Despite their high activity level, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can still fall victim to obesity. Learn how to keep your dog at a healthy weight with good portion sizes.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are active little sporting dogs that typically use a lot of energy in their daily activities. Still, they are prone to obesity. This makes it very important not only to feed these dogs correctly, but also to monitor them on a regular basis so as to catch any changes in weight or condition as quickly as possible. How much to feed a Cavalier depends on numerous factors, including the dog’s weight, activity level, size and the type of food being used.
Many owners choose to feed their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels dry dog food because it is convenient, affordable and provides complete nutrition. When feeding these foods, follow the instructions printed on the bag to determine how much to use. The amount is based on the dog’s weight, which for a Cavalier is normally in the 13 to 18 pound range. While serving size varies from one food to another, in general your dog should be eating about 1 to 1.5 cups of food each day, ideally split in half and served as two separate meals.
If you choose to feed your Cavalier canned food only, your dog will need about 1 to 1.5 cans per day of a nutritionally complete food. Always check the label, since this amount may vary by brand. You can also mix canned food and kibble to create a more palatable meal for your dog, replacing about half a cup of dry food with half a can of canned food. This amount can be adjusted as required to suit your dog’s needs.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels don’t need high-calorie treats, since too many of these can cause them to gain weight rapidly. Instead, feed them small amounts of boiled liver or chicken cut into small cubes. Some dogs also enjoy small raw carrots for the sweet taste and crunchy texture. Avoid filling Cavaliers up with table scraps or foods lacking in nutritional value, since these can cause a dietary imbalance and possibly lead to health problems. Never give them human foods without checking whether or not the foods are toxic. A few common foods that can kill your Cavalier, even if given in small amounts, are chocolate, onions, avocados, raisins and macadamia nuts.
Monitor your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel frequently to see if your dog is gaining or losing weight. If your dog is at an ideal weight, you will be able to feel their ribs without them poking out. Look to the waist too; a healthy dog's waist should be noticeably defined without being tucked in too tightly. If your dog is too thin, you’ll be able to easily see and feel the ribs, the waist will appear very narrow and the dog’s hip bones will be prominent. You may have trouble finding the ribs on overweight dogs, and they will have little or no sign of a waist. Dogs that are too thin need more food, while dogs that are overweight require smaller servings. Since the Cavalier’s needs will vary with age and activity level, check your dog’s condition on a regular basis and adjust the serving size as needed.
More on Proper Dog Nutrition
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The Proper Nutrition For Feeding A Puppy
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