6 Best Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Dog Food Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors

With a look as regal as his name, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a beautiful toy breed dog.

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These dogs were developed in the United Kingdom but have become very popular in the U.S. as a companion pet and lapdog. This breed has a silky-smooth coat with long feathering on the chest, belly, and legs, as well as a long, well-feathered tail. The breed comes in several variations of black, tan, chestnut, and ruby and their soft coats need a lot of attention.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy breed that grows to an average of 13 to 18 pounds and they are extremely friendly and people-oriented. These dogs have a lifespan between 10 and 14 years which is about average for a dog of their size, maybe a little on the low end. To ensure that your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lives a long and healthy life, make sure you feed him a high-quality diet made from natural ingredients and formulated to meet his high energy requirements.

Keep reading to learn more about your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the 2019 best dog food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

What is the Best Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Food?

Understanding a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Diet Requirements

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active and playful breed who will follow you everywhere you go. Like all dogs, they need a balance of protein and fat in their diet to build and maintain lean muscles and to provide energy to fuel their fast metabolisms. Both of these nutrients should come from high-quality animal sources to ensure bioavailability of the nutrients. Meat, poultry, and fish are great sources of complete protein for your dog and things like chicken fat and salmon oil provide healthy fats.

Related: Our In-Depth Guide to Picking the Best Possible Dog Food

Though the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel doesn’t have specific needs for carbohydrates in his diet, these foods provide dietary fiber as well as essential nutrients. Whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes are some of the most digestible forms of carbohydrates for dogs. In addition to protein, fat, and carbohydrates, your dog also needs certain vitamins and minerals which come from synthetic supplements as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Puppy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Diet – As a puppy, your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs a high-energy diet that provides a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat. Look for a small-breed puppy recipe to ensure that this ratio is met.
  • Adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Diet – When your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel grows up, he’ll need a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat in his diet, ideally from high-quality animal sources. A small-breed adult recipe is a good way to make sure these needs are met.
  • Senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Diet – When your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel becomes a senior around 7 to 9 years of age, you may need to switch him to a senior recipe if his metabolism slows down. Obesity is always dangerous but particularly so for senior dogs.
Related: Check out our In-Depth Guide to Puppy Nutritional Requirements and 13 Best Puppy Foods

When it comes to a high-quality diet for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, you should also look for beneficial supplements. Chelated minerals have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them more biologically valuable to your dog. Prebiotic fibers support healthy gut flora and probiotics support healthy digestion.

Special Dietary Considerations for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a lifespan of 10 to 14 years, though it is certain possible for this breed to live longer. Unfortunately, the breed is affected by a number of inherited health problems that can impact his lifespan.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may be prone:

  • Allergies
  • Cataracts
  • Ear Infections
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Keratoconjucnctivitis
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Primary Secretory Otitis Media
  • Skin Problems
  • Syringomyelia

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

When it comes to inherited health problems, some of the conditions on the list include juvenile cataracts, mitral valve disease, syringomyelia, and hip dysplasia. Cataracts are an opacity that forms in the lens of the eye which sometimes develops at an early age. It is not a painful or dangerous condition, but it can affect your dog’s vision. Another eye problem to which the breed may be prone include keratoconjunctivitis or dry eye.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a higher risk for allergies and skin problems than some breeds and their long ears predispose them to ear infections. Dogs can develop allergies to just about any food ingredient, though some of the most common allergens are grains like corn and wheat as well as common proteins like chicken, beef, and pork. Skin problems come in many different forms and may be related to a food allergy or sensitivity. The breed is also prone to primary secretory otitis media which is a condition in which a mucus plug forms in the middle ear and causes neck pain.

Some of the more serious conditions known to affect the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel include mitral valve disease and syringomyelia. Mitral valve disease is a heart condition in which the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle in the heart becomes damaged, causing the heart to enlarge and eventually fail. Syringomyelia is a congenital nervous system disorder that causes spinal fluid to accumulate in the spine, causing pain and a wobbly gait.

In terms of dietary considerations for these healthy problems, you’ll want to keep the potential for food allergies, skin problems, and musculoskeletal conditions in mind. Make sure your dog’s diet is made from high-quality, natural ingredients with no artificial additives or fillers. Beneficial supplements like probiotics can boost digestion and things like glucosamine and chondroitin support joint health.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Feeding Chart

As a small-breed dog, your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a very fast metabolism. Most dogs of this size require an average of 30 to 40 calories per pound of body weight per day. For most dog foods, this equates to about ½ to 1 cup of food per day divided into several meals. Keep in mind that the calorie content of every dog food is different, so you’ll need to refer to the feeding recommendations on the package according to your dog’s age, weight, and activity level.

When your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a puppy, he needs a steady influx of energy. Most puppies do well on four small meals a day. As your dog reaches his adult size, you can switch to three meals a day and switch to a small-breed adult recipe at 12 months. From there, check your dog’s weight every six months and make adjustments to his diet as needed. Around 7 to 9 years, consider switching to a small-breed senior recipe or simply reduce the size of your dog’s meals.

The Best Dog Food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Our 2019 Top 15 Picks

Now that you have a better understanding of your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for dog food! Remember, the best Cavalier King Charles Spaniel food will be made from high-quality, natural ingredients including healthy animal protein, plenty of healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. Due to the breed’s propensity for food allergies and skin problems, you might want to consider a grain-free recipe or a limited ingredient diet.

Here are our top 15 picks:

Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Turkey Small Breed Recipe

Overall Best Food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: To ensure that your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets the highest quality nutrition possible, consider this Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Turkey Small Breed Recipe. This formula features high-quality kibble infused with freeze-dried raw bites of real turkey. It is packed with protein from several animal sources with nutrient-rich chicken fat and salmon oil for energy. This recipe is supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients, plus prebiotic fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion. It is also formulated to meet the high energy requirements of small breeds.

  • Pros: High-protein kibble plus freeze-dried raw pieces, contains 38% protein and 15% fat, crunchy kibble cleans teeth, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: Very expensive to feed as a staple diet, some dogs may be sensitive to potatoes

Simply Nourish Grain-Free Chicken with Peas & Potatoes Small Breed Recipe

Most Affordable Food: If you don’t have a big budget to work with, this Simply Nourish Grain-Free Chicken with Peas & Potatoes Small Breed Recipe may be a good option for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This recipe is affordably priced but made with natural ingredients including deboned chicken, chicken meal, and grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes and peas. This recipe contains canola oil and salmon oil to provide 18% fat as well as a blend of omega fatty acids, plus flaxseed for fiber and additional fat. It contains several dried fruits and veggies as natural sources of key nutrients with chelated minerals for balance.

  • Pros: Affordably priced, several sources of animal protein, rich in omega fatty acids, 29% protein and 18% fat, dried fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, small-breed specific
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), may be too high in fiber for some dogs, no probiotics

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe

Most Popular Food: If you’re not sure what to buy for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe is a popular choice. What makes this recipe a great choice is the fact that it is made from all-natural ingredients including premium animal proteins and digestible grain-free carbohydrates. This recipe is fortified with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients with chelated minerals for balance and optimal nutrient absorption. It also contains prebiotic fibers and probiotics for healthy digestion in addition to being formulated for small breeds.

  • Pros: Formulated for small breeds, several sources of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, prebiotics and probiotics, blend of omega fatty acids, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery Service

Super Premium Food: If you want your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to have the best food money can buy, NomNomNow is an option to consider. This is a fresh food delivery service that offers custom meals for your dog designed specifically for his age, breed, and size. Simply fill out a profile online and pick a recipe then you’ll receive monthly shipments of your dog’s fresh food. Every delivery will be made from the freshest ingredients available and never frozen. It is portioned perfectly for your dog and you can keep it fresh in your refrigerator or freezer. You can also customize the recipe if your dog has food allergies or sensitivities, so there is nothing to worry about.

  • Pros: Made with the freshest natural ingredients, variety of recipe options, prepared fresh each week (never frozen), delivered automatically to your door, free shipping in the USA
  • Cons: Some delivery restrictions for certain parts of the country, may need to call to adjust recipes

FirstMate Small Bites Australian Lamb Meal Formula LID Dry Food

Best Food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with Allergies: If your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel suffers from food allergies, you need to limit the number of ingredients in his diet and find a novel source of protein. This FirstMate Small Bites Australian Lamb Meal Formula LID Dry Food is a great option because it fulfills both of those requirements. Featuring Australian grass-fed lamb, this formula is rich in premium protein and supplemented with healthy fats like chicken fat. It contains 78% animal ingredients and 22% vegetables and supplements, making it entirely grain-free and highly digestible. Plus, it contains chelated minerals and supplemental glucosamine for joint support.

  • Pros: Limited number of main ingredients, single source of novel protein, rich in healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, glucosamine for joint support
  • Cons: Could be higher in fat for some dogs, may be too high in fiber for some dogs

Go! Sensitivity + Shine LID Grain-Free Turkey Small Breed Recipe

Best Food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with Sensitive Stomachs: If you’re worried about your dog’s sensitive stomach, this Go! Sensitivity + Shine LID Grain-Free Turkey Small Breed Recipe is a good choice. Made with premium-quality turkey as the main ingredient and grain-free carbohydrates, this recipe is all-natural and easy to digest. It features lentils and chickpeas for low-glycemic carbohydrates with plenty of healthy fats and beneficial supplements. It contains 26% protein and 14% fat with just 4% crude fiber. You’ll also be glad to know that it is formulated specifically for small breeds and supplemented with prebiotics and chelated minerals.

  • Pros: Made with a limited number of main ingredients, premium protein-rich turkey, digestible carbohydrates, low-glycemic and grain-free, prebiotic fibers, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), no probiotic supplements

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Adult Foods

AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free Revolving Menu Small-Breed Adult Lamb Recipe

This AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free Revolving Menu Small-Breed Adult Lamb Recipe provides a rich source of protein from real lamb and lamb meal as well as plenty of healthy fats from chicken fat and avocado. The high fat content of this recipe is ideal for small breeds and it provides extra support for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s silky coat. Plus, it is supplemented with probiotics for healthy digestion.

Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free Duck & Potato Small Breed Recipe

If you’re worried about triggering food allergies or sensitivities, try this Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free Duck & Potato Small Breed Recipe. This limited ingredient diet features deboned duck as the main ingredient and the sole source of protein. It relies on canola oil and fish oil for healthy fats with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance. It also contains chelated minerals and probiotics.

Canidae Grain-Free PURE Petite Small Breed Salmon Formula

Formulated specifically for small breeds like your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Petite Small Breed Salmon Formula is great for lean muscle mass, energy, and healthy coat support. It features fresh salmon as the main ingredient which is a lean source of animal protein and loaded with healthy omega fatty acids. This formula also contains freeze-dried salmon for a boost of nutrition and natural flavor.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Foods

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Deboned Turkey Recipe

To get your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy off to a healthy start, try this Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Deboned Turkey Recipe. This recipe features deboned turkey as the main ingredient and primary source of protein with salmon meal for DHA and omega fatty acids. IT also contains nutrient-rich chicken fat, digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and veggies.

Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Puppy Anchovy, Sardine, & Chicken Meal Recipe

If you’re looking for a high-quality recipe for your puppy, this Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Puppy Anchovy, Sardine, & Chicken Meal Recipe is an all-natural option. Made with premium proteins like anchovy and sardine meal and chicken meal, it offers a full 30% protein and 20% fat. This formula features chicken fat and salmon oil for energy and coat support, plus fresh fruits and veggies as natural sources for key nutrients.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe

If your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy can tolerate grains, this Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe is an excellent choice. Formulated specifically for small breeds and supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this recipe will get your puppy started on a healthy note. Plus, it is made with all-natural ingredients like deboned chicken, brown rice, menhaden fish meal, and fish oil.

2 More Picks for Senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Foods

Lotus Oven-Baked Small Bites Senior Recipe

As your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets older, his metabolism and his digestion might slow down so quality ingredients are a must. This Lotus Oven-Baked Small Bites Senior Recipe features premium proteins, healthy fats, and digestible whole grains in a recipe that is oven-baked to preserve the nutritional integrity of the ingredients. Plus, it contains probiotics for healthy digestion.

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Senior Recipe Dry Food

If affordability is a concern, this Nutro Ultra Small Breed Senior Recipe Dry Food is a good option for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This recipe features three lean sources of animal protein with plenty of healthy fats for energy and coat support. It is supplemented with dried fruits and veggies plus chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption. It also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support in your dog’s old age.

Our FAQ and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Feeding Guide

While choosing the best dog food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is important, you also need to think about how to feed and store it. When it comes to food storage, know that your dog food will start losing some of its nutritional value as soon as you open the package. Fortunately, the insides of dog food bags are treated to help preserve the product. If you pour the food into another container, however, you’ll lose that benefit so place the whole bag in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

When it comes to choosing a dog bowl, you want to consider durability and safety. Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials and it is usually affordable. Ceramic is another good option because it is easy to clean, but it will break if you drop it. Both these materials are easy to clean and unlikely to scratch which is important because scratches can harbor dangerous bacteria. Whatever bowl you choose, make sure to clean it often for your dog’s safety.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

How much food should I feed my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? – The amount of food your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel eats will depend on his age, weight, and activity level. Some dog foods are higher in calories than others, so refer to the feeding recommendations on the package to see how much to feed your dog. Make sure you choose a small-breed recipe as well to ensure that the nutrient ratios are right and divide the total daily amount by the desired number of meals you want to feed your dog.

How many times a day should I feed my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? – Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small-breed dogs which means they have very fast metabolisms and will burn through energy very quickly. As a puppy, your dog needs four small meals a day for at least the first six months. When he approaches his adult size you can go down to three meals and, at 12 months of age, switch to an adult small-breed recipe. When your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel becomes a senior, you might consider going down to two meals or switch to a small-breed senior recipe.

What kind of food do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels eat? 

Because the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a high risk for food allergies and skin problems, the quality of his diet is extremely important. The higher the quality of the ingredients, the more nutritious and digestible the food will be. Fresh food is the healthiest food for dogs, no matter what the breed, but dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are also good. If you can’t afford one of these options, consider a high-quality kibble or a dry food that is infused with freeze-dried raw pieces for a boost of quality nutrition and natural flavor.

What vegetables are good in a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel food? – Even if you don’t choose a grain-free diet for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you should still look for vegetables on the ingredients list. Veggies provide dietary fiber as well as natural sources for key nutrients. Here are some of the best vegetables for dogs:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Whether you include vegetables in your dog’s food or not, you should still think about feeding him small amounts as a healthy treat. Just make sure they are safe for dogs and washed well.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need grain-free dog food? – There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the long-term safety of grain-free diets for dogs, though there is no conclusive evidence as of yet to say it is unsafe. Considering that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a high risk for food allergies, you might want to consider a grain-free diet or at least a limited ingredient diet. Each dog is an individual, however, so your dog may have no trouble digesting grains.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Cavalier King Charles Spaniel food.

Remember, the best Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog food is made from high-quality, all-natural ingredients including animal protein, plenty of healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. Due to the breed’s propensity for food allergies and skin problems, you might want to consider a grain-free recipe or a limited ingredient diet. You should also look for beneficial supplements like fresh fruits and veggies, chelated minerals, and probiotics.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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