Beagles are amongst the friendliest and most playful dog breeds in the world. They are originally dogs used for hunting thanks to their superior sniffing and smelling sense and they are known for being full of energy. They are incredibly active and smart, and this is why you need to learn how to properly look after them if you want them to live a long and happy life.
Unfortunately, due to the same discriminating nose, Beagles often get in trouble, especially when it comes to food. They can sniff it in an instant and this is why they’ll often have problems maintaining a healthy weight. If you don’t want your pup to become overweight or obese in just a few months, you need to pay close attention to its diet. Here is everything you need to know about this aspect.
How often should you feed your pet?
Beagles have different feeding requirements based on their gender, age, and even personality. Their diet changes as they grow older but during the first four weeks of their lives, they shouldn’t be fed anything else but dam’s milk. After one month they can be slowly introduced to solid foods that should first be mixed with milk.
After the sixth week of life, Beagle pups should have a purely solid diet. During the next few weeks of life, your puppy should be fed the same food brand to avoid stomach upsets and other changes that could cause digestive problems.
Keep in mind that Beagles are hungry by nature and have a big appetite so it would be best to not overfeed them, no matter how impossible to resist those puppy eyes look. As a general rule, until the age of six months, Beagles should receive three meals a day.
If you opt for dry food or kibbles, make sure to check the brand’s feeding recommendations for the size, weight, and age of your pet. This is also the perfect time to set strict meal times so your pup can get used to eating at regular hours. A firm schedule won’t only keep your pup healthy and within normal weight limits but will also help you train it faster.
After your pet reaches adulthood, two servings of food per day should be enough to benefit from all necessary vitamins and nutrients to boost its energy levels and help your pooch live a long and active life.
However, if you have a busy schedule or you’re away for a couple of days, an automatic food dispenser or regular water dispensers for cats will do the trick. These devices detect motion and will release a preset amount of kibbles for your Beagle’s meal. Some dispensers are specially made to provide a constant source of fresh and clean water so your pet can stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer days.
How many calories per day should your Beagle have?
These dogs range in weight from 25 to 30 pounds at adulthood and food recommendations should be adjusted according to their personality and how active they are on a daily basis. Although most Beagles are energetic and active, this doesn’t mean that some individuals prefer relaxing on the couch more than chasing cats and birds in the park.
As a general rule, dogs up to the age of seven years should receive anywhere between 675 and 920 calories per day. Older adults are typically less active and they should receive about a third less food than teenagers and young adults.
Which diet should your pet follow?
Beagles are known for not being picky when it comes to food. In fact, they’ll eat about anything, even if we’re talking about dry food, table scraps or raw meat. They are excellent hunters and, due to their fine noses, can smell food from afar, which means you’ll have to constantly find new places to hide your pup’s food stash.
Most dog owners prefer dry foods in the form of kibbles because they are easier to store and feed. They don’t make a mess and contain all necessary vitamins, minerals, and proteins for a healthy diet. However, some of the dog food brands that provide kibbles use low-quality ingredients which leads to a high-calorie diet rich in fats and low in proteins.
In time, feeding the wrong foods or overfeeding can cause severe health issues, including liver failure, digestive problems, heart disease, and obesity.
In our opinion, your pet should follow a semi-moist diet, meaning you should combine dry food and kibbles with home-cooked meals or food cans. Apart from the variety of tastes and ingredients, you will make sure your Beagle dog receives all the nutrients required based on its age and lifestyle.
What foods should you feed your pet?
Dogs, and especially Beagles, aren’t picky about their food, meaning you can choose from a wide variety of tastes and recipes. As a general rule, Beagles should receive at least one clean source of proteins daily, and this includes dairy, poultry, fish or any other kind of meat. Opt for organic or free-range recipes that don’t contain any preservatives or empty calories that might lead to overweight problems.
Essential fatty acids found in sunflower, safflower, and fish oil are essential for building strong bones and keeping your pet’s coat shiny and healthy. Make sure to combine these ingredients with daily intakes of fresh fruits and vegetables for a balanced diet.
Carbs are also necessary to boost your Beagle’s energy levels but we suggest feeding them in moderation. Avoid foods that are rich in empty calories such as corn, wheat or meat by-products and opt for clean sources of carbs such as organic brown rice.
If you’re opting for over-the-counter foods, make sure to carefully read the ingredient list. The protein source should be the main ingredient and should come from clean, organic sources. Natural preservatives such as Vitamin C and E are preferable over chemicals, flavor enhancers, and other low-quality ingredients.
As we previously mentioned, Beagles are natural hunters and they love spending as much time outdoors as possible. If ignored or kept inside for too long, they will develop destructive behaviors while also getting lonely, bored, and even depressed.
One way to prevent this is to make your pet work for its food, at least once in a while. The concept of creative feeding involves having your dog search for its own food or perform a task in order to receive a treat. Keep in mind that Beagles, just like all other dogs, love chewing, so a chewing puzzle toy filled with delicious snacks could also prove a good alternative.