SPRINGER SPANIEL HEALTH AND LIFE EXPECTANCY
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LIFE EXPECTANCY If you get yourselves a Springer, be prepared to share at least 12-14 years of your lives with them! Whilst they are generally robust and healthy dogs that will be an active member of the family, there are some health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Now, this isn’t a video that should worry you. The ailments that will be mentioned are just what can affect your Springer, not what will affect them. Along with love and care, the research and awareness of topics such as common health conditions are what makes a responsible dog owner! HEALTH (MAJOR, MINOR, PREVENTATIVE MEASURES) With that being said, let’s dive right in! I will be making you aware of the most common health concerns and sharing a little bit of information about each one. So, to begin, let us explore hip dysplasia. This comes from the joints in the hips not fitting together harmoniously. If left untreated, it can cause arthritis and even lameness. This is a hereditary issue, meaning that preventing it is to ensure that any breeding bitches and studs get full hip scores before being mated. This will help stop the issue being handed down to their offspring. If you should notice your Springer become less springy, sore, limping ect, it is always best to get them seen by your vet! Springers can suffer quite badly with their eyes. A common issue is retina dysplasia, which is an abnormal development of the retina. It’s commonly an inherited medical concern. Secondary issues can also arise in the form of viral infections. What to look out for with this ailment is your Springer becoming less spatially aware. So if you notice your confident, bouncy spaniel become reserved, unwilling to bound across uneven flooring or even if they struggle to locate their favourite ball, get a vet to check their eyes as soon as you can. There are a few very minor concerns to also be aware of, Springers are prone to ear infections and some skin sensitivity issues. Ear infections can simply be down to their coat maintenance. Regular ear cleaning and checks will prevent a build-up of bacteria. But if they’re persistent, even with regular cleaning, consult your vet! Sensitive skin can occur from allergies, either from the environment they live in or their food. Whilst regular coat grooming will prevent bacteria from settling in their dense undercoat, that can irritate their skin, if they’re constantly fussing, we recommend an allergy chat with you vet. Whilst these are minor, it is important to keep them in mind because if you leave even the smallest issue untreated, it can quickly escalate. As always, any concerns that you have with your dogs, please do call the vets. A veterinary professional is where you will get the most reliable health advice, at Fenrir, our aim is to make you aware of these issues. Not to diagnose them. DIET Now, I won’t be telling you exactly what type of food you should be giving you Springer, instead I’ll be highlighting the key aspects that should be included. You can then make your own mind up how best to provide that for your pup. When looking for suitable food for your dog, you want there to be little to no by-products. So you want to check for real protein sources such as lean muscle, fish, seeds ect. Dogs are carnivores by nature, you want their food to include animal proteins wherever possible. Essential fats are another key part of their diet, key word being essential. The fats you want to be aware of in your Springer Spaniel’s diet is omega 3 and 6. A fish based diet of either salmon, mackerel or sardines would give your dog an abundance of these fats. But for a less smelly option, pork, beef, hemp and flax seeds are also good option. As they get older, it may be worth adding extra Omega 3 into their diet to help ease the movement in their joints. Much like humans when they reach a certain age! Now to the non-essential aspect of their diet; carbs. The amount you provide for your Springer will heavily depend on their activity levels. You want to stay away from starchy carbs, for example, rice or potatoes. These are less digestible and can be high in sugar. A small amount of grains can be beneficial, but too many may produce inefficient digestion. Instead try them with blueberries, apples, carrots, bananas, pumpkin seeds or almonds, to name a few. To keep their carbohydrate intake low, use their favourite option as training treats. Lastly, vitamins and minerals. If you choose a more raw based diet, a lot of the protein, fat and carb sources I have mentioned contain a varied combination of what a Boston needs. But if you instead decide on looking for a ready made kibble or wet food. I’ll tell you the ones to look out for! The vitamins to include are D, E and B1, which can be found in good protein and carbohydrate sources. Don’t worry too much about vitamin C, whilst it’s good to include it, dogs are clever enough to manufacture it themselves! For minerals, you want to look for magnesium, selenium, phosphorous, manganese, sulphur and iodine. Again, these can be found in the forementioned protein, carb and essential fat sources. Now, this can sound over-whelming, we aim to educate and guide all types of dog owners here at Fenrir. So we recommend to always consult a vet or registered canine nutritionist if you have concerns or queries. SUMMARY So, let’s recap. I know that no one wants to think about their dog getting a major illness or condition but researching and being prepared for if they do is a part of being a responsible dog owner. Whilst Springers are prone to some major issues, there are preventative measures that can be done to help avoid them. And the minor issues can simply be prevented by simply grooming and spending quality time observing your dog. Which can be done in the evening on the sofa! Their diet can be summarised by saying that they need a balanced, unprocessed, omega rich intake to ensure they’re healthy. Also deviate their calorie intake according to their activity levels, if you work your Springer, they will need a higher calorie count than a pup that takes scenic strolls with you. And the last reminder, any concerns you have about the health of your dog should be addressed by a vet, the quicker you can get them seen and diagnosed, the better the outcome will be.