How much maintenance does a corgi require?

You might be thinking about getting a corgi in the future and wondering if the breed is high maintenance. You might’ve just gotten a puppy and wonder where to start. Or, you might have had your corgi for a while, but are wondering whether you could do more in terms of upkeep.

No matter which category you might fit in, you are at the right place.

Corgis, both Pembroke and Cardigan, are not considered high maintenance breeds. They do not require extensive care to look and feel great.

That being said, there are still steps we, as their owners, can implement in our care routines to make sure our pups are always at their best.

While taking our dogs to the groomers can take a lot of the burden off of our shoulders, most dogs don’t visit their groomer often enough (especially in the pandemic) and could benefit from additional at-home care.

On the other hand, maybe you’re the type of person who prefers to use grooming as a bonding experience and would like to do it yourself.

In any case, here are the things you can do at home to up your (and your corgi’s) game:

Brushing

Corgis shed year-round with a more severe shed twice a year, typically in the spring and fall.

Brushing the coat out with a good comb (our favorite is the Chris Christensen Comb) a couple of times a week will clean up the dead undercoat and remove any dust or dirt from the coat. 

While the double-layer corgi coat does a pretty good job of staying clean, the added brushing will make sure to give it that extra touch.

When the undercoat is actively shedding, you can brush daily to prevent clumping, detangle any knots that might have formed, and reduce irritation from the dead hairs getting tangled in the healthy coat.

You can read more about corgi shedding here.

Bathing

Even though corgis tend to stay fairly clean (thanks to their double coat and fur that prevent dirt from sticking to them), bathing is still something that should be done on a regular basis.

Along with removing dirt and odors from the fur, bathing your corgi also helps reduce shedding by removing dead fur and dead skin that may still be still stuck in the coat. 

When bathing, you should make sure to use good shampoos and conditioners that won’t dry out the skin or cause irritation.

Be sure to follow up with a good blow dryer to remove the moisture from the fur.

Blow drying also helps blow out the shedding fur and prevents hot spots from forming due to trapped moisture.

It can also reduce allergy outbreaks for the humans as you clean up many of the allergens that sit in your dog’s coat.

Unless there is a medical reason for more frequent baths (or your dog has rolled in something incredibly stinky), the typical bath frequency should be roughly once or twice a month.

If you need to bathe more often, make sure to use a shampoo that hydrates the coat and skin.

When it comes location, the bathtub is the ideal place to bathe your dog.

Bathtub’s constrict the “battlefield” to a smaller portion of your bathroom, that way you don’t end up chasing your dog around all the time.

If you don’t have a bathtub in your home, don’t despair. There are foldable and portable bathtubs that you can use instead.

Corgi Grooming Requirements

Teeth cleaning

Maintaining good oral health is paramount to good overall health.

Canine periodontitis, left untreated, can result in a dangerous infection that can then travel throughout your dog’s bloodstream and cause a lot of damage to your pup’s organs.

Not only that, but periodontal issues often cause pain and discomfort, leading to refusal to eat, tooth decay, etc.

Luckily, there is a lot we can do to prevent it and maintain healthy, happy teeth.

A good place to start is by providing beneficial, healthy, long-lasting chews to your dog.

The repetitive mechanical motion of chewing helps remove any plaque build-up and assists in breaking-up any tartar.

Manual brushing with a toothbrush and a VOHC-approved toothpaste is another great addition to your maintenance routine.

Brushing is a way you can ensure every tooth has been cleaned (this is especially helpful in cases where your dog having a very strong preference of which side they chews on).

While, ideally, you should be brushing your dog’s mouth every day, brushing even a couple of times a week can make a vast difference.

Food and water additives can also aid in breaking up tartar. One good additive you can add is the ProDen Plaque Off Powder as it has been clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar formation.

One thing you should probably avoid is Greenies. While they are VOHC-approved, their ingredients list leaves a lot to be desired from a dental chew.


Ear cleaning

Ear cleaning, while often neglected, is important for your dog’s overall health.

Ear infections can be a pain in the butt to treat and typically cause pain and discomfort to your dog.

Using a properly formulated ear rinse solution to clean out the ears from any dirt and earwax that has accumulated in the ear canal ensures that your dog doesn’t suffer from “smelly ears”, or worse, infection.

Nail trims

While last on our list, nail trims are one of the most important aspects of a dog’s upkeep, and very often – the most neglected one.

If the dogs’ nails are left to grow too long, they become unsightly and are more prone to getting snagged or even breaking.

Excessively long nails also affect proper posture of the paw, which then affects the overall posture of your corgi.

This improper posture can cause overcompensation and can lead, long-term, to injury.

While many dogs are not keen on nail trims in the beginning, positive reinforcement and counter-conditioning can help any dog learn to tolerate nail trims without too much fuss.

While it’s not necessarily the quickest process, especially if your pup already has had negative nail trim experiences, it is worthwhile in the end.

Some of our favorite nail trimming tools are the Miller’s Forge nail clippers (small and large), the Safari nail clippers for small/medium dogs,  and the Dremel 8220.

You can read more on the benefits of proper nail maintenance here.

Final Thoughts

All in all, while the list might seem daunting at first, it really is not.

Things like baths and ear cleaning are not very frequent of an occurrence, and maintenance nail trims can be done once a week or biweekly if you use proper tools.

More frequent nail trims are required only if you need to force the quick to recede to shorten the nail.

The only frequent “procedure” is brushing (both the coat and the teeth). If you do it often enough, it should take no more than a couple of minutes at a time.

Grooming your dog yourself also allows you to examine your dog for any new bumps, lumps, red spots, etc. that might have appeared, and allow you to follow up on them in a timely fashion.

In the end, if you still don’t want to bother with any of grooming tips the above, you should at least consider more frequent visits to the groomer to make sure everything stays under proper maintenance.

Veselina Krasteva (Lina)

Bachelor of European studies and Master (to be) in Digital media and videogames, my passion lies with dogs... and good grammar. When I'm not busy writing, you can find me pampering the queen of the house - Olivia, my Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can also find me buried in a good fantasy book or a great game.