Few dogs are as instantly recognizable as the beloved Corgi, and not just because they’re a known favorite of Queen Elizabeth II. These small- to medium-sized dogs have long bodies with short legs, beautiful fluffy coats, and adorably big ears. And with a fun-loving, intelligent, and curious personality to match, there’s no question that the Corgi makes a great family pet.
Whatever dog breed you’re thinking of adopting, it’s important to consider the commitment you’re making. If you’re planning on adding a Corgi to your family soon, or if you already own one of these lovable pups, you might be asking yourself: What is the average Corgi life expectancy?
Read on to learn more about how long you can expect your Corgi to live, what health factors to be aware of, and how you can make sure your pet enjoys as many happy, healthy years as possible.
How Long Do Corgis Live?
What is the average Corgi life expectancy? This breed has an average lifespan of about 12-13 years, according to the American Kennel Club. Of course, some can live even longer, reaching 15 years of age or more.
There are actually two types of Corgis: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. They’re very similar, but Cardigan Corgis tend to be a bit bigger and may have coats of brindle, black and white, red and sable, and blue merle. Pembroke Corgis only come in red, sable, and tricolor with white markings. But both types of Corgis have similar lifespans.
Of course, there are many factors that can affect the lifespan of any dog, including the Corgi breed. So, what kind of health issues should you be aware of for Corgis?
What Health Problems Could Affect a Corgi’s Life Expectancy?
The Corgi life expectancy of 12 years or more is considered good for purebred dogs. However, there are a few particular health conditions that can reduce the Corgi lifespan if not addressed.
These dogs can be more prone to issues like:
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
IVDD in dogs affects the cartilage in the discs of the vertebrae. This issue can begin when your Corgi is still young and get progressively worse as they age. If left untreated, your dog can experience muscle spasms, chronic pain, and even paralysis. Keep an eye out for early signs of IVDD like an abnormal gait, unwillingness to jump or play, reduced activity levels, and a stiff appearance, and let your veterinarian know right away if you see them.
In a case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone. This can lead to issues like weight gain and alopecia, ultimately affecting your Corgi’s quality of life. Tell your vet as soon as you see changes in your dog’s appetite or appearance – quick treatment is the best way to keep hypothyroidism from affecting your Corig’s life expectancy.
Although we often associate hip dysplasia with large dogs like Labradors and the Great Dane, small dogs like the Corgi are also sometimes predisposed to this condition. Hip dysplasia involves abnormal formation of the hip sockets, which can result in pain and also makes it more likely that the dog will develop arthritis in middle to old age.
Without treatment, this could even impact a Corgi’s life expectancy. Let your vet know if you see early signs like limping, exercise intolerance, and decreased activity levels.
Is your dog struggling with arthritis pain as they age? Try Native Pet’s Relief Chicken Chews. These air-dried chews are specially formulated for senior dogs and can help alleviate joint pain, improve mobility, and boost long-term joint health.
Like most of our canine friends, Corgis love to eat. And too much dog food or treats combined with too little exercise is a recipe for obesity. This negatively affects your Corgi’s health by making the heart work harder and putting additional pressure on the joints, which can also lead to arthritis. Keep a close eye on your dog’s weight, and ask your vet to help you form a diet and exercise plan for Fido if they’re putting on some extra pounds.
Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a disease that affects the spinal cord, progressively causing hind limb weakness and eventual paralysis. It’s somewhat similar to Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS, in humans. DM is, unfortunately, incurable, and Corgis are considered genetically predisposed. Although DM can shorten a Corgi’s life expectancy, many Corgis with the disease can be kept comfortable and maintain a high quality of life for many years after their diagnosis.
How Can I Help My Corgi Live Longer?
It can be a little scary reading the list above — but don’t worry. The vast majority of Corgis will live a wonderfully healthy life provided they’re well-cared for by their owners. Many of the issues that can affect the Corgi life expectancy have to do with the joints, so using Native Pet’s Omega Oil to boost your dog’s joint health is a great idea.
Besides that, though, how can you help your dog’s life be as happy and healthy as possible?
Adopt From Responsible Breeders
If you choose to adopt your Corgi puppy from a breeder, making sure the breeder is responsible — this is one of the best things you can ever do for a Corgi’s life expectancy, health, and well-being. Responsible breeders perform regular health screenings to ensure they’re not breeding dogs with genetic predispositions to certain health concerns, like IVDD, hip dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy (DM).
Corgis are herding dogs, meaning they’re used to staying active. If you want your pet to live a happy life, make sure they’re getting the exercise they need. Your Corgi should have daily walks and regular play sessions in order to burn off excess calories and stay fit. It’s the best way to avoid issues like obesity and life-threatening heart disease.
Feed Your Corgi Well
Diet has so much to do with dog health in general — feed your Corgi well, and you’re setting them up for success. When your pet gets the right nutrition through their food, all body systems and functions tend to work better.
Make sure you’re not feeding your dog too much. Overeating is one of the leading causes of obesity among our canine friends. If you’re not sure how much to feed your pet, consult your veterinarian. And if you’re looking for a great option to hold your dog over between meals, try Native Pet’s all-natural Yak Chews. Our long-lasting chew provides an extra protein boost and is easily digestible, too.
Schedule Regular Checkups
Last but not least, regular visits to the veterinarian’s office can help your Corgi stay healthy for the long-term. Adult Corgis, like all dogs, need regular booster shots to keep vaccinations effective. Plus, your vet can monitor the health of your dog over time and address any issues that crop up.
One more tip: Early on in life, you should have your dog spayed or neutered at your vet’s office. This reduces the chance of certain types of cancer and urinary tract infections, and makes it less likely that your dog will escape the house in search of a mate when breeding season comes around. (Plus, it saves you the surprise of an unexpected litter of puppies.)
Your Corgi’s Life Expectancy: What to Remember
What is the average Corgi life expectancy? About 12 - 13 years. But with great care, many of these adorable doggies live even longer.
Remember: This breed is more likely than some to develop certain health conditions like intervertebral disc disease, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy. Additionally, any dog is prone to obesity if they eat too much and don’t get enough physical activity.
The keys to extending the Corgi life expectancy and avoiding health troubles? Relying on responsible breeders, exercising your dog every day, feeding them well, and having them examined at the vet’s office on a regular basis. These simple steps ensure you and your family get to enjoy as many wonderful years with your beloved Corgi as possible.
To learn more about your dog’s health and wellness, browse the Native Pet blog.