Food is a fundamental factor for our cocker, since it depends on almost all the vital functions of your body and your health in general. The food is the fuel for the animal: it must be of the highest possible quality and appropriate to its nutritional needs depending on its way of life and the stage of life in which it is found. The energy needs of a puppy are not the same as those of an adult dog, nor is its level of activity.
Formerly the dog was basically a carnivorous animal but for some centuries man, has gradually transformed it into an adapted omnivore. Currently the dog consumes all kinds of food, from various types of meat and fish, cereals such as rice, wheat, corn, barley and even in some cases various fruits and vegetables, not forgetting some tubers such as potatoes and sweet potatoes .
What we do have to be clear is that we not only have to feed our cocker but we must nourish it correctly, providing quality food and always adapting the rations according to the specific needs that require their age and activity level. In the same way it is also very important that the food we provide is assimilable to your body. Thus, the majority of protein that our cocker ingests should be of animal origin (meat, fish, animal fat or egg) since it is the one that most easily digests your body and that provides you with the highest nutritional and energy values. Protein of vegetable origin (cereals, potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits) must also be part of our cocker's diet but the amount ingested should never be higher than that of animal origin. Protein of vegetable origin is much harder to digest for the animal and although it provides valuable nutrients, its greatest contribution is in the form of carbohydrates whose excess consumption very easily translates into an accumulation of fat deposits than if The animal does not burn transforms into adipose tissue.
Also the excess of cereals in the diet can be cause of some food allergies and the appearance of an excess of sugars in the organism. This is a factor to take into account given the great tendency to obesity that the cocker has, an animal that likes to eat a lot.
Currently there is an excellent variety of dry food (feed) and wet (cans) where you can choose a brand that meets all our demands and the needs of our cocker. It is advisable and preferable to feed our pet with dry food instead of wet and even cooked by ourselves, for the following reasons:
- The product is designed, designed and formulated by experts to meet all the nutritional needs of the animal.
- It is very convenient to serve, store, preserve and transport.
- In case the animal leaves an amount we can reuse it.
- We will know at all times the amount that the animal eats, thus being able to regulate the ration according to its energy needs.
- Since its water content is much lower than wet feeding, the animal uses it and assimilates much better.
- It is much cheaper than wet food or homemade.
In fact both feeds can be used simultaneously, mixing a little can with the feed for example in the case of animals with capricious appetite, thus achieving greater palatability of the food. But we must bear in mind that if we mix can with dry feed, the animal will probably get used to it, and then the feed just won't be "appetizing" enough.
In the feeding of our cocker it is important to follow the following guidelines of action:
- Always give the food at the same time, in the same place and with the same bowl. This way we will get a good routine. It is true that we follow some guidelines in our meals and do not attack the refrigerator every time we are hungry. Well, dogs too.
- Remove the food after a reasonable time (a few minutes) until the next take or meal. In this way the animal learns that when the food is put on it is time to eat and not when he craves it. I think it is a big mistake to fill the feed bowl every time it is empty and let the animal be supplied at will since among other reasons we will never know what you eat every day and you will not get used to a more rational schedule.
- The dog must always have fresh, clean water throughout the day. We will also change the water as many times as necessary for this purpose.
- Preferably use a metal bowl (both for water and food) or ceramic and not plastic, since they are more hygienic and easy to clean (and cannot be bitten as a toy by the dog). For the long ears of the cocker there are some feeders and special drinkers whose mouth is narrower than the base, thus preventing the ears from getting so dirty. You will find them in any specialized store.
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions (they are in the same bag of food) in terms of quantity and number of shots. If you notice that the animal makes you fat or lose weight, reduce or increase the ration until you find the optimal balance for the dog.
- My recommendation is that you do not give the leftovers of our food to the dog (or do you eat your dog's leftovers, right!), But if he does so after eating the feed first.
- Do not disturb the animal while ingesting its ration, because we can make you nervous and eat faster than normal causing it to feel bad.
- In cases where the animal eats very compulsively (which means that it does not feel good producing even the subsequent vomiting) we can acquire some special feeders (you will find them in specialized stores) that make the animal eat much more slowly. Another way is to spread the feed a little on the ground so that you should eat ball by ball.
- Before and after eating, prevent the animal from doing excessive physical activity to avoid possible bad digestions. It is also not good for them to eat when it is very hot. For example in summer we will avoid giving food during the hottest hours.
- When we change the usual feeding of our cocker for a new one, we will not do it suddenly but gradually. We will proceed by introducing a little of the new food mixed with the old one to gradually increase the proportion of the first. This process should take a few days.
As we mentioned at the beginning depending on the stage of life of the animal and its level of activity we must adapt the diet as follows:
Cocker puppies from 2 to 12 months old: It is a crucial stage for the correct physical and behavioral development of the animal. The diet should be of the highest possible quality and rich in both protein and fat, not forgetting that it must contain a good level of minerals and all essential vitamins. Puppies are usually very active when they are awake and their level of development and growth is constant, therefore their energy needs are very high. It is essential that most of the protein in the food is of animal origin and that the one that comes from vegetable origin uses rice as the main source. As for the dosage of the food, in my opinion a cocker puppy should eat three times a day and from six months to the year twice a day. It is important that we keep in mind that a puppy should not be fat but well fed.
Adult Cocker up to 9 years: The diet should continue to be of the best possible quality but the level of protein and fat should decrease slightly in relation to the previous stage. The origin of the protein should continue to be mostly of animal origin despite the fact that most brands tend to increase (mistakenly in my opinion) the protein of plant origin based on cereals such as wheat and corn to the detriment of rice and other ingredients Vegetables such as potatoes, vegetables and fruit. There is a false belief that as the animal has already completed its growth stage, it can be passed to a "cheaper" diet and is a serious mistake. To insist once again that the feeding of an animal should not be in any case the object of saving because what we will save perhaps in this aspect we can end up paying in expensive visits to the veterinarian as a result of that feeding that we thought was more economical. For this adult stage we can find numerous maintenance feeds and also those called high energy (intended for young animals or adults who develop a lot of physical activity which requires higher levels of protein and fat), those designed to combat allergies or food intolerances and more specific for certain pathologies that the animal may suffer. And of course, light fodder is currently very fashionable as a result of the increasing number of dogs that suffer from obesity due to lack of exercise and / or excess food and goodies.
Cockers older than 9 years: older animals require a diet with less protein and fat since their activity level is gradually decreasing. The protein should continue to be of animal origin and the high presence of rice is very desirable, since at this stage the animal tends to have a more sensitive digestible system. Until a few years ago, senior feedstuffs were unthinkable but currently most brands offer a wide range of this type of feed, which incorporates each and every one of the essential nutrients for this wonderful stage of animal life.
Pregnant cocker and lactation cocker: Although the nutritional needs of a pregnant female dog do not change during the first four weeks of pregnancy, it is from the month when their energy needs increase progressively. That is why from that date the dog should be fed with a good puppy feed, rich in protein and fat to properly satisfy the constant development of fetuses. As these grow and especially during the last two weeks of gestation, we can divide the daily ration of food into two doses for the mother's comfort. After the birth, the nutritional needs of the mother increase again due to the production of milk to feed the puppies. We will continue with feed for puppies during the entire lactation stage, administering it without any restrictions during this stage so important for puppies. Once breastfeeding is finished we will return to the maintenance diet.
Another important issue that concerns food and that has gained much importance in recent years for its variety and quantity are baubles or prizes for dogs. Being one more food, they are also made up of protein that can be of animal or vegetable origin. Of course, it is also preferable that they have animal origin. This category includes the famous pressed cowhide bones, nerves in all its varieties, meat strips, pork feet, ham bones, deer and other animal antlers, veal hooves and a long etc. In the case of those of vegetable origin, we find a whole world of cookies and the like, which are basically made up of cereals with the occasional contribution of animal protein.
In my opinion we must distinguish between two types of goodies:
- Entertainment: are those goodies where what is intended is that the animal is entertaining chewing or gnawing. They are usually hard and help in cleaning the teeth of the animal. In some cases they can include large parts of bones (source of calcium) previously treated, therefore we must ensure that they cannot splinter causing irreversible damage to the digestive tract of the animal. They usually have very nice presentations for the animal with what more than a bauble end up becoming part of their diet. In case they are administered daily we must adjust the main food diet (feed) so that the animal does not gain weight.
- To reward: they are usually small pieces of meat or cookies of infinity of forms and flavors. As the name implies, these are prizes and as such should be used when we teach a specific action to our dog or to reinforce a positive behavior. Because of their flavors and tastes, they are especially appealing to dogs but they should never be an important part of our cocker's diet, since they gain weight.
Of course we can administer to our cocker goodies and prizes but always under the premise of rationality and without abusing its consumption.
Whatever the type of food and the brand of feed we choose, we must always keep in mind that the cocker is a very sweet animal that likes to eat a lot, so we will check its weight periodically, avoiding as much as possible that get too fat Any overweight cocker is not at all healthy and can be the cause of numerous problems derived from it in the course of his life.
Feeding cocker puppies
From the eight weeks of life of the cocker puppies, most people choose to feed them with balanced foods specially prepared for the puppies, but it is recommended that, taking into account that they are not yet fully developed, follow a somewhat more diet varied. For example, most breeders and veterinarians recommend that for breakfast and snack they are offered a cup of warm milk with two tablespoons of cornmeal or some baby food that can serve us, at lunch and dinner you can give two tablespoons of boiled rice mixed with carrot or striped apple, about 80 g of ground beef which can be raw or cooked, a tablespoon of ricotta.
However, it is very important that if as time goes by we want to change the food, this change should be gradual since if the food is abruptly passed from home to balanced food, the puppy is likely to have severe gastrointestinal disorders, anyway until four months of age it is better to stick to the mentioned diet.
Widths such as liver or kidney are completely forbidden since cocker puppies can get hydatidosis, and we should not offer small bones, either bird or cow, but in the case of large cow bones, these are very useful for keeping teeth free of tartar, sauces, fried foods or boiled meat are also prohibited. Clean, fresh drinking water is essential, since cocker puppies easily dehydrate so they will always be looking for something to drink. It is important that the puppies' diets are supplemented with calcium and vitamins and in many cases they should also be given brewer's yeast, but before doing this we should consult with the veterinarian since a wrong dose can make them very wrong.
How much should my cocker dog eat
One of the most popular dog breeds is the cocker, an animal that has a look capable of softening anyone's heart. In addition, it is the perfect size to be able to live both in an apartment and in a country house. And, as if that weren't enough, he loves children.
However, to be happy one of the most important things you should do is feed. But how much? Let's see how much should my cocker dog eat.
What should my cocker dog eat?
The cocker, like all dogs, It is a carnivorous animal that must feed essentially on meat. When you feed with feed or other types of food that have cereals, flours or by-products, it is very likely that you will eventually have health problems. These problems can range from a "simple" food allergy, to something much more serious like a urine infection.
For this reason, to avoid it it is very important to feed it with a quality meal From the first day he is at home. In this way, we will ensure that your development and your health will be optimal.
Natural food (including Yum Diet or similar)
- Puppy: between 6 and 8% of its weight.
- Adult: 2% of its weight.
It is important that you always have fresh, clean water available so that you can be satisfied every time you need it.
We hope you can now know, more or less, how much your furry should eat 🙂.
* The amounts are indicative. In the bag of feed will be indicated the exact amount you must give to prevent him from becoming overweight.