The Spaniels try out some new food...


In terms of products for dogs we use our fair share it has to be said. Monty 7 and Cookie 5 are our two Newfoundland’s who share our home with three Cockers Spaniels, Molly 10, Poppy 9 and Bailey 7. Like many other families with dogs there is a balance in terms of feeding between quality and cost. For us we are constantly trying to give the dogs the very best all-round diet for their health and happiness whilst also keeping the bank manager relatively content. I know there will be people reading this who say that kibble of any variety is wrong to feed and the raw debate is something I’m acutely aware of but this is a review of complete foods so I’ll park that discussion for another day.

Recently we have tried two new foods for our spaniels, supplied by Animeddirect.co.uk and it was keeping in with the theme of a quality food that made us consider these particular brands. First up was “James Wellbeloved Adult Maintenance Dog Food with Lamb & Rice”, which we gave to Bailey and Poppy as a change from their regular brand, not only as a bit of variety, but also to help prevent any build-up of intolerances.

The first obvious test of food is do the dogs like it and with Bailey and Poppy this was a resounding …YES. Both bowls were clean within minutes but I must point out at this stage that clean bowls is the norm rather than the exception for these two!

The rest of the food testing process takes a little longer and involves the inevitable “P word”. It’s a known fact that dog owners are a little obsessive about what comes out of the business ends of our four-legged family members. There are obviously practical elements of this obsession because as the regular walker of five dogs poo picking is a huge part of my day. My daughter Emma has the nickname ‘Poobag’ so often is she called into action on our daily outings but the interest in number 2’s goes further than just hoping it’s going to be OK to get into a little black bag. Of course, the toilet habits of our dogs can show us many potential health issues, but are also an indication of how well they’re coping with the food and if the amount we’re feeding is ok.

After a few days everything was fine but we did have to increase the food by about 10% as we noticed a slight weight loss. There is always going to be some adjustment with a new food and we always weigh out the amounts to make it easier to adjust slightly up or down. After the slight increase they both looked great and then really it was a case of waiting to see any other changes in their condition or behaviour. As I’m sure everyone is aware Cocker’s have plenty of energy so a drop in that would always be a sign that the food wasn’t right for them.

Fast forward two weeks and both Bailey and Poppy are their usual spaniel selves. Good energy, nice weight, shiny coat and yes…good poo’s! James Wellbeloved certainly maintained their levels of health and well-being, as well as giving them a tasty change. Overall it seems a good quality food at a very reasonable price and for that it would be hard not to recommend it for those looking for a change or for new owners.

Next up we tried “Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult food” for our older girl Molly. I have to admit I’ve always been a little sceptical of a food that says it’s so tailored to an individual breed and Royal Canin have quite a range of these breed specific diets. That said I was happy to try it out with Molly as the brand has a very good reputation within the dog world. In its package information it highlights a few issues that Cockers are prone to and looks to address these through the added supplements so it seems a reasonable explanation of how they can target a food to a particular breed.

Once again the taste test passed with flying colours and I’d probably say that Molly enjoyed it more than her usual brand. I think the consistency helped as it seemed a little easier to chew than her regular variety and as an older lady this may have helped her ageing teeth and gums. This time there was no increase needed in her food and she maintained her weight perfectly as she did her 10-year-old Cocker Spaniel energy, which shows no sign of lessening. As with the previous review the proof of the pudding would be in how her digestive system coped and again there was no discernible change in this area nor was there in her general health and condition which all remained very good for her age.

I think it’s really important to say at this stage that this was a relatively short period to really assess the foods and that would apply to any health and condition benefits or indeed the reverse. In terms of the Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel food I can certainly say again that it seemed to maintain Molly’s in a great condition.

Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult food is similarly priced food as the James Wellbeloved Adult Maintenance Dog Food with Lamb & Rice, and again it would be difficult not to recommend it as good quality food for your Cocker Spaniel.

For more information on the products reviewed here simply visit www.animeddirect.co.uk .Animed Direct are one of the UK’s leading online pet retailers, offering savings of up to 50% on vet priced medication, food, treats and accessories.

Bailey, Molly and Poppy


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