6 Best Cocker Spaniel Dog Food Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors

Originally developed as a sporting breed, the Cocker Spaniel has come to be known as an excellent family companion. These happy little dogs make wonderful pets, particularly if you have kids.

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The Cocker Spaniel was developed for flushing and retrieving game, similar to the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever. In fact, the Cocker Spaniel was one of the most beloved family companions before these larger breeds took the title. Though they may not be as popular as they once were, these dogs are still highly intelligent, trainable, and a joy to have around.

Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized dogs standing 14 to 15 inches tall and weighing 20 to 30 pounds. The average lifespan for the breed is 12 to 15 years which is on par for breeds of its size, though Cocker Spaniels are prone to a number of health problems that can impact their longevity. It is very important to feed your dog a high-quality diet to reduce the risk for health problems and to maximize his lifespan.

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

Understanding a Cocker Spaniel’s Diet Requirements

All dogs have the same basic nutritional requirements for protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Protein provides the building blocks for healthy muscle during growth and development then later supports lean muscle mass maintenance. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy for dogs as well as essential fatty acids. Both of these nutrients are most biologically valuable when they come from animal sources, though plant sources can be used for supplemental protein and fat.

Carbohydrates provide your dog with calories, fiber, and essential nutrients. Because they are plant products, digestibility is important and, due to the Cocker Spaniel’s high risk for food allergies, grain-free carbohydrates may be the best option. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and legumes. Your dog can also benefit from supplements to support healthy digestion including prebiotic fibers to support healthy gut flora and probiotic supplements.

  • Puppy Cocker Spaniel Diet – As a puppy, your Cocker Spaniel needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet to grow strong muscles and to provide energy for that growth. More protein is generally better for his breed but keep the fat content moderate, so your puppy grows muscle instead of fat as he ages.
  • Adult Cocker Spaniel Diet – When your Cocker Spaniel reaches his full size, you should scale back on feeding him to prevent obesity. Look for a dog food that provides at least 18% protein and 5% fat to meet his minimum requirements, ideally going a little higher in protein without too much extra fat.
  • Senior Cocker Spaniel Diet – As a senior dog, your Cocker Spaniel’s energy needs may decrease so it is a good idea to switch to a senior recipe or a weight management formula to prevent obesity.

Some of the other supplements which may benefit your Cocker Spaniel include chelated minerals and glucosamine and chondroitin. Chelated minerals are chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to absorb and utilize. Glucosamine and chondroitin are joint-supporting nutrients which any dog can benefit from, but particularly those prone to hip dysplasia.

Special Dietary Considerations for Cocker Spaniels

The Cocker Spaniel has a fairly long lifespan on average but, unfortunately, has a high risk for many conditions – some of which may impact his lifespan. The health problems to which the breed is most prone can be divided into groups such as eye problems, inherited health problems, and dietary issues.

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

  • Allergies
  • Cherry Eye
  • Congenital Deafness
  • Ear Infections
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Primary Seborrhea

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

Many of the health problems to which the Cocker Spaniel is prone are eye problems – this includes cherry eye, cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. Cherry eye occurs when the third eyelid gland prolapses and cataracts are opacities that form in the lens of the eye, causing a partial or total obstruction of vision. Progressive retinal atrophy is a disease characterized by gradual deterioration of the retina which often leads to blindness.

Some of the inherited health problems to which the breed is prone include deafness, hemolytic anemia, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism. Congenital deafness is typically associated with dogs having white hair and blue eyes, often caused by degeneration of the blood supply to the inner ear in the first few weeks of life. Hemolytic anemia is an autoimmune condition that leads to severe anemia and can be fatal. Hip dysplasia is an abnormality of the hip joint and hypothyroidism is a defect of the thyroid gland.

In addition to these health problems, the Cocker Spaniel also experiences allergies at a higher rate than other breeds. Not only do these dogs have contact and inhalant allergies, but they also develop food allergies very easily. Common food allergens include grains like wheat, corn, and soy as well as common proteins like chicken, beef, and fish. A limited ingredient diet or a grain-free food can help reduce the risk for triggering your Cocker Spaniel’s allergies.

Englischer Cocker Spaniel Puppy Food Recommendations

Cocker Spaniel Feeding Chart

The amount you feed your Cocker Spaniel depends on several factors including his age, body weight, and activity level. As a puppy, your dog needs plenty of calorie to fuel his growth and plenty of protein to develop strong muscles. When he reaches about 75% of his adult size, you can scale back his feeding a little bit and you should switch to an adult recipe at 12 months to prevent obesity.

To determine how much to feed your Cocker Spaniel, choose high-quality diet formulated for dogs of his life stage. From there, refer to the feeding instructions according to your dog’s age and weight. Keep in mind that your dog’s needs may change over time, so keep an eye on his weight and check the feeding recommendations again every few months if there are changes. You should err on the side of feeding your dog a little less due to the breed’s high risk for obesity.

The Best Dog Food for Cocker Spaniels: Our Top 15 Picks for 2020

Now that you have a better understanding of your Cocker Spaniel’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for dog food! Remember, the best Cocker Spaniel food will be made with wholesome natural ingredients including premium animal proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. It should be rich in fat with low to moderate fat content and have plenty of beneficial supplements. Here are our top 15 picks:

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe

Overall Best Food for Cocker Spaniels: If you have the budget for it, you can’t do better than this The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe. This recipe is dehydrated instead of cooked, so it retains more of the original nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients. Each box contains 40 pounds of wholesome, natural ingredients such as cage-free turkey, fresh spinach, cranberries and more. It is a protein-rich, highly digestible, grain-free recipe that is perfect for your Cocker Spaniel. Plus, it contains all the nutrients he needs in the right amounts so all you have to do is add water.

  • Pros: Dehydrated not cooked, contains 40 pounds of wholesome ingredients, easy to rehydrate, lean source of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, grain-free, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Some dogs dislike the dehydrated texture, no probiotic supplements

American Journey LID Grain-Free Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Food

Most Affordable Food: If you’re looking for a more affordable option but don’t want to sacrifice nutritional quality, try this American Journey LID Grain-Free Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Food. This recipe features a limited number of main ingredients and contains a single source of animal protein, fresh duck. It also contains grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas, plus plenty of essential fatty acids. This formula is supplemented with chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption and it has high levels of dietary fiber for digestion. Overall, it provides 25% protein and 12% fat for your Cocker Spaniel.

  • Pros: Single source of animal protein, limited number of ingredients, rich in essential fatty acids, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food

Most Popular Food: If you can’t decide what to feed your Cocker Spaniel, try a popular choice like this Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food. This recipe features real animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, and a wealth of healthy supplements. It features real lamb as a single source of protein with grain-free carbohydrates to ensure digestibility and a low risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities. This recipe contains salmon oil as a nutrient-rich source of energy and omega fatty acids, plus probiotics for digestion and chelated minerals for nutritional balance.

  • Pros: Novel source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery

Super Premium Food: Because the Cocker Spaniel is prone to food allergies, the quality of his diet is even more important than usual. NomNomNow is a fresh food service for dogs that delivers home-cooked meals right to your door. Every product is made with the highest quality ingredients available and prepared and delivered fresh, never frozen. All you have to do is fill out a quick profile for your dog online, choose a recipe, and start receiving automatic monthly shipments. The best part is that you can customize the diet to your dog’s special needs, which is important for dogs suffering from food allergies or sensitivities.

  • Pros: Made with the freshest ingredients, custom meals for your dog, delivered fresh to your door, perfectly portioned pouches, automatic shipments
  • Cons: Limited number of recipe options, very expensive to feed, delivery restrictions in some areas

Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Dry Food

Best Food for Cocker Spaniels with Allergies: If your Cocker Spaniel already has food allergies, you need a limited ingredient diet made with a high-quality source of protein and grain-free carbohydrates. This Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Dry Food fits the bill perfectly and it is highly digestible to boot. This recipe features real salmon as a single source of animal protein that also provides omega fatty acids. Grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes and peas provide energy, nutrients, and fiber while chelated minerals support nutritional balance and optimal nutrient absorption. It also contains probiotics for healthy digestion.

  • Pros: Made with a limited number of ingredients, single source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, prebiotics and probiotics, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), may be too high in calories for some dogs

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Duck & Chickpeas Recipe

Best Food for Cocker Spaniels with Sensitive Stomachs: For a dog with a sensitive stomach, digestibility is key. This Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Duck & Chickpeas Recipe is a great option because it features high-quality protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, and beneficial supplements. Real, deboned duck is the first ingredient, followed by duck meal for supplemental protein as well as chickpeas, lentils, and peas for grain-free carbohydrates. This recipe contains plenty of essential fatty acids as well as chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption. Overall, it contains 28% protein and 15% fat with probiotics for digestion.

  • Pros: Just 8 main ingredients, single source of novel animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, 28% protein and 15% fat, rich in essential fatty acids, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (sunflower oil)

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Cocker Spaniel Adult Foods

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dog Food

If you’re concerned about the quality of your Cocker Spaniel’s diet, you can’t go wrong with this Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dog Food. This all-natural recipe is holistically designed to nourish your dog’s body from the inside out. It features bison meal as the first ingredient and a concentrated source of novel protein with grain-free carbohydrates and plenty of beneficial supplements including fresh fruits and veggies, chelated minerals, and probiotics.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Rocky Mountain with Rabbit Adult Recipe

This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Rocky Mountain with Rabbit Adult Recipe is a good choice for your Cocker Spaniel if you’re worried about food allergies and sensitivities because it features a novel source of protein with digestible grain-free carbohydrates. It is rich in essential fatty acids, supplemented with glucosamine, and contains probiotics for healthy digestion.

Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb

For Cocker Spaniel’s with food allergies, this Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb is a great option. It features a limited number of main ingredients including grass-fed lamb and grain-free carbohydrates. This recipe contains plenty of omega fatty acids with antioxidants for immunity and skin/coat health. It also contains freeze-dried lamb organs for a boost of nutrition.

3 Top Rated (5 Star) Cocker Spaniel Puppy Foods

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Puppy Recipe

To get your Cocker Spaniel puppy started on the right foot, choose an all-natural recipe made from premium ingredients like this Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Puppy Recipe. This recipe features 95% organic ingredients like free-range chicken, organic sweet potatoes, and organic chickpeas. It is rich in protein to support healthy growth and development with DHA, omega fatty acids, and probiotics to ensure nutritional balance and healthy digestion.

Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine Meal Recipe

If you don’t want to worry about changing your puppy’s diet later, try this Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine Meal Recipe. Formulated for both adults and puppies, this holistic recipe features all-natural ingredients including protein-rich salmon and digestible grain-free carbohydrates. It is also supplemented with prebiotic fibers, chelated minerals, and probiotics.

Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Peas Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog 

When it comes to quality nutrition for your Cocker Spaniel puppy, it is hard to do better than this Nulo Grain-Free Salmon & Peas Puppy Recipe. This recipe features 80% animal-based ingredients and zero grains to reduce the risk for food allergies and sensitivities. It features fresh salmon as the main ingredient with turkey and menhaden fish meal for supplemental protein as well as nutrient-rich chicken fat for energy and essential fatty acids.

2 Picks for Senior Cocker Spaniel Foods

Canidae Grain-Free PURE Meadow LID Chicken Senior Formula

As your Cocker Spaniel gets older, his metabolism slows down and his risk for food allergies goes up. This Canidae Grain-Free PURE Meadow LID Chicken Senior Formula is a great option because it is made with a limited number of main ingredients including digestible protein, grain-free carbohydrates, and probiotics for digestive support. Plus, it is free from low-quality fillers and artificial additives.

FirstMate Weight Control LID Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Senior Formula

If you’re looking for a limited ingredient diet formulated for senior dogs, this FirstMate Weight Control LID Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Senior Formula is a great option. Not only is it made with a lower number of ingredients, but 70% of those ingredients come from animal sources with the remaining 30% from fruits, vegetables, and supplements. This recipe is all-natural, rich in protein, and digestible.

Our FAQ and Cocker Spaniel Feeding Guide

Not only do you need to think about the quality of the diet you feed your Cocker Spaniel, but you also need to think about some practical things such as how you’re going to keep the food fresh and how you’re going to feed your dog. Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized dogs that eat about 1 cup of food per meal, so you’ll want a medium- to large-sized dog bowl. Look for durable materials like stainless-steel and easy-to-clean options like ceramic. Both of these are easy to clean and don’t tend to harbor bacteria that might make your dog sick.

When it comes to storing your dog’s food, you want to avoid exposure to air as much as possible. After opening the bag, place it in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry location for the maximum shelf life. Dog food bags are treated on the inside to preserve the food, so it will be better to put the whole bag in the container than to simply pour in the dog food.

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

How much food should I feed my Cocker Spaniel? – Generally speaking, the Cocker Spaniel eats between 1 ½ and 2 ½ cups of food per day. The exact amount will vary depending on your dog’s age, weight, and activity level. As a puppy, your dog may eat more than he eats as an adult and he may eat even less once he becomes a senior dog. The best thing to do is follow the feeding recommendations on the package according to your dog’s age and weight. From there, you divide the total amount by your desired number of daily feedings.

How many times a day should I feed my Cocker Spaniel? – For the most part, Cocker Spaniels do well with two meals per day. As a puppy, your dog may need a third meal to fuel his growth and development, but it is important to drop down to two meals once he’s almost fully grown to prevent obesity. These dogs tend to eat as much as their owners will let them, so it is up to you to control your dog’s intake for his own health and wellness.

What kind of food do Cocker Spaniels eat? – The quality of your Cocker Spaniel’s diet matters more than the type of food you choose. Due to the breed’s high risk for food allergies, you need an all-natural diet made with quality ingredients and free from fillers and artificial additives. Fresh food is always the healthiest option, if you can afford it, but dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are a good option as well. If you can’t afford these, look for an all-natural kibble made with premium ingredients -maybe even one infused with freeze-dried pieces.

What vegetables are good in a Cocker Spaniel food? – Vegetables provide dietary fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins and minerals. As such, they are a valuable addition to any high-quality dog food. Here are some of the best vegetables for Cocker Spaniels:

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

Even if the dog food you choose contains fresh vegetables, you might still want to consider supplementing his diet with veggies as a healthy snack. Just make sure they are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them thoroughly before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.

Do Cocker Spaniels need grain-free dog food? – The Cocker Spaniel has a higher risk for food allergies than many breeds, but any dog can develop a food allergy or sensitivity at any point in his life. If your Cocker Spaniel suffers from recurrent ear infections or skin problems, it might be a sign of food allergies or sensitivities and grains could be the culprit. Try switching your dog to a grain-free, limited ingredient diet to see if it resolves the problem. Some of the most common food allergens for dogs are wheat, corn, soy, and common proteins like chicken, beef, and pork. You should also avoid artificial additives and by-products.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Cocker Spaniel’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Cocker Spaniel food. Remember to look for a product that is made with wholesome natural ingredients including premium animal proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. It should be rich in fat with low to moderate fat content and have plenty of beneficial supplements.

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

About The Author

1 thought on “6 Best Cocker Spaniel Dog Food Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors”

  1. Avatar

    I am an old hand with cockers, 62 years, but new to the nutritional aspects of avoiding allergies and yeast, through diet. I’ve always, depended upon medicines/treatments, before.

    For my newest cockers, I am trying to stay away from rice, the highest in starch, as well as potatoes (and a few more) and any yeast. I am looking for the best low starch that is the needed binder – haven’t identified it, yet.

    Chicken, beef and lamb are the most common meat allergies for dogs, so I am trying salmon.

    Salmon has turine, but I don’t know if it is enough. Researching that.

    This one looks very good, for those who want the convenience of kibble, at moderate cost. Your experts, likely, know something I don’t or it would have been on their lists.

    Nature’s Variety® Instinct Original Dog Food – Natural, Grain Free, Raw, Salmon, for all life stages

    The best advice I have been given is to find the 2-3 best foods for your dog and to mix them together or alternate them – there is no perfect food.

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