Today's dog foods are not one-size-fits-all. Continued canine nutritional research and investigations into the dog’s genome have shown that different breeds can benefit from specific diets. English Springer Spaniels are no different. Finding the best dog food for Springer Spaniels is important for your pet's overall health and well-being.
Table of Contents
Springers are a medium-sized dog, typically weighing 40-50 pounds and standing 19-20 inches at the shoulder. They enjoy companionship with their family for an average of 12-14 years. These dogs are typically a very healthy breed. While English Springer Spaniels can be prone to several genetically-linked diseases, a few should be taken into consideration when it comes to selecting dog food.
You may have had Springers all your life and are looking to improve their health or you may be looking to adopt a new Springer puppy. Either way, it's important to find a dog food brand that will meet your pup's unique nutritional needs depending on the stage of life he's currently in. Today, I'll be sharing some of the best dog food for Springer Spaniels that I often recommend to pet owners in my veterinary practice.
The Best Dog Food for Springer Spaniels' Health
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.
The Springer Spaniel is generally a healthy breed, but it is important to be aware of certain issues. The ones noted here may be helped or possibly prevented with the best dog food for Springer Spaniels.
Epilepsy in English Springer Spaniels is typically diagnosed between 6 months and 6 years of age. Inherited idiopathic epilepsy is the most common type seen. 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 this breed. Seizures happen in the brain when electrical impulses between neurons aren’t happening correctly. If your Springer or its relative has seizures, it is a good idea to support their brain health as much as possible.
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NeuroCare
I recommend Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NeuroCare as the best dog food for Springer Spaniels diagnosed with epilepsy. This diet is “hot off the presses” and was 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.
2. Skin and Ear Disorders
English Springer Spaniels can be prone to ear infections and skin issues. The most common of these are hereditary primary seborrhea and atopic dermatitis (allergies). Many dogs that have ongoing ear infections also have atopic dermatitis.
Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Fish
It is important to support your dog’s skin health with the best dog food for Spring Spaniels as much as you can. While it is not a “hypoallergenic diet”, Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Fish contains a high level of omega-3 essential fatty acids to promote healthy skin.
Seborrhea is basically excessive scaling of the skin and can be “oily” or “dry”. Supplementing omega-3 essential fatty acids in the diet can help to reduce inflammation and relieve the itch.
Fish is less likely to cause food allergy in dogs and this natural diet is also grain-free. Natural Balance guarantees omega-3 content at 0.5% minimum and omega-6 content at 2% minimum.
3. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Hip and elbow dysplasia are seen across several medium and large breed dogs. While there is a genetic component to these issues, nutrition plays a big role in their development. Hip dysplasia is the abnormal growth of the hips.
Over time, the abnormality can cause painful hip arthritis, even in puppies. While selective breeding and screening can help diminish the prevalence of the genes in the breeding population, it is still present. Elbow dysplasia is a syndrome that can be caused by many different genetic developmental issues in the elbows, leading to painful degenerative joint disease and arthritis.
While there is a genetic component to these diseases, there are significant nutritional risk factors that play a part during puppyhood. These risk factors are rapid growth and excess dietary calcium intake. It is not possible to prevent these issues 100% via diet alone, but feeding an appropriate puppy-specific food and not overfeeding will help.
Best Dog Food for Spring Spaniel Puppies
Puppyhood is the most important time for optimal nutrition. As mentioned above, it is best to not over-feed your Springer. This will help prevent developmental orthopedic diseases and obesity.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Lamb and Rice
While there are many excellent puppy foods on the market, Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Lamb and Rice is my choice for the best dog food for Spring Spaniels in the puppy stage of life. Purina has been a leader in canine nutrition for many decades and this updated formula does not disappoint.
Even if your Springer puppy isn’t showing signs of seborrhea (flaking skin), it is a good idea to try Purina Pro Plan’s Focus Puppy Lamb and Rice. It is fortified with DHA, a type of omega-3 essential fatty acid found in cold-water fish. It is affordable across the board and easy to find in pet stores and online.
Natural Balance Ultra Whole Body Health Puppy Formula
If you are interested in a more “premium” line of dog food, look no further than Natural Balance Ultra Whole Body Health Puppy Formula. Natural Balance produces a whole-foods-based canned diet that is great for picky puppies.
It is also fortified with DHA and EPA, important omega-3 essential fatty acids that promote healthy skin and brain development. They also go a step further in including colostrum in their formula, adding a punch of good protein and immune support.
Best Dog Food for Adult Spring Spaniels
Adult English Springer Spaniels need food that will keep them on the go. It is important to take your pet's lifestyle into account when transitioning to the best dog food for Springer Spaniels in their adult years.
Most Springer puppies will transition to adult food around 12 months of age. Many veterinary nutritionists recommend feeding an adult diet until your pet is around 8 years of age.
Low-Active and Normal Body Condition Springer Spaniels
For dogs that are low-active to normal in their lifestyle, such as apartment living with twice daily walks and playing at the dog park on weekends, good food to try is Royal Canin Medium Weight Care Adult Formula. Royal Canin has been a trusted name in evidence-based nutrition for many decades.
Their formula for low-active medium breeds stands out as a good way to prevent unnecessary weight gain. They even have a picture of an English Springer Spaniel on the bag! It not only provides balanced nutrition, it includes a graduated feeding schedule that can change based on your dog’s current activity level.
Very Active – Sporting Springer Spaniels
If your Springer is very active, engaging regularly or competitively in activities like agility or hunting, it is best to invest in a food that keeps up with them. A very popular and effective source of nutrition that can be easily tweaked to your dog’s needs is Royal Canin Sporting Life Agility 4100.
This food stands out because of its manufacturer’s dedication to quality, its carbohydrate and high protein content. It contains high amounts of carbs – providing your dog with quick energy to perform.
After strenuous exercise, your dog will be able to repair his muscles with high quality, easily digestible protein. Chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine and omega-rich fish oil will help keep your athlete’s joints in top form.
Overweight Springer Spaniels
If your adult Springer has become overweight, it is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before putting him on a diet. Sometimes it is best to evaluate any concurrent issues your dog may have, a common one being joint pain due to arthritis.
If this is the case, I recommend Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility as the best dog food for Springer Spaniels in this condition. This prescription diet from Hill’s is available through veterinarians worldwide.
The combination of formulas gives your Springer the support they need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Hill’s boasts that dogs have improved mobility after 21 days and can reduce body weight by 13% in 60 days.
Best Dog Food for Senior Springer Spaniels
English Springer Spaniels are considered geriatric around 9 years of age. Many dog food companies have ‘stages' of senior diets. These may start at 7 or 10 years of age. The biggest things you should look for in a senior diet include:
- low to moderate calories
- high antioxidant content
- contains joint support nutrients
Royal Canin Medium Aging 10+ Formula
My top pick for the best dog food for Springer Spaniels in their golden years is Royal Canin Medium Aging 10+ Formula. Royal Canin is again highly recommended due to their commitment to evidence-based nutrition and premium ingredients.
This dog food also promotes good digestion, giving a better stool consistency, meaning less poop to pick up and easier clean-up. This food also boasts a list of excellent sources of senior support – fish oil and tea for an antioxidant punch and chondroitin sulfate for better joint mobility.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind 7+ Formula
If Royal Canin is not available or out of your price range, don’t despair! Another senior dog food that I recommend is Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind 7+ Formula. This diet by Purina is affordable and highly palatable, enticing even the pickiest of senior eaters.
The first ingredient is turkey, providing high quality protein as well as taste. The formula is fortified with fish oil for an omega-3 punch and glucosamine for joint health and mobility.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Wet Dog Food
Does your English Springer Spaniel suffer from dental disease or has she lost most of her teeth? A tasty option is also from Purina Pro Plan’s Bright Mind line – providing the same benefits as the dry formula in an Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Wet Dog Food.
Wet dog food version is more expensive for pet owners, but it may benefit Spring Spaniels that have a hard time with chewing dry kibble, or simply are picky eaters and will refuse to eat dry dog food.