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My neighbor’s beagle, Cookie has gained a lot of unhealthy weight lately. So we decided to take this challenge of transforming Cookie by helping her to lose excess weight.
After doing a lot of research and talking with my vet, I found seven effective ways to help a beagle lose weight.
These ways worked amazingly for Cookie, and they will help any beagle to lose unhealthy weight. But just to be safe, consult your veterinarian before implementing them.
1. Start Measuring Calories
Start measuring your beagle’s calory intake and cut it down. If you are feeding your pooch according to the feeding guide mentioned on the dog food package, then stop. These guides are made for active dogs with an average healthy weight.
By feeding your overweight beagle according to these guides, you are feeding him 20% to 30% more than he needs.
Ask your vet to calculate the necessary amount of calories that your beagle needs every day and start feeding accordingly.
You can use this formula to get a general idea of many calories your inactive dog requires. But make sure to check it with the vet first.
First, divide the weight of your beagle by 2.2, then multiply it with 30, and then add 70 to it.
[(Weight of your Beagle / 2.2) x 30] + 70
Most dog food packages have ‘calories per bowl’ or ‘calories per 100 grams’. Start measuring the calories and feed your beagle accordingly.
2. Use vegetables as treats
Manufactured treats are not the best option for an overweight beagle. Try replacing these treats with vegetables that your pooch loves. Some popular and healthy vegetables that many dogs enjoy are baby carrots, apples, bananas, green beans, and celery.
Try different types of vegetables until you find a few that work best on your canine. Here is a list of 32 vegetables safe to feed your beagle.
Make sure not to feed to much vegetables that contain natural sugar like bananas and apples.
But if your beagle is like my niece who hates veggies, then here are two low-calorie and healthy treats:
3. Daily Exercise
While cutting down calories will stop your beagle from gaining weight, exercising will help burn calories and lose weight.
Beagles are a breed of hunting dogs. They are suppose to run, chase, and be active. If you fail to provide enough exercise for your beagle, they start gaining weight and become lethargic.
To help your beagle lose weight without causing any health risk, take things slow but steady. Start with taking your pooch out for a walk just around the block. And gradually increase the distance.
Make a schedule and be consistent with it. Do not miss even a single day.
Here are 12 fun ways to exercise your beagle.
4. Feed many small meals
Once you know how much you are supposed to feed your beagle in a day, divide the ratio into 3 to 6 small portions and feed them throughout the day. According to Dr. Carol Osborn, it requires energy to digest the food that burns calories. Feeding small meals many times a day will burn more calories.
She says that feeding a small portion of meals every 4 to 6 hours makes your dog feel full throughout the day and reduces appetite spikes.
5. Cut down Carbs
Most beagles do not need a diet that is high in carbohydrates, and still, most dog foods have high carbs. Dog food for losing weight should be low in carbs and high in proteins.
6. High protein Diet
Many manufactured dog foods contain fillers, by-products, grain, and unhealthy preservatives. They are high in fats and carbohydrates and have low protein.
Switching to high-quality, grain-free dog foods with fresh meat as their primary ingredients can help your beagle achieve goals of being healthy.
I recommend these three high-protein dog foods for losing weight:
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food – Dog food for senior dogs is great for losing weight for adult dogs.
- Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food.
Make sure to consult your veterinarian before switching food.
You can even start feeding your beagle home-cooked food. It’s the best way to ensure that your pooch gets all the essential nutrients. Ask your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist to create a home-cooked died for your beagle.
7. Play with them
Beagles love to interact with their human buddies. One way to make them happy and burn some calories is to play some games with them.
You don’t need to go out; you can play some indoor games like hide and seek and fetch.
Bonus: Teach and revise tricks
Teach them some tricks and commands; this will be fun for you as well as your pooch. And the best part about it is that it will be a mini exercise for them.
Teaching new tricks also provides mental stimulation, which makes them feel good and excited.
Fix a time and add this to your schedule to teach and revise trick to your beagle. Just make sure you don’t over-treat them.
Did you know obisity can decrease the lifespan of beagles.
DO NOT set an unrealistic goal of making your dog fit in just a month, it’s not safe for them. Ideally, losing 1 to 2 pounds a month is safe and less stressful.
Keep this weight-loss thing as much fun as possible for your beagle. And don’t be too strict with everything. It’s more about being consistent.
The above ways have worked for us as well as many other dogs. But to be safe, please ask your veterinarian before doing any lifestyle changes in your beagle’s routine.