Corgis, just like any other dog breeds don’t just eat – they pretty much devour food! And if they are left alone with an unlimited amount of food, most corgis will just eat themselves to death and though that’s a good way to go, you wouldn’t want that for your pet. The problem with most owners is that when they see those pleading eyes begging for more food, they just can’t resist it. But if you give in, you're not doing your job as a responsible pet owner. I get it, they’re just too cute but you know what’s not cute? An overweight corgi.
There's a misconception going on around the corgi community that a corgi should look round and pudgy. There are also many viral videos that involved overweight corgis strutting their bulky butts off which are oh – so – entertaining but done at the expense of their dog’s health. Unfortunately because people are so used to seeing large, overweight and borderline obese corgis, they think that it is the standard corgi weight; when in fact, a corgi should have a waistline with a visible abdominal tuck just below the ribcage. This article is all about raising awareness and educating the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for your pet corgi.
Why You Need to Maintain Your Corgi’s Weight
For one, the bodies of Corgi are low to the ground which means that they have a long torso and any extra poundage would put tremendous strain on their bodies. You see, Corgis are prone to having hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease as well as hip/joints/back complications due to the nature of their body structure. These are the main reasons why you should maintain a healthy weight so that you can prevent any of those detrimental health problems and diseases. Not only that, extra weight on Corgis also puts a strain on other organs such as heart and lungs. Paws can also become misshapen in order to compensate for the weight distribution.
According to the Veterinary Centers of America (VCA), overweight and obesity are one of the main causes of joint damage and subsequent osteoarthritis (OA), which can lead to chronic pain. Apparently, fat tissue is quite biologically active and secretes hormones as well as other chemicals that both cause and enhance inflammation which is why weight matters a lot for a corgis as well as other dog breeds.
Something not many people know is that Cooper's littermate brother, Chopper, developed hip dysplasia at the early age of one. He was also overweight for his size and structure which had caused tremendous strain on his hip and joints, eventually worsening his condition where he had to get surgery. Cooper has always been more active than his litter mate, but hearing that Chopper got hip dysplasia prompted me to make sure Cooper continue to maintain his optimal best.
Corgis need a stringent feeding and exercise regimen to maintain a healthy weight. Depending whether your corgi is shorter, taller, or longer than standard, you'll need to adjust to their ideal weight up or down.
Body Condition Scoring
In order to keep your dog healthy and happy, keeping them to their ideal Corgi weight range is very important. A good indicator is the body condition score - assessing body condition score is a subjective method to evaluating body fat. It combines visual assessment and palpation on its waist, ribs, abdominal tuck, and back to tail. To figure out whether your corgi is overweight or underweight, use your hands and try to feel their ribs.
If you have a hard time feeling the ribs and counting, then your dog is overweight. If their ribs feel sharp or appear distinctly visible, it only means that your dog is underweight. An ideal score is between 4 and 5 on a scale of 9. The abdominal tuck is important to have for a corgi. If your dog does not have a visible abdominal tuck and lacks an hourglass waistline, then you should re-evaluate your corgi's weight and be honest about it.
When viewing your corgi at a side view, good contour is when the hip is high and the chest is deep where the angle should be between 30° and 45° along the abdomen from the end of the breastbone to the pelvis. Any dog, be it a corgi or golden retriever, should not be dragging extra poundage. Being overweight diminishes a dog's overall health, ability to play, breathe, run, walk, and just any physical activities. Not contributing positively to the health of your dog and allowing them to become overweight is pure negligence.
Preventative care is something you can have control over in regards to your corgi's health so to help maintain their weight and overall fitness. You must go on regular daily walks or runs because exercise is just crucial! You can also hike often with your dog on weekends. Make sure to also measure your dog's food accordingly and check his body condition often in order to address any underlying issues. Give your corgi low - caloric treats and most importantly, ask your vet and be brutally honest with yourself and your dog's weight.
Health conditions that are associated with Corgi breeds are serious and often long-term conditions requiring ongoing and expensive veterinary care. Some of the most serious heritable health conditions can also be severely life - limiting or fatal. Corgis are pretty average in dog years but just like all other dog breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions.
Don’t worry though because it doesn’t necessarily mean that every Corgi will develop any of the health conditions but if you don’t take care of your Corgi breed’s weight, they most likely will develop such conditions. Keep in mind that their breed has a history of developing aforementioned health issues which is why it is very important so that you can help prevent or manage such health issue if ever.
Whenever you are considering getting a Corgi from a breeder, you should always ask the breeder if your dog’s lineage has a history of any health conditions, but even if they are clear of it, being underweight or overweight is a huge factor that will trigger such disorders so keep them healthy!