- Packed with fruits and vegetables for vitamins & antioxidants
- Contains potatoes, which could be an allergen
Not only are the protein sources in this dog food premium-quality (whitefish, herring meal, salmon meal, Menhaden fish meal), it’s also packed with superfood veggies and fruits for slow-burning carbohydrates and added vitamins and minerals.
There are no hidden poultry or beef ingredients in this dog food so you can be confident that even your sensitive pooch is safe from any ingredient that may trigger an allergic reaction. Wellness Core Adult Dry Dog Food also has impressive protein and fat content, high Omegas, and a good dose of joint supplements.
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5. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food
Best Value For Money: High-quality dog food for a pocket-friendly price
- Very high fat count, perfect for energetic Spaniels who get plenty of exercise
- Contains glucosamine & chondroitin for strong joints
- Extremely affordable for such a high-quality dog food
- High Omega levels alleviate allergy symptoms
- Not suitable for pups who are sensitive to chicken
If you want a budget-friendly dog food that gives your Cocker Spaniel all he needs, including additional supplements that support growth and development, Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food is the perfect choice.
This premium-quality dog food is packed with goodness and health benefits which can rival any top-of-the-range dog food products. It’s not entirely grain free, but it contains good & healthy grains that contribute to the fiber and antioxidant levels in your dog’s diet.
Your Cocker Spaniel will also be getting a serious energy-boosting dose of fats, enough protein to support and maintain their muscles, joint-fortifying supplements, and a significant amount of Omegas to keep their coat and skin healthy.
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6. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Best Flavor Range: Everything your pup needs in a tasty flavor variety
- Leading levels of Omega fatty acids (from salmon oil)
- High in protein and moderate in fat, to suit most dogs
- Great levels of glucosamine & chondroitin for joint support
- Free from common food allergens
- Contains potatoes, which may be an allergen for some dogs
- Slightly pricey
For dogs with long, flowing coats like Cocker Spaniels, a food that is high in Omega fatty acids from fish ingredients is highly recommended. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food has some of the highest Omega levels we’ve seen in a dog food and it’s formulated with their skin and coat health in mind.
There are a few more recipes in this flavor range that would be suitable for Cocker Spaniels, such as Venison & Sweet Potato, Texas Beef & Sweet Potato, and Lamb & Sweet Potato, as they don’t contain chicken (if your Cocker Spaniel is one of the sensitive ones). They’re grain free and the protein and fat levels are consistently high across the flavor range which is ideal for most Cocker Spaniels who are moderate to highly active.
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7. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers
Best Dog Food For Skin & Coat: Keeps your pet’s coat shiny and healthy
- Not suitable for inactive Spaniels due to the high fat count
- Somewhat expensive
Cocker Spaniels can suffer from allergies that cause dry, itchy skin and brittle, dull fur. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers caters specifically to skin and coat, and can make a huge difference to fluffy breeds like your Cocker Spaniel.
It’s super high in fat (32%) which means it’s great for your pup who has plenty of energy. It’s got a pretty high dose of Omega fatty acids, as well as vitamin E and B, which will targets dry skin and lackluster fur and turns it into moisturized skin and shiny fur.
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8. Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food
Best For Highly Active Cocker Spaniels: High protein and fat levels for your energetic fluff
- High fat for easy-access energy
- High in protein to maintain muscle mass
- Good Omega fatty acid levels (salmon oil)
- Contains freeze-dried raw pieces for extra nutrition
- Contains chicken, so not suitable for dogs with an allergy or sensitivity
- Doesn’t contain glucosamine, so will need to supplement separately
Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food contains the best of both worlds – the crunchy, teeth-cleaning properties of kibble, and the extra protein, taste, and texture of raw meat pieces.
Not only will your Cocker Spaniel enjoy the taste and texture of this food, he will benefit from the fantastic nutritional properties and high fat and protein counts, which fuels an active pup quite well.
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9. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
Best Raw Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels: All-natural, healthy treat your pet will love
- Large variety of flavors available, making it easy to avoid problematic ingredients
- High in protein and fats, making these patties fantastic for an active Cocker Spaniel
- Fairly low in calories despite their nutrient density
- Minimally processed, all-natural dog food
- No glucosamine or other supplements added
- A little pricey
Raw feeding is recommended for high-energy breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel. Working or hunting dogs burn calories fairly quickly and need something with plenty of protein and a high fat count. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties fulfill both of those needs and are our top choice raw dog food for Cocker Spaniels.
It contains one or two protein sources (muscle meat, organ meat, and bone), as well as superior quality, wholesome fruits, and vegetables for added vitamins and minerals.
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10. Solid Gold Weight Control Dog Food
Best Weight Management Dog Food: Great for muscle support
- Excludes chicken, beef, and potatoes for dogs prone to allergies
- Reduced calories and fat levels for weight management
- Contains DHA for an extra Omega dose
- No grains or artificial ingredients
- Lower than average Omega fatty acid levels
- No glucosamine or chondroitin
If left to their own devices, Cocker Spaniels can become overweight very easily, which then opens the door to other health conditions. If your Spaniel is becoming a little heavier than he or she should be, Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Alaskan Pollock Recipe is a great option to provide them all the necessary nutrients while not feeding them too many calories.
The low fat count (6,5%) is great for a Cocker Spaniel who is either not very active due to their weight, or who is active but simply eats too much, as they will burn it off quite quickly.
The protein remains at a very nice 26%, which is enough to support the muscles with a bit of extra weight. This dog food contains grains, but they’re the good kind (brown rice, oatmeal, pearled barley).
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Factors to Look For in the Best Dog Food for Cocker Spaniels
1) Premium Ingredient Quality (Avoiding Allergens)
Cocker Spaniels are known to have sensitive tummies under all that fur. It’s crucial to feed them something that is going to provide them all the nutrients they need while not aggravating any allergies they may have.
Real meat is essential and should be the main ingredient on the list. This can be any type of meat, but it’s highly recommended to avoid chicken and beef as they’re both common allergens and beef is a no-no for dogs who are prone to hypothyroidism.
Look for carbs in the form of gluten-free grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, which add a really good dose of vitamins and minerals, not to mention antioxidants which is necessary for immune and digestive support. A dog food with only grains as carbohydrate sources isn’t enough and must be avoided as it may contain problem grains which can trigger allergies.
Artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives, must also be avoided.
2) Ideal Protein & Fat Count
Dogs like the Cocker Spaniel that were bred to be hunters typically have higher than average energy levels, which need to be fueled by premium quality fat source.
Protein is important for maintaining muscle mass and making sure they’re functioning at optimum capacity all the time, even if your pooch isn’t flushing woodcock out of the forest. A protein count of 25% minimum is ideal for these fellows, anything higher is recommended for active cocker spaniels.
Considering fat is the nutrient that dogs draw upon for the quickest, most easily accessible energy, a higher fat level than is average is a great idea for these bouncy dogs. If you can find a food with 20% or more fat content, that’s perfect for your dog. If not, 15% should be the minimum you choose.
Real meat and high-quality fats and oils are preferred, and the amount of plant protein should be limited.
3) Omega Fatty Acids
Cocker Spaniels are also known for their lovely hair, which can grow out of control if not monitored and groomed regularly.
If well-kept, though, these pups can have beautiful, stylish coats. Regardless of whether you’re aiming for the competition stage or just looking to keep your Spaniel healthy and comfy, a good dose of Omega fatty acids in their food will keep those luscious coats healthy, shiny, and soft.
Sometimes you’ll find Omega 3 and 6 on dog food labels under the name linoleic acid. DHA (which is an essential fatty acid for puppies) may be listed by its full name, docosahexaenoic acid, and the same goes for EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid. Salmon oil is another source.
4) Additional Supplements
There are some supplemental nutrients that can be highly beneficial to Cocker Spaniels. The best dog food for Cocker Spaniels is ideally something that protects them from allergies while building their immune system.
- DHA and EPA. Look for foods that contain DHA and EPA as they are essential for growth and development.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are also needed, as Spaniels are prone to hip dysplasia and other joint issues. Foods that contain joint-strengthening supplements are highly recommended but can also be added as a separate supplement.
- Vitamins and minerals. Your dog can benefit from added immune boost from various vitamins and mineral sources. Kelp, for example, is a welcome addition in your dog’s food. It helps stimulate the thyroid, and as Spaniels are also predisposed to hypothyroidism, an ingredient such as this can be invaluable in regulating symptoms or even preventing the onset of the disease entirely.
- L-carnitine helps regulate energy and metabolism and building the immune system.
Common Health Conditions Cocker Spaniels Suffer From
Cocker Spaniels are, unfortunately, prone to quite a few health conditions. Food allergies is one of the most common things Spaniels have trouble with, and can cause itching and scratching, dull, lustreless fur, dry skin, and ear problems.
- Food allergies can also develop quite rapidly, so you’ll need to pay close and constant attention to what your Spaniel is eating. The best dog food will avoid common allergens and artificial ingredients.
- Obesity. It is quite easy for a Cocker Spaniel to become obese if they are eating like an active dog but exercising like a lazy dog. Because the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels is naturally high in protein and fat, if they aren’t burning it off during their daily activity they can pack on the pounds quite quickly, which in turn can worsen other potential health issues.
- Hypothyroidism is another condition that a Cocker Spaniel can tend towards. This is when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, and it can lead to a variety of problems, including weight gain, which is already something Cocker Spaniel parents need to watch out for. Foods with kelp in them can help stimulate the thyroid to secrete more of its essential hormones.
These fluffy fellows are also quite prone to eye problems, including cataracts, cherry eye, and degeneration of the retina. Elbow, knee, and hip dysplasia are also common, as is luxating patella, so your dog needs to supplement with gluosamine.
Questions & Answers
What are the nutritional requirements of a Cocker Spaniel?
These fluffies are full of energy, so the ideal dog food for Cocker Spaniels will nourish them and provide a decent supply of energy to last through their active day.
Protein and fat are the most important things to look out for here, and active dogs need higher levels than average. A protein count of 25% and above is good for active pups, and if your pooch is really bouncy and busy they can benefit from something with 30% or more (coming from high-quality sources, of course).
Fat is what your pet uses for immediate energy, so it’s essential to have a high amount of it in the best food for Cocker Spaniels. 20% or more is a great number, and also from quality sources. Carbohydrates provide more long-term, sustained energy, and should be sources that are less known for inducing allergies.
Active Cocker Spaniels will eat between 800 and 1100 calories per day. As they get older and less active, that number will fall to the lower end of the spectrum. It doesn’t matter as much how many calories are in a food – what matters is how much of the food you feed your pooch. Remember, you’ll need to calculate the correct number based on how many times a day you’re going to be feeding your pet (which is most likely going to be twice a day for adult Cocker Spaniels).
What should I look for in the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels?
The best dog food for Cocker Spaniels will be chock-full of high-quality, all-natural, real food ingredients. Spaniels are prone to sensitive tummies and food allergies, so you may want to avoid chicken, grains containing gluten, and any other ingredients that your Spaniel may react badly to.
You’ll want to see an animal protein first on the list. More than one is totally fine, as long as they’re proteins your pup’s tummy can deal with. Plant proteins are also fine, as long they are in addition to a premium quality animal protein source.
Animal fats are also essential, although it’s best if they are specified – seeing “animal fat” on an ingredient list is a little too vague for our liking. Carbs can be in the form of healthy, easy-to-digest grains if your pup can tolerate them (brown rice, oats, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, quinoa). Fruits and vegetables are important carbs and also add a lovely dose of vitamins and minerals.
You’ll also want to see certain things on the guaranteed analysis list on your dog food’s packaging. These include high levels of Omegas, DHA and EPA (especially for puppies and seniors), glucosamine and chondroitin (joint-strengthening supplements), L-carnitine, and vitamins and minerals. Anything that will boost the immune system of your Cocker Spaniel is great.
Are there any ingredients I should avoid when feeding a Cocker Spaniel?
Unfortunately, Spaniels can have fussy tummies, although it will depend on the individual as to what ingredients may be more problematic than others.
The best dog food for Cocker Spaniels will avoid corn, wheat, and soy in any form, as these are hard for dogs to digest. Gluten-free grains are generally quite okay (like brown rice, oatmeal, and millet) but if your pup struggles with them it’s okay to stay away from those too.
Cocker Spaniel food should avoid artificial ingredients entirely. These include artificial colouring, synthetic flavours, and non-natural preservatives.
Your Cocker Spaniel may show discomfort or reluctance to eat certain foods, and this should be noted and ingredients avoided. It may take some experimenting to figure out what ingredients exactly it is that your dog needs to avoid, but chicken, beef, lamb, and grains containing gluten are amongst the most common allergy culprits.
Other than feeding them a great quality food, what else can I do to keep my Cocker Spaniel healthy and fit?
Cocker Spaniels need exercise! They adore a run or walk around the neighbourhood and will spend plenty of time exploring new smells. They also love to swim, so you may find them in the pool in summertime… Or in the lake, swamp, or puddles in the park when you’re out and about .
Apart from taking them for regular walks (at least once per day), they love a good game with their humans. They’re affectionate and enjoy bonding with their parents, and they will usually form a close bond with one person in particular.
Anything that will stimulate their minds or strengthen the bond would be a great exercise for a Cocker Spaniel. They’re highly intelligent, so training is a great idea, and keeping them mentally stimulated with toys and games would be fantastic.