9 Best Dog Foods for Cavalier King Charles

Best Dog Foods for Cavalier King Charles

Cavalier King Charles are toy breeds that weigh approximately 13 to 18 pounds in adulthood. Their silky human-like hair makes them a sight to behold. These dogs have a lifespan of 9-13 years. To prolong their lifespan, you should provide them with the right diet that is in accordance with their breed, weight, and life stage.

Puppyhood is the most critical stage for your Cavalier King Charles dog. It is the foundation of your dog’s future life. This calls for a high-quality formula. Cavalier puppies are highly-energetic and hence need high fat, protein, and calorie content. Meat should always be the number one ingredient. Meat meals are also a powerhouse of proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of tissues, cells, and muscles.

Your puppy’s brain is still developing and needs supplements that boost brain power. Omega fatty acids including ARA and DHA are the best for cognitive wellness and proper vision. Ingredients like salmon oil are great sources of DHA.

From 12 months up to 7 years, your Cavalier is an adult. Adults require less energy and fat than puppies. Proteins are key for every stage. A minimum protein value of approximately 18% is perfect for your Cavalier adult. Select meat proteins, complex carbs, premium fiber, omega six and three fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

At 8 years, your Cavalier approaches its golden years. This stage requires less energy since senior dogs are less active. Reduce the fat content also, as senior dogs are prone to obesity. During this stage, your Cavalier’s joints become stiff and achy. Joint-friendly supplements including Glucosamine and chondroitin are crucial. 

Immunity also goes down, and foods with antioxidants are important. Foods with higher fiber content support digestion and ensure your senior dog stays trim and healthy. Going for the right food for your Cavalier promotes happiness as it minimizes the probability of sensitivities, allergies, and unhealthy weight.

What are the best brands for Cavalier King Charles dog food?

Below is a list of the top five brands for your Cavalier’s nutritional needs:

  • Taste of the Wild
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Nom Nom
  • Nutro
  • Cesar 

Price differs depending on the brand and weight. The average price for the best foods for Cavalier King Charles is $29.23 with prices ranging from $8.98 to $55.99. Here’s a short preview of the best dog foods for Cavaliers:

Note: The prices in this article are as of June 3rd, 2022.

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1. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Dry Dog Food

This grain-free and highly digestible formula by Diamonds Pet Foods, Inc. is the best selection for your Cavalier King Charles.

It is crafted with ingredients that meet the nutritional needs of Cavaliers, making it the best overall dog food. This meal was first produced on September 8th, 2015. 

Omega six and three fatty acids are great for your dog’s lovely hair, while the high levels of probiotics, fiber, and prebiotics are important for gut and bowel functioning. Garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils provide fiber for smooth digestion, while blueberries and raspberries boost the immune function with powerful antioxidants. 

Cavalier King Charles is prone to heart problems, and this recipe has taurine to lower the risk and effects of cardiac problems.  The high fat and calorie content provide sufficient energy for your Cavalier. Another benefit of this meal is reduced stool odor with yucca schidigera. There is no need to refrigerate. 

This meal does not have fish and hence the omega 3 fatty acid content is lower compared with other brands that incorporate fish in their formulas.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 32% min, Crude Fat 18% min, Crude Fiber 4% Max.
  • Calories: 422 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: Extra small, small, and toy breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding portions vary depending on your Cavalier’s body weight.
  • Key Benefit: Venison and lamb meal are the first two ingredients for high-quality proteins to repair tissues and build powerful muscles. 
  • Price: $55.99 per 28-lb bag ($1.99 per lb).

2. Cesar Filet Mignon & Spring Vegetables 

Give your Cavalier complete nutrition with this formula from Mars Petcare.

The initial date of production is December 7th, 2016. This recipe is suitable for your Cavalier, as it comes with 26 nutrients that promote growth and development in small dogs. It is the best for the money.

This formula has a crunchy texture to support dental wellness by minimizing the risk of plaque and tartar build-up. You need not worry about the storage after opening as this recipe comes in a resealable bag that retains freshness. The filet mignon flavor and a blend of spring vegetables make this meal tempting for your selective feeder.

If serving as a standalone meal, give a daily intake of ½ cup for Cavaliers weighing up to 5 pounds. When mixing it with wet food, give your dog ¼ cup and 1 can of wet food for a similar weight. Puppies are energetic and may require 2 times the adult amounts. Pregnant and nursing dogs may need up to 3 times the adult amounts.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Ground Wheat, Meat and Bone Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Brewers rice.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 26% min, Crude Fat 12.5% min, Crude Fiber 4.5% Max.
  • Calories: 350 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: All breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding portions vary depending on whether it is a standalone meal or a topper.
  • Key Benefit: Real beef is the number one ingredient for a protein-dense recipe and has high palatability.
  • Price: $8.98 per 5-lb bag ($1.79 per lb).

3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Canned Dog Food

Give your senior Cavalier a reason to enjoy its golden years with this recipe from the Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. This formula was first made available on December 10th, 2014. It features beef as the number one ingredient to power your seniors’ aging muscles. 

Senior Cavaliers can develop sensitivities and this formula is safe as it has no corn, wheat, soy, by-product meals, or artificial additives. Picky eaters will have no option but to enjoy the food as it is highly palatable. 

As your Cavalier grows older, the joints become stiff and painful while walking. In addition, senior Cavaliers are less active and the probability of obesity increases. Obese dogs are susceptible to cartilage problems. This formula has optimal levels of chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health and improved mobility. 

Serve as a standalone meal, a treat, or add to dry foods. As a standalone meal, give ¾ to 1 can for every 10 pounds of body weight. Introducing new food to your dog’s diet can lead to tummy issues and allergies if done quickly. Use a gradual transition period of 14 days.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Turkey, Lamb, Potatoes.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 7% min, Crude Fat 6% min, Crude Fiber 1.5% Max.
  • Calories: 469 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: Extra small, small, and toy breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding quantities vary depending on your Cavalier’s weight.
  • Key Benefit: High moisture value (78%) for reduced tummy upsets, proper hydration, and removal of toxins from the body.
  • Price: $31.61 per 12.5-oz, case of 12.

4. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food 

Fresh food takes the theme of what dogs would have eaten before domestication. Nom Nom Fresh foods are crafted to delight your dog’s instincts.

The irresistible taste will make your finicky Cavalier beg for more. Moreover, the company uses human-grade ingredients that are safe and recognizable. One of the company’s premium formulas is chicken cuisine. 

Chicken Cuisine features real chicken as the number one ingredient for amino acids to fuel your Cavalier’s muscles. Nom Nom Fresh is best for skin and coat appearance. Consuming it lowers the risks of skin irritations, itchiness, and shedding with high amounts of water and omega 6 and 3 fatty acids.

This is the editor’s best fresh food as it provides maximum nutritional and health benefits for Cavaliers. The meals are also customized according to your dog’s unique needs. You fill out a form detailing your dog’s status and the meals are delivered to your doorstep. This is a plus since it saves you time. This formula has no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives. The only downside is that it is pricier compared with other brands. However, it is worth the money as it comes with lots of benefits.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Diced Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Spinach, Water Sufficient for Processing.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 8.5% min, Crude Fat 6% min, Crude Fiber 1% Max.
  • Calories: 206 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: All breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding portions vary depending on your Cavalier’s unique health and nutritional needs.
  • Key Benefit: High-quality fiber from wholesome ingredients including sweet potato, squash, and spinach for digestive health.
  • Price: $49 per 7*400g bundle ($7.94 per lb).

5. Canidae Pure L.I.D. Formula 

Does your Cavalier puppy have a sensitive tummy? Then this is the right formula. This high-quality recipe from Canidae Corporation uses fewer ingredients to lower the risk of sensitivities and allergies. 

Chicken and chicken meals are the main ingredients for a higher concentration of proteins. Lentils, peas, and garbanzo beans support stamina and provide fiber for proper digestion and ideal body weight. Probiotics also boost digestive and gut health. Vitamins C and E protect dogs from infections and harmful free radicals that cause cancer. 

Cavalier King Charles is susceptible to joint and heart problems. This formula helps with these issues as it has taurine, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine. Serving your cavalier, this diet moisturizes the skin and brightens the coat with optimal levels of omega six and three fatty acids.

This formula does not contain wheat, corn, soy, or antibiotics, making it safer for sensitivities. Every bite is nutrient-dense for life. The daily intake varies depending on your puppy’s poundage and age. For example, puppies weighing 5-10 pounds need ¾ to 1 ¼ cups from birth to 4 months old, ⅝ to 1 cup at 4-6 months, and ½ to ⅞ cups at 6-10 months.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Peas, Garbanzo Beans.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 30% min, Crude Fat 12% min, Crude Fiber 5% Max.
  • Calories: 521 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: All breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding quantities vary depending on your Cavalier’s age and body weight.
  • Key Benefit: High levels of DHA and ARA for cognitive health, improved concentration and trainability, and proper vision.
  • Price: $19.99 per 4-lb bag ($2.49 per lb).

6. Wellness CORE RawRev Small Breed Original Recipe 

Support your Cavalier’s overall wellness with Wellness CORE Small Breed Formula by Well pet Operations. The first date of production is February 17th, 2017. The high protein content from premium sources is great for your dog’s musculature. This meal also supports stamina with high calorie and moderate fat values. 

Freeze-dried raw meat mimics wild dog food to massage your dog’s instincts. Lentils and peas provide fiber to boost digestive well-being and promote a healthy weight. It comes in a crunchy kibble with freeze-dried meaty pieces. This boosts dental wellness and adds flavor to make your dog look forward to the next meal.

Advanced natural nutrition promotes muscle tone, lean body mass, and coat and skin wellness. Antioxidants, probiotics, and taurine work together to boost digestion, immunity, and heart health. It is free from wheat, soy, and corn, making it safe for dogs with sensitive digestion and allergies. 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Peas.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 38% min, Crude Fat 15% min, Crude Fiber 5% Max.
  • Calories: 407 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: Extra small, small, and toy breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding portions vary depending on your Cavalier’s body weight.
  • Key Benefit: High amounts of glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, and phosphorus for strong bones, teeth, joints, and muscles.
  • Price: $20.98 per 4-lb bag ($5.25 per lb).

7. Nutro Toy Breed Ultra Adult Dry Food

Reward your dog with this delicious formula from The Nutro Company. This meal was first produced on February 24th, 2012.

Chicken and chicken meals are the key ingredients to provide amino acids for a muscular appearance.  Lamb and salmon add to the protein content for more energy and muscle power. Your Cavalier is best suited for this diet, with the high calorie and fat values to support high activity.

This diet uses high-value real ingredients for maximum nutritional benefits. Consuming Nutro gives your dog thick bones, strong teeth, smooth skin, a glittering coat, and improved eyesight with the optimal levels of calcium, phosphorus, omega 6 fatty acids, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin A.

Selenium works together with other antioxidants to protect your Cavalier King Charles against disease-causing free radicals. The high fiber from whole grains is important for regular bowel movements. The meal is devoid of artificial ingredients to support your sensitive Cavalier’s digestive system. This recipe is not suitable for Cavalier King Charles with grain allergies, as it is grain-inclusive.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Oats, Chicken Meal.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 28% min, Crude Fat 19% min, Crude Fiber 4% Max.
  • Calories: 433 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: Extra small, small, and toy breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding levels vary depending on your Cavalier’s poundage.
  • Key Benefit: High levels of chondroitin and glucosamine from chicken meal for cartilage health.
  • Price: $15.59 per 4-lb bag ($3.89 per lb).

8. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe

Your Cavalier deserves the best with this premium recipe by Merrick Pet Care.

This diet features deboned chicken and chicken meals as the major ingredients for thick muscles. It also contains whole foods including sweet potatoes, blueberries, and Peas for dietary fiber and antioxidants to boost digestive and immune wellness.

The leading levels of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. This diet comes in small kibble and hence it is suitable for your toy Cavalier. In addition, it has a higher moisture content of 11%. Most dry foods have a moisture value of 10%. 

Your sensitive Cavalier can safely enjoy this meal as it has zero fillers, corn, soy, or preservatives. It is also devoid of peas, lentils, or potatoes. Merrick crafts their dog foods in Hereford, Texas, and cooked in the United States for high-quality standards. 

The daily amounts for Cavaliers weighing 3-15 pounds range from ⅓ to 1 ¼ cups. For maximum benefits, divide the amount by the number of meals per day. The feeding amounts on the chart are a guideline only. You may adjust them to suit your dog’s needs.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Chicken Meal, Barley, Turkey Meal.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 27% min, Crude Fat 16% min, Crude Fiber 3.5% Max.
  • Calories: 404 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: Extra small, small, and toy breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding portions vary depending on your Cavalier’s body weight.
  • Key Benefit: Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for healthy hips and joints. 
  • Price: $21.98 per 4-lb bag ($5.49 per lb).

9. Solid Gold Brown Wee & Bison Bit Rice Formula 

Give your dog a solid build with Solid Gold Formula from Solid Gold Pet LLC. The first date of production is September 30th, 2004. The high protein, fat, and calorie values promote muscle power, add flavor, and boost stamina. 

This meal is crafted specifically for your small Cavalier, and it comes in a convenient, bite-sized kibble. It features powerful antioxidants and probiotics for improved immunity and gut health. It does not have wheat, soy, or corn to minimize the risk of allergies and sensitivities.

Ascorbic acid and vitamin E enhance immunity, while DHA supports brain and vision health. Omega-6 and 3 fatty acids are responsible for smooth skin and shiny coats. Serve according to the guidelines in the package. You may change the amounts for ideal body weight.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Bison, Oatmeal, Fish Meal, Chicken Fat, Peas.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 28% min, Crude Fat 18% min, Crude Fiber 4% Max.
  • Calories: 422 kcal/cup.
  • Suitable for which dogs: Extra small, small, and toy breeds.
  • Feeding: Optimal feeding portions vary depending on your Cavalier’s weight.
  • Key Benefit: Contains taurine and L-carnitine for a strong heart and reduced risks of cardiac diseases.
  • Price: $38.99 per 12-lb bag ($3.25 per lb).

What are the facts that you should know about dog foods for Cavalier King Charles?

Cavalier King Charles thrived in a balanced diet with sufficient high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and important nutrients and supplements. Here are other things to know about the dog foods for Cavalier King Charles:

  • Health issues and diet: Cavalier King Charles are susceptible to various health conditions, and diet plays a crucial role in minimizing the occurrence and impact of these diseases. 
  • Heart Problems: This is a hereditary disease common to Cavaliers. The mitral valve does not function properly, leading to heart murmurs. Medications help with this problem. Diet is also vital. Consuming foods with taurine, low sodium, and antioxidants is key. L-carnitine also breaks down excess fat to lower the risk of obesity, which is a recipe for heart problems.
  • Dental disease: Failure to regularly clean your dog’s teeth leads to tartar build-up. Cavaliers are prone to teeth issues. Select foods with a crunchy texture as they remove tartar and plaque. Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are also important for dental wellness.
  • Patellar luxation: This is where the kneecap slips out of its position. Serve moderate-fat foods to minimize the risk of unhealthy weight gain. L-carnitine also promotes a healthy weight.
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is common in Cavalier King Charles. It is inherited and prevents the hip from proper development. This results in joint pain and arthritis. Elbow dysplasia is also genetic and causes lameness and arthritis. Foods with high levels of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are handy.
  • Dry Eye: Dry eye is also common in Cavaliers. Foods that are rich in vitamin A including carrots help. DHA also supports vision wellness.

What are the best dog foods for Cavalier King Charles according to dog sizes?

The Best Food for Small-Sized Cavalier King Charles

The Best Food for Medium-Sized Cavalier King Charles

The Best Food for Large Cavalier King Charles

  • Orijen Grain-Free Six Fish Dry Food: The key ingredients are always fresh and raw. This recipe suits large Cavalier King Charles with optimal levels of glucosamine, calcium, phosphorus, DHA, and omegas.

What are the best dog foods for Cavalier King Charles with different ingredients?

The Best Food with glucosamine and chondroitin for Cavalier King Charles

The Best Food with Pumpkin for Cavalier King Charles

What are the other dog foods for Cavalier King Charles with different health conditions?

The Best Dog Food for Cavalier King Charles with allergies

The Best Food for Cavalier King Charles with Sensitive Stomach

What is the ideal calorie intake for Cavalier King Charles?

Cavalier King Charles are toy breeds. They, therefore, require more energy per body weight than larger dogs. Your Cavalier’s activity levels and life stage are also critical in determining the daily caloric intake. 

At 6 months of age, your Cavalier needs two meals per day. Divide the number of daily cups by the number of meal times. This gives you the amounts to serve per meal. Overfeeding your Cavalier King Charles leads to obesity, while underfeeding causes weight loss. To ensure you are not overfeeding or underfeeding, check your Cavalier’s ribs. You should only feel the ribs, but not see them. Below is a guide for the daily caloric intake:


Approximate daily caloric intake

Active adult

530 calories


1060 calories

What are the foods to avoid for Cavalier King Charles?

Below is a list of the foods to avoid for Cavalier King Charles:

  • Harmful vegetables: These include onions, garlic, and leek. Onions and garlic have toxic compounds that cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells. This reduces the red blood cells’ ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. It also makes the body think the red blood cells are invaders. This leads to the destruction of the red blood cells, which causes anemia. Common symptoms of onion and garlic poisoning include reddish urine, pale gum, lack of appetite, lethargy, and weakness.
  • Bones and fatty meat: Bones are a choking hazard. In addition, cooked bones can easily break, causing sores in the mouth. Bones also cause life-threatening blockage. On the other hand, fatty meat is a recipe for obesity, heart problems, and pancreatitis. 
  • Chocolate, alcohol, and coffee: Alcohol is harmful to your Cavalier King Charles. Coffee and chocolate have theobromine and caffeine that stimulate the central nervous system leading to increased heart rate, panting, seizures, and high body temperature.
  • Chewing gum, soda, cat food, and caramel: Keep these foods away from your Cavalier King Charles as they harm its overall health. If accidentally ingested, rush to the vet.
  • Grapes and raisins: These foods are highly toxic for your Cavalier. The risk is so high that consuming even small amounts can be life-threatening. The symptoms of toxicity include lethargy, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, panting, pale gums, increased thirst and urination, and kidney failure. Kidney failure can be fatal.

Are homemade foods good for Cavalier King Charles? 

Yes. Homemade foods are good for Cavalier King Charles. There are both advantages and disadvantages of feeding your Cavalier homemade foods. The benefits include

  • Customized nutrition: When cooking for your Cavalier King Charles, you can customize the meals according to your dog’s needs.
  • Improved digestibility: Homemade foods are made with fresh and raw ingredients. This increases digestibility. Kibble can be hard to chew and digest.
  • Avoiding unhealthy ingredients: You will only use healthy ingredients and avoid harmful ones which include wheat, corn, artificial preservatives, and soy.
  • Improved relationship: Cooking your dog’s food creates a strong bond between you and your dog for a better relationship.

Some of the disadvantages of homemade foods are the difficulty in balancing the meal, time-consuming, and expensive ingredients.

Are Cavalier King Charles picky eaters? 

Yes, Cavalier King Charles can be picky eaters. The common methods to address pickiness include the following:

  • Reward your dog with their favorite toy when they clear the food on their bowls.
  • Make the food more appealing. You can add more fat for flavor.
  • For dry food, go for a crunchy texture, as it increases palatability.
  • Switch to canned food. The high moisture content improves palatability.
  • Limit the number of treats.
  • Be consistent with meal times.

Your dog can still be picky even after trying the methods above. This calls for a visit to the vet to rule out any health issues.

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.