Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels High-Maintenance?

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We all want a dog that is easy to care for, right? So, when you’re planning on adopting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS), a logical question you would ask is “Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels high-maintenance?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are generally higher maintenance. Expect to have to spend a fair amount of your time each day caring for this dog breed. But, they make up for it with their calm and loving temperament. Cavaliers love children and are generally friendly dogs. Just note that they take some time to care for.

So, what are their basic caring requirements? Let’s find out!

A brown and white Cavalier King Charles Spaniel running in a field of grass
Image by Alexa from Pixabay 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Temperament 

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very easy-going dog who will love its owner with its whole heart.

As stated before, this breed is very loving, easy to train, and overall very versatile. Cavaliers can be sporty dogs that are very active, or they can be couch potatoes.

Cavaliers should also behave around other pets, though they are still dogs and need obedience training. Even then, Cavaliers can still attack and even kill other animals if you aren’t careful. So, it’s best to keep Cavalier King Charles Spaniels away from other pets that aren’t dogs.

Basic Cavalier Grooming Requirements

So, how do you groom a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? Before we talk about grooming, let’s talk a little bit about training.

Why talk about training you ask? Well, it’s essential that your Cavalier is okay with you handling his feet, body, head, and legs. To do so, you must acclimate him.

Before you even groom your dog, get your Cavalier used to the sound of a hair blower on by simply turning it on for short periods of time around your dog.

Preservation breeders start grooming their dogs after 1 week of birth, while people who just adopted their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should wait at least 1-2 weeks after they adopt their dog to groom them to get them used to their new home.

Now, let’s look at their basic grooming requirements, shall we?

How Often To Bathe A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

So, how often should you bathe a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Generally, you’re going to want to bathe your Cavalier occasionally to keep them looking their best.

Consider bathing them about once a month or every time they get in a mess.

Trimming Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Coat

Trimming your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coat is necessary to keep it sanitary and “train” it.

Trim their coat regularly or every time it gets longer than you can handle. Some people may have time to care for a Cavalier with a longer coat, while others may want a shorter coat.

If you wish for a shorter coat, consider going to the groomers and asking for a “modified Cocker pet cut.”

Trimming Your Cavalier’s Nails

Also, trim their nails regularly for two reasons; to keep them from scratching people and to make sure that their nails don’t grow into their paws.

That’s right, if you leave your dog’s nails untrimmed for too long, it is possible for them to grow into their paw pads and your dog will have to go to the vet if this happens, so don’t let it!

Lastly, don’t forget the quick. So, don’t cut past it. If you’re afraid you’re going to mess up, I highly recommend checking out this article by the AKC (American Kennel Club) after you’re done reading this one.

Brushing Your Cavalier’s Teeth

Lastly, while you may not always think about brushing your dog’s teeth, it’s essential that your Cavalier’s teeth is clean strong.

You can also try dental treats, though not all dental treats are created equal.

I recommend checking out this article from WebMD about the types and benefits of dental dog treats.

Basic Cavalier Exercise Requirements

As mentioned earlier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be very sporty dogs or just your average couch potato!

On one hand, Cavaliers are very sporty dogs and love to run, jump and play with their human parents and doggie friends, while on another, they love to just lay on the couch or snuggle with their owner.

That doesn’t mean Cavalier King Charles don’t need exercise, however. Make sure that your Cavalier gets exercise every day so that he can stay fit and healthy.

Can Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels Be Alone?

Unfortunately, no, Cavaliers should not be alone for very long periods of time.

Cavs can also get separation anxiety which can make them very stressed when you are alone.

Even Cavs that don’t have SA still don’t like being alone for long periods of time. So, make sure you are with him as much as you can!

What Are The Common Health Conditions For Cavaliers?

Unfortunately, Cavaliers can get a lot of health conditions, so a logical question you would ask is “What are the common health conditions that Cavaliers can get?”

Let’s find out.

Luxating Patella

Luxating Patella is a common health condition where the patella luxates from the femur.

To put it in more laymen terms, it’s when the kneecap moves away from the socket and becomes dislocated.

Unfortunately, the only real symptom would be a sudden limp and perhaps a yelp when they do.

The fact is, dogs can hide pain and discomfort pretty well, so it may be hard to tell how much your dog is in pain or discomfort.

I recommend checking out this article from Hills about luxating patella if you’d like to learn the causes, prevention, and treatment of luxating patella.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket of the hip does not fit or develop properly and in turn grind together and deteriorate the bone till the point of the loss of the function of the entire hip itself.

It’s often associated with larger dogs, though the fact is, both large, giant, and small dogs alike can get this health condition.

The causes are generally genetics, though improper weight and diet can help cause this health condition.

I recommend checking out this article from the AKC about the causes, signs, ways to prevent, and treatment of hip dysplasia.

Mitral Valve Disease & Heart Murmurs

Mitral Valve Disease is a health condition where the mitral valves become weakened and do not open and close properly.

To say how severe this disease is would be hard to say cases are very different from each other. Some cases are less severe and can live without even any symptoms at all for their entire lives, while other cases, where the patient does not respond to medicine, can have their life expectancy shortened to weeks or even days.

Unfortunately, this disease is very common in Cavaliers, so make sure you understand this when you are planning on getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Cataracts

Cataracts is when the eye develops a cloudy film develops over the eyes which will reduce your dog’s vision.

Typically, cataracts are more prevalent in dogs than cats and are often found in certain breeds like the Cocker Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Poodle, Siberian Husky, Schnauzer, Old English Sheepdogs, Samoyeds, along with other dog breeds, though they can also occur in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Cataracts are generally a sign of a bigger health condition. This is why I strongly recommend that you check with your vet if you believe your Cavalier has developed cataracts.

Obesity

Lastly, obesity is another health condition that you may come across in your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel caring journey.

Generally, to help prevent and cure obesity, you’re probably going to change your dog’s diet.

The fact is, most dog owners are feeding their dogs a diet full of ultra-processed foods which is just bad for your dog’s overall health.

Consider feeding your dog a diet with more whole foods if you can afford it and lessen the amount of ultra-processed foods your dog eats.

How Hard Is It To Train A Cavalier?

Cavaliers are loving and eager to please their owner which makes them pretty easy to train.

Just note that some dogs with Small Dog Syndrome may become stubborn and defiant.

If you don’t know what Small Dog Syndrome is, it’s a behavior disorder, typically found in small dogs, where the dog thinks he is the “leader of the pack” and that he can do as he pleases.

I recommend checking out this article that I wrote on this website about the causes, treatment, and prevention of SDS.

Conclusion 

So, are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels high-maintenance? While Cavaliers are not the most high-maintenance dog out there, they do require regular maintenance.

So, do you have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? If so, how often do you groom them? Let us know in the comment section below!

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