Stay Fit with These Exercise Routines for Senior Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Suzie Cyrenne
Authored by Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie is a Certified Homeopath and Co-Founder of Zumalka
, specializing in natural and holistic remedies for pets.

Referring to Pembroke Welsh Corgis as "active dogs" is an understatement. While these adorable household pets may flaunt a diminutive stature, you'll be surprised how easy it is for them to stand out during high-intensity games, not to mention agility or sporting events. They have been initially bred as herding dogs after all.

This is the biggest reason why senior Welsh Corgis still need regular exercise even though they are already in their golden years. And while they may not have the same high-energy levels compared to a young Corgi puppy or an adult Corgi, these older dogs won't disappoint when engaged in vigorous exercise like a game of tug-of-war or when you play fetch.

This breed is even known to love participating in performance games and similar sporting events thanks to their innate nimbleness and self-control. It's not uncommon to see a Corgi puppy show off his skills as soon as he's presented with a herding ball!

But here's the thing... As a Welsh Corgi dog owner, you may still not be entirely sure about how much exercise your aging pet needs or the right activities to go for. Besides the risk of not giving the right amount of workout your senior pet needs, there is also the possibility that you will subject him to too much exercise while at it.

We've put together this comprehensive blog post to get you in on everything you need to know—not to mention a few useful bits and pieces that you'll appreciate. So without further ado, let's start things off with why you should exercise your Corgi even during his senior years.


Why Senior Welsh Corgis Need A Regular Workout

A senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi out for a walk.Compared to other dogs, Welsh Corgis are inherently inclined to engage in high-intensity exercise because they've been originally bred to herd cattle. Believed to have originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales as far back as the 10th century, these pint-sized canine companions also have a knack for getting rid of wayward rodents ever since they were Corgi puppies.

Although you don't normally see these cuddly pooches herding livestock and leading cattle, these smart dogs still need to have their exercise needs satisfied by their Corgi owners. The same thing applies to senior dogs of the breed.

An adult Corgi in his golden years requires daily exercise to have a happy and healthy life. Apart from being vulnerable to a lot of health concerns like joint issues and obesity-related problems, your older pet could also be at risk of being subjected to too much stress, which can result in anxiety sooner or later.


A Well-Rounded Workout Routine Isn't Just About Physical Exercise

Senior Pembroke Welsh Corgis excited for a game.Unlike what a lot of Corgi owners mistakenly think, this dog's exercise does not only involve physical activity. Just like other pedigrees descended from herding breeds, beyond-adult Corgis also require a lot of mental stimulation to stay in tiptop shape.

Whether you have a Corgi puppy or an adult dog, this is one of the reasons why they really do well with puzzle toys and negotiating an obstacle course or two. Even very young puppies of the breed can already exhibit intense mental concentration, especially when dealing with dog toys that require a bit of analysis and problem solving.


Mental Exercise Is Also Involved When Engaging Your Senior Corgi In a Workout

A senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi playing with cans.As we've emphasized earlier, mental stimulation plays a key role when you exercise your Corgi in his senior years. A proper exercise for these dogs typically involves utilizing all their senses because they've got quite a lot of excess energy in their systems. Sure these pooches are small, but their energy levels are much more extensive compared to most dogs!

This is why subjecting them to regular physical activity or strength training exercises alone is not enough for these pets. Neglecting to take care of their mental stimulation needs will have an effect on their individual dispositions and may even lead to more harm than good. We'll touch more on these negative consequences as we go along.


Possible Risks When You Don't Exercise your Corgi

A sick senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi due to lack of exercise.While this may sound surprising, you are inadvertently shortening your senior Welsh Corgi's lifespan in a significant way if he isn't getting enough exercise on a regular basis. The following are the potential risks your aging dog is vulnerable to in this situation:


Obesity and weight management issues

Regardless if you have a young puppy, an adult Corgi, or a golden-age one, physical exercise helps your pet keep clear from excessively putting on weight. Failing to manage your senior dog's weight properly can make him prone to obesity, which can lead to more serious health problems like diabetes, heart disorder and kidney disease, among others, in the long run.


Joint and muscle deterioration (he's not a Corgi puppy anymore)

Apart from the possibility of straining his body due to the excess weight, his muscles and joints will also be vulnerable to sudden degradation and mobility loss if you don't properly and consistently exercise your Corgi golden-ager. Although all of your pet's major muscle groups are at risk when this problem gets in the picture, it usually affects the back and leg muscles in most cases.


Gastrointestinal problems and heart disease

Interestingly, engaging your senior Welsh Corgi in daily exercise has an indirect effect on his overall gastrointestinal function. The lack of Corgi exercise hampers ideal digestion and can possibly result in gassiness and constipation. Moreover, a sedentary lifestyle can also encourage the development of heart disease in this breed, particularly among senior Welsh Corgis whose immune systems may be easily compromised.


Social and behavioral difficulties

When it comes to senior Welsh Corgi exercise requirements, having a daily workout is not just about getting rid of pent-up energy through physical activity and mental stimulation. It also has to do with maintaining a positive behavior not just toward other people, but also other pets that may be in your household or neighborhood. This problem is usually characterized by excessive barking and inappropriate territorial marking.


Mental health concerns

A lot of dog parents overlook the fact that they are also putting their senior Welsh Corgis at risk of mental health issues if they don't get their dose of daily exercise. The lack of a regular workout deprives your golden-aged pet of mental stimulation, which tends to encourage the release of negative hormones. Besides setting off feelings of neglect and abandonment, your aging dog will also become highly prone to anxiety and depression if this isn't corrected as soon as possible.


How Much Exercise Does A Corgi Need During His Senior Years?

A senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi playing in the snow.So how much exercise does your senior Welsh Corgi really need? If we're being honest, this question cannot be answered straight away since there are some crucial factors that have to be determined first. Before you can even set your regular workout or dog training plan for your aging pet, the following aspects should be taken into consideration:

  • Age

  • Overall state of health

  • Underlying conditions, if there are any

  • Preferred activities and toys

  • Other relevant details

Figuring out how much exercise a Corgi in his senior years significantly depends on these factors. It's highly likely that you will subject your aging dog to over exercise or overly strenuous activities that can result in joint injury and other health issues if you don't go through this step.

Here's a quick example: a high-energy game like playing tug can accidentally lead to pain and discomfort if your older Corgi has hip dysplasia. The same goes if your golden-aged pet is suffering from arthritis and you engage him in strenuous exercise.

If you've already established these factors, then it's time to get to the specifics. A senior Welsh Corgi will normally require at least thirty (30) minutes to an hour of brain-stimulating physical activity each day. Going over this time limit can already put your pet at risk of over exercise and its adverse consequences.

Additionally, given the physiological changes that your aging dog is going through, keep in mind to have frequent rest periods as you go along, especially when you are engaging him in a high-intensity game of flirt pole or tug-of-war.


Senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi Exercise Routines You Should Consider Including in Your Checklist

A senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi playing in the backyard.Given a senior Welsh Corgi's overall state of health and condition, you can't just engage your aging pet in whatever physical activity that you think will get his fancy. If you're looking to really help your dog maximize the physical and mental benefits of exercise, take note of the following workout routines:


#1. Daily walks are a smart choice.

What's really interesting about daily walks is that they can satisfy your senior Corgi's exercise needs if done properly. A simple 30-minute walk around your neighborhood or in the dog park will already provide your aging pooch with the daily workout he needs to stay in good shape. You can even take your pet to a hiking trail, so long as it is mostly flat and easy to negotiate.

However, it is important to take note of the intensity and duration of the walks you're going to have since your senior dog won't be as nimble and energetic compared to a Corgi puppy. We also recommend taking a lot of breaks as you go along and hydrating every ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes.


#2. Swimming is great exercise for older Welsh Corgis.

Swimming is one of the low-impact sporting events that your senior Welsh Corgi can participate in without putting too much stress on his body, particularly on his joints and muscles. It is also an activity where your aging dog can get rid of excess energy without making him prone to over-exercise, provided that you keep a close eye on how long he's taking a dip.

Only take your older pooch swimming in places where you can easily keep an eye on him at all times. This is to prevent any untoward incidents. We recommend using an inflatable pool since you can directly control the temperature and depth of the water. You can even use herding balls as flotation toys to make things even more entertaining for your golden-aged pet.


#3. Set up an indoor obstacle and agility course.

It's not uncommon to see sporting events Corgis take on an obstacle and agility course without hesitation. Apart from helping them deal with their pent-up energy, a high-intensity game like this one also maintains joint and muscle strength. The good news is you can make the most of these benefits in your home without having to get your hands on agility equipment, too!

Pulling the whole thing off is as simple as setting up a "course" in your living room or the backyard. You can use everyday items like pillows, blankets, water bowls and chew toys as non-weight bearing "obstacles." One easy way of motivating your senior dog to start the course is by coaxing him with his favorite treat or getting him fired up with a flirt pole, which is basically a stick with a toy attached at the end.


#4. Introduce your senior pet to interactive games.

Another practical and straightforward way to provide your senior Welsh Corgi with his daily exercise needs is through interactive games. This also includes engaging him in social activities that he can share with other pooches in your household like tug-of-war, play fetch, pushing herding balls and even dog chases.

You can expect to see your aging pet participate in these games with all the energy he has. It is important that you monitor how long he's been playing to avoid making him too tired, which can already be counterproductive. Just remember to always gauge how much exercise your senior pet needs with each type of interactive game or activity to keep things as fun and rewarding as possible.


#5. Herding balls are awesome dog toys for golden-aged Welsh Corgis.

As a nod to their roots, having herding balls in your ensemble of senior Corgi toys will not just help keep your aging pet's mind sharp, but also maintain the strength and mobility of his joints and muscles. Your older pooch will definitely have a workout when he pushes or chases a herding ball wherever he wants.

Below are a few quick tips that will help you pick the best ball for your senior dog:

  • Choose one that is light enough that your senior dog can easily push or maneuver it wherever he wants, but not so heavy that it can already impede movement

  • A herding ball's size is crucial and it should not be too big or too small for your older pooch

  • Make sure you choose one that your senior dog won't be able to bite completely since the firm surface of the toy can possibly hurt his teeth


#6. Activate his analytical skills with puzzle toys.

A Welsh Corgi loves to put his brain power to use. This is why puzzle toys are a hit among these dogs regardless of age. Whether you get your hands on a food bowl that features a puzzle game to release its contents or a flirt pole (or some other contraption that has a toy attached at the end), your aging dog won't hesitate to give it a go.

However, it is crucial that you keep clear from puzzle toys that are too small for your older pet or those that have sharp edges. Even senior Welsh Corgis can get too caught up when they're engaged in activities that involve critical thinking, making them prone to unexpected injuries while at it.


Tips to Keep in Mind When Exercising Your Senior Welsh Corgi

A senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi taking a break from exercise.Now that we've covered the exercise routines you can include in your checklist when exercising your senior Welsh Corgi, let's go over some important reminders that will not just make these activities safer, but also more exciting for your older pet:


Variety is key.

Just like other dogs, your aging Welsh Corgi can easily get bored, especially when he feels that the games and activities he participates in are monotonous. We highly recommend scheduling a different activity every other day to keep things exciting for him. Integrating puzzle elements in otherwise "regular" activities will also jazz things up for your aging pet, like giving him a puzzle toy to negotiate while having a break during your walk.


Taking short breaks is a must.

Given your senior dog's age and overall physical condition, it is crucial that you schedule consistent breaks during your workout routine. A five-minute rest after ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes of activity is ideal to allow your older Welsh Corgi's body to recuperate. You can also increase his rest period depending on the intensity of the activity you're engaging him in.


Be mindful of your older dog's body language.

Akin to his younger counterparts, an older Welsh Corgi will seem tireless and full of enthusiasm when he is in the middle of an activity he likes. But the thing is you should constantly keep an eye for any signs that he may be already tired or experiencing some form of discomfort. Your aging pooch may be at risk of injury or similar adverse consequences if he keeps up with what he's doing.


Always bring treats.

Having some treats with you when you're engaging your senior Welsh Corgi in a game or pastime is a smart way to make the whole activity more meaningful for your pet. Besides being a tasty motivation tool, treats can also help encourage your pet to engage in activities he may not be that familiar with. Can't seem to make your pooch play with a new puzzle toy? Offering his favorite treat as an incentive will get the job done.


Deal with injuries and similar concerns immediately.

If we're being honest, injuries like nicks, cuts and abrasions can get in the picture without warning—especially when your senior Welsh Corgi is already in the zone. Given a dog's high pain tolerance, it can be rather tricky to spot these injuries and similar concerns without a bit of investigating. Make sure you take proper care of these issues as soon as possible so they won't result in even more serious problems.


A Natural Support Product You Should Consider Including In Your Home Pet Care Checklist

Speaking of dealing with unexpected emergency situations with your senior Pembroke Welsh Corgi, having Zumalka's EMERGENCY KIT in your pet care checklist is one way to stay prepared. Whether you're dealing with physical overwork and trauma or vomiting and diarrhea, the premium natural EMERGENCY KIT is designed to help provide the relief he needs while promoting his overall immune system health at the same time.


About the author

Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie Cyrenne


Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.

Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.

Through the guidance of her mother-in-law and fellow natural health expert, Denyse Lessard, Suzie constantly devotes herself to create premium pet products that are aimed at dealing with the root causes of wellness problems and not just their symptoms.

Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.

Find out more about Suzie when you click HERE.

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