New home, new chapter

It’s been over a month since we moved homes. I cannot even believe it was early autumn when we packed the rest of our belongings in a car, put Cooper’s comfy bed on the backseat, locked the door and left. It feels like we’ve been here, in our new home, forever.

It’s definitely a happy place. Spacious, toasty warm and, most importantly, perfect for a cocker spaniel (or two, or a bunch of them). We set our own times and learning to enjoy the life in slow motion.

We can finally step out and find ourselves walking down the country side, the fields and little villages. No traffic, no street mess, no pressure of getting out before the school run. Everything is just gone. Instead we get up in the morning, walk down the street and into the vastness of the fields, have a long, at times frosty, walk, and return home to a lovely breakfast.

The people are very “dog-friendly” and so are the dogs, to be honest. Admittedly, the anxiety of bumping into saliva-spitting bullies was brewing inside me during our first walk. Then we met a dog, and another one, and another… Big and small, they might bark at times, but were perfectly friendly and most of them – very well behaved. It felt like heaven!

Cooper loves meeting them and even found a few friends. I think he very much loves his new way of life – from having a big garden of his own to sniff and run around to walking down little streets and exploring the nature. He is so relaxed and happy these days, practically a different dog.

And sometimes I feel like a different person, too. Like the good old me, really.

We are looking forward to Christmas, holidays, snow if we are lucky, and the arrival of a little bundle of joy in a few months. It’s all very simple and down to Earth, but that’s exactly how I like it, how we all like it.


Dried cassia, toxicity of cassia plant food additive for dogs, cassia in dog food / Image by Fathima Shanas from Pixabay / first published on perfectcockerspaniel blog

Check your dog’s food for this ingredient

I couldn’t help noticing another ingredient that is added to more and more dog foods. It is called CASSIA and in simple terms, it’s a cheap alternative to cinnamon. In dog food cassia works as a gelling agent and preservative. It’s more likely to be a part of wet food but can be added to kibble also.

Nutritionally, dogs do not need cinnamon or cassia in their diet. While cinnamon can be beneficial for certain conditions when used in very small quantities and short period of time, cassia may cause or worsen liver disease, increase risk of allergies, skin inflammation and irritate digestive tract.

It can become toxic if used for a long period even if the amount it minute. It is approved in EU & a few other countries but as far as dog food research goes, the studies are still going and latest outcome specifies that only purified cassia can be used and in certain amounts (just over 1% of total food) . Considering that not enough research has been done and possibility of side-effects however minor, do check labels of your dog food just to be on a safe side. Cassia can be listed as cassia gum or E427 or E499.

Photo source: image by Fathima Shanas from Pixabay

Can / should I get a cocker spaniel puppy if I work full time? Cocker spaniel and separation anxiety training and tips (C) Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Q&A | Should I get a cocker spaniel puppy if I work full time?

One of the most asked questions is SHOULD/CAN I GET A COCKER PUP IF I WORK FULL TIME? In short, no.

All dogs are pack animals & feel happy as a part of a family, not on their own. Cockers, known to be naturally prone to separation anxiety, are even more sensitive to loneliness and spending hours in solitude. Here I won’t even go into keeping a puppy in a cage for hours “to avoid mess” because it simply should not cross your mind.

Young pups need a company most of the time and young and grown up dogs can stay on their own for an hour or two provided they had a lovely walk, meal and entertainment.

Personally I feel that a perfect family for a cocker is the one where family members can be at home most of the time either working from home (my case) or working shifts.

If you have to leave your dog alone for hours, find him a dog sitter, friend or relative and let the pooch get used to this arrangement over a period of time. Worth remembering that your cocker will naturally become more independent and detached from you when he becomes a junior, but he will still need to know that you’re somewhere around or about to come home.

How do you find balance between work & keeping your cocker happy?

Photo source: image by rawpixel from Pixabay