The cocker spaniel is one of the US’s most popular breeds and it’s not difficult to see why. With their big brown eyes, fluffy coat and energetic, intelligent demeanor, this medium sized breed make a wonderful family pet. There are actually two types of cocker – the longer-haired American Cocker Spaniel and the taller English and both share the same full-on fun personalities you can’t help fall in love with.
As well as their active nature, there are two other things that make the Cocker Spaniel stand out – their luxurious, silky coat and their love of food. These food monsters need quality nutrition to support their activity levels as well as their overall health and wellbeing, but like many other breeds they can over-eat. To keep your loveable cocker happy, healthy and appropriately fueled for their on-the-go lifestyle, you need to give them quality, well-balanced nutrition.
We take a look at some of the best food for cocker spaniels to take the guess work out of what you should be putting in their dog bowl, come mealtime.
The Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniel
With a quality lamb protein at the heart of its recipe, and no fillers, by-products or artificial nasties, this dry dog food from Blue Buffalo is a nutritious meal your pet will love. Created for taste, the Life Protection Formula is ideal for energetic on-the-go dogs such as cockers and is packed with all the supplements they need to stay on form.
As well as muscle-building protein and a nice balance of omega 3 and 6s, you also get Blue Buffalo’s ‘LifeSource Bits’. In short, a team of animal nutritionists’ selection of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals designed to support their immune system, healthy skin and coat, energy and overall good health. For young to older pooches, this is an excellent all-round cocker spaniel food to keep a healthy bounce in their step and their hunger pangs satisfied.
Natural protein from real lamb
Omega 3&6 for skin and coat
Blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
Cold-formed to maintain potency
No artificial flavors or preservatives
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight30.4 pounds
If you don’t want to totally switch your pet to a raw food diet or if you have a cocker that’s a fussy eater, then check out this raw food mixer to add to their meal. Made from freeze-dried turkey and grain-free, this is one of the best dog food for English cocker spaniels and American cockers and will add a nutritious portion of raw dog food to their dry kibble. With added bone plus organic fruit and vegetables, the natural mixer has no additives and needs no rehydration, simply scoop into their dry food and mix.
While a raw diet may not be suitable for all dogs – pups and senior dogs for example – many pooches can benefit from this simple and natural meal. The pure protein is nutrient rich with no unnecessary carbs, so kind on sensitive tums. Plus, this tasty formula is fortified with omega oils, probiotics and essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy coat and all-round energy support.
Cage-free turkey, bone, fruits and veg
Freeze-dried for freshness
No grains or additives
Added omegas, vitamins and minerals
No rehydration needed
- BrandStella & Chewy’s
- Weight1.2 pounds
Ensure your cocker pup gets all the nutrition and energy they need with this puppy dry food to support their growth and development. By limiting its number of ingredients, Canidae Pure Puppy ensures your pup gets everything they need without overloading their system. It is also grain-free so kind on young tums and with added probiotics for digestion and omegas for healthy skin and coat, is a nutritional all-rounder for those early years.
At the heart of Canidae Pure Puppy is quality whole protein from chicken, egg and fish for muscle development and energy levels. Add in quality vegetable and carbs, including lentils, peas and potatoes and you have a tasty dry food that your precious pup will love.
Limited, quality ingredients
Whole chicken and fish for protein
Wheat, corn and soy free
Added probiotics and omega 3 & 6
Fortified with antioxidants
- Weight24 pounds
Too many grains and carbs can irritate your dog’s digestion system and reduce the percentage of essential protein in your dog’s meal. With Merrick, our Premium Pick is an ideal dog food for cocker spaniels as it ups the protein level to support active lifestyles.
Using whole salmon as the core protein source, Merrick’s Grain Free formula is super tasty while also supporting your hound’s muscles and energy levels. Add in premium levels of condition-boosting omegas 3&6 as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joints and a host of nutritionally dense, vitamin and mineral-packed whole foods such as blueberries, sweet potatoes and peas and you have a natural formula that’s balanced and free of any artificial additives or unnecessary fillers. This is a quality cocker spaniel food that’s also a good choice if your pet is prone to obesity or needs to manage their weight, without losing the taste they love.
High quality salmon protein
Grain-free dry food formula
Added omega 3&6 plus antioxidants
Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
No fillers or preservatives
- Weight25.3 pounds
For a high-protein dry food that can be used for cocker spaniels of all ages to support their muscles, energy and all-round health, check out Regional Red from Orijen. With a premium mix of red meat, including beef, wild boar and lamb, this is good dog food for cocker spaniels which also includes omega-rich wild pilchard and mackerel.
The grain free formula with added vegetables is also a good choice for dogs with sensitive systems or allergies and has a good balance of vitamins and minerals as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility. Orijen Regional Red is also a good for more fussy eaters or for pooches who need to have their weight managed without denying them a delicious mealtime treat. This can be quite a rich food so if you have a particularly sensitive dog, it may be worth introducing it over a few days rather than doing a straight swap.
Grain-free formula for all ages
Six protein sources from ‘red meat’
85% meat and 15% vegetables
Added glucosamine and chondroitin
No tapioca or potato
- Weight25.2 pounds
A tasty mix of dry kibble coated with a raw topper, this dry food from Instinct Original is a protein rich food which is ideal for on-the-go cockers. Using rabbit as its core protein source – 71% in fact – with added omegas, fats, vegetables and fruits, this dry food is packed with energy, muscle, health and condition boosting goodness.
Each kibble comes coated with a freeze-dried raw protein topper for extra nutrition and a natural, meaty taste your cocker will love. There are also no grains or artificial colors or preservatives in the formula so it’s ideal for sensitive digestions or dogs with allergies. We like the combination of raw and quality protein with vitamin and mineral rich vegetables in this dry dog food which makes it a good choice for energetic cocker spaniels who need the right fuel without compromising on taste.
Dry kibble with a freeze-dried raw meat topper
Farm raised rabbit as main protein
Grain, corn, wheat and soy free
71% protein, 29% vegetables/fruit
No artificial colors or preservatives
- Weight4.1 pounds
Give your active cocker spaniel a taste of the wild with this venison-packed dry dog food that also has added vitamins, minerals and essential antioxidants for all-round health. Using venison as its premium protein source, Taste of the Wild’s grain-free dog food has been formulated for small to medium sized breeds and has enough protein to support a cocker’s energetic lifestyle.
As a grain-free formula it is also easy to digest and less likely to irritate than a more carb and grain-based meal. Added probiotics also help to protect your pup’s digestive system and the added omega blend will add a shine and health to their fur and skin. The kibble biscuits are a neat, small size but don’t crumble so are easy and satisfying for your pet to eat while being kind on their teeth so can also be used for your younger cocker pup. At a good price, this is a good all-round protein rich dog food your dog should lap up.
Real venison as protein source
Added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Fatty acid blend for skin and coat
Grain, corn, wheat and filler free
Added probiotics for digestive health
- BrandTaste of the Wild
- Weight5 pounds
If you have a cocker spaniel that can suffer from a sensitive or upset tum, Weruva could bring some harmony come mealtime. A dry dog food based on a chicken and pumpkin formula, this natural dog food for cocker spaniels is a gentle and easy to digest meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Combining pumpkin with seaweed to help with the motility of their gut, and a natural protein source for their muscles and energy, you also get added taurine for a healthy heart as well as omega oils and linoleic acid for a super shiny and healthy coat. Quality fruit and vegetables provide the carbs your pooch needs and there are no grains, soy or fillers to irritate. This formula is also a good option for fussy eaters as it is easy to eat and tastes delicious, keeping them fuller for longer.
Formulated for all life stages
Grain and filler free
Cage-free chicken protein
Pumpkin and seaweed for digestion
Added taurine, omegas and linoleic acid
- Weight4.1 pounds
Specifically formulated for this energetic and fun breed, Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry food is a carefully balanced blend your pet will love to chow down on. Taking into account the coat, energy, health and weight management needs of the breed, this is tailored nutrition for purebred adults.
It is at the top end of our review budget, but you are benefiting from a formulation that can hit the cocker spaniel spot when it comes to their vitality and all-round health. The kibble shape has been designed to work with the breed’s square jaw, making it easy for them to pick up and chew and the balanced formula caters for their energy, condition and specific health support needs, from maintaining their weight, boosting joint health and looking after that luxurious coat to their eye and heart health. And although not grain-free, the gentle formula is kind on tummies too.
Chicken, rice and vegetable recipe
Shaped kibble for the cocker spaniel jaw
Added taurine and omegas EPA and DHA
Formulated for joint, skin and heart health
For adult dogs over 12 months
- BrandRoyal Canin
- Weight25.3 pounds
Fiber-rich and with quality complex carbs, this tasty grain-free formula from Wellness Complete could be the ideal choice for feeding your energetic cocker spaniel. Formulated for energy and all-round health for small to medium sized dogs, this grain-free dry dog food has deboned chicken, turkey and salmon as its quality protein source, boosted with added vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids.
The selection of vegetables and fruit well thought out, with spinach, blueberries and flaxseed upping the fiber and nutrient quota. The whole recipe also offers excellent levels of taurine, glucosamine and chondroitin. Designed for adult dogs, there are no wheat, corn, soy or artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, just tasty goodness to keep your cocker happy and on the go.
- BrandWellness Natural Pet Food
- Weight11 pounds
Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniel Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider Before Buying Food for Cocker Spaniels
Cockers are friendly and exuberant dogs that make wonderful family pets. But they’re also a breed of dog that’s renowned for their love of food. This means there are certain things you need to consider when it comes to selecting the best food for cocker spaniels:
Their energy levels: Originally bred for hunting, cocker spaniels are highly active dogs that require a significant amount of daily exercise and so will need more calories in their food than a less active pooch. They also need more protein to support their ‘on the go’ lifestyle and keep their muscles healthy and lean.
Body weight: Boy, do cockers love to eat! While this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if they are active, their food intake still needs to be controlled to ensure they don’t over-eat. If their food is not managed, or if their activity levels drop but the amount they eat doesn’t, then your cocker spaniel could be prone to obesity problems.
Any health conditions: As a breed, cocker spaniels can be prone to certain medical conditions that may need to be taken into account when choosing their food based on the nutritional value, ingredients that may not agree with your pooch as well as any additional supplements it may contain. Ear infections, hip dysplasia, allergies, and hypothyroidism are amongst the health conditions your cocker can be susceptible to and can be affected by your dog’s diet as well as helped by what their food contains.
Ingredients That May Help Cocker Spaniel Health
Choosing the right food formula will not only satisfy and nourish your cocker spaniel but can also help to boost his short and long-term health and wellbeing. Here are the main ingredients to look for when choosing a good dog food for cocker spaniels:
Quality protein - as with all other breeds, cocker spaniels need protein in their diet. Always look for a dog food that has a quality source of animal protein – whole meat sources rather than meat by-products. The ingredient list should say ‘chicken meal’ or ‘beef meal’ rather than just ‘poultry’ or ‘meat meal’.
Omega-3 fatty acids - good fats are essential for your dog’s overall health so check the ingredient label to be sure of the source. Also look for omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are generally found in oily fish as well as some plant oils. Omegas can help in your pet’s bone and joint health, as well as their heart, brain, skin, and eyes and help to keep his coat lovely and shiny.
Good carbs – your cocker will also need some healthy carbs in their diet to support those energy levels. Look for whole carbs that are slow release to keep him sustained. Fruit and vegetables are good ingredients, as are rice, barley, and oatmeal, which provide some essential fiber too. Be careful with wheat and gluten if your hound is intolerant or has allergies.
Joint-supporting supplements – dog food with extra joint-supporting supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin will help to keep your bouncy, energetic cocker spaniel active and mobile, especially as they get older.
Probiotics – while added probiotics are good for your pet’s overall digestive health and wellbeing, they are particularly beneficial if your pup has been on antibiotics or if they have problems with a sensitive tum, including constipation or diarrhea.
Antioxidants – for their immune system and overall health, look for a dog food formula that includes antioxidants. Natural sources include carrot, kale, cranberries, and blueberries.
Vitamins and minerals – a balanced diet for your cocker will also include essential vitamins and minerals so look for a dog food that includes these and you won’t need extra supplementation. For all-round health go for vitamins C, B, A, D and E to support healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
Ingredients To Avoid
There are some ingredients you need to avoid when it comes to feeding your cocker spaniel, especially if they have allergies or pre-existing health conditions. The main offenders include:
Meat by-products: You want quality food for your pet, and meat by-products simply don’t make the grade. If you see these listed on the ingredients, leave well alone as they’re the cheaper parts of the carcass and it is difficult to know what exactly is in them.
Artificial additives, colors, and preservatives: You want to feed your pet food that’s as natural as possible. Artificial ingredients should be a no-go as they are more likely to trigger allergies.
Corn, wheat, and soy: If your pup is a sensitive soul when it comes to their digestion or allergies, then avoid dog food with corn, wheat or soy as they can be allergens and trigger a reaction.
Excess or processed carbs: You want your dog’s food to have a good quality protein as the main ingredient and a lesser amount of easy to digest carbs. Too much can mean the food is being bulked out with lower quality carbs that can irritate their system.
Bulking agents: Cheaper dog food is often bulked out with fillers that have little nutritional value and can irritate your dog’s digestion. Opt for premium brands and always read the ingredients label so you can be sure you are getting the quality stuff.
Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniel FAQ:
Q: How Much Food Should a Cocker Spaniel Eat?
A: Due to their higher energy levels you need to ensure your cocker spaniel is getting enough nutrition to keep them healthy and support their active, on-the-go lifestyle. The exact amount you feed your pet depends on their age and size as well as their weight. A growing pup may need more food daily than a senior cocker so if in any doubt speak to your vet. But as a general rule, a healthy, active adult cocker spaniel will need between 1 ½ and 2 ½ cups of food per day, fed over two meals, one morning, one night. And while the odd daily treat is not going to do any harm, avoid the temptation to overfeed.
Our Top Pick
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is an excellent all-round dog food for all cocker spaniels and scoops our review’s Top Pick. Made from quality lamb for protein and fortified with a nutritionally balanced formula of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this dry dog food from Blue Buffalo will help to maintain your pooch’s health and vitality while keeping him feeling satisfied. And with a good mix of omega 3 and 6s, for his skin and coat health, there will be a bounce in his fur as well as his step!