Recommended daily amount: 3/4 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Note: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you’ll need to shake into your dog’s bowl.
Pembrokes like to eat, and will over-indulge if given the chance. Keep your Pem in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you’re unsure whether he’s overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on test.
First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can’t, he needs less food and more exercise.
For more on feeding your Pembroke, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.
Coat Color And Grooming
Pembrokes are double-coated, with a thick undercoat and a longer topcoat. They shed continuously, with heavier shedding at least twice a year. You’ll find them in red, sable, black, tri-colored, or fawn, usually with white markings.
The length of the coat varies on the body. Some Pems have fluffy coats — long with excessive feathering on the ears, chest, legs and feet.
Many Pembrokes have what is called a “fairy saddle” over their back. This marking, which is caused by a change in thickness and direction of a strip of hair, gets its name from legend: According to one, fairies rode Pembrokes in their home country of Wales.
Pembrokes are easy to groom, but shedding can be a problem if you don’t keep up with the brushing, especially during the heavier seasonal shedding. When they are shedding the most, daily brushing is recommended. You only need to bathe them as needed, but many people find that regular bathing also helps control heavy shedding.
Brush your Pembroke’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
Trim his nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you’re not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.
His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog’s ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don’t insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.
Begin accustoming your Pembroke to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.
As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.
Children And Other Pets
Pembrokes have a remarkable affinity for children, but thanks to their herding instincts, they sometimes nip at children’s feet or ankles. Pems are eager learners, though, and can be trained out of this behavior at a young age.
As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he’s eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
They usually are good with other pets in the household, so long as they have been socialized with them.
Pembrokes are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Pembrokes in need of adoption and or fostering. There are a number of rescues that we have not listed. If you don’t see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Pembroke rescue.