It’s easy to find tips on creating happy moments with your Cavalier online, but the less talked about topic is what you should never do to your Cavalier.
This is the motivation behind this article, intended for all potential (and existing) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners. Let’s delve into these important facts together.
Things You Must Never Do To Your Cavalier
- Neglect Exercise
- Overfeed or Provide With an Unbalanced Diet
- Leave Them Alone For Extended Periods
- Skip Regular Health Checks
- Expose Them To Extreme Temperatures
- Neglect Ears, Eyes, and Dental Care
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Exercise for Your Cavalier:
While Cavaliers are not overly energetic dogs, they still thrive on regular exercise. Failing to provide them with sufficient physical activity can lead to a host of problems, including obesity, hip and knee problems, muscle atrophy, and behavioral issues stemming from pent-up energy.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, including walks and playtime.
- Engage in interactive games like fetch or agility training to stimulate both mind and body.
- Incorporate socialization through dog park visits or playdates with other dogs.
Overfeed or Provide With an Unbalanced Diet
Why You Shouldn’t Overfeed or Provide an Unbalanced Diet for Your Cavalier:
Overfeeding or offering an unbalanced diet can lead to various health issues, such as obesity, digestive problems, and nutrient deficiencies. Cavaliers are prone to obesity, which can exacerbate heart conditions that they are genetically predisposed to.
- Measure out your Cavalier’s food intake according to their age, size, and activity level.
- Opt for high-quality dog food that lists a high-quality protein source as the first ingredient.
- Consult your vet for guidance on portion sizes and dietary requirements.
Leave Them Alone For Extended Periods
Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Cavalier Alone for Extended Periods:
Cavaliers are affectionate and social dogs that thrive on human interaction. Prolonged periods of isolation can lead to separation anxiety, depression, and destructive behavior. They require companionship and mental stimulation to stay happy and mentally healthy.
- Arrange for regular playdates or a trusted pet sitter if you’re away for extended periods.
- Provide interactive toys or puzzles to keep them mentally engaged in your absence.
- Consider doggy daycare or hiring a professional dog walker for socialization and exercise.
Skip Regular Health Checks
Why You Should Never Skip Regular Health Checks for Your Cavalier:
Cavaliers are prone to health issues, particularly those related to their heart, hips, knees, eyes, and ears. Regular check-ups can help detect and address potential problems early, increasing the chances of successful treatment and a longer, healthier life.
- Schedule annual veterinary check-ups, and consider semi-annual check-ups for senior and young Cavaliers.
- Be vigilant for any changes in behavior, appetite, or physical condition, and seek prompt veterinary care if needed.
- Stay informed about common health issues in the breed and discuss any concerns with your vet.
Expose Them To Extreme Temperatures
Why You Should Avoid Exposing Your Cavalier to Extreme Temperatures:
Cavaliers’ brachycephalic features, while endearing, make them vulnerable to temperature extremes. Their unique facial structure restricts their breathing capacity, amplifying the dangers of dramatic temperature swings.
In practical terms, this means that their susceptibility to heat stress can result in rapid overheating in high temperatures. It’s vital to be extra cautious about their exposure to extreme weather conditions.
- Avoid walks during extreme weather; opt for early morning or late evening walks when temperatures are milder.
- When heading outdoors, consider protective gear like a lightweight coat in winter and always carry water during the summer.
- Make sure not to leave your Cavalier in cars or other enclosed areas during hot weather.
Neglect Ears, Eyes, and Dental Care
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Ears, Eyes, and Dental Care for Your Cavalier:
Cavaliers are susceptible to eye problems (cataracts, dry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy), ear infections, as well as dental problems. Neglecting their care can lead to infections, discomfort, and even more serious health issues down the line. Regular hygiene is very important.
- Ears: Clean their ears regularly (at least once a week) with a veterinarian-approved solution and inspect for signs of redness, swelling, or unusual odor.
- Eyes: Check for any signs of irritation, discharge, or cloudiness. Use a damp, clean cloth to gently wipe away any debris. A quick daily facial “grooming” is recommended.
- Dental Care: Brush their teeth at least twice a week with a dog toothbrush and toothpaste.