Category Archives: Pet Care

Dog Washing 201

The dog came in dripping wet. Mud was caked half way up his legs and his coat was a big furry mess. It was raining that day, coming down like, yes, cats and dogs. He came through the dog door and it was one time I wished I didn’t have one. I also wished I had a mud room: it would have been so apropos.

He is such a sweetheart as a rule and I am sure there were no malicious intentions. He trotted up to me dutifully, sitting comfortably in my favorite chair, and nudged my arm. I know the signs; he wanted a bath and sure needed one. We both agreed on that point. I went to the service area of the house to turn on the hot water. It takes a while in the giant sink I had installed for the little guy. So we both waited patiently.

The hot water did not come ten minutes later. I checked the hot water tank to no avail. I’m no plumber so all I could do was note that it was plugged in and the pilot light was on because I have a gas water heater system. That’s the best I could do. The faithful dog by my side looked a bit downtrodden seeing my dismay.

What to do. Normally, we go through the basics: dog washing 101. It’s simple. I have a special soap that I use for his particular corgi coat. The water is tepid to warm, just the way he loves it. I cover him in soapy suds and gently massage as he stands ready to accept the ablutions. The shampoo is great and doesn’t affect the fur’s natural oils. I am careful about his eyes of course as anyone washing any animal would. It has to be a pleasant, if not, enjoyable experience.

Some dogs like a scented soap, not mine whether it is lavender, mint, or coconut. I get the plain variety. As long as it has been created for dogs, and corgis in particular, you can’t go wrong. Some have no soap in them by the way, and some have conditioner.

Part of corgi washing 101 is knowing that you don’t do it that often unless the dog is smelly, or in my case, dirty enough to put in the washing machine. Also, puppies need to wait to about 12 weeks. Select shampoo that is bio-degradable and earth friendly if you are eco-minded like I am. Everything helps!

One important point to note in this lesson is that corgi hair is water-resistant, hence the need for special products. If the process of washing is too much of a battle, you can brush your dog frequently. Now back to my story. Rather than rile the good fellow I called the plumber who dutifully appeared three hours later. The dog lay quietly on the kitchen floor awaiting his bath. In the long run he loved it as usual, which is not characteristic of many dogs. I should point this out so you are cautious and careful at your first attempt.

Dog Washing 101

Training and grooming practices that are suitable for a particular breed make for a happy, healthy pet. You can’t go willy-nilly into it as a new owner. If you are not a pro, and we are dealing here with a family member, particular care must be taken to do it just right. The kids will want to get into the act, but be sure you teach them the basics first—how to be super gentle and caring.

Training is a blog in itself and I will undertake to give you a few pointers on washing the beloved animal for right now. The activity should be stress-free and fun for all parties. You may have to bribe your little wonder with dog treats at first before he or she realizes how nice an experience it can be. Don’t even think about hurrying it all up by using a pressure washer, even on the lowest setting. Even the small electric pressure washers pack a punch. I don’t care how much mud is caked on after a walk in the rain. Furthermore, the dog is not even big enough to consider such a horrendous thing. They need hands-on attention and experienced hands who know the breed’s anatomy and pet peeves. They need people who are corgi savvy and can avoid painful incursions in unwanted areas.

That being said, you need a basin of tepid water and the right soap-like solution. This is a low-maintenance dog and it is usually a simple and easy task to keep him or her neat and clean. Corgis do not have super long hair that needs detangling and trimming. The breed does shed (both Cardigans and Pembrokes), however, and to avoid allergy issues in your home, frequent bathing is required. It is certainly well worth it given the returned love you will acquire. Don’t forget nails, eyes, and teeth along with the obvious coat. It all goes with your overall routine including proper diet and feeding. If you prefer to use a professional service, that is fine, but you will miss the enjoyment of home care—and so will your corgi!

Corgis are not quite as self-cleaning as a cat, but close. The outer hair that sheds protects the inner side. It is baby soft and divine! Keeping it all brushed will limit what ends up on the floor. This helps beautify both layers of fur, so the more the better. You will see some hair in the tub when you bathe your pet—not to worry. It is completely normal. If you use a recommended shedding shampoo, this will be an obvious consequence of the process. Normal harsh soap, by the way, will not due. Consult your pet shop or online for suggestions as there are a variety of options. You may have to try a few to get it right.

Remember that your pet will love the attention from admirers of his or her beautiful coat. Walk the dog frequently for accolades for your efforts, besides exercising it for health. Once a month may be enough for the average corgi bath, so go for it and enjoy the wonderful results.

What is a Healthy Weight for your Dog?

The wonderful, spirited Welsh Corgi breed consists of two basic types: the Pembroke and the Cardigan, both highly coveted as pets. Those of you who know this herding dog well can be a little patient while the newcomers catch up. They may have stopped in to this blog curious about the Queen’s devoted companions and sidekicks. They will soon become devotees if you give them a chance.

We all want to share our love and adoration for these venerable creatures. We want to own them, feed them properly, and care for their appearance. We want to maintain an optimum weight to ensure longevity and happiness. The first thing I am counseling you to do is get out the scale—yes, just a plain old bathroom device, or try to find an accurate digital scale. Start by weighting yourself, noting the poundage, and then picking up the dog gently to join you in this bonding ritual. Simply subtract your weight from the total and voila! You have what you need to know. If the dog has to go on a diet, you will do this procedure daily and jot down the incremental differences.

Overfeeding will do the trick if you want the dog to gain a few pounds. This is usually not necessary unless the dog has been ill. A healthy weight differs between a Pembroke and a Cardigan, which stands a bit taller (and also is characterized by a longer body). This type of Corgi should weigh between 25 and 38 pounds according to the experts since the standard size is 10.5 to 12.5 inches (ground to shoulder) and about 20 to 24 (measuring shoulder to base of tail). Think of the average female Cardigan as coming in between 25 and 34 pounds, and the average male Cardigan as weighing in between 30 and 38.

It is therefore easy to see if your dog is out of the normal range and should be made to diet and exercise accordingly. Don’t let the precious creature become a couch potato along with you. Get him or her out there running and playing and burning off excess fat. These dogs were meant to run with the herds, so do what they know best and get their little hearts pumping. Play catch or take your pet jogging at the dog park. You can take control his or her health with a few basic tactics. A new focus on food can be very revealing. Dogs, and Corgis in particular, chow down when good vittles are placed in front of them. They go at it. So monitor the portions and how many feedings per day. If you feel guilty, you can always leave a bowl of kibble out, but it isn’t advised.

Animals need regular routines so they know what to expect each day. Most will regulate their intake to achieve a stable weight unless tempted to indulge. Letting your Corgi nosh constantly may be a way to make a loyal friend, but it will not keep him or her alive longer. So, get out the scales and find out where your pet stands.