As mentioned, Cavalier spaniels are prone to a variety of diseases, many of which affect the heart. As with most animals, weight gain can put added strain on the already-stressed heart. Overweight animals (including humans) are more likely to have heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and depression. Unfortunately, the Cavalier is prone to excessive weight gain—I know mine is, at least.
To avoid Cavalier weight gain, it is important to foster healthy habits. First and foremost: do not feed your dog from the table. Doing so will create the expectation of this as a source of food when, in reality, he should not be eating human food at all. The association of the table with food will cause unnecessary stress, so it is best to not start a bad habit. If you do sneak the occasional table scrap, avoid feeding your Cavalier cooked bones and foods with a high fat content. Though many human foods are safe for animal consumption, you should always play it safe—especially when it comes to your precious baby.
If your veterinarian tells your pup to lay off the treats, believe them. A Cavalier should weigh anywhere between 13 and 18 pounds; anything more, and your pet could experience severe health issues. The Cavalier’s personality and love of laps means it may be difficult to help him get the exercise he needs to lose excess weight. As I said before, try your best to instill heathy eating habits, and—as always—think twice before feeding him something from the table.