The loveable English springer spaniels with their long floppy ears, athletically built, round curious eyes, and stunning personalities have been favorite working, showing, and family pets for some time now in Europe and abroad.
A healthy English springer spaniel’s life expectancy is between ten and fourteen years. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to serious health issues such as canine hip dysplasia, otitis externa, and elbow dysplasia. Early detection and care will ensure a longer, healthier, more comfortable life.
Owning an English springer spaniel requires patience and a lot of exercises. These dogs are exceptional pets and keen to learn. However, they are highly energetic and need adequate exercise daily to stay obedient and gentle.
How To Raise A Healthy English Springer Spaniel
Every dog owner wants to have their beloved dog with them for as long as possible. Dogs fill our lives with love and companionship. In return, we can do things to help the longest happiest life possible.
To understand their health needs, one needs to understand their background. English springer spaniels were trained and used as working dogs during hunting. They are known to be agile and hunt without tiring in the harshest conditions. They jump into the air and scare the prey out of hiding, enabling the hunters to do the hunting.
You can do five things to ensure your English springer spaniel lives the most extended, happiest, and healthiest life possible.
- English springer spaniels are highly energetic and need high protein-packed food to keep them healthy. To keep them lean and muscular, you need to guard against overfeeding and minimize the number of snacks you feed them. Overweight dogs are not healthy, and excess weight may shorten their life.
- Being a highly active dog, the English springer spaniel needs a minimum of two hours of intense exercise daily. Adequate exercise will keep them obedient and gentle; otherwise, they may become destructive, disobedient, and a menace to neighbors, friends, and other pets.
- Annual visits to the veterinarian will keep parasites at bay, keep their vaccines up to date, and allows the veterinarian to determine if there are any underlying illnesses. In addition, early detection and treatment of illnesses or injuries will aid in prolonging your dog’s life.
- Grooming the English springer spaniel is challenging, primarily if you did not groom him from an early age. Grooming your puppy early on introduces him to the sounds of the grooming tools and being handled, keeping him calm. In addition, handling your puppy allows you to get to know his body, alerting you of potential problems when you detect any changes.
- Do proper research before purchasing a puppy from a breeder. It is advisable only to support registered breeders as they will see that they only breed healthy puppies by breeding with registered purebred dogs. Adopted or rescued English springer spaniels may be screened for defects and illnesses by veterinarians who will also assist in healthcare if needed.
How To Determine If English Springer Spaniel Is Overweight
As mentioned, it is very unhealthy for an English springer spaniel to be overweight. Excess weight will strain the overweight dog’s hips, elbows, and other joints.
Pet owners will do anything to extend the time given to their fur babies. However, being overweight can affect an English springer spaniel’s quality of life and life expectancy.
Follow these easy steps to determine if your English springer spaniel is carrying excess weight.
- The first thing you should do is to “eye-ball” your dog. Look out for tell-tale signs like not being able to play for as long as he used to, getting tired quickly, not being interested in play, or excessive panting when playing. If he has trouble climbing stairs, he may find it difficult because of his weight or joint problems.
- Another way is to stand over your dog, facing his head, and then move your hands along the spine, your fingers facing the floor. If you feel your dog’s ribcage without having to push through a layer of fat, your dog is still in decent shape. Overweight dogs tend to have a fat mass at the base of their tail, where it meets the back. Pinch the skin between your fingers; if a fat layer is present, you and “fluff-ball” have work to do.
- Another sure way of determining if a dog is overweight is to see if a defined waistline is noticeable. If you can not determine the waistline, you must tend to your dog’s diet.
- Finally, weigh your dog. Research the acceptable parameters for the English springer spaniel breed, age, and build and try to keep him within those parameters through exercise and a balanced diet. Veterinarians can assist you with a healthy eating and exercise plan to eliminate the extra weight.
How To Care For Senior English Springer Spaniel
A nine-year-old English springer spaniel is considered a senior dog. Caring for a senior dog does not differ from the care you gave throughout your life. They may move a little slower and need medication sometimes, but they are still as loving and silly as ever. Adjust their diets to suit their age, but do not skimp on exercise and intellectual play.
The following are three advantages of adopting a senior English springer spaniel, and if adopting is an option, consider the following.
- Senior dogs are already house trained.
- They have life experience that allows them to operate more independently than a puppy.
- Older dogs have house manners, and even if their coats turn grey and their eyes start seeing less, they will still smother you and your family with love.
Owning an English springer spaniel is not only a privilege but a big responsibility that starts the day you take them home. They will love, adore, and protect you and your family with all their being. Your English springer spaniel will rely on you to love and care for him to the best of your abilities throughout his life.