7 Best Foods To Feed an Adult and Puppy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

We think that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is perhaps one of the most adorable breeds of dog in the world. Their shaggy coat, floppy ears, and super lovable demeanor are a heart-melting combination that’s made the breed famous. While they’ve always been an incredibly popular breed (especially in the UK), they are perhaps more desirable now than ever before.

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Today we’re going to be looking at what you should (and shouldn’t) be feeding a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and we’re going to look at how much and how often you should be feeding them too.

To conclude we’re going to finish off this article with 7 food recommendations perfect for the breed (with separate adult and puppy sections).

Let’s get started.

What To Look For In A Good Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Food

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has very few specific dietary requirements that need to be taken into account. This makes them an incredibly low maintenance breed (in some respects) and is perhaps a big part of what makes them such a popular kind of dog. That being said, there are some standard things you should be on the lookout for.


You may already know this, but dogs need a huge amount of protein in their diet – much more than us humans do. Despite a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a wolf looking like two entirely different creatures, genetically they’re reasonably similar – and as such, they have the dietary requirements of a wolf (meat).

Ensuring you provide your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with enough protein is a trivially easy task, in fact, you almost certainly won’t ever have to think about it. Almost every dog food on the market (dry or wet) provides huge amounts of protein – it’s often the largest macronutrient in the recipe.

Artificial Flavourings And Preservatives

Artificial flavorings and preservatives in dog food can be a slightly controversial topic in some circles, but we strongly advise against them. The health risks to humans from these chemical additives are well known, and many people go out of their way to avoid them. Similar negative health effects have been documented in canines from consuming too many artificial preservatives, and as such, you should try and avoid them wherever possible.

If it’s not healthy enough for you, why is it healthy enough for your pooch?


To pack a huge amount of calories into a reasonable serving size dog food manufacturers need to get creative. Protein isn’t low in calories, but it’s not supersaturated with them either. This is why most brands of dog food include a bunch of carbohydrates in their recipe to give your pooch the energy they need.

The cheapest form of carbohydrates is often found in grains like oats and wheat. They’re not very nutritious, they can cause allergic reactions in some dogs, and they can often produce excessive flatulence. It’s not the end of the world if your chosen food has a small amount of grain content, but try and avoid it as much as possible. Instead look for carbohydrates that come from things like potato, sweet potato, brown rice, and chickpeas instead.

How Often Should You Feed a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

On average an adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel requires between 500 and 550 calories per day to maintain a target weight of around 15 lbs. This figure is the same for both males and females as there’s not much size difference between them.

Remember that there are a few exceptions to the figure above, for example, older dogs or dogs that have been spayed or neutered (of any age) require fewer calories to maintain a target weight. On the other hand, dogs that are very active and get a lot of exercise require more calories.

Regardless, you should always follow the feeding instructions on the packet of the food you are feeding your pooch. Different foods have very different calorific densities, and two similarly sized portions of different foods can have very different nutritional compositions.

One of the most attractive things about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is the super high levels of intelligence that they possess. This makes them very obedient, and very easy to train. When this is combined with the stunning levels of speed, stamina, and agility the breed is known for then you have the perfect combination for a competition breed.

Competing in shows requires a huge amount of training, and a competitive Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be expending much more energy than a pooch that’s just a normal pet. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you bump up the recommended calorific intake slightly to ensure your pooch isn’t going hungry. Keep an eye on their weight levels to ensure you’re not overfeeding them (but if you’re competing your pooch, you probably do this anyway).

Overfeeding a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (or any small breed of dog) is much more dangerous than overfeeding a larger dog. The small frames of our pint-sized pooches are not designed to carry much additional weight, and as a result being overweight can shorten their lifespan and cause joint issues.

Best Value Food for A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

So now we know a little bit about the reasonably simple dietary requirements of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and we’ve got an idea of how much we should be feeding them (roughly).

We’ve searched high and low to find what we think are 7 of the best dog foods on the market suitable for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We’re going to break things down into categories below (adult and puppy), but we’re going to start with what we think is the overall best value food on the market right now…

We recommend this product time and time again, but it’s honestly one of the best for the money – the Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe from American Journey.

American Journey are well known for providing some of the highest quality foods on the market (without a high price tag). The main protein source in this food comes from salmon, which is widely regarded as one of the most luxurious protein sources used in dog food. It’s full of amino acids, omega oils, and other goodness that’s naturally found in the fish.

It’s a grain free recipe which means you’re not going to be dealing with low-quality carbohydrates or the related allergy and flatulence issues they cause. Instead, the complex carbohydrates come from sweet potato and chickpeas, and the entire product is free from artificial colors, preservatives, and other bad stuff.

Combine all this with a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals (sourced from real vegetables) and a few antioxidants and you’ve got a well-balanced food at a great price point ($30 for a big bag). If you don’t know where to start when choosing your next food, we highly recommend you give this product a go – it’s everything you could ever want from a food and more.

Best Food For Adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

The food we picked as our overall pick is suited for adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, but we also found several other worthy options during our research. Here are 3 of the best specifically designed for adult small dogs.

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Turkey & Oatmeal

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Turkey & Oatmeal

The final product we’re recommending here in the adult section is another product specifically designed for dogs the size of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from the highly popular brand Wellness. This product utilizes 3 different protein sources to provide a wide range of different oils and fats (real chicken, real salmon, and real turkey). There are also loads of vitamins and minerals that come from real vegetables like tomatoes and sweet potatoes which are complemented by Chondroitin Sulfate to help keep joints healthy.

The only thing we’re not too fond of with this product is the inclusion of oatmeal. Some dogs can be allergic to it (in rare cases) and it’s not an ideal carbohydrate source.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – 3 Protein sources
  • Pro – Chondroitin Sulfate promotes healthy joints
  • Pro – Well balanced
  • Con – Contains oats

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed

Taste Of The Wild is another big name in the world of dog food. They’ve earned a reputation over the years for providing wholesome natural ingredients in all of their balanced and tasty recipes. This food is no exception and its been custom made for small breeds (even the kibble size is small to make it easier to eat with a tiny mouth).

Like all good foods, it’s a grain free product and the carbohydrates in the recipe are found from peas, lentils, and beans. It’s packed full of high-quality proteins too, much of which comes from real roasted venison (which dogs love).

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Venison protein source
  • Pro – Complex carbohydrates
  • Pro – Antioxidants and amino acids
  • Pro – Grain free
  • Con – None

Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin

Nature's Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin

This is a very well balanced product from a very well respected brand. The protein in the mix comes from real chicken (not chicken meal) and it contains all of the associated fats and oils for a happy and healthy pooch. The carbohydrates are complex and mainly come from sweet potato and pumpkin to provide slow-burning long-lasting energy for play throughout the day.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Real chicken protein
  • Pro – Contains antioxidants
  • Pro – Sweet potato and pumpkin carbohydrates
  • Pro – Grain free
  • Con – None

The Best Food For Puppy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

The needs of a growing pup are very different to those of a fully grown adult. In this section, we’re going to list what we think are the top 3 foods that will provide a young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with all the nutrients and calories they need.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free

We’ve recommended Taste Of The Wild twice now, which should come as no surprise as they’re one of the best dog food manufacturers on the planet. This is a puppy specific version and is an extremely well-balanced product. The protein comes from 3 different sources (bison, beef, and venison) and contains all the natural fats, oils, and amino acids that are naturally found in the meat. There are loads of powerful probiotics (and prebiotics) for a healthy stomach and it’s grain free too (the carbohydrates come from sweet potato).

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – 3 Great protein sources
  • Pro – Very well balanced
  • Pro – Great brand
  • Pro – Contains probiotics and prebiotics
  • Con – None

Merrick Real Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy

Merrick Real Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy

We seemingly cannot write a feeding guide like this without recommending a Merrick product, they’re just that good. This excellent puppy food caught our eye this time and is a super tasty combination of real roasted beef and sweet potato. Its got all the usual vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you’d expect from a premium product like this and it’s completely grain free too.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Real roasted beef protein
  • Pro – Grain free
  • Pro – Well balanced
  • Pro – Super tasty
  • Con – Could be a little cheaper

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Puppy Formula

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Puppy Formula

The final product we’re recommending for puppies is from Natural Balance. They’re a brand that produces limited ingredient products that are specifically designed for dogs with a sensitive stomach. There’s only 1 protein source on the ingredients list, real roasted duck (which is rarely an allergen). To further help your dog’s stomach, carbohydrate sources are complex and kept to a minimum (it’s grain free too).

If you’ve got a sensitive little pooch, then this could be the food you’ve been looking for.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Great for sensitive stomachs
  • Pro – Quality duck protein source
  • Pro – Complex carbohydrates
  • Pro – Grain free
  • Con – A little more expensive than some other products


So there you have it, everything you ever needed to know about how (and what) to feed your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

If you’ve not tried our best value pick before then we highly recommend it, otherwise, any of the other products on this page will keep you and your pooch happy.

They’re all more than worthy of your consideration.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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