There are hundreds of dog foods you can pick from.
Hence why you’re feeling overwhelmed when deciding what to feed your Spaniel. You’ll need to pick between:
- Raw food
- Dry food
- Wet food
…or even a combination of them.
You might be looking for a Spaniel food alternative to give them healthier puppy food than the Pedigree rubbish their breeder was feeding. Or, your dog could hate kibble (like mine!) and refuse to eat it altogether. Been there, done that.
We’ve put together a guide which shares some of the best food options for Spaniels.
Raw dog food for Spaniels
First up, let’s cover the raw food diet, and why I’d recommend it to Spaniel owners.
My Sprocker puppy, Hugo, was a nightmare with his food. I’d tried everything–like different flavours of kibble, mixing broth in there, and trying him with some wet food–but he hated it. So much so, that he’d often starve himself by waiting for us to replace it with something nicer.
I’d tried every non-raw diet you could think of, but he’d still wait for the scraps of meat left on my plate after I’d eaten my own food. So, we switched him to raw.
Research shows the benefits of raw food for dogs include:
- Shinier coats and healthier skin
- Higher energy levels
- Smaller (and less smelly) poops
- Cleaner teeth
The only problem? When switching to a raw food diet for Spaniels, it’s overwhelming. You can join Facebook Groups like Raw with Paws, but even then, the whole thing confused me.
I didn’t know what to feed him, or how much of each raw meat. So I put-off raw feeding for months.
Then I came across Bella & Duke. They do raw food subscriptions tailored to your Spaniel.
Their sign-up process asks for your dog’s weight, age, breed, and activity levels. They’ll put together a few package options (with different parcel sizes depending on your freezer space), and tell you exactly how much to feed your Spaniel.
Your first parcel will arrive within a few days, and further parcels are sent based on the schedule you picked.
For us, that’s 8KG of working dog puppy food every 12 days sent automatically for around £35 per delivery.
(Read my full Bella and Duke review here.)
The thing I love most about Bella and Duke is that all of the raw food is premade.
In your delivery box, you’ll get tubs of premade raw food that you don’t need to mix manually. You also don’t need tons of freezer space for tubs of individual meats, livers, and veggies. It’s all done for you.
*This post isn’t sponsored, but Hugo loves B&D so much that we wanted to share our discount code.
The best dry food for Spaniels
You can feed your Spaniel dry food if it’s labelled as “complete”. It’s also known as kibble–the small biscuit-like bits of food you’re used to seeing a dog being fed.
Spaniels can have dry food as their main food. However, you might want to soak the kibble in some water. That’s because kibble expands when mixed with fluids in their stomach, which could make them feel bloated. It could also cause them to vomit the food back up because they’ve eaten too much.
With that in mind, here are four great dry food options you could feed your Spaniel:
Wainwrights is Pets at Home’s own brand of dog food. It’s made in the UK, and has high protein percentages. (Their duck and rice flavour, for example, is 26% protein.)
You can get specific Wainwrights mixtures for small and large dogs–both of which are formulated to get the most vitamins for any sized pooch.
However, its best selling point is that the Wainwrights formula doesn’t contain any ingredients known to cause common allergies–such as mixed meat proteins or wheat. It’s designed to be easy digestible and hypo-allergenic.
Their puppy-specific dry food comes in different flavours–including turkey, lamb, and salmon. Each flavour has a 28% minimum meat content, and is made in the UK. It’s also available from any Pets at Home store. Plus, it’s specifically designed for puppies–hence why it includes all the vitamins they need as they’re growing.
This brand of dog food is a great option for Spaniels because of its high meat content.
Flavours include turkey, lamb, and fish with rice. Plus, James Wellbeloved claim it’s naturally hypoallergenic so less likely to cause an adverse food reaction.
The manufacturer also says this adult food is made from “one source of animal protein,” which are combined “with all the vitamins and minerals your large adult dog needs.” It also doesn’t contain any added colours or preservatives–hence its high nutritional rating.
The James Wellbeloved range includes senior-specific mixtures, too. This contains extra vitamins needed for older dogs.
Feeding a Cocker Spaniel? The Royal Canin mixture is designed specifically for this type of Spaniel.
It’s designed to maintain the ideal weight of a Cocker Spaniel–but that’s not to say you can’t feed Springers or Sprockers the same mixture. Just make sure you’re feeding them the appropriate amount each day.
The Royal Canin formula for Cockers has a protein percentage of 25%, and is enriched with borage oil. This is an oil widely regarded as a way to naturally treat arthritis in dogs, so it could be a great food to put your Spaniel on if you’re concerned about their bones and joints.
This Cocker dog food mixture comes in puppy version, too! It’s suitable for any Spaniel puppies up to 12 months–not just Cockers.
The dry puppy food is made of 32% of protein–which trumps other supermarket brands. Your Spaniel pup will need this protein to keep their muscles strong whilst they’re growing.
Spaniels have a history of being working dogs. They were originally bred to work livestock–and some still do!
If your pup is a working Spaniel, a good food option is the Arkwrights range. The entire brand is designed for working dogs of all breeds, and contains a mixture of animal meat to burn energy and maintain muscle.
It has a protein percentage of 18%, which is less than the other Spaniel dry food we’ve discussed so far. But the advantage is that it’s low in fat to help working Spaniels maintain an ideal body weight.
The best wet food for Spaniels
…What happens if your Spaniel isn’t a fan of dry food?
You can feed your dog a mixture of dry and wet food, which often comes in pouches. Check whether this is complete (i.e. can be eaten on its own), or non-complete (which needs to be mixed with dry food.)
The brands we’ve mentioned already do complete wet food for adult Spaniels, including:
- Wainwright’s range of adult wet food
- Royal Canin wet food for adult dogs
- James Wellbeloved adult dog grain-free wet food
But there’s another dog food brand you could use to feet your dog wet food: Lily’s Kitchen–a brand that’s certified organic.
The wet food range from Lily’s Kitchen is great for Spaniels because it contains a mixture of chicken, turkey and pork protein. The goal? To create a complete wet food that repairs and maintains muscle, while supporting the circulatory system with vitamins.
Plus, it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
It’s worth noting that wet food can be much more expensive than dry kibble. You’ll need to purchase individual tins or pouches of dry food–most of which only last one meal. Dry food, on the other hand, can be purchased in large packs, making it more cost-effective.
Can I feed my puppy adult dog food?
A common feeding mistake is giving a puppy adult food.
Puppy food is designed for growing dogs. It gives them the vitamins they need to support their developing bones and muscles. Adult dog food doesn’t contain enough of those vitamins–hence why it can stunt their growth if a puppy is given adult dog food.
What dog food should I avoid for my Spaniel?
When Hugo was four months old, I took him to the vets because he was having sloppy poops.
She advised me to change his food to something else–so long as you couldn’t find the brand on a supermarket shelf.
That includes big-name foods like Pedigree. They’re the equivalent of feeding your Spaniel a McDonalds–jam packed with fatty ingredients, low meat percentages, and nasty chemicals.
Instead, it’s best to stick to dog food with a high meat content (at least 20%.)
The bottom line? Visit pet shops like Pets at Home or Jollyes, and pick a brand you can’t see in Morrisons. It’s the best way to avoid poor-quality food that isn’t healthy for your Spaniel to eat in the long-run.
How do I change my Spaniel’s food to a different one?
Have you found a new dog food to feed your Spaniel?
It’s important to avoid switching their food instantly. Their stomachs are extremely sensitive; any changes to their diet could result in an upset tummy and sloppy poops.
The best way to switch your dog’s food is to do it gradually using this formula:
- Day 1: 75% of existing food; 25% of new food
- Day 2: 50% of existing food; 50% of new food
- Day 3: 25% of existing food; 75% of new food
- Day 4: 100% new food
Gradually changing your dog’s food this way means their stomachs aren’t completely shocked by the new ingredients. It’s being introduced slowly and surely, allowing their body to get used to the new food.
Note that this doesn’t apply to raw food. When switching from dry/wet food to raw, you can do a straight swap.
Which Spaniel food brand is your favourite?
As you can see, there are tons of options to consider when picking a dog food for your Spaniel.
Whether they’re a pup, senior, or somewhere in between, give these options a whizz.