Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Diet & Meal Plan Advice
By Hungry Bark | June 20, 2021
One of the more gentle and affectionate breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, known as a Cavalier or King Charles, has both characteristics of a toy breed combined with the athleticism spaniels for which they are well known.
As a puppy, the Cavalier needs a lot of exercise, but this loving, sweet spaniel will grow out of its’ youthful exuberance making it one of the most sought-after small breeds.
As a pet parent, your priority is to provide a safe place for your puppy to grow, learn, and explore so that they may live a long, fruitful life. The best way to provide that quality of life is a combination of exercise, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups.
By taking a holistic approach to their health, factors all the smaller components such as diet and exercise with how it incorporates into a larger whole.
The best approach to take with your King Charles’s health is to consider their overall activity level, age, and weight, as well as the type of foods they are eating.
Keep in mind as well that dogs of different ages have different nutritional needs.
Before we discuss the best meal plan for your King Charles Spaniel, let’s discuss the holistic approach to providing the highest quality of life for your pet.
The Importance Of Getting Enough Exercise
To start with a holistic approach, you need to consider a few things first.
Exercise combined with a great meal plan and regular veterinarian visits are ideal for long healthy life, and vigorous exercise will aid your King Charles’s health in several areas.
Like people, your King Charles Spaniel will benefit from exercise as it’s one way to maintain a healthy body and mind.
Exercise will help digestion, improve appetite, build muscle, strengthen bones, improve mental function, alleviate anxiety, and increase moods.
Daily Benefits Of Exercise
- Aids In Digestion: The benefits of getting daily exercise will aid your King Charles’ digestion and waste production. This benefit is crucial as the dog’s age and metabolism slow down.
- Strengthens The Cardiovascular System: Daily exercise will cause your dog’s body to work harder and, in the process, maintain its cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
- Build Strong Bones And Maintain Skeletal-Muscle Strength: Exercise will strengthen your King Charles muscles, putting positive stress on its cardiovascular system long after the exercise concludes.
- Improve Flexibility: Being active helps maintain joint health and flexibility, which is especially important as your King Charles ages.
- Heightens Mood: Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which are neural chemicals that elevate mood, reduce stress and anxiety. A calm brain is also easier to train and interact with, which will help in encouraging more positive behaviors.
There’s also a bonus that comes from daily exercise. By developing a routine with your pet, you’re also creating an opportunity to build on the bond between you and your King Charles.
You will both have something to look forward to and can use that time to reinforce proper behaviors.
One final bonus is that, instinctually, dogs like to explore their surroundings by sniffing around to discover if there are potential threats and food sources nearby.
Dogs are heavily dependent on their sense of smell, and a daily walk or other outdoor activity lets them engage animals in the area by stimulating their mind through the smells they find.
Depending on where you live and your availability to get out and about, we have a few suggestions for you.
Walks: Daily walks are an excellent way for your King Charles to explore their immediate environments as well as get some low-impact exercise in the process. As we discussed earlier, a daily routine like a walk is also an excellent way for you and your pet to reinforce the bond between pet and pet parent.
Hikes: Depending on where you live, hikes are a fantastic opportunity to let your King Charles a chance to discover a new world around them. Keep in mind the weather and type of terrain you may be hiking through and decide whether it may be appropriate for your pup’s health and age.
Dog Park: Dog parks offer a wide variety of benefits and are an excellent way for your King Charles to learn social skills and get a good amount of exercise. Social by nature, dogs enjoy creating packs with other dogs, so letting them interact, run, and wrestle, is excellent for both exercise and their socialization. A short 30-minute dog park adventure is more than enough to tire your dog and stimulate their mind.
Swimming: Older dogs may need alternatives for exercise, especially those that suffer hip or joint issues. You should consider swimming as an opportunity for low-impact that offers excellent cardiovascular exercise. Not all dogs enjoy being in the water, however, so understanding your King Charles’ preferences is essential.
The Type Of Nutrition Your King Charles Spaniel Needs
Every dog is unique. Each has a different personality, likes, and dislikes, so understanding your pet’s disposition is essential in selecting the best meal plan.
Factors to consider include your dog’s age, weight, activity levels.
Just know that not all dog food manufacturers have the same set of priorities in their food recipes, so learning about the proper nutrition and reading a food label is essential when selecting the best type of meal plan.
Now let’s discuss the factors to consider when selecting the best type of meal plan for your King Charles.
Your King Charles Age And Weight
Finding a balance between nutritional and caloric needs for your King Charles can be overwhelming.
When trying to decide, we suggest that your dog’s age is a primary concern. At different stages, they have different nutritional requirements throughout a dog’s life, and the food you select should be appropriate for its age.
Another thing to consider is your dog’s weight. Ask your veterinarian if your dog needs to add weight or whether they are heavy and should be scaling portions back while increasing exercise demands.
How Active Is Your Dog
As you evaluate different foods and meal plans, next consider your King Charles overall level of fitness.
For some dogs, overeating is a problem, so understanding its ideal weight and its activity levels will help you select the best meal plan.
Like people, active dogs need more protein than ones who are sedentary. The best meal plan will prioritize a single protein source such as “turkey” in the labeling before any other ingredient.
Does Your King Charles Have Food-Borne Allergies Or Food Intolerances
Food-borne allergies can sneak up on you. Foods that include fillers and additives may consist of ingredients that your pet is allergic to. Once the immune system becomes active, it can quickly overact to any type of potential allergen.
This process occurs when the immune system becomes over-stimulated from a previous allergic reaction, and it aggressively attacks other potential allergens within the body.
Symptoms of food-borne allergies may include digestive issues or excessive itching. Excessive itching can cause skin irritation caused that becomes worse as bacteria get under the skin, heightening the itch response.
Food intolerances are when your pet can’t digest a specific food item. It is often something that may be toxic and can lead to severe health consequences. The best way to avoid potential food-borne allergies is to select only the highest-quality dog food clearly labeled.
Why Your King Charles’s Food Ingredients Are Important
High-quality food sources will provide the essential macronutrients needed for overall health and bolstering the immune system to minimize any potential health concerns that stem from food-borne issues such as allergies and food intolerance.
Food-borne allergies may arise from unnecessary additives and fillers that some manufacturers include with their dog food recipes.
The problem with food-borne allergies is that once the immune system starts to react to allergens, it can go into overdrive and attack any possible allergen, making life difficult.
Food intolerance is something that your King Charles Spaniel cannot digest and can lead to significant health issues. The best way to avoid food-borne allergies and intolerances is to choose a transparent meal plan in its ingredient list and protein sources.
In general, your meal plan should prioritize macronutrients in the order of protein, carbohydrates, then fats.
Macronutrients are the nutrients that your pet will get the most energy from and should list protein from a singular, clean source such as “chicken” over vague terms like “meat meal.”
How To Read The Ingredients Label
The final step in our holistic approach to creating an excellent quality of life for your King Charles is selecting the best meal plan that you can find.
To select the right plan, you need to understand how the labels are written.
High-quality meal plans will focus on a balance of skeletal-muscle development, enhanced immune system support, and aid with more efficient digestion.
This benefit occurs by eliminating unnecessary additives and fillers that offer little nutritional needs and may even lead to unhealthy side effects.
The primary benefits of good nutrition for your King Charles Spaniel:
- Strong bones and teeth
- Better muscle tone
- Support the skeletal-muscle system
- Bolstered immune system
- Aid with waste production and digestion
- Increased levels of energy
- Healthier coats
When you read the product labels, it should clearly state where the food originates from and eliminates misleading terms.
For example, food labels that include “meat meal” or uses a term like “Turkey Platter For Dogs With Salmon Flavor” are both unclear and misleading.
The reason manufacturers use those types of terms because they must comply with rigid standards by the FDA, but as we see, they aren’t the most accurate descriptions either.
Dog food is highly regulated, but that said, there are loopholes. For FDA approval, manufacturers must list the food in a way that describes the overall amount of an ingredient in the recipe. Still, if you’re unsure how to read it, it may seem like you’re selecting a healthy choice when in reality, it’s not.
If a product label claims that it’s “chicken,” then by FDA standards, it must include 95% of chicken in the recipe. However, if the food label claims something like a “salmon platter,” it is only required to have salmon more than 25% of the total recipe.
What’s more, if the food label says something like “dog food with turkey,” standards dictate the recipe only has to have 3% of that ingredient included. And what’s more, if a product description uses the term “dog food with chicken flavor,” the manufacturer is only required to include barely enough of that ingredient that is traceable. It doesn’t even have to be included as a primary ingredient!
The goal to the overall health of your King Charles Spaniel takes a holistic approach, one that includes regular check-ups, exercise, and selecting the best meal plan for optimal nutrition.
If you’re still confused about the best meal plan for your King Charles, the Hungry Bark Custom Meal Planner is a great place to start!
In as little as 2 minutes, the meal planner will customize your King Charles meal plan to consider characteristics such as breed, age, weight, and activity level to provide a custom meal plan for a happy, healthy life.
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