Spaniels, whether they be Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels or any other spaniel breed, are great, fun-loving pets but their lengthy hair, whether it be ringlets, feathers or sleek and silky, takes a lot of grooming. With most spaniel breeds you can expect to be brushing these active dogs, cleaning them up, splitting mats and tangles and the like on most days or at least every other day. All of them need a regular trim every four to six weeks and some of the larger gundog types, being outdoor by nature, can shed their coat all year round. All that said, by keeping on top of a spaniel’s with gentle combing, it is not too much of a chore and provides an opportunity to bond and play with your dog.
These sessions should also be used to check their ears and eyes. Spaniels can be prone to ear infections because the ears can pick up debris of all types which might lead to ear mites and other nuisances.
The eyes should be checked as well because, while the toy breeds have a bulbous shape that can get injured, both the toy and sporting breeds can exhibit tear staining, which at its worst needs the vet’s attention but can often be overcome by wiping them gently with cold tea, used tea bags or witch hazel; different individual dogs will react better to one or the other dependent on the cause.
The short snouts of toy breeds such as the King Charles Spaniel (or English Toy Spaniel, to give it its official name) and the Tibetan Spaniel are reminiscent of the Pug and the natural wrinkles in the skin can get infected if not kept clean.
With all these types of dogs, keeping the amount they eat in check is advisable as they are prone to obesity and consequent health problems later if not getting enough exercise.