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If you’re like me, your Beagle isn’t just a pet; they’re a beloved member of the family. And just like any family member, we want to make sure they’re happy, healthy, and living their best life.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide on 10 essential health tips for your Beagle.
Tip #1 Feed Them Properly
Don’t just give them anything. They need a balanced diet with the right amount of protein, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Choose the Right Food
When it comes to feeding your Beagle, picking the right food is super important. Look for something that’s made for their specific breed or size.
You can even ask your vet for suggestions. They’ll know what’s best for your particular dog, especially if they have any allergies or special needs. Here are best dog food for beagles.
Measure the Meals
It’s easy to just pour food into a bowl, but Beagles can put on weight if they eat too much. Use a measuring cup to make sure you’re giving them the right amount.
The back of the dog food bag usually has a guide based on weight, so that’s a good place to start.
Keep a Feeding Schedule
Beagles like to know when food’s coming, so try to feed them at the same times every day. It’s usually best to feed them twice a day, like once in the morning and once at night.
This helps with their digestion and keeps them from getting too hungry or overeating.
Watch the Treats
Treats are awesome, and Beagles definitely love them, but don’t go overboard. Treats should be just a small part of their diet.
If you give them too many, they might not eat their regular food, and that’s where they get most of their nutrients.
Provide Fresh Water
This might seem obvious, but always make sure there’s fresh water available. Change it every day, and keep the bowl clean so your Beagle can stay hydrated.
Avoid Human Food
Some human foods can be harmful to dogs, like chocolate, onions, and grapes. It’s best to avoid giving them anything from your plate, even if they give you those big, puppy-dog eyes. Here’s a list of 41 human food beagles can eat.
You can read this article on Beagle Feeding or watch this video:
Tip #2 Exercise them Everyday
Beagles are full of energy and need plenty of physical activities to stay healthy and happy.
Regular exercise isn’t just about keeping your Beagle fit and trim. It’s also about:
- Mental stimulation: Exploring and playing keeps their minds sharp.
- Behavioral training: It’s a great chance to practice obedience and manners.
- Bonding time: Playtime is quality time with your Beagle.
Different Types of Exercise
- Daily Walks: Walking your Beagle every day is a must. It’s not just about exercise; it’s also a great way for them to explore and sniff around, something they absolutely love.
- Play Fetch: Beagles love playing fetch. While they may not actually bring the ball back always, but they love to chase the ball. Here’s how you can teach your beagle to play fetch.
- Dog Parks: If you’ve got a dog park nearby, it’s like a playground for Beagles. They can run around, meet other dogs, and play freely.
- Indoor Play: Sometimes, the weather might not be great for outdoor activities. In that case, you can play indoor games with toys, or even set up a mini obstacle course.
- Mind Games: Exercise isn’t just about the body; it’s about the brain too. Beagles love to solve puzzles, so treat-dispensing toys or food puzzles can be a fun challenge for them. Here are some mind games to play with your beagle.
- Here’s a list of 12 super fun ways to exercise your beagle.
My and my Beagle’s Exercise Schedule
Exercising our Beagle might seem like a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be if we manage to integrate their exercise routine with our own. Here’s a schedule I use:
|Day||Walking||Running||Playtime||Mental Stimulation||Dog Park Visit|
|Monday||Morning & Evening (30 min each)||No||No||Puzzle Toy (10 min)||No|
|Tuesday||Morning & Evening (30 min each)||10 min (morning)||No||Treat-Dispensing Toy (10 min)||No|
|Wednesday||Morning & Evening (30 min each)||No||Yes (while at dog park)||Food Puzzle (10 min)||Yes (1 hour)|
|Thursday||Morning & Evening (30 min each)||10 min (morning)||No||Puzzle Toy (10 min)||No|
|Friday||Morning & Evening (30 min each)||No||Tug of War (at home)||Treat-Dispensing Toy (10 min)||No|
|Saturday||Morning & Evening (30 min each)||10 min (morning)||Frisbee (while at dog park)||Food Puzzle (10 min)||Yes (1 hour)|
|Sunday||Morning & Evening (30 min each)||No||Indoor games||Free Choice (10 min)||No|
This perfectly fits in my life perfectly, without disturbing my work and personal schedule. You can use this for reference and create one for yourself.
Tip #3: Keep an Eye on Their Weight
Beagles are naturally curious and love food, which means they can easily put on some extra pounds if not monitored.
Extra weight might look cute, but it can lead to health problems like joint issues, heart disease, and diabetes. In fact, as per a study, overweight beagles have a shorter lifespan compared to dogs with a healthy weight.
So, here’s what you need to know to keep your furry friend in tip-top shape.
First off, make sure you’re feeding your Beagle the right amount of food. The back of the dog food bag usually has a guide based on weight, and your vet can help you figure out the best portion size too. Using a measuring cup can help you get it just right.
Treats are awesome, but be mindful of how many you’re giving. They can add up quickly and contribute to weight gain. It’s all about balance and moderation.
Regular exercise is another big part of keeping your Beagle’s weight in check. Walks, playtime, and running all help burn off calories and keep them fit.
Weighing your Beagle regularly can help you catch any weight changes early. You might be able to weigh them at home, or some vet offices even have scales in the lobby that you can use.
If you notice any sudden weight gain or loss, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet, as it could be a sign of a health issue. You can go through this article in which I have discussed some effective ways to reduce your beagle’s weight.
Keeping an eye on your Beagle’s weight isn’t just about numbers on a scale; it’s about making sure they’re healthy and feeling their best. It’s a combination of feeding them right, giving them plenty of exercises, and working together with your vet if you have any concerns.
Tip #4: Don’t skip routine Vet Visits
Regular vet visits are like your Beagle’s report card. They’re a way for the vet to check up on your pup’s overall health and catch any problems early.
When we take our Beagle to the vet regularly, we’re helping make sure they’re in the best shape possible.
Now, puppies need more frequent visits because they need vaccinations and close monitoring as they grow.
Once your Beagle is an adult, though, they’ll typically only need to see the vet once a year for a regular check-up. If your Beagle is a senior or has some health issues, your vet might want to see them more often.
During a regular check-up, the vet will do things like weigh your Beagle, listen to their heart, and check their teeth and eyes.
They might also do some blood work or other tests to make sure everything’s running smoothly. It’s a complete head-to-tail assessment!
Tip #5: Groom Them Well
Beagles have a short and dense coat that’s generally easy to care for. But, there are different grooming activities that need to be done at different times. Here’s a handy table that lays out what to do and how often:
|Grooming Activity||How Often|
|Brushing||Once a week (more during shedding season)|
|Nail Trimming||Every 3-4 weeks or as needed|
|Ear Cleaning||Once a week|
|Bathing||Once a month or as needed|
|Teeth Cleaning||2-3 times a week or as advised by the vet|
|Eye Cleaning||As needed (if you see buildup)|
Now, let’s talk a bit more about these activities:
- Brushing: Regular brushing helps remove loose hairs and keeps the coat nice and shiny. A bristle brush usually works well for Beagles.
- Bathing: Beagles don’t need baths too often, but if they get muddy or smelly, a bath might be in order. Use dog-friendly shampoo, and be careful not to get soap in their eyes or ears.
- Ear Cleaning: Beagles have floppy ears, so it’s essential to keep them clean to prevent infections. You can use a dog ear cleaner or a damp cloth. Here’s the complete guide on cleaning a beagle’s ears.
- Nail Trimming: Keeping nails trimmed helps prevent painful splitting. If you’re unsure how to do this, your vet or a groomer can show you how.
- Teeth Brushing: Dental care is essential for overall health. Use a dog toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste to keep those pearly whites clean.
- Checking for Fleas: While brushing, it’s a good opportunity to check for fleas or ticks, especially during warm weather.
- Here’s a complete Beagle Grooming Guide.
Grooming isn’t just about looking good; it’s about bonding with your Beagle and making sure they’re comfortable and healthy. It might seem like a lot, but once you get into a routine, it becomes second nature.
Tip #6: Don’t ignore Dental Health
Just like with us humans, teeth cleaning for Beagles isn’t just about a shiny smile; it’s crucial for their overall health.
Dogs can have dental problems like plaque, tartar, and even gum disease, just like people can. This can lead to bad breath, painful chewing, and even more serious health problems down the line.
So, how do we keep our Beagle’s teeth clean?
- Use a Dog Toothbrush: Find a toothbrush specially made for dogs; they’re softer and shaped to fit a dog’s mouth.
- Pick Up Dog Toothpaste: Grab some special dog toothpaste, usually flavored like chicken or beef to appeal to your pup.
- Brush 2-3 Times a Week: Aim for regular brushing 2-3 times a week. Start slowly and work your way up to full brushings.
- Consider Dental Chews or Toys: If your Beagle doesn’t like brushing, dental chews or toys can be a great alternative.
Tip #7: Train, train, and train
Beagles are intelligent, curious, and energetic dogs. But, oh boy, can they be headstrong! This means they often have their own ideas about what they should be doing, especially if there’s an interesting scent around.
Training helps us communicate with our Beagles and guide them, so they understand what’s expected of them.
With my first Beagle, I sort of ignored the whole training thing, thinking, “He’s so cute; how naughty could he possibly be?”
Well, let me tell you, he quickly became a master of mischief. From stealing food off the table to ignoring me completely on walks, he made sure to keep me on my toes!
And that’s why training them is so important.
The key with Beagles is to use positive reinforcement. That’s where treats, praise, or playtime come in as rewards for good behavior.
Beagles might be stubborn, but they sure do love a tasty treat or a fun game, and this can help make training a positive experience. Here are 5 Steps to Compltely Discipline your Beagle.
And remember, patience is crucial. Training a Beagle takes time and consistency. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s about building a relationship with your furry friend, one that’s based on understanding and trust.
Tip #8: Watch Their Joints
Beagles are lively and energetic, but like all dogs, they can develop joint issues as they age. Things like arthritis can creep up, causing discomfort or even pain.
This doesn’t mean the end of fun and games; it just means we need to be a little more attentive.
Here’s what we can do:
- Know the signs: If your Beagle starts limping, seems stiff, or doesn’t want to jump and play like they used to, it might be a sign of joint issues.
- Talk to your vet: They can help figure out what’s going on and recommend treatments like medication, supplements, or specific exercises.
- Keep them at a healthy weight: Extra weight can put more pressure on those joints, so a good diet is essential.
- Consider softer surfaces: If you notice your Beagle struggling, maybe choose to walk on grass instead of pavement, or provide a comfy bed to rest on.
Remember, joint issues don’t have to take the wag out of your Beagle’s tail. With some extra care and attention, they can still have a happy, active life.
Tip #9: Socialize Them
Beagles are friendly and curious by nature, but that doesn’t mean socializing them happens automatically. It’s something we need to help them with, especially when they’re puppies.
Socializing means getting our Beagles used to meeting different people, animals, and experiencing various environments. It helps them grow into confident, well-behaved dogs that aren’t easily scared or overwhelmed.
Think about taking your Beagle to different places like parks, outdoor cafes, or even just walks around the neighborhood. Allow them to meet new people and other dogs, always under controlled and safe conditions.
Don’t forget to praise and reward them when they behave well around others. It makes the whole experience positive and enjoyable for them.
Tip #10: Give Them Lots of Love
Loving your Beagle means understanding them, caring for their needs, and always being there for them, whether it’s during a thunderstorm or a trip to the vet.
It’s about speaking their language, knowing when they’re happy, scared, or just need a little extra attention. It’s playing fetch, going for a walk, or just spending quality time together.
Love is what turns a pet into a family member. It’s what makes all the training, grooming, and vet visits worth it. And it’s what makes our lives with our Beagles so incredibly rewarding.