What Is the Best Dog Food for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed of Spaniel classed as a Toy dog by the American Kennel Club. It was developed in the United Kingdom by breeders trying to recreate a dog similar to Kings Charles II’s original King Charles Spaniel.

Cavaliers, as they are known, have friendly natures and are good with children, so they are popular family pets. They do need a moderate amount of regular daily exercise and, although they are lapdogs, they do enjoy long walks. They often have a tendency to chase anything that moves, which is due to the hunting instincts inherited from their Spaniel ancestors.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, in common with all breeds of dog, need to get enough fat and protein in their diet to maintain good health. Because the Cavalier is a very small dog, and small breeds burn more energy per pound than bigger breeds, it is recommended that it is fed a small breed dog food. Most commercial dog foods that are formulated specifically for small breeds are more nutrient and calorie dense than ordinary adult dog foods, so Cavaliers will receive maximum nutritional value even from eating small portions.

Cavalier Spaniels

Some good quality wet and dry dog food recipes aimed at all adult dogs are also suitable for Cavaliers, but owners should check the label before buying to make sure the nutritional content is adequate for their dog’s needs. The best quality kibble and canned food will have some kind of animal protein as the first ingredients, such as whole meat like beef, lamb, fish or poultry, or organ meat like heart or liver, or meat meal. Puppies have different dietary requirements as they are still growing, so should be fed a small breed puppy food.

How much to feed a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel depends on its life stage, level of activity and any health issues. For example, puppies usually need feeding three times a day, whereas adult dogs can generally be fed two meals per day. By measuring out portions at set mealtimes and avoiding free-feeding, owners can control the amount their pet eats and prevent overeating, which could lead to issues associated with being overweight.

As all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are descended from just six dogs, there are some genetic health issues that Cavaliers as a breed are particularly at risk from, including mitral heart disease (MVD), Syringomyelia (SM), hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, eye and ear disorders. While these serious issues may not be specifically linked to diet, many experts believe a more natural, less processed food is the healthiest option to try to keep a dog’s immune system strong and maintain overall good health.

Some people think organic or raw food diets are best, which can be expensive and beyond the budget of many dog owners. However, there are several good brands that make top quality dog food from natural ingredients and whole, real foods such as fresh meat, vegetables and fruits. Even relatively cheap dog food can be found that is free from by-products and artificial additives. Grain free dog foods, as well as recipes that are free from certain irritants and allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, gluten and dairy, are also available.

Dog owners may need to try a variety of different kinds of dog food to find what recipe best suits their Cavalier’s needs.