Good day and welcome everyone!
This is Sharda with another Cocker Spaniel newsletter.
Today, let’s learn about the Cocker Spaniel dog food recommendations!
Certain pet foods make claims of providing complete nutrition for your dog according to dated standards set by the National Research Council, a division of the National Academy of Sciences.
The problem with this claim is that since not all dogs are alike, one food cannot possibly be nutritionally complete for all dogs.
Now, you’re not likely to find a Cocker Spaniel-specific dog food, so the only point in telling you this is for you not to be taken in by such marketing claims.
You will make food choices based on quality and ingredients. It may come as a surprise to you, but most foods sold by large scale manufacturers as “veterinarian recommended”—and even sold at your vet’s office—are not the best foods for your Cocker Spaniel.
A discussion of the details is beyond the scope of this newsletter but to summarize; the same agency (Association of American Feed Control Officials) that regulates commercial pig feed and deals with Mad Cow Disease (hello!) is also in charge of regulating the ingredients of pet food.
Let us not forget that most feed produced by big agri-business is loaded with hormones, chemicals, sawdust, unpalatable animal parts like beaks and gosh knows what else. So, rather than pay big bucks to big companies for low quality food; spend your money on high quality foods from small companies.
What to Look for
- Proteins – Proteins provide amino acids essential for growth and development of strong bones and muscles. High quality animal proteins should appear at the top of the ingredients in dry, and as the first ingredient in canned food. Look for whole fresh meats from specific sources like chicken, lamb, or beef, not a generic “poultry” listing.
- Whole Vegetables – We don’t often think of animals needing vegetables but carrots, peas, and potatoes provide roughage and help regulate a number of bodily functions.
- Unprocessed Whole Grains – Brown rice, barley and oatmeal provide additional roughage.
- Fats – Fats are a source of energy and heat. They provide essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Fats are necessary for healthy skin and coat. They should be identified by the type of meat or if from a vegetable source.
What to Avoid
- Unknown Fat Sources – May be listed simply as “animal fat” which could just be discarded cooking grease.
- Protein By-Products – Meat by-products are rarely actual meat. They are animal parts leftover after the meat has been stripped from the bone and can include blood, hooves, bones, and a host of undesired parts in the case of beef or lamb.
- Chicken by-products include heads, beaks, feet, entrails, intestines and basically anything else not used for human consumption.
- Crude Protein – Another term for the by-products listed above. Has little to no nutritional value.
- Powdered Cellulose – Another anomaly from the AAFCO with a fancy definition that really just means sawdust.
- Artificial flavours and colours – These are just chemical enhancements with little value. Your dog can’t see how red a fake steak is.
- Artificial Sweeteners & Sugar – This is just added to entice dogs. They will after all lap up anti-freeze for its sweet taste; these can be just as lethal for your Cocker (and maybe you).
Unless you’re serious about avoiding the big names on the food aisle you won’t realistically be able to avoid all of these things, so if present they should be at the bottom of the ingredient list.
However, if you do want to ensure your Cocker gets the best nutrition possible; there are a number of truly high-grade pet foods that can be purchased online or at healthier food stores like Whole Foods Market.
- Natural Balance
- Solid Gold
- Newman’s Own Organics
- Eagle Pack
- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
I hope that you learned a lot from today’s Cocker Spaniel newsletter
All the best and take care