The Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels – Top 10 Picks in 2021

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

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.”

Check Other Products on Chewy

Check Other Products on Amazon

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.

Product Name
Best Overall for Cocker Spaniels
Best For Senior Cocker Spaniels
Best For Cocker Spaniel Puppies
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Apple, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Nulo SR Trout Grain-Free Dry Food, 24 lb
Merrick Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food (4 lb)
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 89 / 100
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
Every flavour is high in Omegas and also contains DHA and EPA
High in protein and lower in fat for Cocker Spaniel seniors who may be slightly less active than usual
Contains good Omega levels and DHA for healthy development
Pro 2
Range of flavours which is amazing for dogs with food allergies
Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to keep older joints strong
Free from grains, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, and artificial stuff
Best Overall for Cocker Spaniels
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Apple, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Every flavour is high in Omegas and also contains DHA and EPA
Pro 2
Range of flavours which is amazing for dogs with food allergies
Custom Button
Best For Senior Cocker Spaniels
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Nulo SR Trout Grain-Free Dry Food, 24 lb
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
High in protein and lower in fat for Cocker Spaniel seniors who may be slightly less active than usual
Pro 2
Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to keep older joints strong
Custom Button
Best For Cocker Spaniel Puppies
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Merrick Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food (4 lb)
Rating
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
Contains good Omega levels and DHA for healthy development
Pro 2
Free from grains, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, and artificial stuff
Custom Button
Sources researched
28
Sources researched
Customer reviews
15,675
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
19
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels

Here are our top recommendations for the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels:

  1. Best Overall for Cocker Spaniels: Acana Singles Dry Dog Food
  2. Best for Senior Cocker Spaniels: Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food 
  3. Best For Cocker Spaniel Puppies: Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food 
  4. Best Omega Fatty Acid Content: Wellness Core Adult Dry Dog Food 
  5. Best Value For Money: Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food
  6. Best Flavor Range: Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food 
  7. Best Dog Food for Skin & Coat: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers 
  8. Best For Highly Active Cocker Spaniels: Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food 
  9. Best Raw Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
  10. 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

ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Apple, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality95%
Protein & Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Useful Additions90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • 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 

CONS

  • 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. 

click to see more

Flavor Range 

Your Cocker Spaniel can never get bored with the variety of flavors available for this dog food! Choose from Beef & Pumpkin, Duck & Pear, Lamb & Apple, Pork & Squash, and Turkey & Greens. No matter what food allergies your fur ball suffers from, there are at least a few flavors they’ll be able to enjoy.  

Added Supplements 

The Omega levels in this dog food are on the top end of the range, which provides a boost for your pooch’s skin and coat health. Each recipe contains DHA, EPA, and glucosamine, as well as having a stack of vitamins, minerals, and botanical inclusions, making this a well-rounded, tasty meal for your little pup.

2. Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food 

Best For Senior Cocker Spaniels: High Protein and adequate joint supplements for aging dogs

Nulo SR Trout Grain-Free Dry Food, 24 lb
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating89%
Ingredient Quality95%
Protein & Fat Count95%
Omega Fatty Acids85%
Useful Additions90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • 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 

CONS

  • 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. 

click to see more

Avoids Common Food Allergens 

As Cocker Spaniels get older, their stomachs tend to get a bit more sensitive. They may suddenly start developing bad reactions to dog food they haven’t had problems with before. 

When that happens, they need a senior-specific dog food like this one which contains no chicken, beef, grains, or potatoes. There’s also some chelated minerals in this dog food to assist with digestion. Avoiding those problem ingredients goes quite a long way towards keeping your older Cocker Spaniel’s stomach happy and working as it should.

3. Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food 

Best For Cocker Spaniel Puppies: Good Omega levels and DHA for healthy growing puppies

Merrick Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food (4 lb)
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating88%
Ingredient Quality95%
Protein & Fat Count85%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Useful Additions90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • 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 

CONS

  • 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. 

click to see more

Chicken or Beef 

Some Cocker Spaniel puppies can show signs of food allergies from a very young age. With this dog food, you have the option to avoid chicken if your little pooch shows any bad reactions to it, or avoid beef if you are worried about the possibility of thyroid and kidney problems. 

Both flavors are made from premium quality, all-natural ingredients and the proteins are supplemented with antioxidant and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. 

Omega Fatty Acids 

Both options have a good dash of DHA, which is essential for a puppy’s growth and development. In addition, the Omega numbers in this puppy food are a little higher than average and will keep your little one’s skin, coat, and digestive system well maintained from the get go. 

4. Wellness Core Adult Dry Dog Food 

Best Omega Fatty Acid Content: Great protein source in a flavor your pup will surely love

Wellness CORE 88414 Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Ocean Whitefish, Herring & Salmon, 26-Pound Bag
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating88%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein & Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Useful Additions90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • 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 

CONS

  • 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.

click to see more

Great Omega Counts 

There are four different types of fish meal in this dog food, which are all great sources for Omega fatty acids. Your Cocker Spaniel will be getting a dose of healthy Omegas to nourish their coat and skin while avoiding proteins that they are allergic to. 

No Beef Or Chicken 

Chicken is an extremely affordable protein source for a dog food. However, it’s also one of the most common food allergens. Beef can hasten the onset and symptoms of hypothyroidism, which Cocker Spaniels are predisposed to. 

This food manages to avoid both of those while still providing high-quality protein sources, extremely high levels of Omega fatty acids, and a host of healthy fruits and veggies. 

5. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food

Best Value For Money: High-quality dog food for a pocket-friendly price

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein & Fat Count95%
Omega Fatty Acids95%
Useful Additions90%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • 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 

CONS

  • 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. 

click to see more

Premium Quality Ingredient List 

For a dog food at this price point, you may expect a lower quality ingredient list. But this one is loaded with the best real food ingredients you could hope to find in a quality dog food. 

The protein content comes from chicken (in whole meat and meat meal form), and sits at 32%, while the fat content is at 25% which is adequate for highly active Cocker Spaniels.

You’ll find fruits and veggies of the “superfood” variety, such as kale, chia seeds, blueberries, and kelp (which is super helpful for pups with hypothyroidism). There’s a good dose of glucosamine and chondroitin in this food, which is unusual to see in dog foods priced as this one is. 

Although it’s not shown on the guaranteed analysis list, you’ll also find L-carnitine on the ingredient list, which is a fantastic immune-boosting nutrient that your dog needs. 

6. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food 

Best Flavor Range: Everything your pup needs in a tasty flavor variety

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating88%
Ingredient Quality95%
Protein & Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Useful Additions90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • 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  

CONS

  • 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. 

click to see more

Great For Skin & Coat 

Healthy fats and high Omega levels make this a great dog food for Cocker Spaniels who are suffering from itchy skin and dull coat. You’ll notice the difference in both look and feel after feeding your pup with this food for at least a couple of weeks.

Ingredient Quality 

The protein, fat, and carbohydrates sources in this dog food are of premium quality. It contains real meat, meat meal, and fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals and vitamins – all of which combine to create a complete, well-balanced diet for your little pooch.

7. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers 

Best Dog Food For Skin & Coat: Keeps your pet’s coat shiny and healthy

Stella & Chewy's Stella's Solutions Skin & Coat Boost Grass-Fed Lamb & Wild-Caught Salmon Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food, 13 oz
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating88%
Ingredient Quality95%
Protein & Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Useful Additions85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Highest fat level, making it fantastic for active dogs 
  • Among the highest Omega levels 
  • Superior quality ingredient list 
  • Grain free, pea and lentil-free, and potato-free

CONS

  • 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.

click to see more

High In Protein & Fat 

This Cocker Spaniel dog food has the highest fat level we’ve seen, especially at its price point. At 32% fat content, it is highly recommended for dogs who burn off plenty of energy during exercise.

The high protein content (also 32%) will maintain your Cocker Spaniel’s muscle mass while keeping it strong enough to support that flowing coat! 

High Omega Fatty Acid Count 

In addition to the 32% fat count, the Omegas are higher than average in this dog food. With this diet, your Cocker Spaniel will have a much higher than average fat intake, making digestion easier as well as softening and adding a shine to his or her coat. 

8. Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food 

Best For Highly Active Cocker Spaniels: High protein and fat levels for your energetic fluff

Instinct Raw Boost Skin & Coat Health Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's Variety, 4 lb. Bag
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein & Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Useful Additions80%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • 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 

CONS

  • 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. 

click to see more

High Protein & Fat Counts 

These nutrients are great for energetic Cocker Spaniels, with a fat count of 20% and 32.5% protein, it’s a great combination that supports muscle development while supplying enough energy to support active, energetic dogs. 

Skin & Coat Formula 

It’s always a great thing to feed a fluffy dog like a Cocker Spaniel a formula that’s created to nourish skin and coat. This food, although it is made up of chicken more than fish, contains nice Omega levels and a good dose of vitamin E, giving your pooch’s coat and skin a boost. 

9. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties

Best Raw Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels: All-natural, healthy treat your pet will love

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Patties Dog Food, 14 oz. Bag
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein & Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids85%
Useful Additions75%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • 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

CONS

  • 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. 

click to see more

Benefits Of Raw Nutrition 

The protein sources include organ meat & bone, which are very nutritious for your pup as it’s designed after what they’d end up eating if they were hunting in the wild. 

The protein and fat count are high enough to see him through the day quite happily. Raw food is also generally minimally processed, which means it retains just about all its nutrition and flavor. 

Flavor Variety For Sensitive Tummies 

Flavors include Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Red Meat, Salmon & Beef, Venison, Duck, Rabbit, Turkey, Pork, and Venison & Lamb, as well as two recipes (beef & salmon and chicken & salmon) specifically for puppies. 

This is amazing when you’re the parent of an allergy-prone Cocker Spaniel, as it allows you to easily avoid problem ingredients while still offering your fluff a variety of taste options without compromising their nutrition.

10. Solid Gold Weight Control Dog Food 

Best Weight Management Dog Food: Great for muscle support

Solid Gold - Fit & Fabulous - Potato-Free Fresh Caught Wild Alaskan Pollock - Holistic Weight Control Adult Dry Dog Food - 24 lb Bag
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein & Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids85%
Useful Additions80%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • 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 

CONS

  • 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).

click to see more

Fat As Energy 

This is one of the lowest fat counts we’ve seen, but coupled with a decent protein count makes for a great weight management formula. Fat is what dogs use first and foremost for energy, and if your Cocker Spaniel is getting in a high level of fat but not using it all, that fat ends up hanging around and your pet packs on the kilos. 

A low fat count means that there is no wastage when it comes to energy. If your Cocker Spaniel is less active, they won’t have extra fat sitting around causing extra weight. If your pooch is still quite active but just happens to be overweight, they’ll end up burning more calories than they’re eating (although you should check out how much you’re feeding them and adjust it down a little if necessary). 


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. 

Games that play to their hunting instinct are also a super idea, as are swimming exercises