Corgis are special dogs with special needs. Here are some important things to keep in mind when caring for your corgi.

Corgis are known for their distinctive short legs and long body that allows them to waddle their ways into the hearts of families all over the globe. However, their adorable stature can lead to joint health issues including arthritis and hip dysplasia which can become serious fairly quickly. Here are some tips to help keep your corgi’s joints healthy for years to come.

Watch the Menu

Weight control is a concern for all dogs, but especially those built like corgis or dachshunds due to the strain an overly large belly can place on the spine and hips. There is also a link between excess fat and joint inflammation in all breeds of dog.

Most sources agree that an average adult corgi should be fed approximately two cups of dry food per day at maximum.

Puppies can eat more and still maintain an appropriate weight, but the extra pounds sneak up on adult corgis quickly and are difficult to shed. That being said, check with your veterinarian before attempting any diet regime. In addition to just being cruel, under-feeding carries its own set of health problems.

Exercise

Regular exercise to promote strength and muscle mass helps protect joints as well as improving the functions of joints in all dogs and should be a part of your corgi’s daily routine. Traditionally used as herding dogs, corgis are an active breed. They need about an hour and a half of supervised activity each day to maintain their best mental disposition and optimal health.

This breed is particularly suited to walking, jogging, swimming, or herding exercises. Remember though that their short legs make work-outs more difficult, and they should never be pushed beyond reasonable limits.

Try to stay away from activities involving a lot of jumping, which can put undue strain on corgi’s hips and spine. In fact, if your corgi is allowed on furniture at home, be sure to provide him or her with steps or a ramp to cut down on their every day need to jump.

Extreme heat or cold should also be avoided, and fresh water made available to keep them well hydrated.

The good folks at Corgi Care have compiled a list of appropriate ways to get your corgi moving if you are unsure of where to start.

Welsh Corgy

Welsh Corgi

Stay Vigilant

Early detection can make a world of difference in the success of treatment for joint problems like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Below are some of the warning signs you might want to check with your vet about.

  • Difficulty rising or climbing uphill
  • Waddling in the rear limbs
  • A short stride indicating pain in the rear legs
  • Reluctance to climb stairs, or perform regular activities
  • Moving both back legs together, or “bunny hopping”

Your veterinarian may do an X-ray to search for serious joint problems or may recommend a mild treatment plan such as administering acetaminophen on an as-needed basis. In extreme cases, surgery may become an option.