Famous Brittanys are a very unique breed. A medium sized hunting dog, they thrive in the field, retrieving birds. They were once only known among hunters but are now gaining popularity as pets. Whether yours is a working dog or a house pet, it's important to feed the best dog food for Brittanys.
An ancient French hunting dog, experts think that the Brittany’s origins date back to AD 150. Until 1982, the AKC registered these hunters as ‘Spaniel, Brittany’ and dog lovers even today refer to them as ‘Brittany Spaniels.’
The Brittany is neither spaniel nor pointer – it is somewhere in between. They stand at about 20 inches at the shoulder and weigh 30-40 pounds. Brittanys are very high energy and need a job to do.
They come in a variety of bold colors in a dark and white pattern. Their hair is medium length, silky and sheds seasonally. They are high maintenance when it comes to activity, making them a good fit for hunters and active families with older children. Enthusiasts are able to enjoy their Brittany companion for an average of 12-14 years.
As mentioned, their high energy level makes them a bit tricky to feed. As a licensed veterinarian I see Brittany parents all the time. These are the 7 foods that I typically recommend as the best dog food for Brittany based on their age, health condition and activity level:
|Dog Food Brands||Price||Value||Rating|
|Hill’s Ideal Balance Puppy Chicken and Rice||$$||$2.56/lb||4.6/5|
|Kinetic Dog Food||$$||$1.54/lb||4.4/5|
|Purina Pro Plan’s Sport||$$||$1.49/lb||4.6/5|
|Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Large Breed 7+||$$||$1.83/lb||4.4/5|
|Cosequin ASU Sport||$$$$||$0.82/tablet||4.4/5|
|Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Fish||$$$||$2.92/lb||4.5/5|
* Click on the Brittany dog food for more information and prices or scroll down below for more details.
Best Dog Food for Brittany
7 vet recommended brands
How to Feed a Brittany
Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Brittany puppies have a LOT of energy, and they need consistent, top-notch nutrition to fuel their fire. They can seem like bottomless pits, but don’t be tempted to give them second helpings.
Brittany’s are naturally lean, muscular dogs and extra weight won’t be doing them any favors as they grow. My recommendation as the best dog food for Brittanys in the puppy stage is Hill’s Ideal Balance Puppy Chicken and Rice.
Hill’s Science Diet is a leader in evidence-based nutrition for pets and their latest ‘naturals’ line does not disappoint. Brittany puppies will eat a lot, which can put a dent in your pocketbook when feeding premium brands.
Ideal Balance provides premium nutrition for a good value. It stands out as one of the best dog food for Brittanys not only because of Hills' reputation, but because of its ingredients: real chicken for quality protein, pearled barley for good glycemic control, flaxseed and fish oil to support healthy brain development…and the list goes on.
While the Brittany is not a Setter, one of my selections for the best dog food for Brittanys is a Setter-specific food. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Setter Adult. Royal Canin has done a lot in developing nutrition tailored to certain breeds.
Brittanys and Setters are similar enough that this food will be an excellent choice for your dog.
These breeds have very similar facial structures, which benefits from Royal Canin’s specific kibble design for the Setter. They both have high energy requirements for active lifestyles. Royal Canin’s reputation for quality ingredients and good taste does not disappoint. Setters are a little larger than Brittany’s, so be sure to stick to the lower range on the feeding recommendations.
Brittany dogs are natural athletes. They can run for miles or excel in short sprints to flush out or retrieve a bird. It is important to keep the type of activity in mind when selecting the best dog food for Brittanys.
If your Brittany is running long distances, opt for a food with higher protein levels, as dogs start to burn protein as fuel after about 30 minutes of prolonged exercise. Kinetic Dog Food is a great option for Brittanys in this category.
Kinetic has a range of high-protein and high-carbohydrate foods to fit your dog’s needs. Lower protein levels (26%) is more appropriate for agility dogs, while higher protein (up to 32%) are best for dogs running longer distances. All of their products are extremely energy dense, which means you feed less volume and contributes to better stool management.
If Kinetic is not available or out of your price range, consider Purina Pro Plan’s Sport line. It t has a very similar range of performance dog foods and is backed by Purina’s commitment to quality and evidence-based nutrition.
If your senior Brittany is still active and going strong, it is important to fuel them with aging changes in mind. Dogs that have been athletic in their lifetime are more likely to suffer from degenerative joint disease (DJD) and painful arthritis. With proper medical care and the best dog food for Brittanys, these dogs can keep working in the field into their teens.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Large Breed 7+ provides excellent nutrition at an affordable price. They have a tasty, easily digested formula that is perfect for active senior Brittany’s.
It still has a moderate amount of protein (28%) with brain-boosting antioxidants and DHA omega fatty acids. Purina’s flat kibble design is easy for older dogs to pick up, chew and digest.
Cosequin ASU Sport for Dogs is not one of the best dog food for Brittanys, but it's a great supplement for this breed in their senior years. Senior Brittany’s may need a little stronger nutritional support when it comes to joint health.
For decades the maker of Cosequin has provided dogs, cats and horses with quality chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine products. Their latest targets sporting dogs, specifically benefiting their paws and joints.
Biotin, a building block of healthy hair, skin and paw pads is included as well as a special herb…Boswellia. Boswellia serrata is unique herb hailing from India that can ease the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
Brittanys with Health Considerations
The Brittany is a very healthy breed – having relatively few breed-associated medical problems. The most common issues that can occur include hypothyroidism and epilepsy. It's even more important to find the best dog food for Brittanys if they are suffering from one of these conditions.
Hypothyroidism has been noted in the Brittany breed for many decades. They tend to suffer from primary hypothyroidism, which means that the thyroid tissue does not secrete enough thyroid hormone into the body. Dogs that suffer from this condition often have dull, brittle hair coats, weight gain, pattern hair loss around their midsection, joint issues and exercise intolerance.
While hypothyroidism can be successfully treated with thyroid hormone supplementation, their skin issues often need a boost from enhanced nutrition. Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Fish is a great choice for Brittanys with this condition.
Feeding a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, like this one from Natural Balance, can help prevent skin infections and seborrhea that are common in dogs with hypothyroidism. While skin and hair changes may not happen overnight, they can happen a little bit faster with improved nutrition.
Brittany spaniels also tend to be over-represented when it comes to epilepsy. The most commonly seen kind seen in Brittany’s is inherited idiopathic epilepsy. This basically means that the dog has seizures and there is no clear cause as to why it happens.
Secondary epilepsy caused by a primary problem like a brain tumor is much less likely in Brittany dogs. The most common time for Brittany’s to develop epilepsy is between 6 months and 6 years of age.
Seizures happen in the brain when electrical impulses between neurons aren’t happening correctly. If your Brittany or his relatives have seizures, it is a good idea to support their brain health as much as possible. In this case, I recommend Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NeuroCare as the best dog food for Brittanys.
This diet is hot off the presses and available in the USA starting in March 2017. A research team from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in London showed that a diet in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) can help control seizures. The RVC test diet with MCT oils (the Purina formula) is the first dog food to clinically improve epilepsy in dogs. This is very exciting in the veterinary world, so be sure to seek out your veterinarian for a prescription.
The Tail End
Brittany’s are healthiest when they live an active lifestyle and are provided with quality food. They can easily be as healthy and happy at 13 as they were at 3.
No two dogs are alike and you know your dog best. If you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or nutrition, contact your veterinarian for more advice.