For true dog lovers, the only bad thing about dogs is that they don't live long enough. While a cockapoo can't share an entire human lifespan, this cross between a poodle and cocker spaniel lives a relatively long life compared to other types of dogs.
One key to your cockapoo's longevity concerns size. On average, small dogs live longer than larger dogs. Since cockapoos come in various sizes depending on whether the poodle side of the family is toy, miniature or standard, acquire a cockapoo with toy or miniature breeding for your best longevity bet. The American Kennel Club's height for each type of poodle states that standards mature at over 15 inches tall at the shoulder; miniatures over 10 but under 15 inches, and the toy is 10 inches or under.
While generally healthy dogs, certain ailments affect this hybrid canine. As your cockapoo ages, watch out for cataracts clouding his vision. From the cocker spaniel side comes a predisposition for ear infections. Liver disease, prevalent in cocker spaniels, may also affect the cockapoo. Your cockapoo may also suffer from luxating patella, when the kneecap goes out of the joint. Ask the breeder questions about the bloodline of any puppies you are considering, along with any genetic diseases in the parent's lines.
No matter how good the genetics, dogs need proper care to live a long time. Feed your cockapoo a high-quality dog food. Although cockapoos don't need a great deal of exercise, make sure he has sufficient exercise to keep him fit and in good weight. Don't let your dog get fat -- obesity in pets is no healthier than in humans. Take him to the vet for regular checkups and keep him on a regular schedule for heartworm prevention medication and flea and tick preventatives.
The Older Dog
As your dog ages, good care is more important than ever. Take him to the vet if he shows signs of arthritis or decreasing mobility. She may prescribe medications for his joint issues, allowing him to continue to enjoy his outings with you. He may need dental work or cleaning as he ages. Ask your vet if you should change his diet to a good food formulated for senior canines. He may not be as active as he once was, but the sweet, friendly cockapoo personality doesn't age.
- poodle image by palms from Fotolia.com