How to Care for a Cocker Spaniel

1.Vaccinate your cocker spaniel when you first get her and follow up with yearly booster vaccinations to maintain the dog's immunity to diseases. Consult your veterinarian about flea control products and worming your dog.
2.Feed your cocker spaniel high-grade dog food. The first ingredient should be meat if you want a quality product. Crude protein should be no less than 30 percent and crude fat no less than 20 percent. The fiber content needs to be 4 percent or less.
3.Socialize cocker spaniels early on with people, children and pets. They have a tendency to be timid if not socialized.
4.Walk your cocker spaniel daily, being careful not to let her walk through brush, as her coat can get tangled easily.
5.Consider crate training your cocker spaniel until she's housebroken. When you cannot supervise your puppy, put her in a crate that's just big enough for her to sleep and turn around in, so she won't go to the bathroom in it. Each time the puppy eats (outside the crate, of course), take her outside to one area where you would like her to go to the bathroom. When your puppy is through, give her lots of praise.
6.Brush your dog daily, being careful not to pull out the hair. Shampoo regularly. Cocker spaniels are average shedders. If you keep your dog's coat long, it will need to be trimmed every four months.
7.Clean your cocker spaniel's eyes regularly with moist cotton wool pads. Use a different pad for each eye to avoid spreading any possible infections.
8.Check nails every two to three weeks and trim them as needed.
9.Know that cocker spaniels are prone to health problems including cataracts (a cloudy area in the lens of the eye), glaucoma (increased fluid pressure inside the eye) and patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap). They can also be prone to hip dysplasia (a malformed ball and socket in the hip joint) and allergies.
1..Expect male cocker spaniels to mature to a height of 15 inches; females grow to 14 inches. Both will weigh between 24 and 28 pounds.
1..Be prepared to enjoy 12 to 15 years with your cocker spaniel - this is the cocker spaniel's average life expectancy.  
Be sure to brush your dog's coat before shampooing. Shampoo often gets stuck inside tangled hair.
Contact the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (see Related Sites) to learn more about hip dysplasia in cocker spaniels. 
Warnings: If you adopt a cocker spaniel, it will take much time and patience to house-train the dog, especially if you get her as an adult. Adopted dogs may not be as sweet and even-tempered because of previous abuse and neglect.   

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