Best Dog Food for a Corgi

When you hear the name “Corgi” you probably picture a small dog with short legs and big ears. While this image is correct, you may not realize that the name Corgi actually applies to two separate breeds – the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. In many cases, these two breeds are lumped into a single type, the Welsh Corgi.

Corgis were developed as herding dogs in Wales, particularly for herding cattle, and their origins go back as far as 1,000 years. The exact origins of the bred are unknown but there are several theories – one of the most popular theories speculates on a relation to the Swedish Vallhund and the Norwegian Lundehund. It is also possible that the ancestors of the modern Corgi were local dogs brought to Wales during the 12th century by Flemish weavers.

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Though the Corgi may be small, he is a very active and hard-working breed. These dogs are full of life and personality, eager to make friends and loyal to a fault. The two Corgi breeds are slightly different in terms of their appearance with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi being the larger of the two. This breed has large, rounded ears and a long fox-like tail. The double coat is dense, medium in length, and harsh in texture. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is somewhat smaller in stature with a shorter tail and more pointed ears. This breed exhibits fewer color variations than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi as well as more white markings. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi stands about 10.5 to 12.5 inches tall and weighs between 25 and 38 pounds at maturity while the Pembroke Welsh Corgi stands 10 to 12 inches and weighs 25 to 30 pounds.

Though these two breeds are slightly different in appearance and temperament, they are both small-breed dogs so their nutritional requirements are very similar. The Welsh Corgi needs a steady influx of energy to support his fast metabolism, especially if he is used as a working breed. It is worth noting, however, that this breed is highly prone to obesity so you need to be very careful about feeding your corgi enough to meet his needs for energy without going overboard on calories. The best way to ensure that your dog’s unique nutritional needs are met is to select a small-breed or working-breed formula. Keep reading to learn more about the nutritional requirements for Corgis and to receive recommendations for quality dog food brands for this breed.

General Nutritional Recommendations for Corgis

When shopping for a new dog food for your Corgi, you need to have a basic understand of dog nutritional needs. Dogs are primarily carnivorous which means that the majority of their diet should consist of animal-based ingredients. Unlike cats who are obligate carnivores, however, dogs have a limited ability to digest certain plant products – things like whole grains, starchy vegetables, and legumes can be considered digestible carbohydrates for dogs. It is important to note that dogs do not have a specific requirement for carbohydrate in their diet and it is generally recommended that you select a product which contains no more than 5% crude fiber. Some fiber is beneficial to help regulate your dog’s digestion but too much fiber can be problematic.

While there are maximum requirements for carbohydrate in a dog’s diet, you need to pay attention to the minimums for both protein and fat. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends a minimum of 18% protein for adult dogs and 22% for puppies with a crude fat minimum of 5% for adult dogs and 8% for puppies. Most adult dogs do well with a protein content around 30% to 24%, though higher protein values are always better. This is especially true for small-breed dogs like the Corgi who have fast metabolisms that burn a lot of calories every day – they need plenty of protein in their diet to support their lean muscle mass. Some quality dog food formulas contain upwards of 30% protein. Just as important as the total volume of protein in a dog food, however, is the sources of protein used. Protein for dogs should come from animal sources like meat, poultry, fish and eggs – plant proteins are not complete proteins so they provide limited nutritional value for dogs.

After considering the protein content of a dog food you should look at the fat content. Like proteins, fats for dogs should come from animal sources – things like chicken fat and salmon oil are much more biologically valuable than canola oil or flaxseed. Small-breed dogs like Corgis need higher fat levels than larger dogs because they have very fast metabolisms and fats provide a concentrated source of energy. Look for a product that provides a balance of omega fatty acids to ensure that your Corgi’s skin and coat are kept in good condition. In terms of supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements are usually added to ensure nutritional completeness in dog food products but fresh sources of key nutrients are more valuable. You should also make sure that the product you choose is free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as artificial additives.

Special Dietary and Nutritional Concerns

Because the Corgi was developed as a working breed, they have very high needs for exercise and energy. Looking at the Corgi with his short, stubby legs you might not think that he is much of a sporting breed but he can run with the best of them! To support your active or working Corgi’s high-energy needs, you should select a commercial dog food product with plenty of quality protein to support his lean muscle mass with moderate to high levels of quality fats for concentrated energy. Make sure that the product provides a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, as well as other essential fatty acids for a strong immune system and healthy brain development. The best place to start looking for this type of diet is a small-breed or working-breed specific formula.

Though active and working Corgis have very high needs for energy, if your Corgi is more of a house pet you need to be extra careful not to overfeed him. Like all dogs, Corgis love to eat so they are likely to scarf down anything you put in front of them. This being the case, you should ratio your Corgi’s food instead of letting him feed freely. It is a good idea to divide your Corgi’s daily ration into three portions and feed him once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and in the evening – this schedule will ensure that he gets a steady stream of energy to fuel his fast metabolism without going overboard on calories. If your Corgi has trouble adapting to a meal schedule, try putting his food out for only 30 minutes then take it away – this will teach him to eat at meal time.

If you aren’t sure exactly how many calories your Corgi should be eating on a daily basis you can quickly calculate his needs based on his age and weight. On average, an adult dog needs about 30 calories per pound of bodyweight, but small-breed dogs like the Corgi might need a little more. A 30-pound adult dog requires an average of 930 calories on a daily basis which, if you do the math, divides out to about 31 calories per pound of bodyweight. If your Corgi is very active, however, he may require something closer to 40 calories per pound of bodyweight. The best thing to do is to select a high-quality product for your dog and then follow the feeding recommendations. As you do, keep an eye on your dog’s weight and energy levels for a few weeks before making adjustments. If your dog gains too much weight you should scale back but if he loses weight or becomes lethargic you can ramp it up a little.

What is the Best Dog Food for my Corgi?

Choosing a high-quality dog food product for your Corgi can be tricky because not all specimens of this breed are trained for herding or other dog sports. In general, however, Corgis will benefit from a small-breed dog food or a working-breed formula because they have very fast metabolisms and thus higher needs for energy (measured in calories per pound of bodyweight) than larger dogs. To make sure that your Corgi’s nutritional and energy needs are met, start with a small-breed specific formula and, if it isn’t enough to fuel your Corgi’s energy needs, consider upgrading to an active- or working-breed formula. Below you will find reviews for several high-quality dog food formulas that could be a good choice for your Corgi:

American Journey Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry

First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran

American Journey Chicken and Brown Rice is a complete and balanced recipe that is specially crafted to meet the nutritional demands of your dog. With real, deboned chicken as the first ingredient to support healthy muscle development, antioxidants added to help support a healthy immune system, omega fatty acids to help maintain skin and coat health, and a precise blend of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones and teeth, this food is sure to keep your pet healthy and happy. American Journey dog food also contains DHA and ARA, naturally occurring fatty acids to help support brain and vision development. Plus, it’s made using nutrient-dense ingredients and there is never any wheat, corn, soy, chicken or poultry by-product meals, or artificial preservatives, colors or artificial flavors.

Ollie Healthy Turkey Feast Fresh Dog Food

First 5 Ingredients : Turkey breast, turkey liver, kale, carrots, lentils

Ollie is a great fresh food option if you are in the market for a super premium dog food. Just like fresh food diets are gaining popularity with humans, they are becoming popular with pets. Ollie’s ingredients are all human-grade and are cooked slowly to preserve their nutritional integrity. No artificial flavors or fillers are used in any of their recipes, so you can be sure your dog is getting whole, fresh ingredients and nothing more. When you sign up for Ollie, you fill out a profile about your Corgi to help them create a customized recipe and delivery schedule just for you. The food is delivered to your doorstep and stored in your fridge or freezer. Although Ollie is more expensive than other dog foods, there are a lot of added benefits that make a fresh food diet something to consider!

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry

First 5 Ingredients : Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils

Specially formulated for small breeds like your Corgi, this Taste of the Wild recipe is not only extremely popular, but a healthy pick for your pet! It is grain-free which can be great for pets with food sensitivities, and it includes venison as the main protein to provide lasting energy for your active dog. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley is a natural recipe with the added vitamins and powerful antioxidants your pet needs for overall health, as well as the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids necessary to support healthy skin and coat. Made in the USA by a family-run company, there’s no mistaking that Taste of the Wild is one of the most popular brands we review.

Natural Balance LID Small Breed Sweet Potato & Fish Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : Dried Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Fish Meal, Potato Protein, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

Natural Balance LID Small Breed Sweet Potato & Fish Recipe

Many dogs suffer from food allergies and the Corgi is not exempt. If your Corgi has a sensitive stomach or if he suffers from food allergies or intolerance, consider this Natural Balance LID Small Breed Sweet Potato & Fish Recipe. Made with a limited number of quality ingredients, this formula will reduce the risk for triggering your dog’s allergies. It is made with premium ingredients such as salmon, salmon meal, and sweet potatoes as well as salmon oil and canola oil as concentrated sources of energy-rich fats. This formula also comes in small bite-sized pieces for smaller mouths and the pieces are uniquely shaped to help clean your dog’s teeth and gums as he eats.

Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe All Life Stages Small Breed Dry Dog Food

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Dried Peas, Oatmeal

Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe All Life Stages Small Breed Dry Dog Food

To ensure that your Corgi’s nutritional needs are met in the healthiest way possible, consider switching to this Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe All Life Stages Small Breed Dry Dog Food. This formula is designed in keeping with holistic principles of pet nutrition, made with healthy natural ingredients that provide your dog with all the nutrients he needs and nothing he doesn’t. This recipe is formulated around fresh chicken and eggs as the primary sources of protein with whole-grain oats, pearled barley, and whole peas for digestible carbohydrates. As a concentrated source of energy, this recipe also contains animal fats like chicken fat and salmon oil. Simply put, if you want a complete and balanced diet designed specifically for small-breed dogs like the Corgi, this is a great option to consider!

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Working Dog Diet

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat [Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)], Rice Flour, Oatmeal, Brown Rice

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Working Dog Diet

If a traditional small-breed formula doesn’t provide your Corgi with the protein and energy he needs, you may want to consider Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Working Dog Diet. This formula is specially designed for active and hard-working dogs, made with a unique combination of high fat and moderate protein from premium-quality, natural ingredients. With chicken meal as the primary ingredient and several supplementary sources of protein, this formula will support your dog’s lean muscle mass while ingredients like chicken fat, flaxseed, and menhaden fish oil provide concentrated sources of quality energy. This recipe is supplemented with green-lipped sea mussels for joint-supporting nutrients and a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It also contains prebiotic fibers to support your Corgi’s digestive system.

What is the Best Dog Food for Corgi Puppies?

Corgis are small to medium-sized dogs which means that they do not have as far to go as larger dogs when it comes to achieving their maximum size. This being the case, your Corgi may reach his adult size before he hits the 12-month mark. For small-breed puppies, protein is a necessity because it promotes healthy muscle development but fat is also important because it is a highly concentrated source of energy. To make sure that your Corgi puppy gets the right balance of these two nutrients, consider feeding him a small-breed puppy formula until he reaches about 80% his adult weight – at this point you can switch to a small-breed adult formula. Below you will find reviews for several high-quality dog food formulas that could be a good choice to consider for your Corgi puppy:

Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Recipe Dry Food

First 5 Ingredients : De-Boned Turkey, Whole Dried Egg, Peas, Pea Flour, Potatoes

Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Recipe Dry Food

If you are looking for a fresh, natural pet food product on which to raise your Corgi puppy, consider this Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Recipe Dry Food. This formula is made with 100% fresh salmon, turkey, and duck as well as fresh omega oils from canola and coconuts. The primary sources of protein for this recipe are deboned turkey and whole dried eggs with digestible carbohydrates like peas and potatoes. For healthy fats, this recipe relies on canola oil and coconut oil to provide a balance of omega fatty acids to support your puppy’s healthy skin and coat. Plus, this recipe is completely free from corn, wheat and so ingredients as well as artificial additives. In addition to being rich in protein and fat, this recipe comes in small bite-sized pieces for your puppy’s small mouth and the pieces are shaped to help scrape the plaque and tartar off your puppy’s teeth.

NutriSource Small and Medium Breed Chicken & Rice Puppy Food

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)

NutriSource Small and Medium Breed Chicken & Rice Puppy Food

If your Corgi puppy comes from a line that leans toward the higher end of the breed’s size range, you may want to consider this NutriSource Small and Medium Breed Chicken & Rice Puppy Food. This recipe is formulated for puppies that grow to a maximum size under 50 pounds, offering plenty of premium protein in a digestible formula. The main sources of protein in this recipe are chicken and chicken meal which are supplemented with healthy natural fats like chicken fat and sunflower oil. For digestible carbohydrates, this recipe relies on brown rice, white rice, and oatmeal which will provide your puppy with adequate fiber to support a healthy digestive system.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Puppy Food

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken Meal, Dried Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried Sweet Potatoes

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Puppy Food

For a high-quality small-breed puppy food that won’t break the bank, consider this Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Puppy Food. This recipe features fresh, quality ingredients but it also delivers excellent value. Featuring premium proteins like chicken meal and fresh chicken, this recipe offers 26% protein which is great for growing puppies. This formula is also made with whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetable to ensure nutritional balance. Made in the USA, this recipe if completely free from corn, wheat, and soy, plus it doesn’t contain any artificial additives. If you are looking for a protein-rich diet to support your Corgi puppy’s healthy growth and development, give this recipe a try!

Many dog owners do not realize just how tricky it can be to shop for a high-quality dog food – especially for a breed like the Corgi that is both a small-breed dog and a working breed. Each Corgi is unique so you need to consider your dog’s specific nutritional and energy requirements when you start shopping for a new product. It is always best to start with a high-quality animal protein, but healthy fats should not be overlooked. Your best bet is probably going to be a small-breed or working-breed specific formula. To help you get started in finding the right product for your Corgi, consider some of the top recommended brands of small- and working-breed dog food for adult Corgis and Corgi puppies as listed above.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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  • I have a one year old corgi, he is constantly throwing up. The vet did a upper GI and discovered he has something like a hietal hernia. I know we should keep him in an upright position after eating but that can be difacult. We have tried different dry food, not helping. Any suggestions.

    • You didn’t say if he is throwing up bile or throwing up his food. I had 2 Corgis that were throwing up bile until I put them on Grain-Free Wellness Core Original dry dog food. I have another Corgi now who has been on that food since bringing her home as a 9 week old pup. Never a problem with that food for us. It’s a very good quality dog food.

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