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.