Best Dog Food for an American Water Spaniel
The Ultimate American Water Spaniel Food Buyer’s Guide
The American Water Spaniel is another member of the large Spaniel family of dogs. Unlike most members of this old family of dogs, however, the American Water Spaniel is distinguished by being of fairly recent origin (the 19th century); and by originating in the United States. The AWS, as it is often known, was developed in Wisconsin from the Irish and English Water Spaniels, among other breeds. (The English Water Spaniel no longer exists.) Other breeds possibly involved in the breed’s creation include the Curly Coated Retriever, the Poodle, native Indian dogs, and the Sussex Spaniel or another kind of field spaniel. Today the American Water Spaniel is the state dog of Wisconsin.
Hunters developed the breed because they needed a versatile dog, able to work on both land and in the water, and able to retrieve a variety of game. The dog also needed to be compact enough to fit comfortably in a small skiff or canoe on the water and to be able to withstand the cold water in Wisconsin.
While the dogs were popular with hunters in Wisconsin and surrounding areas, their numbers began to dwindle after the duck population fell. Fewer people were hunting to put food on the table and recreational hunting became more popular. After World War II other hunting breeds became popular in Wisconsin. All of these factors were spelling doom for the American Water Spaniel if it weren’t for the efforts of Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer and his Wolf River Kennels. Dr. Pfeifer bred many dogs, advertised them across the country, and touted the qualities of the breed in messages such as this one:
The American Brown Spaniel is distinctively an American production. Hunters have known this type for years and it was through their efforts that this dog was propagated…. For years we have bred only selective stock, breeding for gameness, stability, courage, intelligence, and beauty. They are dogs to admire and trust under all conditions whether in the home circle or in the field with the outdoor man.
Thanks to Dr. Pfeifer’s efforts, the breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1920 and by the Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB) in 1938. The American Water Spaniel was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1940.
By many accounts the American Water Spaniel has connections to the Boykin Spaniel (the state dog of South Carolina) and probably contributed to founding that breed, though Boykin Spaniel fanciers may not be convinced.
Today the American Water Spaniel is still a rare breed. In 1998 only 233 puppies were registered by the AKC. Only 3000 AWS are estimated to exist in the world at any one time – most of them in the American midwest. Today the breed is ranked as the 156th most popular breed in the United States by the AKC.
The AWS still works in the field. They compete in AKC hunt tests (spaniel and retriever tests) and in retriever hunting tests sponsored by the American Water Spaniel Club – the AKC parent club for the breed in the U.S.
The American Water Spaniel is a dual purpose dog, bred to hunt, flush, and retrieve game. They are capable of performing well in many endeavors but they excel in the field as a waterfowl retriever and upland flushing dog. They have also been bred to be a good companion dog, being happy, energetic, and eager to please. The AWS is also very good at agility and flyball and they can do well in obedience.
In temperament the AWS usually makes a good family dog. They AKC refers to them as happy, eager, and charming, though they can be aloof with strangers and a little stubborn. They like to be the center of attention and they can be barkers. In the past the breed was often kept in a “pack” or lived in a group, so they get along well with other dogs and pets. Breeders have worked to make sure the AWS has a suitable temperament for family life.
The American Water Spaniel does tend to be more independent than many sporting breeds. They do well with an owner who enjoys training. On the other hand, this breed does not enjoy drilling or repetition. Once they learn something, they are ready to move on. If you keep repeating a lesson, they can sour on training. Make training fun and use lots of variety. According to various sources, the AWS can be stubborn at times and they can be slow to mature, at least mentally. Some dogs are also possessive about food. According to one source, some bloodlines can have dominant and “aggressive” temperaments. However, most American Water Spaniels get along well with children and like to play with them.
The AWS can make a good apartment dog. They are a small dog and they have moderate exercise requirements. Despite some of the curly-coated breeds in their background, they are not a hypoallergenic breed and they do shed. They are considered to be low maintenance in terms of grooming but they do require some regular attention to their coats.
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Top 4 Best Dog Foods for American Water Spaniel
|Canidae All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb & Fish Meals Formula
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Both male and female American Water Spaniels are 15 to 18 inches tall. Males weigh 30-45 pounds and females weigh 25-40 pounds. Females tend to be slightly smaller than the males.
Some people still hunt with American Water Spaniels. If you do, you should take your dog’s activity level into consideration when figuring how many calories your dog will need in his diet, especially if your dog is very active. The same is true if your dog is competing in other events such as agility. Any kind of competition or stressful activity means your dog may need more calories or a change in his diet.
According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult American Water Spaniel weighing 40 pounds requires an average daily caloric intake of 1109 kcal. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered, or that are older, may need slightly fewer calories. Some dogs may need more calories depending on their level of activity and their individual metabolism. For example, if you hunt with your American Water Spaniel doing light field work, you might need to feed him somewhere around 1233 kcal per day. Growing puppies consume more calories than adult dogs and so do young adult dogs. A young American Water Spaniel puppy (4-12 months) weighing 20 pounds needs an estimated 733 kcal per day. You always need to adjust your dog’s food intake based on his activity level and other factors.
Since American Water Spaniels are a medium-sized dog, it’s not hard to find many good foods that are appropriate for their size. You also have many choices for AWS puppies since they don’t normally have any special food requirements.
You can choose a puppy food that is made for all puppies. Most breeders recommend feeding this food until your puppy reaches about 90 percent of his adult size. You can also feed an all life stage dog food (sometimes AAFCO-approved for “growth and reproduction”) to puppies. Just make sure to check the nutrients to make sure they are suitable for puppies – especially the calcium levels and calcium to phosphorus ratio. You should talk to your breeder about the food they recommend for their puppies since they usually have experience with how their puppies grow and develop.
Feeding Your American Water Spaniel
As with any dog, you should feed your American Water Spaniel a good quality dog food. Food that is high in animal protein is usually a good choice.
According to various information we have seen, American Water Spaniels can be affected by allergies, though the references are vague and do not state whether these are food allergies or not. The breed parent club does not mention allergies among health problems for the breed. If your AWS does have food allergies or food sensitivities, you will need to take this into account when choosing a food for your dog.
Whether you feed your dog a food with or without grains is a personal choice. Many people choose grain free dog foods because their dogs have digestive problems, food allergies or sensitivities, or skin problems. You may want to avoid the most common grains, such as corn and wheat which are often over-used in dog foods, but there are many good dog foods that use alternative grains/cereals such as oats and barley. You can try a couple of foods, with and without grains, and see how your dog does on the foods so you can make your decision.
Keep in mind that food allergies are based on the proteins in foods and not carbohydrates. The most common dog food allergens are: beef, dairy, chicken, lamb, fish, corn, wheat, and soy. In the case of ingredients such as corn and wheat, dogs are allergic to the proteins in these cereals/grains and not the carbohydrates. If your American Water Spaniel does have skin and coat problems due to allergies, it’s a good idea to work with your veterinarian so you can identify exactly which allergens trigger reactions in your dog. This makes it much easier to avoid problematic foods.
Ear infections are not uncommon in dogs with long ears. Any moisture in the ears can become trapped and bacteria can grow in an ordinary ear infection. However, if your dog is prone to food allergies it can keep the intestines inflamed which leads to an overgrowth of bacteria and/or yeast which can spread to the ears. Many dogs with food allergies have recurring ear infections. If your AWS has this problem talk to your veterinarian for treatment and to identify the allergen(s) causing the problem. This kind of ear infection can be particularly hard to eliminate.
Adult American Water Spaniels usually do well eating two meals per day. You can feed American Water Spaniel puppies 3-4 meals when they are very young, then move to three meals per day as they get older. By the time they are about a year old they should be eating two meals per day.
American Water Spaniel Health Problems
According to the American Water Spaniel Club, most AWS will live long, healthy lives as long as they are cared for properly and given good medical care. The breed is not overwhelmed with health problems but it isn’t completely devoid of them either.
The club recommends that AWS be screened for hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and cardiac abnormalities. Both hip dysplasia and cardiac abnormalities are screened following criteria established by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Eye disorders are screened using Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) protocols. Eye problems that can occur in the American Water Spaniel include cataracts, retinal dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Current OFA statistics show that the breed is ranked 124th for hip dysplasia (low ratings are better). Some 8.2 percent of dogs submitting x-rays for ratings were rated with abnormal hips and 90.9 percent were rated normal; 1.0 percent were equivocal.
Among cardiac evaluations the AWS ranked 39th, with .6 percent of dogs rated abnormal, 97.5 percent rated normal, and 1.9 percent rated equivocal.
You can see the OFA ratings for the breed here.
Other health issues that can appear in the American Water Spaniel include canine epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and diabetes. Rare disorders can include Growth Hormone Responsive Dermatitis and Pattern Baldness (Saddle Alopecia).
The lifespan for the American Water Spaniel is estimated to be 10-13 years.
If you are interested in owning an AWS, we recommend talking to a breeder and learning more about these health issues. Be sure to ask the breeder what kind of health tests their dogs have had and what the results were.
Ingredients to Look for and Some to Avoid
As with most dogs, when choosing a food for your American Water Spaniel you should look for a food that has good sources of protein and fat.
Ideally you will select a dog food that features two or three meat proteins in the first several ingredients listed. Both whole meats and meat meals are good sources of protein. Whole meats refer to foods such as whole chicken, beef, fish, and lamb. Some people don’t like meat meals as much as whole meats but they are a concentrated form of the meat in which the moisture has been removed. They contain several times as much protein as a whole meat. Meat meals are usually quite acceptable as one of the first ingredients in a good quality dog food. They are used by many good dog food brands.
Many dog foods today, even some of the most expensive and highly touted, use lots of plant proteins such as lentils and peas. These foods often have high protein percentages on the label. When you read the guaranteed analysis it’s important to consider how much of the protein in the food comes from meat and how much comes from plants. Your dog is able to digest meat protein more easily than plant protein. Meat protein is a much more natural source of protein for your dog than plant protein.
Dogs also need good sources of fat. You should look for named fat sources such as chicken fat. Other named fats also provide needed nutrients such as fish oil which can provide omega-3 fatty acid to help keep the skin and coat healthy. Puppies can benefit from DHA which is Docosahexaenoic acid. This is a specific form of omega-3 fatty acid that helps with brain and eye development. Older dogs seem to benefit from medium chain triglycerides which feature medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These have been found to help older dogs feel and act younger. They are often made from a combination of coconut oil and other oils.
If you want to avoid corn, soy, and wheat in your dog food, your American Water Spaniel may still be able to eat an alternative grain such as barley or oats. Or you can feed a grain free dog food that uses an alternate source of carbs that is low glycemic. You don’t have to feed a dog food with an excessively high percentage of protein but it’s a good idea to keep the carb percentage low to moderate.
If your American Water Spaniel has a food allergy or food sensitivity, you may need to work with your veterinarian to identify the food triggers unless they are very obvious. There are lots of good foods with alternative meat proteins today as well as limited ingredient diets which we will discuss below.
Recommended Dog Food For American Water Spaniels
American Water Spaniels should be able to eat most good quality dog foods. If your dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity you will need to try to avoid foods with ingredients that are triggers for your dog. We have listed some foods we recommend for dogs with food allergies and food sensitivities below.
Every dog is an individual. Even dogs in the same breed can have different food needs. Some dogs need more calories than others. Some dogs will do better with more protein or fat than other dogs. We are providing several suggested foods for your AWS which meet our standards but you may have to use a trial and error method to see which food your dog does best on.
When you are trying a new food, be sure to allow several days to slowly transition to the food, mixing in a little of your dog’s old food each day. Of course, if your dog shows signs that he doesn’t like the food or doesn’t tolerate it, you will have to make adjustments. If your dog eats the food but you don’t like his condition after a few weeks, you can change him back – slowly – to his previous food. It’s best not to go directly to another new food. You can upset your dog’s gastrointestinal system if you keep changing to too many new foods in a short period of time. Once your dog has settled back with his old food, you can once again try a new food. You should allow at least a couple of weeks between foods before trying another new food so you can give your dog’s system a chance to rest and recover. This also gives the new food a fair chance.
If you try a new food and your dog doesn’t seem enthusiastic about it, you might also try another food from the same product line that uses a different kind of meat protein or other ingredients. As long as the guaranteed analysis and nutrient percentages are similar, the food should be similar to the original food you selected.
When you are feeding a new food and your dog is eating it without problems, it’s important for you to assess his physical condition. Is he gaining or losing weight on the new food? Does his coat look healthy? Are his eyes bright? Does he seem to have good energy or is he more lethargic than usual? And, the big question for any dog lover – what does his poop look like? As most dog lovers know, you can tell a lot about a dog’s health by checking his poop. Does it look normal and firm? If he having regular bowel movements. Those are good signs. If your dog is having runny poop or diarrhea; or if he is having trouble with his bowel movements, it could be because of the new food. These are all things you should note during the first few weeks of feeding a new food. Even if your dog LOVES the food, if he’s not thriving, you may have to rethink his diet or how much you are feeding him.
Most of the foods we have selected here do not contain corn, wheat, or soy, unless noted. You may have to try a couple of foods to find which one is best for your dog. You should also keep in mind that your dog’s dietary needs can change as he grows and ages so you may have to change foods to suit him.
Best Dog Foods for American Water Spaniel Adults
|Canidae All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb & Fish Meals Formula
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This Canidae formula is an all life stages food so you can feed it to dogs of all ages. The first five ingredients are: Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, and white rice. The food does contain grains (rice, oatmeal, barley) but even many dogs that have problems with corn or wheat can eat these grains which provide dietary fiber. The food contains no corn, wheat, or soy. The food is naturally preserved and it contains pre- and probiotics for healthy digestion, along with antioxidants and omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids for good skin and coat. The guaranteed analysis shows 24 percent crude protein; 14.5 percent crude fat; and 4 percent crude fiber. It has 468 kcal/cup. We think this is a good food for dogs that do well on moderate protein and fat. Canidae has had a good reputation for many years.
If you would like a higher protein percentage for your American Water Spaniel, many dog owners like Merrick Grain Free foods. The first five ingredients in this food are Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, and Potatoes. This recipe is an all life stage food with 460 kcal per cup ME (metabolizable energy) on an as fed basis (calculated). It has 70 percent meat ingredients, 30 percent vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. It is grain free – no corn, wheat, or soy. No gluten. No ingredients from China. It has 38 percent crude protein and 17 percent crude fat, with 3.5 percent crude fiber. It also has glucosamine and chondroitin added, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Merrick uses local growers from Texas, where the food is made. We think this food has good quality protein and other ingredients for a very active AWS. Not everyone will like a protein percentage this high but if you do, give this food a try.
If your American Water Spaniel is very active (doing field work or agility, for example), we can also recommend Acana foods. Champion Pet Foods has completed their new kitchen in Kentucky and they have reformulated some of their dog and cat foods to reflect what is now “regional” to the Kentucky area. So, it’s still the same award-winning company, but Acana is being made in Kentucky. We’ve had a chance to review the Acana dog and cat foods and there are some changes in the meat proteins but the foods still look good. If you visit the Acana web site you can view the old and new formulas to see the changes (we really like being able to compare the formulas). The current (old) Grasslands formula, for example, is heavy on lamb, duck, whitefish, and lentils. The new formula will feature goat meal and catfish meal, in addition to the lamb and duck. The old formula has 31 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, 5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. The new formula has 33 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, 6 percent crude fiber, and 12 percent moisture. The food has 60 percent animal protein ingredients and 40 percent vegetables, fruits, and botanicals. No grains, potatoes, or tapioca. If you’re looking for a good grain free dog food for your AWS that is low in carbohydrates, we think that the Acana foods are a good choice. Acana foods typically have slightly less meat protein than Orijen (made by the same company), but we think they’re a good choice for many dogs. Most people still seem to like the Acana foods now that they are being made in Kentucky but if you have questions about them, we recommend talking to people who feed these foods to their dogs for their opinions.
If you would like a food with a little less protein, we also like Fromm Adult Gold. This formula has duck, chicken meal, and chicken as the first three ingredients. It has 24 percent crude protein, 16 percent crude fat, and 3.5 percent crude fiber, with 408 kcal/cup. It is AAFCO-approved for growth and maintenance. The food includes salmon oil – a great source of omega-3 fatty acid for healthy skin and coat; probiotics, and prebiotics. No corn, wheat, or soy. The food is also made at the family’s own facilities in Wisconsin. The Fromm family has been making dog food and dog products for over 100 years and they have a great reputation. The food includes brown rice and pearled barley in the first five ingredients. It does contain oatmeal and potatoes so if you are trying to keep the carbs very low you may not like this food. However, we think the ingredients are good quality and many dogs will do well on this food. You can see the technical analysis for the food, with the dry matter basis figures on the site. Fromm also makes their popular Four Star line of dog foods which feature favorites such as Chicken a la Veg and Hasen Duckenfeffer.
Best Dog Foods for American Water Spaniel Puppies
American Water Spaniel puppies can usually begin eating a puppy food right after they are weaned or they can eat a good all life stage food. If you have questions about how to feed your puppy, we recommend talking to your puppy’s breeder. They usually have the most experience with raising AWS puppies and can guide you.
Puppy foods should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. It’s also important that dog and puppy foods do not have an excess of calcium since this can affect bone growth. If you are feeding your puppy a food that is properly formulated, you should not add any extra calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, or other calcium supplements. Doing so can lead to serious health problems such as OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) and other orthopedic problems.
Keep in mind that all life stage dog foods are formulated to be nutritionally adequate for growing puppies. Foods for puppies may also have the AAFCO statement that they are approved for “growth and reproduction.”
Here are some of the puppy foods we like for American Water Spaniel puppies.
This is one of our favorite foods for all puppies. Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula is a limited ingredient food with nine ingredients plus vitamins and minerals and probiotics. It’s grain free with probiotics to help digestion; antioxidants for a healthy immune system; and omega 3 and 6 to support healthy skin and a beautiful coat. The first five ingredients are chicken, menhaden fish meal, lentils, peas, and potatoes. The recipe is supposed to be especially good for puppies with sensitive digestion. The food has 30 percent crude protein, 12 percent crude fat, 4 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. This food checks in at 520 kcal/cup, so it’s high in calories but active, growing AWS puppies can usually burn them off. Just remember that you don’t need to feed a lot of food with these very nutrient-dense foods. If your American Water Spaniel puppy does well on this puppy food, Canidae has some good adult foods – both grain free and foods with grains.
Similar to Fromm’s Gold Adult formula, this puppy formula contains no corn, wheat, or soy. The first three ingredients are duck, chicken meal, and chicken. The food has moderate protein and fat to encourage puppies to grow slowly. The food has 417 kcal/cup. The technical analysis for the food shows the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio for puppies. The food has 27 percent crude protein; 18 percent crude fat; and 3.5 percent crude fiber. Fromm Puppy Gold formula also has added DHA-rich salmon oil for good brain and eye development in puppies. The USDA-inspected ingredients for the food are delivered fresh each morning. We think this food could be a good choice for AWS puppies.
Best Dog Foods for the Senior American Water Spaniel
It’s not unusual for many American Water Spaniels to live into their teen years. This means that you will probably need to consider what kind of food to feed your dog as he gets older. As your dog ages it’s a good idea to plan an annual senior check-up with your vet. Many older dogs begin to put on pounds as they become less active. For this reason, most senior dog foods have fewer calories and they can skimp on protein. You should watch your older dog’s weight as he gets older to make sure he doesn’t become overweight. In some cases you can simply cut back on the portions of his regular dog food to help him stay fit or increase his exercise.
On the other hand, some very old dogs often start to have some problems metabolizing nutrients, including protein. It can become hard for them to keep good muscle tone and weight as they age. For this reason, you may wish to avoid many dog foods labeled “senior.” These foods are often formulated for older dogs that have gained weight. Instead, look for a senior dog food that has lots of protein. As long as your older dog doesn’t have any problems with his kidneys or with phosphorus, there is no reason to avoid higher protein levels.
It’s very important that senior dogs have good quality protein. Good quality protein is easier to digest and metabolize than poor quality protein. It provides the older dog with more nutrition that he can use. So, plan on giving your older AWS the very best food possible with excellent sources of protein.
Orijen Senior provides plenty of excellent quality protein for your older dog. This food features free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and nest-laid eggs. It helps keep older dogs in good muscle even as they become less active. Made of 80 percent meats and fish, the food is low-glycemic and has low carbs to help keep your older dog’s blood sugar steady. The food also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your dog’s joints healthy. The food is 38 percent crude protein and 15 percent crude fat. It checks in at 445 kcal per 250ml/120g cup. We think this is a very good food for senior dogs who often need extra protein as they get older. (We know Orijen is expensive but this food really stands out for senior dogs.)
Another food you may want to consider for older dogs is Weruva’s Caloric Harmony Venison and Salmon Meal Dinner with Pumpkin. This food (and several others in this product line) is potato-free with no corn or wheat, easy to digest, and low-glycemic. It contains pumpkin and oatmeal for healthy gut motility. The first five ingredients are: Venison, Venison Meal, Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, and Oatmeal. Meat protein comes from grass-fed venison. The dry matter basis for this food is an estimated 37.8 percent protein;14.4 percent fat; 3.9 percent fiber; and 35 percent carbs. The calorie count (calculated) is Metabolizable Energy (ME) 3320 kcal/kg; 348 kcal/cup. This food is not specifically made for senior dogs but we think those look like good figures for senior dogs that need more good quality protein without extra fat.
Best Dog Foods for American Water Spaniels with Skin Problems
If your American Water Spaniel is having skin problems or problems with food allergies, you will probably want to avoid foods that contain known food allergens such as beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs, corn, wheat, and soy. If your dog is having food allergies – which usually manifest as itching, redness, chewing, and hair loss – you will need to identify the trigger for his allergy. You can try to guess the trigger or work with your veterinarian on a food trial and elimination diet for your dog. You may need to find a novel protein for your dog – a protein that he has not eaten previously. Natural Balance has a selection of limited ingredient diets that can be helpful for dogs with food allergies. You might try giving your dog the rabbit formula, kangaroo formula, venison formula, or bison formula. He should be able to eat a meat protein that he has not eaten previously without having an allergic reaction.
This limited ingredient diet food has limited sources of protein and carbs. It’s also grain free and complete and balanced for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. The food should be easy for your AWS to digest and it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Any dog suffering from skin problems or food allergies may benefit from Wild Calling’s Xotic Essentials recipes. Formulas like their rabbit meal recipe use exotic meats that are rare in today’s pet food market so your dog probably hasn’t eaten them before – and has less chance of having an allergic reaction. The foods are also highly digestible. Wild Calling also uses what they call LITe (limited ingredient technology). They don’t use any of the ingredients commonly found in most dog foods such as chicken, grain, gluten, egg, yeast, corn, wheat or soy. If your AWS has a food allergy, he may benefit from Wild Calling. The foods are formulated for rotational feeding and they offer several Xotic Essentials recipes, such as kangaroo and bison, so your dog doesn’t get over-exposed to one kind of meat protein. This is an All Life Stage food. We think that dogs with skin problems and food allergies can definitely benefit from these recipes.
Another food that is often recommended for dogs with food allergies and skin problems is Zignature. It comes in proteins such as trout & salmon, kangaroo, turkey, duck, venison, and others. It’s available in dry and canned versions. Foods are potato- and grain-free, and chicken-free. They do not use common bonding agents (thickeners and ingredients to hold the food together) in their foods which are high in simple carbs and starches. They only use low glycemic carbs such as chickpeas that add extra protein and fiber to the food. They work with Tuffy’s in Minnesota and Performance Pet in South Dakota to make their foods. Many people like Zignature very much. If you have a dog with food allergies, this is a brand that you might consider. This duck formula is a good example with hypo-allergenic meat first, no corn, wheat, soy, dairy or chicken, chicken eggs or chicken by-products.
Best Dog Foods for American Water Spaniels with Sensitive Stomachs
Many dogs are susceptible to food sensitivities that affect their digestion and excretion. If your dog has a sensitive stomach it can be an indication of a food sensitivity, which is different form a food allergy. A dog with a food sensitivity will have gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Or it could be something more serious.
A dog with a sensitive stomach can often be helped by feeding the right dog food. Sticking to a limited ingredient diet food with as few ingredients as possible can reduce the chance of your dog having a bad reaction to something in the food.
Many people recommend Wellness Simple for dogs with food sensitivities. The formulas feature only five main ingredients to keep things very simple for your American Water Spaniel. Wellness makes formulas that are both grain free and some that have grains such as oatmeal. The food is easy to digest and contains probiotics and prebiotics to help the gastrointestinal system. It also contains omega fatty acids for good skin and coat. Formulas feature duck, salmon, turkey, and lamb. Wellness Simple comes in dry and canned formulas.
We also recommend Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food. This food is grain free with limited ingredients. It has good quality, alternative ingredients that are easily digestible for a dog with a sensitive stomach. And it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The first five ingredients are: Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Fish Meal, Potato Protein, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols). It has 21 percent crude protein, 10 percent crude fat, 5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. It has 350 kcal/cup and it’s a maintenance formula. If your dog can’t eat some of the ingredients in this food, Natural Balance has lots of other LID recipes that you might check.
Best Dog Foods for Overweight American Water Spaniels
You can help your American Water Spaniel lose weight by cutting back on his portions and encouraging him to get more exercise.
If your AWS needs to lose more than a few pounds, however, you may need to consider a weight control dog food.
We do not recommend a weight control dog food for a puppy or a very old dog. These foods generally have fewer calories and may have some other differences in nutrients that make them inappropriate for growing puppies or older dogs who need special nutrition.
If you have an American Water Spaniel who needs to lose weight, we recommend Fromm Gold Weight Management It can be hard to find a good weight control dog food but Fromm is a quality brand with good ingredients. This food has 25 percent crude protein and 10 percent crude fat so it’s not that much different from some of the adult foods we’ve recommended. It has 341 Kcal/cup. Fed in moderation, it should help most overweight AWS lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. The first five ingredients are: Turkey Liver, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, and Dried Tomato Pomace.
Fromm also has a grain free weight control formula called Fromm Gold Coast Grain Free Weight Management Dog Food with the same crude protein and fat percentages if you prefer a grain free weight control food for your dog.
If your dog needs to lose weight, you should proceed slowly. No crash dieting. You should aim for your dog to lose no more than 3 to 5 percent of his body weight per month or about one percent each week.
The American Water Spaniel is one of the hidden treasures among purebred dogs. They are happy, eager to please, and they make a good family dog. Their medium size makes them a good fit for many homes and their grooming requirements are modest. Yet at any time there are no more than about 3000 of these fun dogs in the world. The breed is still based in the American midwest where the dogs can still ably do their work in the field. If you are considering a spaniel and you’re interested in one of the less common breeds, we encourage you to talk to an American Water Spaniel breeder. In the case of very rare breeds, it’s unlikely you will find these dogs in shelters.