Caring for Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Tips for New Puppy Owners

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a beloved breed that combines elegance with a lively and cheerful disposition, making them a popular canine companion worldwide. With their luxurious coats and expressive eyes, these dogs are a joy to behold and embody a warmth and affection that few can resist! Their royal heritage speaks to their esteemed place in the hearts of many over the centuries. However, they are not just for show – they have a playful energy and a strong desire for human companionship. As a potential or new owner, it’s important to understand how to care for this distinctive breed.

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of your Cavalier, whether you’re introducing one into your family for the first time or it has been a while since you’ve had a puppy running around your home. At Shady Grove Cavaliers, our mission is to assist you in building a fulfilling and endearing bond with your animal, and our insights will ensure you are well-equipped to provide them with the best care possible.

Understanding Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Embarking on the journey of caring for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel means delving deep into what makes this breed so special. Their unique essence is crafted by a rich tapestry of history, distinct physical features, and temperament, which sets them apart in the canine world.

Breed History and Significance

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel traces its roots back to the United Kingdom. Favored by nobles and often featured in Renaissance paintings, these dogs have been royal companions for centuries. Their name itself pays homage to King Charles II, a notable enthusiast of the breed. Known for their silky coat and expressive eyes, Cavaliers have played diverse roles, from being lap warmers for duchesses to hunting companions for lords.

Lifespan and Size

Cavalier dogs are typically healthy and can live for 12-16 years. When fully mature, they weigh between 13 to 18 pounds and stand about 12 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder. Their small yet sturdy frame makes them adaptable to both apartment living and houses with yards, complementing their lively spirit.


Cavalier Nutritional Needs

Properly nourishing your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sets a strong foundation for a long, healthy life. Just as humans are meticulous about their diet, understanding and catering to the specific nutritional demands is one of the many ways to ensure Cavaliers thrive physically and mentally.

Dietary Requirements

Cavaliers are moderately active dogs, which means their dietary needs may differ. Some Cavaliers are prone to getting overweight, so monitoring their calorie intake and weight is crucial. Selecting a high-quality commercial dog food, checking for real meat as the primary ingredient, and avoiding fillers such as corn and soy are vital steps cavalier owners must take when choosing the perfect food for their pets.

At Shady Grove Cavaliers, we recommend brands like Paw Tree that offer premium dog food with wholesome ingredients to ensure your Cavalier gets the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy.

Feeding Schedule 

For puppies aged 9 to 12 weeks, feeding them small meals four times a day is ideal. You can reduce this frequency to three times daily as they grow (from 3 to 6 months). Beyond six months, twice daily is recommended. Adult Cavaliers, depending on their age and activity level, require around 500-550 calories daily. Monitoring their weight and adjusting food portions helps prevent obesity, a common issue in the breed.

Cavalier Grooming Essentials

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is known for its beautiful silky coat that requires minimal effort to maintain. However, it’s important to establish a regular grooming routine for your puppy early on to help keep their coat and skin in top condition, strengthen your bond with them, and build trust.

Ear Care

The irresistible floppy ears of a Cavalier contribute to their endearing appearance and require some love and attention from you. With their unique structure, keeping their ears clean and healthy is important to avoid any issues. A weekly check can be a simple routine where you look for signs of redness or any unusual discharge. Engage in this caring routine with a vet-recommended cleaning solution and soft cotton balls, finishing with a gentle drying to keep those adorable ears in top shape!

Nail Trimming

Like us, our furry friends benefit greatly from a regular nail grooming routine to ensure their comfort and happiness during playful adventures. Engage in a bonding grooming ritual every two to three weeks with a quality nail clipper designed for ease and precision. With careful attention to avoid the quick, this practice will keep your Cavalier’s paws healthy and provide them with the comfort they need to run, jump, and play with joy.


Regular Check-Ups and Health Concerns

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of bringing home a new puppy and neglecting to remember they require important health checks at the beginning stages of their lives. The delicate months of puppyhood are foundational for their overall health trajectory. Being proactive about veterinary care and familiarizing oneself with breed-specific health concerns can be the difference between early intervention and protracted health challenges.

Common Health Issues in Cavaliers

Cavaliers, like most dog breeds, are susceptible to a few health issues. Mitral valve disease (a heart condition) tops the list, with many developing it in middle age. Additionally, they are prone to certain eye conditions like retinal problems.

At Shady Grove, we ensure all our dogs go through heart, eye, and patella testing along with two genetic tests, CKCSID and EF. We practice these preventative measures to help ensure your pup lives a long, healthy life!

Vaccination and Regular Vet Visits

Just like humans, dogs require vaccinations to protect themselves from various diseases. Puppies usually start getting vaccinated at around four weeks, followed by booster shots every 4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks old. After the puppy stage, regular annual check-ups and vaccinations are recommended. These visits are essential to keep track of your Cavalier’s health, discuss dietary requirements, and address any concerns you may have.

At Shady Grove Cavaliers, our puppies are given all required vaccinations and deworming before being taken under your care. The buyer will then become responsible for further vaccinations, boosters, and deworming. You can find our complete health guarantee contract online and learn what you, as a new pet parent, are responsible for when it comes to taking care of the health of your new furry friend.

Importance of Training

Puppy training isn’t only about teaching commands but also establishing a healthy and harmonious bond with your Cavalier is essential. Thanks to their loving nature and eagerness to please, Cavaliers typically respond positively to training initiated at an early age.

Basic Commands and Social Behavior

Teaching your puppy foundational commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” is a great way to establish a structure and routine. It’s equally important to teach social etiquette, such as not jumping on visitors, where to go potty, or mastering proper leash behavior. Consistency and patience are key to ensuring your pup understands and internalizes these lessons.

Positive reinforcement through heartfelt praise or treats is particularly effective with this breed, but giving too many treats can cause obesity, so be cautious with this training tactic!

Puppy Training Classes

If you’re new to dog ownership or want a structured environment for training, consider enrolling your Cavalier in a puppy training class. Besides the obvious skills they acquire, these classes also offer the invaluable benefit of social interaction, exposing them to other dogs and varied environments.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies group photo outdoors

Social Needs and Playtime

A Cavalier’s heart thrives on social interactions and play, so it’s important to understand their need for companionship and stimulation to create an environment where they can flourish.

Socializing Your Cavalier Puppy

Socialization is pivotal for any dog breed, and Cavaliers are no exception. Being inherently sociable, they take well to meeting new people and animals and experiencing different environments. The ideal window for socialization is between 3 to 14 weeks. During this period, expose your puppy to various sights, sounds, and situations. It helps in molding a well-adjusted adult dog.

 It is vital to note that socialization should be a positive experience for your puppy, and they should never be forced into fearful or uncomfortable situations.

Toys and Activities Suited for Cavaliers

While they might have a royal heritage, Cavaliers are all about fun and play. Fetch is a favorite, given their partial sporting breed lineage. Toys like rubber balls, interactive puzzles, and soft plush toys cater to their playful nature. A daily walk and short play sessions keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

Purchasing a Cavalier Puppy

Raising a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a beautiful journey full of moments of happiness, amusement, and endless love. With their heart-melting eyes and loyal nature, these gentle and affectionate companions have a unique way of becoming an integral part of our lives. By dedicating time to their grooming, training, and overall well-being, you ensure they lead a fulfilled and healthy life and deepen the bond you share with them over the years.

Choosing the right breeder for your new furry family member is crucial. A reputable breeder provides not only a healthy puppy but also lifelong support and guidance.

At Shady Grove Cavaliers in Charm, Ohio, we pride ourselves in offering healthy, well-socialized cavalier puppies that are raised with utmost care and love. Each puppy from Shady Grove is a testament to our dedication and expertise in ensuring the breed’s integrity and well-being.


Browse our website to view our available puppies and learn about our payment options. We offer ground delivery anywhere in the United States. Simply contact us at (330)275-2434, and we will discuss your unique requirements.

We know how much joy a canine companion can bring, and we look forward to providing you with a beautiful, loving, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy and getting updates on our testimonials page!

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