The beagle is an amazing and clever dog.
Developed for hunting and with a keen sense of smell, they’re a great family dog thanks to their small size and friendly disposition.
But Beagles are statistically more at risk of being overweight than many other dogs.
If you own a Beagle or you’re thinking about bringing one into your family, it’s important to understand why and how to keep your Beagle in a healthy weight range
. If you’re wondering, “How do I know if my Beagle is overweight?” read on to learn more.
How Can I Tell If My Beagle Is Overweight?
While it can be subtle, there are a few places to check if you think your Beagle might be putting on weight.
If you look from above, you may notice your dog has less definition around the waist and there’s no obvious narrowing of the body between the ribs and hips.
From the side, you should be able to see the stomach tuck in after the rib cage – if it’s not, this may be a sign of weight gain.
You can also feel the base of your Beagle’s tail or the rib cage, both of which should feel tight and devoid of any excess fat.
If they are particularly squishy or meaty, weight gain might be the cause.
If you’re concerned, it’s worth going to your vet immediately for a check-up rather than self-diagnosing.
Every Beagle is different, so you should rely on an expert opinion.
Do Beagles Have Many Health Problems?
Beagles are a popular dog breed because they rarely come with inherited health issues.
Compare this to a pug or French bulldog, which often have breathing problems, or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is prone to heart diseases.
If your priority is a dog that will stay healthy, a Beagle is a great option.
Beagles are, however, statically more prone to obesity than any other dog breeds.
If your Beagle becomes too overweight, it can develop several health issues.
What Are the Risks of a Beagle Being Overweight?
An overweight Beagle is at risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, Addison’s disease, heart disease, and Cushing’s disease.
They may also experience breathing problems and snoring plus a strain on tendons and ligaments.
All of these are major contributors when it comes to a shorter life expectancy for your Beagle.
What Is the Ideal Weight for a Beagle?
Beagles start as particularly tiny puppies and do the bulk of their growing in the first six months after being born.
It can be hard to monitor exactly how healthy their weight is during this period, as they get bigger at different rates and are still growing into their bodies.
So it’s not worth comparing your Beagle to others during this period!
Once they’re fully grown, they should weigh between 22 and 30 pounds.
If your Beagle is sitting outside of this weight range, or you’re just worried about their health generally, you should check in with your vet.
You definitely shouldn’t consider your dog overweight until you’ve consulted with an expert, but it’s crucial to be aware of it.
What Does a Beagle Eat?
Obviously, a Beagle will eat a lot – they’re a dog, after all!
That being said, they particularly love dog food made with real meat.
You’ll also notice that foods that have more nutritional value and offer them quality protein with the right balance of fat will leave them with more energy and a better temperament.
Cheap dog foods with lots of grain and carbs will cause them to pack on weight fast.
The other option is making your own dog food, which many people prefer as it gives them full control over the ingredients used.
Have a look around the internet for the best recipes for homemade food for Beagles, or just for the best store-bought food; as long as you do your research, your pup will be happy and well-fed!
How Can I Feed Them Less?
A beagle is prone to a big appetite and will probably never say no if you put food down in front of them!
Because of this, it can feel hard to feed them less or different food.
A great way to change up their diet is to sneak food into their existing diet.
Baby carrots, green beans, and green peas mix well with wet dog food, and your pup likely won’t even notice they’re there!
You can also look for dog treats designed specifically for dogs who need to lose some weight.
Ask your vet, or do a bit of online research, to find a brand that’s healthy and considers calories without using harmful additives or depriving your Beagle of important nutrients.
How Much Food Is a Good Amount?
Since different types of food – wet, dry, homemade – are made from different ingredients, you’ll need to be conscious of the number of calories in them rather than a blanket “one cup suits all” approach.
Full-grown Beagles need approximately 45 calories per pound, or a little less as they become senior.
Once again, chatting to your vet and looping them in on your Beagle’s diet is the safest way to ensure you’re feeding your dog properly and safely.
How Often Should I Feed My Beagle?
Many experts recommend feeding your Beagle on a schedule as opposed to just leaving food out and letting them graze as they wish.
Dogs are more likely to be better behaved when they follow a routine.
How Can My Beagle Get Regular Exercise?
Since the Beagle was bred for hunting, they love a walk through the woods or park so they can sniff absolutely everything.
They love long, brisk walks every day and enjoy exploring new areas.
If you live somewhere where you’re able to hike, a Beagle will love being on new, uncharted terrain.
But you don’t need to get too fancy – they’ll never say no to a power walk around the block.
If you have to stay home, you can still get your dog’s heart rate up with some cardio-heavy playtime.
Beagles love catch and will play with a ball for hours.
The most critical thing is to be a bit active every day.
It’s not only important for your Beagle’s physical health but for their happiness too – they were bred to be out and running around!
It’s crucial that as you help your pup stay fit and in a healthy weight bracket, you talk to your vet and make sure you’re doing everything safely and by the book.
Your Beagle will thank you!