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Canine Nutrition for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Bentley, our Cavalier King
                                        Charles Spaniel, licking dishes
                                        in the Dishwasher
What's the best dog food for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

There’s no greater gift you can give your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel than a well-balanced, healthy diet. Carefully attending to the principles of canine nutrition and selecting the type of dog food and treats you’ll give your pet will ensure that he lives a long, healthy life.

Watching the amount of pet food you give him helps control his weight, avoiding obesity and adding years to your life together.

In their natural state, dogs are carnivorous scavengers. In the wild, dogs eat small animals (rabbits and squirrels) consuming their prey whole – skin, meat, bones as well as whatever the prey had in its stomach (often berries and grasses). In this way, the wild dog had a complete diet of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fat (from the animal’s muscles, bones and organs) as well as fiber (from the fur and intestines). 

Nutritional Components of Dog Foods

Today’s domesticated dog doesn’t have to catch his own dinner. But your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel still requires a combination of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fiber for proper canine nutrition. With a little homework and some common sense, you can find readily available dog foods that will provide your pet with all its nutritional needs.  Virtually all dog foods provide some combination of the following components:

Protein
Protein is the building block for muscle tissue and bones. Protein from meat is probably the most natural source of protein for dogs and is more easily digestible than vegetable protein. The typical adult Cavalier Spaniel should have a diet that is approximately 18 - 20% protein. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies need perhaps 22% protein to support their growth.
Fat
Fat provides energy and helps transport vitamins in your dog’s body. It is fat, particularly Omega 3 fatty acids, that give your dog's coat its healthy shine. However, be careful not to include too high a percentage of fat in your dog’s diet because fat has twice the number of calories as protein. A healthy diet for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should include approximately 5% fat, as a rule of thumb.
Vitamins & Minerals     
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for your dog’s metabolism and energy, enzyme activity and for his immune system.
Fiber
Fiber is essential to your dog’s digestive system for the absorption of nutrients.

Changing your Pet's Diet

If you decide to change your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's diet, do so gradually. Begin by mixing in a little of the new food with your pet’s current dog food. Over of period of a week to 10 days, gradually increase the amount of the new pet food and decrease the amount of the old pet food.

Some pets are finicky eaters, but don’t allow them to become tyrants. If you are introducing a new pet food gradually, and your pet refuses the new mixture, don’t go back to their old food just to get them to eat. Just wait. Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will eat the new mixture when he becomes hungry enough. We all tend to worry if our pet won’t eat, but skipping his food for a day won’t be fatal. And if you’ve carefully chosen a nutritious pet food that you believe is in your pet’s best interest, it’s better to let your pet go a little bit hungry until he eventually accepts the new pet food you want him to have.

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