Cocker Spaniel Pet Insurance

Learn how to keep your Cocker Spaniel fit and healthy

Find answers to your questions and discover if our Cocker Spaniel pet insurance is right for you.

Whats covered?

Our Gold and Platinum Lifetime cover comes with Defaqto's highest 5 Star rating

Gold and Platinum Lifetime cover has a 5 Star rating

About your Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel gets its name from the woodcock it originally hunted. Even as a pet, they retain some of their hunting past with a love of retrieving, chasing and swimming, excelling in doggie sports like agility and scent work.

The breed has an inquisitive nose which can get it into trouble if an owner has not spent time teaching them to come when called.

Sociable, friendly and eager to please, they’re a popular choice for active families.

Cocker Spaniel features


Usually small dogs, fully grown they can be anywhere from 38-41cm in height.


The typical weight of a fully grown Cocker Spaniel ranges from 13-14.5kg.

Typical lifespan

10 years, though this figure varies.


Black, red, golden, liver (chocolate), black and tan, liver and tan.


Medium length. Flat and silky and can shed a lot.


Cocker Spaniels are attention lovers but can suffer from separation anxiety. You can learn how to deal with it here.

Puppy cost

A Cocker Spaniel puppy costs between £600 ­and £1,500.
Before you buy a puppy, ensure the breeder has carried out any necessary health testing, like screening for hip and eye problems.
Learn all you need to know before buying a puppy.

Find out more

What conditions do Cocker Spaniels suffer from?

There are a few common Cocker Spaniel health issues:

GPRA (Generalised Progressive Retinal Atrophy)

An inherited eye disease that can lead to blindness.

Hereditary cataracts

A clouding of your dog's vision.

Acral Mutilation syndrome (AMS)

An inherited nervous system disorder seen in puppies where they lose their pain sensation in the lower limbs. Puppies will hurt themselves by licking and biting their paws.

Phosphofructokinase Deficiency (PFKD)

A metabolic condition that affects Cocker Spaniels resulting in exercise intolerance and muscle disease.

Elbow dysplasia

Abnormal development in the elbow joint, causing chronic pain and mobility issues.

Hip dysplasia

Hip joints that haven't developed normally, causing pain and poor mobility.

Ear infection

Floppy ears are susceptible to infection.


A genetic tendency to develop allergies like asthma and eczema.

Familial nephropathy (FN)

A fatal kidney disease in young Cockers. Breeders must use the DNA test for FN to prevent it.

Adult-onset neuropathy

Another Autosomal Recessive condition seen in some older Cockers (typically aged seven to nine). It's a progressive weakness due to a neuropathy which can lead to walking and swallowing difficulties. Progression takes three to four years.

This list isn't exhaustive. Regular visits to the vet will help pick up these conditions early.

Expert advice for Cocker Spaniels

Spaniels, as you can probably tell from their excitable nature, were originally hunting dogs. It makes them agile, quick-witted, fast and prey driven.

Prey-driven dogs need lots of intellectual stimulation and physical exercise. Otherwise, they can be prone to mental health problems, high levels of stress and, eventually, physical issues.

We always recommend learning about your dog from our vets and taking notes about their personality; that way, you can set good habits that keep them stress-free, active and healthy.

Heather Thomas CCAB, APBC, ABTC, FABC, MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour, Pawsquad

How to keep a Cocker Spaniel healthy

Research the breeder

The first step is ensuring the breeder has carried out the correct health checks for both parents before they mate. These tests include:

  • general veterinary health check
  • hip and elbow scoring
  • eye testing
  • inherited disease/DNA testing
  • deafness testing
  • respiratory function
  • inbreeding tests

Cocker Spaniels need some specific breeder tests:

  • eye tests as they're prone to glaucoma and other degenerative diseases
  • hip dysplasia screenings
  • insensitivity to pain tests

Always follow the advice of your vet. This gives a puppy the best chance to start in a healthy state.

Feed your dog the best food

See what your dog responds best to, but typically give them a high-protein diet with lots of slow-digesting carbs.

However, Cocker Spaniels are prone to obesity, so don't give them too much. It's worth talking to your vet about how much to feed them depending on their size, diet and exercise routine.

Exercise regularly

Give them the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation, brush them daily and give them lots of attention. For Cocker Spaniels, mental stimulation is as essential as physical exercise.

Visit the vet annually

It's a good idea to take your dog to an annual health check to pick up any issues early.

Most owners combine this with their pet's yearly vaccination boosters.

Your vet will check your pet's weight, heart, coat condition, eyes, ears and teeth to address any concerns you might have.

Remember that insurance doesn't typically cover routine visits. It's worth reminding yourself about what vet bills insurers cover.

Living with a Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel training

So, how much exercise does your lively Cocker Spaniel need?

Adult Cocker Spaniels need an hour of exercise every day when fully grown and developed, including walks, games and training time to give their brain a workout.

They're intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy dogs to train. Training should start as early as possible alongside socialisation so that puppies grow up confident, sociable and well-behaved.

A lack of exercise and stimulation can lead to behaviour problems like excessive chewing and barking.

Cocker Spaniels respond best to positive reinforcement training, which uses rewards rather than punishment. For recommendations on local dog trainers and training classes, speak to your vet.

How to feed a Cocker Spaniel

Feed your dog good quality, complete food.

The amount depends on a dog's size and life stage, so follow the guidelines given on the food packaging or consult your vet.

Vets say it's better to split a dog's daily allowance into two or more meals a day. This helps spread their energy intake, and you can plan this around waking up, walking and going to bed.

Monitor your dog's weight regularly. Overweight or obese dogs are at much higher risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint issues and certain types of cancer.

You can read more about insurance for overweight pets.

Remember to factor in treats when working out how much to feed your dog. If you give your dog extras you should reduce their meals accordingly.

How to groom a Cocker Spaniel

Brush your dog's coat daily to keep it healthy and prevent matting. It's also a good idea to brush them through after walks to remove any debris which may have become stuck in the fur, especially around their legs.

Regular visits to a professional groomer every three months help keep your dog's coat clean and make brushing easier.

Cocker Spaniels are drawn to water, so you'll need to bathe them occasionally - especially after a muddy swim.

What information do you need for a dog insurance quote?

To get a dog insurance quote, we just need:

Your Cocker Spaniel’s details

  • name
  • gender
  • age
  • purchase or donation price
  • spay or neuter status
  • breed

Your details

  • name
  • date of birth
  • address
  • email address
  • phone number
  • preferred policy start date

Get a Cocker Spaniel quote

Stay prepared by giving your Cocker Spaniel cover with our pet insurance.

We have a 15% Multi Pet discount, Five Star rated Gold and Platinum cover which has Defaqto’s highest rating, along with Lifetime and Time-Limited options.

If you’re not sure which cover is best for your dog, then read our post on how to choose.

Pet vaccine guide

Pet vaccine guide

Protect your puppy
Caring for a new puppy

Caring for a new puppy

Give them the best start
What vet bills does my pet insurance cover?

What vet bills does my pet insurance cover?

See what’s covered