Tips for Controlling Springer Spaniel
Normal healthy springer spaniels dogs should not have a weight problem as
they are active very active dogs. Springer spaniel weight problems can occur just as ours do - if they eat more
than they burn off, and then weight gain is the result. There are several possible reasons why he may be getting
more than his fair share, and they may not be obvious to his owner.
Normal English springer spaniel size and weight is as follows for the adult Show (Bench)
Dog: Height 18-20" (46-51 cm) Weight 50-55 lb (23-25 kg)
Bitch: Height 17-19" (43-48 cm) Weight 35-45 lb (16-20 kg)
Field (working) English springer spaniels are a couple of pounds lighter.
Welsh Springers are about 1 inch lower, and weigh a pound or two less.
Check your dog's weight regularly, so that if you do think he is overweight then you can monitor his weight and
changes resulting from any of these suggestions below. Remember that golden rule: If you do not measure it you
cannot improve it.
Let's assume that your dog is being wormed in accordance with your veterinarian's recommendations - the interval
will depend on the worming treatment being used - and that you therefore have no suspicion of worms.
Now, moving on to food. If you are giving your springer his regular food in the correct quantities, then what extra
might he be getting?
Feeding and Scraps
In some families, feeding responsibilities are shared and it is worth checking that everyone is giving your
springer the correct quantity - occasionally children can be a bit generous when those soft eyes are watching them
prepare the food.
Many dog owners give their dogs table scraps. The best way to feed your dog is once a day, and only leave the bowl
out for 10 minutes and then clear it away and wash it. If you have table scraps then mix them into this one meal -
don't give them to him as a snack later on.
If your dog is getting treats, then check the calorie content. A small treat to us, say 50 calories for a cookie,
against our weight of say 130 lbs (60 kg) is, relatively, almost 3 times as much to a normal adult springer of 50
lbs (20 kg) weight. If you must give your dog treats (and everyone likes to now and again!) then use dog treats
from your pet store.
The correct amount of exercise for an adult springer is about 40-45 minutes walking each day, with at least one
longer walk on the weekends. Check that your dog really is getting his quota.
Springers are not running dogs, they are endurance dogs and a couple of ways of giving them a bit more exercise
which are easy on you are:
* take him swimming on the weekends - he should happily retrieve sticks from the lake or stream, and it does not
take much effort from you.
* hunting - lay some bait (an old sock or glove of yours) in a bush as you are heading out on your walk (when he is
running ahead and not watching); then, on your way back set him on the hunt while you take a break.
Variety is important to springers, and if you have half a dozen different places to take him for his exercise, then
you will find that he will be much more active than on the same routine walk round the block every evening.
Springers who are in old age - say more than about 9 years old - should be having a diet lighter in protein and fat
than a springer in the full flush of adulthood. Change to the diet in this way must be done carefully so as to keep
the dietary balance.
Of course, older dogs are less interested in exercise as their joints stiffen up, and so some adjustment to food
quantity is advisable to compensate.
If all this fails and you see no change in a month or so, and your dog is generally active and perky, then it is
time to check with your veterinarian.
We have talked here about weight gain, but loss of weight can be serious, so keeping a monthly record of your
springer's weight is important.
Find out what to monitor to control springer spaniel weight and discover more about their care and welfare at www.springerspanieladvice.com . Written by a long term owner of English and Welsh
springer spaniels - rescue dogs and pups alike.